Rotary is at the beginning of a journey in Kiribati that will see the local community addressing pressing challenges in this very isolated, poor and climate affected land.
Our District 9920 had a Rotary club presence in Kiribati for 8 years, but it lapsed for a variety of reasons yet the District, taking earlier experiences into account, has long wanted to re-establish a Rotary club in that country. 
As expressed by Jennie Herring, we all have a concern for those needing help in poor communities but in Kiribati this is compounded by the increasingly devastating effects of Global Warming.  So, if we can help that community take care of themselves, we are contributing to taking care of our planet as well.
As a nation, Kiribati is 3.5 million square kilometres in area but over a half of the population live on Tarawa Atoll and it is there that the Rotary presence has been created.
An effect of Global Warming is the increasing severity of King Tides that flood most of the land and over time rising sea levels that will reduce the amount of available land (two islands have already disappeared).  This sea water inundation along with the thin and poor soil means that growing crops of any quality and volume is virtually impossible, resulting in most of the population living off expensive and mostly, processed, imported foods which negatively impacts their health and wellbeing.
Enter Rotary …
The Rotary Club of Richfield, USA, proposed the establishment of a hydroponics food growing pilot project to enable communities to grow fresh vegetable as fruit but in order to use the Rotary Foundation Global Grant process there must be a Rotary club in the country.
This gave encouragement to District 9920 to progress their wish to re-establish Rotary in the country.  The approach was to be two-fold.  First was to be the establishment of a Rotary Community Corps and second, a new Rotary club.  Pictured is South Tarawa Rotary Community Corp Chairperson Kairao Tune receiving the Charter.
Sponsored by Otahuhu Rotary (Auckland) and spearheaded by Jennie Herring, the RCC was Chartered on 10 April 2019 during a visit to Kiribati by Jennie and District Governor Ingrid Waugh.  The corps meets monthly and an important part of their meeting, culturally, is the sharing of food that all bring along and share.  Their first service project was a beach clean-up (pictured above) and more are being planned.  The members are local, incredibly enthusiastic and appreciative of Rotary's support and it is likely this will attract additional members to the RCC, although for every member there is a family group in support anyway.
The second interest meeting of the proposed Rotary club was held on 15 May and the process to Charter continues.  Beyond the proposed hydroponic project, already there are initial plans for:
  • a Vocational Training Team (Dental); Vocational Training Team Global Grant Taipei Chengpai D3482/Auckland South – Dental Project
  • a water filters project; Water filters for individual family homes – Brian Craig New Jersey, D7570, USA
  • and an association with Sew Aid in progress; SewAid Foundation PDG Tony Castley D9685 for the supply sewing machines and teach sewing skills to women in communities – Project with Armak Womens Group, South Tarawa