Welcome to September... and Rotary’s Basic Education and Literacy Month! The ability to read, write and comprehend is critical to economic development for individuals and communities. Literacy helps a person navigate the world with dignity, and allows them to take control of their lives, advocating for themselves, their families and for their community.
More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That’s 17 percent of the world’s adult population. 
Here are some of the ways we, as Rotarians, can help others through literacy and education:
  • Tutoring/mentoring children or adults
  • Building Little Free Libraries
  • Participating in District 5180’s Dictionary Project
{Image: DG Desirée Wilson with John Paul Jones, of the Fair Oaks Rotary, during August's Superhero Training Camp}
Those are just a few of the opportunities we have to make a difference in the world. Let’s use this month to focus on and implement some of these ideas and projects, building on the passion we have for helping others.
As fall approaches, we are continuing to deal with several emergency situations here and abroad: the countless fires that are devastating towns and areas in our region, the Haiti earthquake, the uprising in Afghanistan with many Afghans fleeing to our area and, of course, the continuing spread of the coronavirus Delta variant. What is happening around us can understandably be overwhelming. But, that is when Rotarians shine!
I am inspired and energized by the work of my fellow Rotarians in the face of adversity. We are resilient. We don’t shy away from opportunities to step up and help. I am humbled by the great outreach and service work our clubs and members do to meet the challenge of making our world a bit better each day, community by community, person by person.
Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay encouraged – through Rotary, we ARE making a difference.
Yours in Service,
Desirée Wilson