Protecting the Environment 
By now, you’ve probably heard that Rotary International has adopted Protecting the Environment as our newest and 7th Area of Focus. You may be wondering, “Why is this such a big deal?” It’s because our Areas of Focus are the framework for our grants and other charitable work. They are all interlinked to each other and the environment is the foundation for all the rest. A clean, healthy environment makes it possible to have clean water and sanitation…which is necessary for disease prevention and treatment…which is necessary for maternal and child health…which is necessary for basic education and literacy…which is necessary for economic and community development…which is necessary for peace and conflict prevention and resolution.  See where this is going? With the environment officially becoming an area of focus, we will now able to qualify and apply for grants that fit within this scope. In addition, it’s another avenue of service to offer to potential members. It’s a win-win all the way around!
You may also have heard the Areas of Focus being referred to as Causes now. If you go to the RI website, they list our Causes, not the 7 Areas of Focus. Don’t be alarmed, nothing has changed. For all of us Rotarian “insiders” we still have all of our Areas of Focus intact! The terminology has changed only as far as when speaking to the general public. For simplicity of conversation and greater clarification, RI would like us to use the term causes when speaking about the issues that Rotary focuses on. So, the next time someone approaches you with curiosity about what Rotary is all about, you can share our causes with them. Here’s an update of our causes, as listed on the RI website, for anyone who may need it: Promoting Peace; Fighting Disease; Providing Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Saving Mothers and Children; Supporting Education; Growing Local Economies; and Protecting the Environment.