Ron Pickford, a member of the Cadre

Ron Pickford, a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, meets with a group of teachers in India.

By Ron Pickford, a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers

There is a Chinese saying “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

I have found my lifetime of happiness as a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers. In the Cadre, I have been able to fulfill my desire to serve others, gain a sense of purpose by connecting with other Rotary members, and broaden my own knowledge even as I use my skills to help members build sustainable projects.

The Cadre of Technical Advisers consists of 700 experts in more than 70 countries who are eager to help clubs and districts plan a stronger project with a bigger impact. Rotary creates lasting change in our communities and around the world when grant projects are sustainable, measurable, and built upon the bedrock of a community assessment.

Why call the Cadre?

The great thing about the Cadre is that it gives us a chance to use our knowledge and skills in an environment of trust and sincerity. We help you with your projects. But we also get a lot in return. Together, we create dynamic grants.

As Cadre, we bring an open mind to a project. This is critical, as the technology necessary for many of these grants gets increasingly complex and specialized. Take for instance the biological treatment of human waste or the need to make a structure that will stand with integrity against the elements.

Why call in a member of the Cadre? Here is just one example. During a recent visit to India to work with Rotary members on a Low Cost Homes project, I was able to identify an element of sustainability not included in the original grant. We added steps that will allow beneficiaries to process household waste and organic gardening into rich compost. We all agreed that such an innovation enhances the impact be providing low-cost home-grown fruits and vegetables.

What makes a project successful

During my travels as a Cadre member I learn a lot about what makes projects successful. During that same visit to India, I evaluated a WASH in Schools Target Challenge project and discovered how a well-conducted community assessment can drive a collaborative and sustained teacher training. I was impressed by the words of one teacher, who shared:

I believe that proper and regular awareness classes, regular monitoring, group monitoring, group discussions, friendly talk, and use of visual media are some of the strategies I wish to implement so as to improve the environment of the school and the health of my students. I strongly believe that the present habits of students can be changed to ‘better’ and later to the ‘best’. If children come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our task easier. If they do not come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families, it makes our task more important.”

In the Cadre, I can do things that are greater than myself. I can help others achieve big results and gain contentment and happiness. This inspires me to spend more time helping others. I am committed to always act to the benefit of those I hold dear in my heart when conducting site visits; both Rotary members and beneficiaries. These values guide me in learning as much as possible from those I encounter. I am at my happiest when helping you reach your goals through making your project better.

Email to find a member of the Cadre for your next project