Dear Rotary Youth Exchange family,
The health and safety of our members, program participants, and volunteers are our top priorities. I wanted to take a moment to reach out to our Rotary Youth Exchange students, their families, and the many volunteer host families. We are closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) and continuously assessing its potential impact on programs like Rotary Youth Exchange.
Rotary International staff have been in regular communication with our district Youth Exchange leaders to keep them informed, share facts and resources from international health authorities like the World Health Organization, and assist them in making decisions as they assess the impact this dynamic and uncertain situation to prioritize safety and minimize risk to students, their families, host families, and their communities.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of this situation, many districts have been faced with making difficult decisions, including whether to end exchanges early. And while I know that these decisions are of course a disappointment to the many students and families that have cut short their otherwise amazing exchange experiences, rest assured they are not taken lightly. Our district leaders are doing their best to ensure our students are safe and supported. And if students are continuing their exchange, we are supporting districts to remain vigilant as the situation may change in the future, and to engage students while still keeping them safe and following social distancing guidelines.
Check Rotary.org for our latest information on COVID-19's impact on the program and continue to work with your Rotary club and district leaders to address any questions or concerns that you may have.
You can also reach out directly to the Rotary Youth Exchange team at Rotary International at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please accept my best wishes for the health and safety of your family and of all the members of the Rotary family in your area.
Mark Daniel Maloney
2019-2020 President, Rotary International