FIRES ALL AROUND THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION
In this heatwave that the Mediterranean region is experiencing, one island saw the worst of it. In the afternoon of Saturday, 3rd of July 2021, wildfires broke loose in the Troodos Mountain, close to Arakapas, which is a village in the Limassol District, before it was taken control of on the next Monday, 5th of July. Fifty five square kilometers of farmland, fifty houses, and four lives were lost, and they will not be forgotten, while the people of ten surrounding villages were forced to evacuate, becoming homeless in the process. And although the fires were controlled relatively quickly, the damages they’ve done are yet to be recovered. This is not a future threat or a hoax, as fires all around the Mediterranean region have devastated Greece, Algeria, Turkey and Lebanon. These are just the most terrifying ones, wildfires these past months have invaded our lives, killed people, and separated many others from their homes. But amidst all the dust and smoke, there are still some rays of hope, those of the helping hands of different NGOs and clubs, and, among them, Rotaract Clubs from all over the world!
CYPRUS STAY STRONG
To face this tragedy, Cyprian Rotaract and Rotary Clubs, with the help of other clubs from and outside the Mediterranean, gathered in a campaign called Stand By Cyprus. For now, their work is mainly resumed in fundraising, food donations and cleaning campaigns to try and immediately help the affected families and local businesses. As of 9th of August 2021, 2’365 € were collected through online and offline crowdfunds. This sum will help in rebuilding the damaged infrastructure of this area and in giving the people of Arakapas a second chance in their lives.
The Mediterranean MDIO has always had at heart the state of nature in the current world, as demonstrated by its initiative called “medNATURE”, which encourages Clubs to be active in protecting our environment. The main goal of this is not only to try to better preserve the nature that surrounds us, but also to inspire: to inspire people (not only Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors), especially the youth, to be more engaged in protecting our environment. If we keep ignoring that we depend on our nature and that nature depends on us too, the situation will only keep getting worse.
As our planet continues to call for help time and time again, we, as the Rotaract Mediterranean MDIO, have decided to take action.
ROTARACT STANDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT – SATURDAY, 21ST OF AUGUST AT 10AM CEST
In collaboration with Rotaract Oceania and Rotaract Europe, we are launching the MDIOs Unite for the Environment project. This event will consist of a series of 4 live streams where we will raise awareness about climate change through panel discussions that will be presented by our MDIO boards and members and other surprise guests. Moreover, through this project, we will not be “just learning about what’s happening […] but we’re connecting with each other to find ways to help within our communities” as Becky Giblin, 2021-2022 President of Rotaract Oceania MDIO, said. In addition to that, we will be raising funds to support local clubs in the countries affected by the wildfires. In other words, we will be giving a helping hand to Districts in order to give these areas a better chance at revival. Through these live streams, and in the words of Jad Salame, 2021-2022 President of Rotaract Mediterranean, we aim “to inspire Rotaractors, Rotaract clubs and any individual that will attend the live stream to tackle real environmental causes in their projects.”
These calamities come to us as a reminder that climate change is real. Our planet is calling for help again and again. The clock is ticking and it may look like we don’t have much time left to put in action effective and radical measures. This is why Rotary International has recently added Environment as a – long-awaited – strategic axis last year. But it doesn’t mean that we haven’t worked on the matter before. Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs have always made the protection of the environment a top priority through projects, campaigns and many other means. But now, more than ever, we are inviting everyone to join in on this fight for our lives and our planet’s life and to UNITE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!
Sign up now to the MDIO unite event by filling this form: https://forms.gle/aigjJxPcveDRSAbcA
Outstanding speakers will be present from all over the Mediterranean region, so follow us on the Facebook event: MDIOs Unite for the Environment – 1st Edition Climate Change and do not miss a chance to change the world!