November 2020
Starting The New Year Off Strong!
New Club Development continues across the globe for Optimist International, but this month we first want to highlight some of the extraordinary projects Clubs in some parts of the world have completed. A ceremony was held in early October to commemorate the work of the KAMP Optimist Club in Uganda and the generosity of Optimists Robert and
Jane Schiller of Michigan, who provided financial support for a neonatal ward at the Nyabugando Health Center. “The KAMP project became a community project with people stopping by the construction site to help wherever they could", said Mr. Schiller.

“This is what we can expect when we #ChooseOptimism.”
There are a number of Junior Optimist Clubs in Uganda as well and one of them engaged in some planting activity in October. The Coclad Junior Optimist Club of Kagadi recently completed a project to plant mango trees. 
Further to the east and off of the African continent, the Junior Optimist Club in Sri Lanka held a poster contest to generate interest for young people which focused on the observance of Halloween. It is projects such as these that demonstrate how optimism is moving forward in the hands of our Junior Optimists.
There were two new adult Optimist Clubs formed overseas in October. The Optimist Club of Mumbwa, Zambia, organized during the early part of the month. It is being sponsored in the US by the Hagerstown, Indiana Optimist Club, as well as the Optimist Club of Lusaka, Zambia. Mumbwa is the second club for the organization in Zambia.  The Optimist footprint also expanded in Lebanon with the organization of the Family Beirut Optimist Club. It is being sponsored by the Optimist Club of North Platte, Nebraska, and the Optimist Club of Beirut.  It is really encouraging to see the development of these new Clubs despite the obstacles created in some parts of the world by the COVID pandemic.  You can expect to hear about new Clubs in Uganda and the Philippines over the next several weeks.
Optimist International believes communication with our Clubs overseas is critical to their long-term success.  The International Development Committee has begun an Ambassador program to help facilitate such communication.  Members of the committee this year will periodically contact the sponsor Clubs in the United States and Canada to encourage regular communication with the Club overseas, and to identify any difficulties it may be having with communication or its sponsorship.  The Ambassador program is designed to strengthen the relationship between the sponsor club and the overseas club by encouraging communication and to afford opportunities for cultural enrichment. Each committee member is given four club sponsor-club relationships to monitor throughout the year.
Administrative Corner

To further communication and education, the Committee is also going to begin to provide opportunities for better understanding of Optimist programs such as Professional Development, Personal Growth and Involvement, the essay and oratorical competitions and understanding cultural differences. These Optimist Coffees/Webinars will be offered live, but will also be recorded so Optimists around the globe can take advantage of this kind of learning experience. These sessions should begin soon.