Andrew Hill, one of our founders, is a busy man. ELG Director and Chairman of our sister NGO, Xiersen, he already does a lot of work to help others. Not satisfied with those two major commitments, starting July 1, 2016, he has also been President of the Rotary Club of Shanghai, a prestigious position where he can do even more good. “I decided to run for presidency because there were some aspects of the club that I really wanted to see develop,” Andrew says, “Last year’s President Dean was very focused on bringing back the spirit of friendship to the club and I wanted to take this momentum and bring the club back to the fundamentals.”
What is Rotary?
Rotary was formed in 1905. Today, it has over 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries. The Rotary Club of Shanghai was started in 1919. It’s a club that is linked with your career, attracting a wide range of professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers.
Rotary’s saying is “Service Above Self”. The organization identifies causes, internationally and locally, to target using funds and action. Most famously, polio is being eradicated globally, in part, due to Rotary’s efforts to combat the disease with vaccines.
One example of a Rotary of Shanghai project is “Careers in Care”. Told by the government that caring for Shanghai’s aging population was their biggest concern, the Rotary Club of Shanghai went into action. Inspired by one caregiver who complained of poor treatment by families, they started Careers in Care to train people to care for the elderly. After completing the program, the woman’s life was completely transformed. She finally knew how to properly, professionally, and gently take care of an elderly person who needs support. The families of her clients became welcoming and loving towards her as a result. In three years, 4,600 people were trained and the government made the training mandatory for elder care providers in Shanghai. Andrew’s enthusiasm for the project is evident when he says, “The important point to grasp is that this was a dramatic change in society for a large number of people over a long and sustainable period of time. It was amazing to see the confidence in the workers and the gratitude in the people receiving care.”
Andrew’s Plans for the Rotary Club of Shanghai
Andrew’s passion for helping children with special needs, evidenced by his key roles at ELG and Xiersen, is also evident in his plans at Rotary. His big goal for his presidency? Starting a Careers in Care-like program, but for special educators who can care for and teach children with autism. In Shanghai alone, there are an estimated 20,000 children with autism, many who lack options for teachers who can give them the personalized attention they need to thrive. There simply aren’t enough professionals out there to meet the demand, and Andrew wants to change that.
“Rotary is the perfect organization to help with large initiatives for sustainable social development. Every club I connect with is very excited about this project and I am sure it will be very impactful for China,” he concludes.
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