Our Year of the Tiger roars to life with the chartering of the Kiwanis Club...more
Message from the Governor:
Happy Kiwanis New Year!
For those visiting this site who are not yet in Kiwanis, our year starts 1st October. Don't ask me why. It's just the way it is.
When it comes to providing service to kids in the communities, our Malaysia District can stand tall. There aren't that many districts in the Kiwanis World that can claim to have as many permanent, high-impact projects as the ones being operated by our clubs. The Kiwanis Job Training Centre, the CareHeart Centre, the five centres of Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, to name a few, are among the most established service facilities in the country. These centres cost millions to build and millions to operate each year. This not only takes commitment, it takes life-long commitment!
Yes, our district "fights above our weight class" when it comes to service. With membership of 1200 in 47 clubs, Kiwanis Malaysia possibly has the most number of SLP clubs outside of the North America districts and our contribution to the Kiwanis Children's Fund on a per capita basis is second to none. We take care of hundreds of kids in homes, we work with hundreds of refugee kids in special schools, we provide breakfast for kids before they go to school, we set up a special fund for kids with cancer and, yes, once in a while take them to the zoo, see a movie or go to the theme park. Kids will be kids.
Yet there are thousands more children in communities not served by Kiwanis Clubs that are hungry, are not in school, have not seen a movie, or have not played in a playground. There are thousands more who need to be sheltered, protected, nurtured, and loved. If only we had more Kiwanis volunteers.
This is the reason why our theme this year is Eye Of The Tiger. We have two big goals which are to open new clubs and to strengthen existing clubs. With more clubs and more members we can reach out to more children. For this year, our goal is to open eight new clubs and increase our numbers by 300. Our three-year goal is to have 60 clubs and 2000 members. The last couple of months last year saw the opening of new clubs in Gopeng and Kahang. The Formula Team of Dato' Fatimah Saad also went into high gear by setting up pre-organization meetings in Penang and Kuching.
I am overjoyed to report two new clubs just in this first month of October. These are Penang Central and Bukit Mertajam. So clearly, we have the momentum. I am looking forward to submitting the charter documents for the new club in Kuching, Sarawak. I have also noticed a tremendous response to recruiting more new members and keeping existing members. Our retention rate has improved and more new members are being welcomed into clubs each day. In my home club of Damansara, for example, we have recruited three new members just this month. Indeed, in the installation events that I have attended so far, the clubs also included the induction of new members as part of the program. How cool is that!
May the tiger stripes be with you.
Mario A. del Castillo