The Optimist International Global Spotlight was created to provide another means of communication between Optimist International and the Optimist Clubs outside of the United States and Canada.  The newsletter will be sent monthly. If you have suggestions for improvements, Club projects, articles for inclusion and/or other information about your Club, contact communications@optimist.org

As the calendar marks the midway point of the fiscal year, a thank you is in order for everything you are doing in your part of the world on behalf of the mission of Optimist International. Whether it is in the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia or South America, it is encouraging to know that you and your Club are providing a hopeful and a positive vision. This is a good time of year to evaluate your Club to make certain it is on the right track regarding projects, membership, and finances. This mid-year review can also be a great opportunity to determine whether the Club is on track to become an Honor Club.
 
"The Honor Club concept is a time tested and proven way to keep your Club active and healthy," said International President Jim Kondrasuk.  "It also keeps the Club on the path of being involved, growing, and having fun serving our youth and our communities. It can be said that Honor Club should be the minimum level of service for any Optimist Club."   
 
Honor Club requirements are found here
"I am more than interested in learning the requirements of forming a new Club here in Sierra Leone. I hold a master's degree in gender studies and I am passionate about issues regarding children, youth development, and environmental protection. I completed a Civic Leadership Institute at the University of Delaware from June to July 2016 as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative." -
Jaka Kabba, Freetown, Sierra Leone
 
       


Several more initiatives for overseas development began this month thanks to fellow Optimists in Senegal and Ghana providing contacts in other countries. Their willingness to provide letters of introduction to colleagues or friends has helped launch new Club development efforts in Sierra Leone, Zambia, South Africa, Chad and Greece.  Efforts continue to launch new Clubs in Liberia and Kenya, and there are two projects at varying stages in Nigeria and Ghana. April 1 will be the organization date for the Optimist Club of Barranquilla, Columbia.  The goal is to have all of these projects completed by the international convention in July.

If you have any leads in other countries,  contact newclub@optimist.org .
International Convention Approaching Fast

The 99th Annual Optimist International Convention will be three days of fellowship, networking and continuing education in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 6-8. Every year, several Optimists from overseas make the effort to attend. If you or a Member of your Club is considering doing so, now is the time to investigate if you need a Visa so government processing delays do not prevent you from attending. We guarantee a warm welcome to the southwestern United States if you decide to make the journey and it will be well worth your investment!
Echo Hills Optimist Club of Ghana Supports Area Youth

The Echo Hills Optimist Club of Ghana wasted no time getting to work in its area after its December 30 organization date. It conducted a school supply drive that served dozens of needy children in the area.
 
"We are looking at adopting this community to get more of these kids into school. We will be raising funds to help provide more of these supplies to more children in the impoverished area where our Club operates in September," said Club President Evans Yeugo.