“20 Years RFPD“
Meeting of the Members of the RFPD GermanSection Frankfurt/Main, 3rd September 2016
Words of Congratulation by Ingar Brueggemann,
Chair, Board of Directors, RFPD
We are celebrating a special event “20 Years Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development – RFPD“. In our hectic times, it is not very often that a group of volunteers succeeds in keeping its operation for years with increasing best results. Congratulations!
Initiatives of this kind can only be effective if people at its top are capable to set convincing and manageable goals. The role that Robert Zinser has taken on in this context is of unmeasurable value. He is what we might call a 'social net-worker'. I hope that he will continue to provide his advice when ever it is needed. There is no doubt – in my opinion – that it will be needed.
At present, I am the Chair of the International Board of Directors of RFPD. This Board meets annually at the Rotary International Convention. During the year, it operates through conference calls. It consists of four women and seven men from Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, India and USA.
Due to my work for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva and New York, as well as the Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in London, I only know too well the immense need for sex education, especially for young girls and boys, and the provision of contraception.
Information at the end of 2016 from the German Foundation for World Population (DSW) says that 43 % of the people in Africa, South of the Sahara, are younger than 15 years. If we succeed in convincing these youngsters that they would have a better start for their own life by having their children not before the age of 21, then we would have made a big step forward. If it were possible to facilitate for all girls and women to achieve a self-determined life without unwanted, too early and too frequent pregnancies, we would also be more successful in the fight against poverty. If one could provide contraceptives in the amount needed, one would also reduce the danger of HIV infection. RFPD makes all efforts to reach these objectives.
One of the striking examples of good cooperation with the state officials is the work of RFPD in Nigeria which has recently lead to the acceptance and financing of the RFPD Programme by the Government which has expanded the initiative for the whole country. This is a remarkable success.
I am very glad that the German Section of RFPD with 7000 members – in that way being the largest of an individual country – has accepted the international responsibility for slowing-down the growth of the world population.
I wish RFPD and all its partners a continously increasing reputation, which would enhance the understanding that we need to create a balance between population growth and the resources of our world.
Once again congratulation to these 20 years of RFPD.