Posted by Abenezer Feleke
‘Imagine a world that deserves our best, where we get up each day knowing that we can
make a difference”
Jennifer Jones, RI President 2022-23
As we end a beautiful journey that began with the ticking of the 525,600 minutes under the Rotary International (RI) theme ‘Imagine Rotary’ and the District’s ‘Let’s March Together’, I am truly grateful and indebted to the Almighty GOD that we all rolled up our sleeves and traveled the ups and downs to make a difference in the lives of the many that required our support. We have now reached our destination, the end of the 2022-23 Rotary Year, passing the leadership mantle to District Governor 2023-24, Leonard Ithau, the ‘We Are One’ District Governor under the RI theme ‘Create Hope in the World’.
We saw a full calendar of activities which that span through a journey of imagining what is
out there that included:
Rotary Impact visits to 138 clubs - The DG’s visit allowed to get a good grasp of the activities at the club and grass root level, how service projects support communities and whether or not programmes were running according to the Rotary bylaws and guidelines for better impact and sustainability. This allowed thorough review and the need to formulate a policy paper on sustainability to improve performance and efficiency for projects to be large and impactful. Appropriate guidance was offered to clubs on project identification, needs assessment, implementation, resource mobilization, new generation and youth engagement, partnerships, establishment of RCCs in communities, etc. My interview on my Impact Tour journey is now available on our youtube channel for your further delight.  High level consultations and meetings were conducted with high level Government officials in Kenya and Ethiopia. The recurring drought in Kenya and the importance of restarting a school feeding programme was brought up to the attention of both H.E. the President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya and the latter was put on the Parliament’s agenda that is showing some positive results. The DCA in Ethiopia was graced by the presence of H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister.  
Membership – For Rotary, growing membership and extension of clubs has been the key pillar for reaching out and expanding its reach to people and communities that need our support. Despite some clubs terminated in our District for not paying their annual Rotary
dues, the District has grown with 4 Rotary, 16 Interact and additional clubs making the total 140 Rotary Clubs (3,857 Rotarians), 126 Rotaract clubs (2794 Rotaracters) and 142 Interact Clubs in the District. The total Rotarians and Rotaracters in the District stand at 6,650. 
Inspiring and awareness creation of Rotary Foundation giving - Although we have not met the target to raise 400,000 USD, we have managed to raise close to 290,000 USD (more are trickling in). Club giving has significantly improved. The regional Rotary Foundation Dinners (4 in Kenya, 1 in Ethiopia and 1 in South Sudan) significantly helped to improve our giving to the Foundation. The District’s art exhibitions in Kenya and Ethiopia (first of its kind), centered around promoting the painting ‘Imagine Ones Dream’, offered by the brother of RIP Jennifer Jones’, Artist Darren Jones. The fundraising which is part of the global initiative is expected to support the regular immunization of Children under five and to enhance dedicated surveillance. The District raised more than USD 115,000.
Telling the Rotary stories - with the introduction of a monthly DG Times Newsletter and theTimeline, several clubs participated in providing stories of their service projects. The PR/PI team’s dedication to ensure media coverage of the year through interviews, producing video
clips on DG’s visits and the District’s Year-end closing remarks, establishing a dedicated database for photography/videography and brand guidelines and resources documentation was outstanding. The use of social media and internal and external media sources allowed good publicity of our work. You may find all the 12 issued monthly DG Times Newsletters on our website at DG Times Newsletters
Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) – For our District, DEI has been the cross cutting matter that evolved in every respect including the selection of ExCom members, programme coordinators as well as training and capacity building of the Rotary family.
Engaging and inspiring the young generation – As part of the priority areas in the District, engaging and inspiring the young generation was part of our strategy. It was encouraging to see the growing interest in the Rotaract and Interact Clubs that their members continue to increase their capacities through training and participation in Rotary activities. During the DG’s visit to Clubs, many Rotaract and Interact Clubs were chartered and its members inducted. This Rotary year 26 Rotaract and 171 Interact Clubs were chartered. Through exchange programmes, Interactions had a chance to go abroad while our Rotarians hosted foreign students.
Empowering women and girls - The celebration of International Women’s Day in District 9212 allowed the recognition of 7 invisible women in Ethiopia and Kenya that serve their communities quietly but at a bigger scale. Prioritizing girls in schools and communities by various clubs, by providing dignity kits and the introducing and distributing reusable sanitary pads, has considerably changed their lives.
Focus on children with special needs - being part of the vibrant well-coordinated 41st Sunshine Rally that put smiles on 6,000 children and their caretakers was truly heart- warming. Replication of such programmes in Ethiopia and South Sudan is on the table for consideration. During this year, following the promise by IPRIP Shekhar Mehta to support children with chronic heart problems, Rotary Ethiopia managed to send 9 children to India, supported by Rotary District and clubs in India, who all returned after successful surgery. The first ever family sports day conducted in Nairobi, Kenya was also another ‘first timer’. The Rotarians, Rotaracters, families and guests came together to enjoy each other's company through competition and winning games.
Protecting and keeping our environment clean - the continuing efforts of planting trees and cleaning up the environment through the promotion of adopt a river initiative in schools and communities (Ethiopia and Kenya). The Peace project in Ethiopia that brought a few Rotary Clubs with different components (training/capacity building, peace messaging, the creation of local community projects (bee keeping, vegetable gardens, etc.) through the established Rotary Community Corps. Promoting community and economic development - the rehabilitation of drug addict street boys through training and capacity building in order to be rehabilitated and become the managers of a large self-sufficient farm (thanks to Rotary club of Parklands and New Zealand).
Training and Capacity Building - Priority to develop current and future leaders in the District through various training opportunities in the different Rotary areas of focus. The zeal and commitment by our able District Trainer, enabled to equip our District and Club leaders and Rotarians and Rotaracters with knowledge across the District. This was a very commendable task delivered. 
The nomination of the 2025-26 District Governor, DGN-D Wairimu Njage of the RC of Nairobi Lavington, as per the Rotary bylaws and procedures. Announcement of the same was done at the District Assembly held in April 2023.
2023 DCA - The icing on the cake for 2022-23 was the extra ordinary District Conference(DCA 2023) held in Addis Ababa at which more than 500 Rotarians, Rotaracters and guests attended. The DCA received a commendable appreciation that it was special as it certainly
took in-depth thinking and planning by our DCA Chair and her able coordination and Advisory Committee alongside the top event organizer, Flawless, which really made theDCA events are incredibly flawless. In the lines of the DCA, the launching of the Youth
Entrepreneurs Summit marked a new beginning for enabling the youth to start thinking of going into small business opportunities that can go higher and larger. The large book donation to the biggest library in Addis Ababa and the tree planting in school was another.
At the Executive Committee level, we also dealt with matters that have both policy and procedural in nature. A good level of overview was conducted on issues that required steps taken to ensure proper guidance is provided to clubs, including amendments for effective
implementation of projects and programs.  Governance issues were given due attention as aresult of their impact on the day-to-day operations of the clubs and the programmes being handled. The ExCom Chair must be applauded for a job well done. Two Governors Council meetings were also held under the chair of PDG Richard Omwella, during which policy and procedural matters were adequately discussed.  The last Council meeting held during the DCA made one key decision to appoint PDG Peter Mbui as the District  9212 Representative to the RI Council on Legislation for the period 2023-26.  He has accepted this role, expressing commitment.  Moreover, in Region 28, Council of PDGs, VG/PDG Patrick Obath, who has begun serving as Chair Elect this year and he will be the full fledged Chair in 2023-24.
Gratitude - Our PDGs, Incoming DGs, ExCom, RCs, AGs, Club Presidents, Rotarians, Rotaracters, Interactors - We marched together, we strived to solve problems jointly, we danced, we sang, we shared meals, we drove miles and miles, we cruised, we planted trees
in daylight and wish for a flashlight at night. All great memories and we, together, displayed our humanity that we are ‘Rotarians, People of Action’. During our year, the team spirit was at high gear that collaboration and coordination efforts amongst the various Committee chairs enabled the ExCom to function smoothly.  Everyone took their responsibility to heart, and the results were productive.  I can’t thank you all enough as it is immeasurable. A view interview clip is here to listen to my My final closing remarks  now also available on our Youtube channel. 
Here we have completed the 2022-23 Imagine Rotary Year, ready for the 2023-24 year of vibrancy under the ‘We are One’ District theme. My heartfelt congratulations to our District Governor Leonard Ithau and his team and wish them all a productive and resourceful
Thank you all for Marching Together with me while we all Imagined Rotary. We are One’ and Let’s ‘Create Hope in the World’
Azeb Asrat
District Governor, 2022-23