One of the district reports submitted to Zone 22A Literacy Coordinator Paulo Eduardo de B. Fonseca gives us a vision of how Rotary might end up being a leader in the world campaign to eradicate illiteracy by 2015. At the District 4420 Literacy Seminar it was reported by DG Roberto Luiz Barroso Filho and District Literacy Coordinator Tania Mesquita, that, « Thanks to the efforts of Rotary (clubs) and Rotarians (the City of Santos) has been certified as a city free of illiteracy. The (adjacent) City of Guaruja is on the same road (as evidenced by the fact that) through the efforts of Rotary 1400 adults are being made literate annually».
Farther south, in Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, a similar success has been achieved... Past District Governor Tirone Lemos Michelin (D - 4680) reported on that accomplishment at the RI Convention in Birmingham.
On the other side of South America we recently received word from sub-zone coordinator Ciro Arribasplata that an ambitious effort to eliminate basic illiteracy is under way in Peru. District 4450’s literacy chairperson PDG Copernico Salazar Lino is directing that project.
Earlier in this Rotary year we learned of the plan of India’s District 3230 to achieve 100% literacy in 162 rural villages in the district. District Governor W. Anand and District Literacy Task Force Chair Mohan George are leading that effort.
The vision which emerges from these examples is that of grass roots Rotary initiatives which support the GLOBAL GOAL by setting and achieving a goal of eliminating illiteracy at the local level. If such a vision were to catch on throughout the Rotary world, there would be no need for the RI Board or The Rotary Foundation to launch a formal , Rotary –led campaign to eradicate illiteracy. Word of mouth and successful examples would make it happen.
That is where you zone coordinators come in. It’s up to each of you to identify additional examples of 100% literacy campaigns. Then it is up to the rest of us to get those stories into the hands of the rest of the clubs in our Rotary world.
Who knows? Perhaps as early as next year the RILRG will have a sufficient number of success stories to make 100% literacy projects one of our highest priority visions for the future. Truly…
PHOTO: City of Santos, Brazil, and one of its winding buildings (Prédios tortos) close to the ocean