It’s times like the present war in Ukraine that remind us of the importance of building international relationships through Rotary.In 2015 District 7780 sent a cultural exchange team to Bulgaria, after the initial outreach was done by then District Governor Lawrence Furbish. That two-week visit was followed up by a Bulgarian team touring our district the following year.  

We kept working at finding the right project to further the cooperation. In 2018 the Petrich, Bulgaria, club sought an international partner for a project to provide medical equipment for the neonatal ward of their local hospital.

Six clubs in our district added to the contributions from several other countries to successfully complete the $90,000 fundraising effort. David Kitchen, of the Yarmouth club, who was on the original team, accepted an invitation to attend the opening ceremonies in January of 2020. The night before the opening, a baby was born who would not have survived without the new equipment. We continue to receive reports of how successful this project has been.  This is a tribute to all district Rotarians who spend weekends on local fundraisers that go so far in making this work possible.

The Bulgarian District Governor completed his term by bestowing the first ever title of Rotary Ambassador of Bulgaria to David Kitchen.