Don't Send Manu Home!
Earlier this afternoon, the head of our exchange district, D2240, wrote to say that the decision was final and would not be reconsidered, no matter how many signatures were on a petition. Manuel will be leaving on the 20th of May to return to Argentina.
Manu made a video to thank everyone who contributed, signed, commented, and spread the word.
He also sends this message, "Thanks to all of you who signed, I really appreciate your effort. I cannot believe how fast and big this got (I'm a guy by the way), please never give up, I seriously believe this shows how great community can be. We, from different places in the world and life, some exchange too, experiences have come together to help someone out despite of not knowing who that person is. Again, thank you so much, I'm sad it didn't work out but we tried and that effort shouldn't go unnoticed. You have a special place in my heart. Thanks."
As one student wisely put it, we were living up to the four way test, a cornerstone of Rotary. We looked to find the truth in a tricky situation. We tried to seek a fairness and justice for the student, while also respecting the district. We built and strengthened this community, and better friendships were formed from it. And lastly, we sought to benefit many by raising systemic issues within the district and the RYE program.
Please, do not give up believing in the power of community. In less than a day, hundreds of people joined together to sign, share, and speak out against these injustices. While this time they did not succeed, do not think of it as a failure. With hope, the district and program will see the good that can come from the exchange community, and see that next time, things will be better.
Thank you all so much.