Posted by: Wasrag | May 28, 2012

Report from Bangkok

2012 might well be described as the year that WASH emerged into the Rotary spotlight. As mentioned in the above item Wasrag is working with The Rotary Foundation to pilot the Foundation’s PEP program on WASH projects. This was featured prominently in one of the convention breakout sessions

But – there was much more. RI President Kalyan Banerjee mentioned water and sanitation projects frequently during his speeches and endorsed the need for these essentials to life and health and their prominence as a Rotary key “Area of Focus”.

As always the Wasrag booth was a hive of activity.  So many people wanted to talk about their WASH projects and how “The Wasrag Model” can be utilized to help them.  Especially notable this year was the emphasis on sanitation which, until now, has not received as much attention as it should.  Rotarians are eager to learn more about sanitation.  Wasrag has taken note and will be expanding its focus on this and the related hygiene issues.

Wasrag volunteers were kept busy signing up new members, answering a constant stream of questions and explaining the details of Wasrag’s mandate. A special “thank you” here to Alan Watson, Sandra Forster and Stew Martin for their help at the booth and for helping us acquire almost 100 new members for Wasrag.

During the convention Wasrag held its Annual General Meeting. The minutes will be available shortly on the Wasrag website. And, the Chair’s Report to the AGM is already available there (link).

Wasrag members especially will be interested to hear the results of the ballot for Wasrag’s directors. Voting this year focused on filling two Board positions to represent North America. Jim Goodrich was re-elected to a second three-year term. The second position will be filled by PDG Nancy Gilbert – well known to many of you as Editor of Wasrag’s newsletter and a tireless worker on Wasrag’s behalf.

Other “Board” changes include some rearranging of Board responsibilities. Virginia Ryan, formerly Secretary-Treasurer, will now focus on her role as Secretary. The responsibilities of the Treasurer will be handled by Phil McFarlane.

Bob Wubbena, who has combined the roles of Vice Chair and Wasrag’s “Chief Operations Officer”, will now focus on his operations role. This alone is no sinecure. Bob puts in countless hours keeping our Operations Team in order! A new candidate for the Vice Chair position will be announced early in July.

Finally, Nicholas Mancus will replace Edward Kairu as one of the two board members representing Africa. Edward has stepped down because of a possible conflict of interest. We are delighted that Nicholas has agreed to complete Edward’s term. Nicholas lives in Chad, is fluently bilingual in English and French and has a deep and sincere commitment to WASH projects in Africa.

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