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Global Spotlight Newsletter October 2021

The excitement level was off the charts this past month as Optimist International held its first conference in the Middle East. 

Approximately 70 Optimists from Clubs in Lebanon and Jordan, along with the prospective charter president for the first Optimist Club in Iraq, were in attendance. They learned about ways to have a successful Club, project development from start to finish, how to deal with negative people, and characteristics of leadership as they are applied in the lives of Optimists. 

Icebreakers involving tennis balls and the infamous spaghetti marshmallow tower activity helped attendees work on innovation and collaboration as part of the day’s events. 

The conference was set against a backdrop of a country in dire straits, where the currency has lost 90-percent of its value over the past year, the city of Beirut is still recovering from the deadly explosion in August of 2020 that killed more than 200 people, and shortages of gasoline and electricity.

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Yet all the Optimists still have hope for their future and believe their association with Optimist International will allow them to navigate through these tough times. Their Optimism and willingness to serve others will no doubt help maintain a presence by Optimist International in the Middle East for years to come. There are already plans for more Clubs in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, as well as new initiatives in Iraq and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, the Nepal District of Optimist International is now officially in its first year of operation.

The International Board of Directors approved the formation of the Nepal District last spring. Uday Niraula is the first governor of the District and is being aided by an extensive district team, including four lieutenant governors who will help oversee 26 Clubs. “I am really excited to serve the organization as a Governor, “said Niraula. “We are planning for the next year's Scholarship Contests (Oratorical, Essay, and CCDHH) to be organized as per the rule and schedule of Optimist International.” The leadership in Nepal has also set a target of 200 new members in the '21-22 Optimist year.

Four new Clubs are in the Optimist family outside of North America that was organized in September.

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts College Club was organized in Kingston, Jamaica, with 25 members thanks to the sponsorship of the Trench Town and North St Andrew Optimist Clubs. In Africa, we welcomed the Optimist Club of the Tema District in Ghana whose 15 members are sponsored by the Rochester Area Optimist Club in New York. 

There is also a new country on the Optimist map.

The Optimist Club of Algeria has organized with 33 members thanks to the efforts of the Optimist Clubs of Madison, Wisconsin, and the Optimist Club of Belize.  The new Club is in the city of Bordj Bou Arreridj in north-central Algeria, about 148 kilometers east of the capital of Algiers. It came about because of a friendship between the charter president and the president of the Optimist Club of Belize. The 11th Club in Lebanon was organized at the Middle East conference with 15 members. The Ste, Therese Optimist Club in the Western Quebec District is the North American sponsor Club.


Many thanks to all who contributed this year to the expansion of Optimist International around the globe. The upcoming 12 months look to be just as exciting. This is why Optimist International encourages Clubs in North America to consider international sponsorship.

For more information about international sponsorship, contact Optimist staff member Jim Boyd (

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For more information about international sponsorship contact Optimist staff member Jim Boyd (

Optimist International | Website

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