New Rotary District Governor Milton Inniss has challenged club members to reach out into communities in Barbados and other parts of the Caribbean to assist children affected by dyslexia.
Inniss spoke after being installed as first Barbadian District Governor during a special ceremony at the weekend.
“Next year my special project will focus on dyslexia. One in five people suffer from some form of language-based disorder, with dyslexia being the most common,” he told the gathering at Sandy Lane.
“Very often this disorder remains undiagnosed and untreated, leaving children at a disadvantage in school,” he said.
It was the first time that three Barbadian Rotary clubs were holding a joint installation of their new presidents.
The Barbados club presidents installed were Jedder Robinson of Rotary Club of Barbados; Farid Mansour of Rotary Club of Barbados West; and John Williams of Rotary Club of Barbados South.
Additionally, six Paul Harris Fellowships, and one certificate were awarded in honour of the Rotary International founder.
Past President of Rotary South and District Secretary-elect Katrina Sam said the persons “were selected to receive the acclamation because the clubs believe their lives exemplify the humanitarian and educational objectives of the Rotary foundation . . . as an advocate of the foundation’s goals of world peace and international understanding”.
The Rotary International President Elect, K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, has challenged Rotarians to make the year “one of generous deeds, of ambition, of responsibility, of work well done, of life well lived”.
District Governor Inniss, who succeeded Past Governor Elwin Atmodimejo, mentioned a number of persons diagnosed with dyslexia, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who went on to have major achievements.
He said: “Dyslexics learn differently and can succeed in life . . . . I’m therefore asking clubs to bring awareness to communities about dyslexia by sensitising people to what is available in terms of what it is, how testing can be done and how it can be treated”.
In urging the membership to reach out in a meaningful way, he said: “There will always be people who will not have the necessary means to avail themselves of testing or treatment.
“I would like clubs to consider a needy child for testing or treatment during the year.
“Similarly there are a limited number of qualified personnel in the district who have training in special needs education. Clubs can also consider sponsoring a teacher to become trained in special education, testing or assessment,” he said.