- By Niamh Dempsey
It was an absolutely riveting experience volunteering at the RFHA booth, meeting the Rotarians and seeing all the activities going around me. The RI convention was larger than life and a life-changing experience for me. The House of Friendship, the insightful breakout session, and the live performances, exuded a wonderful energy around the convention center.
While preparing for the convention, I began to fall in love with the RFHA story and the concept of the Rotary Family Health Days. While interacting with Sue Paget, the CEO of RFHA and everyone visiting our booth, I could feel the passion towards this beautiful cause that RFHA works for. It was an empowering feeling to share the impact numbers of the Rotary Family Health Days with the Rotarians visiting our booth. Over 11 million healthcare services were provided in 10 years; 41:1 cash return; and operating across 11 different countries. Can you believe this? These really are astonishing impact numbers that stood out throughout the convention.
I never knew that there were such compassionate and selfless people in the world, but Rotarians proved me wrong. I met with such incredible individuals who I feel will be my friends for life.
The convention was similar to a big family reunion - full of fun and laughter! Everyone was so thrilled to see each other again at the first convention post-Covid and even happier to see lots of new Rotarians. Coming from someone who is not a Rotarian, it is a bond that intrigues me. Every Rotarian is connected in a unique way, they all care so much about the greater good, helping people.
I am so happy that I made so many new friends at the convention. The younger visitors were so excited to hear about a project that they could easily get involved in. Our booth captured the eyes of so many youngsters and they were so happy to hear about the volunteering opportunities at RFHA. Whether it was posting pictures to their social media, signing up for our newsletter, or pinning their hopes for collaborating with us on a health day, each person left our booth feeling excited about RFHA.
Many people who visited the booth made a huge impact on me in terms of their stories, their love and devotion to RFHA and Rotary. And when I started sharing the story of RFHA with them, I realized how important it is that RFHA succeeds and flourishes. Basic healthcare is a necessity for people all over the world and when I thought about people being denied that right, it was heartbreaking. RFHA is doing an amazing work trying to make healthcare accessible to everyone. Their work with preventative healthcare saves lives and is vital in helping those less fortunate.
Another highlight for me was the news that Jennifer Jones will be the first female president of Rotary International. She was such a fascinating and wonderful person to meet who values the importance of young people in the Rotary Community and their opinions about the future of Rotary.
To sum it up, it was a wonderful convention where we made great connections with many incredible Rotarians. It was an experience that I will never forget and will cherish forever.Share