(Vatican Radio) Nearly 9,000 Rotary members attended the Jubilee Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday at the invitation of Pope Francis. A delegation greeted the Pope at the end of the Audience.
Rotary, which brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues, kicked off the Rotarian Jubilee on Friday afternoon, with a conference on the challenges refugees are facing worldwide.
The conference organized by the Jesuit Refugee Service - in partnership with Rotary, UNHCR and WFP - and entitled “Helping Refugees to Start Over”, focused on the work that can be done to give millions of refugees dignity and quality education – the best possible tool for them to be able to shape their lives, not lose hope, dream of a future.
Linda Bordoni spoke to Ravi Ravindran, President of Rotary International about the Jubilee Audience with the Pope and about Rotary’s commitment to improving the lives of refugees.
Listen to the full interview:
Mr. Ravindran called Pope Francis a model for Rotarians, saying "he is doing exactly what every Rotarian should be doing. So we see a great synergy of thought with this Pope, and being here, receiving his blessing, I think is something quite wonderful for us."
"We are all very excited; we are passionate about this. We have Rotarians who have come from 80 countries to be present, so you can imagine the excitement."
Mr. Ravindran compared the conference on giving refugees a new start to lighting a candle in the darkness. "I realize that trying to take on this whole problem is beyond us. I have to be honest and say that Rotary cannot solve this problem, but rather than cursing the darkness, we can light a candle. I definitely know of many, many Rotary Clubs who in their own small way are doing what they can to give refuge, to educate, to take care, to nurse refugees. So if many of us do what we are doing, then to a large extent the problem gets alleviated."