Author Archives: admin

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Rotary Clubs at the Forssa Heinämessut -fair

Category : Events , Guest writer

Rotary Clubs of Sepänhaka and Forssa were presenting Rotary at the joint stand at the Forssa Heinämessut -fair, that was organised now for the second time on the July 1st – 2nd 2017. Our theme were all the service programs targeted to youth: Youth Exchange, RYLA and the projects The Godfather and Kenia.

The weather was excellent and the fair was visited by 20 000 visitors. Also people interested in our themes and Rotary were among the visitors and service programs were presented by rotarians as well as two youth program participators, Akusti and Helmi.

In the photo below the Man behind the excellent idea, Mr. Juhani Kuusisto with AG Heidi Cavén and Helmi, who participated in four week summer exchange program.


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District 1410, June Governors letter

Category : DG , Monthly letter

Experiences from the past Rotary year

My Governor year is about to finish in a week. Remaining is to forward chains to Erik Stenström and preparing the final report. Year has been rewarding and full of great experiences. Of course, it has also demanded efforts and virtually all my leisure time. However, this is often the case, if one wants to achieve something, first he need to give something. Rotary raises the question that rather than ask “What I can get from Rotary?” we should ask “What I can give to Rotary?” It has been privilege to visit all our District 60 clubs and learn of their activities. It has been great to see that even though they are rather different, they all have own functions and willingness to develop those. Therefore I am confident of future in our District.

Highlights from RI Convention in Atlanta

I just returned from Atlanta RI Convention where appr. 40 000 Rotarians participated in. Meeting with other Rotarians from all over the world and getting to know all the good the Rotary has done and can do, gives confidence on our own functions. Rotary can truly be “Serving Humanity” and be “Making a Difference”, according to themes for present and coming year. Key note speaker was Bill Gates who gave excellent presentation in polio eradication and convinced that he is fully committed in Rotary Polio eradication campaign. Other key note speakers were actor Ashton Kutcher and golf icon Jack Nicklaus. Kutcher has founded a foundation to fight against human trafficking. Niclaus is serving as an ambassador for polio eradication and he has as well a foundation supporting his work.

Future Conventions

I encourage every Rotarian to attend RI Convention once in life time. I can guarantee that it is worth of it, and it opens new level to Rotary activities. Next year Convention will be in Toronto in June 23-27, and in 2019 in Hamburg in early June. Take a note of this in your calendars already now, because closer the Convention is hardly coming in near future. I challenge the clubs to have at least one Rotary from each club to participate in Hamburg.

Future challenges

My year as the Governor is coming to end, but after my annual leave I will continue with passion in serving Rotary, first as Foundation Committee Chair. I counted that we have at present about 15 international projects, either recently reported, on-going or under planning. Many clubs participate in them, but I challenge also other clubs to take action to participate in Projects, Friendship Exchange or other forms of cooperation. Rotary is international by nature, even though is based in solid local actions.

Finally, I want to thank all responsible Rotarians in District and Club administration of your valuable and important contribution for Rotary. It is now easy to understand importance of your work after seeing everything from wider perspective. I wish everybody happy summer and strength and inspiration for coming Rotary year!

Pentti Aspila

Governor Rotary District 1410

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District 1410, March Governors letter

Category : DG , Monthly letter

Mother and child health is theme for March

Mother and child health is one of the six focus areas in The Rotary Foundation. In our District there has been several projects related to this theme, either directly or indirectly. Best example is neonatal intensive care project, Keskola project. Turku Rotary Clubs have been supporting this initiative. TYKS has developed intensive care procedure in which parents participate actively in neonatal daily care. Parents are not outsiders but essential part of health care group. Lieto Vanhalinna Rotary Club has prepared also a Global Grant draft of the concept. Idea is to export the concept to other countries. Discussions have been open to Poland.

Finland’s gift to children of world

Finlands Rotary ry has joined to SUOMI 100 years program under the name of  “Finland’s gift to children of world”. This means that we have right to use “Finland 100 years” logo and pr-materials. However, we are still far from our goal to raise one million dollars in whole Finland. To achieve this, raised funds should be 90 USD per each Rotarian. I want to remind that the Clubs raising 100 USD per Rotarian will have two free tickets to the District conference and the Clubs raising 50 USD per Rotarian will have one free ticket. 

RI President Elect Ian Riseley visits Finland in May

RI President Elect Ian Riseley and his wife Juliet will visit Finland in May 18-21. Riseley wants to meet as many Rotarians in Finland as possible. Meetings open to all Rotarians will be arranged in Tuusula on Saturday 20.5., and in Tampere on Sunday 21.5. Purpose of Mr Riseleys’ visit is to support our One Million Dollar project to achieve its goal. RI President visit in Finland is not common so take advantage of this opportunity to meet the RI President personally.

The District Conference will take place in Tammela in Eerikkilä Sports Institute in April 22-23. Progaram and instructions for registration are in Forssa Rotary Club pages: . Register and enjoy good time together in Rotary spirit and the program of different Conference.

I wish all Rotarians in our District Sunny Spring and Happy Easter! Let us meet in the District Conference!

Pentti Aspila
Governor Rotary District 1410

D 1410 attendance report January 2017

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District 1410, February Governors letter

Category : DG , Monthly letter

Peace and conflict prevention theme in February

Theme in February is peace and conflict prevention. The theme is more up to date than likely ever. There dozens on going conflicts resulting millions of refugees. Few millions of then have come to Europe and of those coming to Europe perhaps one percent has come to Finland and we feel that to be a lot. Rotary’s one of the focus areas is Peace activities. Rotary has Peace fellow program enabling one hundred students to study within it. Closest to us is in Uppsala University. I had an opportunity visit there last October once participating the Rotary Institute.

Peace was also focal theme in our District Rotary Foundation 100 year celebration seminar in Turku. Key speakers were Pekka Haavisto and Elina Lehtinen from Martti Ahtisaari CMI Institute. Their message was clear, conflicts should be solved in there were they are born. Otherwise they may result in uncontrolled migrations that may have impact over distances, as we have experienced. Peace programs are one of topics that we can support through The Rotary Foundation .

Giving to The Rotary Foundation

I remind Rotaries in our District that special theme for this celebration year is giving to the Foundation. At the moment our District is behind the other Districts. To encourage the clubs to donate I have decided to reward the best clubs to give free tickets to our District Conference in April. Those clubs donating at least 100 USD per each member will be rewarded by two free tickets, and those donating at least 50 USD per each member by one free ticket. Donations need to be made be 15.4.

In coming events

PETS will be held in Salo on 11.3., and is meant in addition to the incoming presidents to the secretaries and other responsible club officers. I wish active participation. More in the District web pages.

Most important event, the District Conference, will be held in Tammela in Eerikkilä sports institute in April 22-23. Program and instructions in the District web pages. Come and find excellent spirit of Rotary and enjoy being together and relaxing program. We can promise different Conference without being too ceremonious.

Pentti Aspila
Governor Rotary District 1410

D 1410 attendance report December 2016

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District 1410, December Governors letter

Category : DG , Monthly letter

Basic ideas of the Rotary are well in line with Christmas time, because one of focal purposes of our service organization is to make good in the World. This same idea comes into mind of people when Christmas time is coming and Christmas songs are singing. Therefore traditionally theme of December in Rotary has been the Rotary family. Christmas has been traditionally celebration of whole family. In a way the whole Rotary society forms an unique Rotary family and we can get to know Rotarians all around the World. Special theme for this December is preventing and curing illnesses. Within Rotary we are trying to emphasize round the year idea of doing good. Particularly the theme for this year, Rotary Serving Humanity, describes well this idea. It arises partly from activity round the 100th year celebration of the Rotary Foundation.

As a part of being a Rotary I emphasize doing good through the service projects. Only through the service projects we can build the world to be a better place to live. For me the most important activity has been our District project in Kenya aiming to support ICT in the local secondary schools. It has been rewarding to see the interest and gratitude that the students have had when receiving proper tools for education in their schools and consequently better opportunities for further education and professions.

I am of opinion that one of forms in doing good is to create opportunities for those who do not have equal opportunities as we do. When we slow down for waiting Christmas to come it would be good to think if I could myself participate in making these opportunities to come true. There is no need to go overseas for this purpose, because human beings needing help have come near to us when seeking asylum. How we can improve their opportunities for better life in here as many of them have lost everything when escaping war in their home countries. Of course, there are also many people in our own country needing help and not having equal opportunities as we do have. Could I do something to help them? I wish that many of us, when thinking of this, could find happiness and new content in their lives.

Representatives to Council of Legistlation to be nominated

Representatives to RI Council of Legistlation for coming three-year-period will be nominated in next spring in the District meeting. For this good candidates are welcome to be proposed.

I wish to all Rotarians and their families in our District Peaceful Christmas and safe New Year with new content in their life.

Pentti Aspila
Governor Rotary District 1410

D 1410 attendance report October 2016

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District 1410, November Governors letter 

Category : DG , Monthly letter

Rotary Foundation named World’s outstanding foundation for 2016 

Association of Fundraising Professionals has recently named The Rotary Foundation world’s outstanding foundation for the year 2016. This is excellent recognition of work we have been doing for long time. In September Charity Navigator that rates foundations gave us full 100 points for transparency and reliability. This means that The Rotary Foundation is the most reliable channel for charity donations. This is good to know when we raise funds for the Foundation. If you want to donate so that you can be sure that your donation will be going efficiently to the right target, donate to The Rotary Foundation. I wish that all Rotarians in our District are aware of this and also tell this message when implementing fund raising campaigns. 

It is also important to emphasize that when we donate funds to the Foundation, funds are not going to somewhere in America where funds are used for the purpose unknown to us. The funds we donate are earmarked to our District and funds will be used only for those projects that we decide in our District to execute. The funds are not used for any other purpose. Bus when we donate we need also to implement projects. Otherwise raised funds will be waiting in the Foundation in our account to be used. 

November is The Rotary Foundation month.

It is time to focus in the Foundation and especially the 100 year celebration of the Foundation. In Finland we are committed to donate to the Foundation this year one million dollars. Therefore we call the Project One Million Dollar Project. In order to raise this amount of funds should we donate 90 $ per each Rotarian. This includes various campaigns and company donations. I wish that as many as possible of our clubs would take this target seriously and try to achieve it. Important is that every club would participate the Project even with a smaller donation. This Project is the most important single goal for this Rotary year. Therefore I wish that all clubs will participate in this. 

To donations we count all donations to the Foundation, Annual Fund, PolioPlus and the club contributions to the Global Grants. Until now in this year donations are still very limited. Therefore I encourage the clubs to activate themselves and donate already now towards end of the year. I challenge also the club presidents, club organization members and previous Governors to be at least Sustaining members level, i.e. 100 $ personal donation. I will publish in the end of the year interim statement of club donations and also this personal challenge status. It would be important to do part of donation already now, because also in the RI our Project is followed with interested. 

Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) to begin in our District 

RLI training in our District will begin in coming spring as the second district in Finland. RLI is an interactive comprehensive three day training package of Rotary from personal, club and Rotary society point of view. Training will include e.g. strategic planning, building public relations, membership development and the Foundation activities. RLI is meant for all Rotarians, but to the first training course especially Past Presidents, AG’s and PAG’s are welcome. Training begins in Turku on 4.3. continues on 18.3. and 8.4. More information is in our District web pages. 

Pentti Aspila 
Governor Rotary District 1410 


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District 1410, October Governors letter

Category : DG , Monthly letter

Rotary Institute gave confidence for Rotary activities

Two weeks ago I participated in the Rotary Institute in Arlanda. Trainers were e.g. RI President Elect Ian Riseley and RI Director Jennifer Jones among other excellent trainers. This kind of international Rotary seminar creates confidence in to Rotary activities and gives motivation to work for great goals of the Rotary. Therefore I wish that each active Rotarian could at least once in life time participate in such a training seminar and could get whole picture of Rotary. I updated our District Facebook pages directly from the Institute. If you not yet following our District Facebook pages, visit pages Rotary District 1410 and ask to join the member in the pages.

Best clubs in the District to be rewarded

I have now visited 40 of the 60 clubs in our District. Experience has been very positive. In fact, each of the clubs has their own strengths and there is intention to develop the club activities. To encourage this, I have decided to declare a competition to reward the best clubs in the District Conference in Eerikkilä Sports Institute in April 22-23, 2017. Clubs are different and therefore it is relevant to reward from different achievements. These are:

– Membership development from the beginning of the Rotary year

– Donations to the Rotary Foundation, USD per member

– EREY members (Every Rotarian Every Year), per cent of Rotarians donating

– Best Public Image. For this the Clubs and AG’s are asked to make proposals

– Best Project. For this the Clubs and AG’s are asked to make proposals

Theme for the October is Economic Societal development

Economically sustainable development includes both ecological and social responsibility. E.g. environmental problems are strongly linked to population growth problems. They all are linked to poverty which further is linked to many other problems in development. Economic inequality is growing in the world. Top one per cent owns more than poorest half of the world altogether. The richest 10 % of population do own 87 % of assets in the world. Ethical principles in the Rotary, e.g. the four way test, sets ground for our work. Based on these principles, our work need to support balanced societal and economic development in the world. This theme is also one of the five focal areas of the Rotary Foundation, and we can through the Rotary Foundation implement Project creating better equality in the world.

Improving of Public Image is one of our focal goals. To support this District Public Relation Chair Johanna Talikainen arranges training seminar in Forssa 19.10., in Turku 2.11., and in Pori 16.11. More information of seminars is in District web pages. I wish active participation in the seminars.

Pentti Aspila
Governor Rotary District 1410


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Celebrate with us in Atlanta

Category : Events , Rotary Foundation

Atlanta Convention

Join thousands of Rotarians at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 10-14 June 2017. The celebration of The Rotary Foundation’s 100th Anniversary promises to be an unforgettable experience. Register before 15 December for extra savings!

  • Are you wondering where to stay? A number of excellent hotels are offering special convention rates, and many are within walking distance or a short bus or subway ride away. Learn more and book now.
  • Are you coming to the The Rotary Foundation’s 100th Birthday Party? Help us celebrate 100 years of doing  good in the city where it all began, with cake, ice cream, and lots of fun. Purchase tickets for only $26.50 per person. 
  •          The Atlanta convention’s Host Organization Committee is planning outstanding events for all attendees. Visit the HOC site to learn about the many events, tours, and activities available.

  • Spread the word! Download promotional materials for social media, posters, and more. 



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District 1410, September Governors letter

Category : DG , Monthly letter

In the Rotary year theme for September is basic education, reading and writing skills. There are more than 800 million illiterate people above age of 15 years, i.e. every sixth people in the world. Nearly all illiterate people live in developing countries, 64 % of them are women. Most illiterate people come from India, Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan Africa, often countries in war. According to studies literacy has great impact in poverty alleviation and in decreasing population growth thus reducing conflicts. This fact lays behind e.g. current invasion of refugees to Europe, especially from African countries. These are facts through which we can have impact on sustainable development in the world. I am convinced that Rotary should pay more attention in these subjects. Within Rotary there has been discussion that after PolioPlus campaign has been completed, literacy could be the subject to invest more.

For myself investing in literacy has been important over past decade when I have been implementing in Kenya a Project aiming at improving ICT capacity in local secondary schools. This is our District Project and in practice is implemented by the Rotary clubs of Forssa and Sepänhaka. In developing countries lack of resources is often serious. E.g. in the Kenyan school where we began our Project, there was only a book for every seventh student, not seven books per each student. Most important teaching materials were backboard and chalk, and with students a notebook to write down teachers teaching. Chalk was an important tool and that was taken good care of. This is everyday case in good part of Africa. According to my experience, proper resourcing both in teaching and tools as well as in capacity to use them is in crucial role when creating opportunities for children in developing countries. In our own Project we were able to support improving of learning results in many schools and thus provide better opportunities for further education. Best indication of this was that many Kenyan schools were willing to adopt the model we had developed and we were able to support altogether 130 schools. Finally Kenyan Government took our model for her spearhead project.

Other topical matters are e.g. nomination process of 2019-20 District Governor. For this Rotary Clubs are welcome to propose appropriate candidates by 27.11. 2016.

If you have not yet registered for the District Autumn Meeting in Sastamala in Saturday October 1, 2016, do so as soon as possible. More information is on District web pages. Next summer Rotary Annual Conference will be held in June 10-14, 2017 in Atlanta. There one can have “big picture” of Rotary.

Finally, some good news of The Rotary Foundation. Recent international evaluation by the Charity Navigator of performance of Foundations, The Rotary Foundation were given highest possible score, 4 stars with full 100 points in quality, efficiency, reliability and transparency. Our Foundation is thus the best channel for donations. I want to remind you of the Million dollar Project that aims to raise in whole Finland during the year a million dollar, 80 € per each Rotarian. I wish every club in our District will take this challenge.

Participation, interaction and cooperation are crucial with Rotary. You are welcome to participate actively and build positive public image for the Rotary.

Pentti Aspila

Governor Rotary District 1410

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August Governors letter 

Category : DG , Monthly letter

 Rotary theme for August is membership. This may be the most critical challenge for Rotary activities in Finland and Scandinavia. Total number of members in our District is 2220, but number was ten years back nearly 200 more. It does not help much that development in many other Districts in Finland has been worse and in Sweden and Norway even worse. In Finland and particularly in our District, critical is low proportion of female and young members. Only 11 % of our members are women. In three decades average age of Rotarians in Finland has increased by ten years. Even though above mentioned figures may feel depressing, it is good to know what we should do in order to fix current situation. 

Emphasis has to be put to increase systematically proportion of female and young members. In our District there is still too many clubs having only male members. However, many of them have already made a decision to take female members, but unfortunately it is not so easy for women to come members in a club having only elderly men. Activities in the club play important role in this. Kyrösjärvi RC, where I recently visited, has an excellent idea to arrange a special event to tell about Rotary activities and ask potential female members to participate. Women are more likely to be interested in activities and therefore I encourage clubs to take a step to activate themselves. According to experience women have brought with them vitality to the clubs. Concerning young potential members, clubs could consider local youth organizations, like 4H and Scouts, and particularly young leaders in them who have already outgrown from these organizations. I am confident that lowering club age structure and female membership are strongly interlinked. Consequently, having female members could be starting point for positive membership development and activation of the club. It is important to personally invite potential new members to come to visit the club and consider membership. 

In addition to attract new members, equally important is to maintain current members. Nowadays time – particularly of parents with children – is challenged by many other hobbies and responsibilities. Club activities need therefore be so interesting that participation will be prioritized. General Secretary of RI, John Hewko, has used the term “Club experience”. It means that one participating the club meeting has feeling that it was worth of coming and is willing to come next time again. What would be in our club such that would make it worth of coming? It is good to think about this. Busy people may feel it challenging to participate in a meeting every week. Therefore RI made a decision last spring that the clubs may be more flexible in deciding their schedule for meetings. Now it is possible to have meetings only every second week, but the clubs should thing about what is suitable meeting rhythm for them. There is also a risk, if a club is meeting unfrequently, and it may not be solution for all clubs. 

In the end I like to emphasize of e-communication and registration in the My Rotary,, that I already mentioned in my July letter. There is also a Million Dollar Project that aims to collect in whole Finland million dollars during the Rotary year. For each Rotarian this makes 80 €. I challenge each club and Rotarian in our District to participate and think about how achieve the Goal. 

Autumn meeting in the District will be held in Sastamala in Saturday, October 1, 2016, and every club is welcomed to participate actively. Other important coming events are Rotary Institute in Arlanda, Sweden, October 7-9 and Rotary World Conference in Atlanta, USA, June 10-14, 2017. Participating in these can make you to get “Big Picture” of Rotary. 

I wish every Rotarian in our District Happy early autumn and coming back to Rotary actions! 

Pentti Aspila 

Governor Rotary District 1410 

D 1410 attendance report June 2016