December 2019
Kisumu, Kenya, in the Global Spotlight
This month, we visit the relatively new Club in Kisumu, Kenya. This Club was organized last spring and more recently was registered with the Kenyan government. 

Kisumu is a port city on Lake Victoria, in western Kenya with about 259,000 residents.

“We took a look at our city and decided it could use a clean-up project.,” said Club President Barack Odheir. "So we organized a clean-up day in the community and enlisted the help of some young people to give us a hand in making the city a better place.” 

A tip of the cap to the Optimist Club of Kisumu, Kenya.
Celebrating Clubs in new countries in 2020
This is the time of year when we often spend time with family and friends, counting our blessings and celebrating the New Year. 2020 could easily start with celebration when it comes to International Development. At least 13 projects are in development with several in countries where Optimist International currently does not have a presence.

One project is underway and a second one is pending for cities in South Africa; Sandton north of Johannesburg and Durban on the east coast. Ghana is set to get a new Club by the end of December in the Oti Region.

A new Club is forming in Hong Kong with an initial focus on the Oratorical competition. An effort in Singapore will create a new Club focused on Junior Golf, similar to the Optimist Club of Bangkok. College-aged adults are forming our first Club in India and we will soon have another Club in Nepal. 

Optimist International continues its efforts to bring its mission to St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Grenada.

Optimist International was contacted to bring a new Club development project to Nottingham, England, the home of legendary Robin Hood. 

“A lot of people in the United Kingdom feel there is a shift going on and there’s a lot of toxicity,: said Bethany Allen who is heading up the project there.  “We need some positivity and optimism here.“ 

Sponsor Clubs are always being sought for these new Clubs overseas so if there is an interest from your Club for such a partnership, please contact Optimist staff member Jim Boyd at    

Opt for Oratorical
The World Oratorical Competition offers young people an opportunity to develop and polish public-speaking skills, with the chance to win thousands of dollars in scholarships along the way.

Clubs overseas can start students on this path by offering contests in their own communities.

Winners of these competitions could work their way up to the Oratorical World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. There, participants from all over the globe compete for top scholarships as the title of World Champion.

The World Oratorical page of the Optimist website has all the details for putting on a local competition. Check it out.
Administrative Tips: Membership rosters and recruitment
The end of the first quarter of the fiscal year is a perfect time for our Clubs overseas to review their membership rosters. 

Are there people who need to be removed who are no longer involved? Could this be an opportunity to recruit new people to replace those being removed? This can be a win-win proposition because it will strengthen the Club with new people who are willing to give back to the community for a relatively small investment. 

Learn more about membership recruitment and retention on these pages of the Optimist International website.
The Optimist International Global Spotlight is a monthly newsletter that works to promote communication with Optimist Clubs outside the U.S. and Canada. If you have suggestions for improvements, Club news, or other information about your Club, contact .