Enriching education for our keiki (children)

Mike Curtis, a member of the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach, reads to students at Koloa Elementary School. Photo by Rotary Club of Poipu Beach

Mike Curtis, a member of the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach, reads to students at Koloa Elementary School. 

By Michael Carlsson

As incoming president of our club, I wondered how we could have an even greater impact on the education of our local keiki (children).

We have been supporting Koloa Elementary School over the years with our Rotary Readers program and dictionary distribution to third graders. We have also provided funds and volunteers for the Continue reading

A simple idea benefits many in Mexico

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

By Jon Kaufman

From 2 to 8 July, I led my club’s second H2OpenDoors expedition to central Mexico. The three-year-old Rotary project provides SunSpring water purification systems for poor villages and schools and allows the villages to sell the surplus water from the systems.

The project touches on several of Rotary’s areas of focus: providing clean water, building peace (by combating poverty), and educating youth.

We bring along a dozen or so students, as well as a few teachers, so they can see how a simple idea can become a project and benefit thousands of people. We hope the students return to their schools empowered to make a difference. Continue reading

Supporting education in Nepal: technology that improves teaching and student learning

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

By Quentin Wodon

Rotary members come in many different styles. Most have a day job and engage in service work in their free time. Some go a step further: They make service work their day job!

Rabi Karmacharya belongs to the second group. In 2007, he founded Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal. His organization is respected internationally as a pioneer in the integration of technology in the classroom. OLE Nepal has worked with Nepal’s Department of Education to make laptops available in schools. But much more importantly, it has also developed great digital learning materials for students, and trained teachers to use technology and digital libraries to enhance learning. Continue reading

What keeps me in Rotary: capturing good through the lens of my camera

Hannington Sebuliba works on an issue of his club’s bulletin.

Hannington Sebuliba works on an issue of his club’s bulletin.

By Hannington Sebuliba, Rotary Club of Kajjansi, Uganda

I joined Rotary in 2010 after spending five years covering Rotary events for our local newspaper. I used to see the way Rotary members were serving the disadvantaged in our community, and it left a mark on my heart.

One day, Rotarian Charles Baganja asked me to give a talk at the Rotary Club of Kajjansi, Uganda, on newspaper production, and I accepted the invite. After the talk, members of the club asked me to Continue reading

Friendship and networking: That’s why I stay in Rotary

Chris Offer, middle, during a recent service project for Rotary.

Chris Offer, middle, in Kassala, Sudan, representing Rotary on a World Health Organization polio surveillance project. 

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

One of the difficult decisions I made recently was to change Rotary clubs. I had moved from the city of Vancouver to the suburb of Ladner. I had continued commuting for a few years, 45 minutes each way, to my Rotary meeting. When I finally decided to join a club only 10 minutes from my home, I left friends of many years behind and was introduced to new friends. The network of friends in my old club and the new friends in my current club are why I stay in Rotary.

My network of Rotary friends goes far beyond my Rotary club. I have made Rotary friends from many countries. Rotary has taken me to every corner of the world. Rotary conventions and opportunities for volunteer service have extended my network of friends from Sudan to Russia to India to Australia. Social media keeps me connected to this extended network of Rotary friends. Continue reading

The elephant in Rotary’s living room

Rotarian Bill Grazio and District 7750 Past District Governor Bruce Baker provide students with practical information about preparing for the working world during a recent Junior Achievement program.

Rotarian Bib Grazio and District 7750 Past District Governor Bruce Baker give students practical information about the working world during a recent Junior Achievement program. Some clubs count participation in a service project toward attendance.

By Terry R. Weaver, governor of District 7750 (South Carolina, USA)

In my travels as a newly fielded district governor, I’ve run into a misperception that several clubs have told me is getting in the way of membership growth.

The elephant in the living room? ATTENDANCE.

Let’s step back. Several years ago, Rotary’s Council on Legislation declared that almost ANY legitimate Rotary activity qualifies as a make-up. This includes not Continue reading

Are you a Rotary superhero?

Evan Burrell reveals his “superhero” Rotary identity.

Evan Burrell reveals his “superhero” Rotary identity.

By Evan Burrell

I’m sure that, as a child, you had a favorite superhero. Maybe it was Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman or even Spiderman, weaving webs or leaping tall buildings in a single bound to help those in need.

Now that we’re older, we know all too well that that sort of superhero is hard to find. But do you know the easiest place to find modern-day superheroes? Your local Rotary club! And they don’t even hide behind a secret identity. Continue reading

Building connections with young professionals

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with David Knight, a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, during a recent meeting.

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with Rotaractor David Knight during a recent meeting.

By Jeris Gaston, Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA

At the recent Rotary International Convention in São Paulo, Brazil, there were several breakout sessions geared toward the next generation of Rotarians. The one that stood out the most for me was “thirtysomething: How Clubs/Districts Can Provide Rotary Experiences for Young Professionals,” moderated by John Smola, a past president of my club, and Christa Papavasiliou, of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Continue reading

Pakistan Rotary members distribute free books

Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.

Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

Back in June, my Rotary club partnered with the Hashoo Foundation to distribute books to schoolchildren in Rawalpindi during a ceremony held at St. Mary’s Academy.

Through the Rotary Books for the World program, Rotary members in Pakistan are working with the Hashoo Foundation to actively promote education throughout Pakistan, and to help our country meet the Millennium Development Goals for literacy set by the United Nations. The books and educational material help teachers and students increase their knowledge, enhance classroom learning, and promote community development. Continue reading

My brush with Lyme disease and what my Rotary club is doing to help

The ticks that cause Lyme disease can be small, and the victim often does not feel their bite.

The ticks that cause Lyme disease can be small, and the victim often does not feel their bite.

By Stephen “Steve” Borgos

I’m a longtime Rotarian from Glens Falls, New York, USA. I taught college-level business administration for 31 years, served as a local elected government official and as executive director of the regional emergency medical service council, and made a part-time occupation of commercial real estate sales into a full-time retirement job. At age 68, I began considering slowing down, but I was still going strong.

Then in the spring of 2010, I began to notice significant changes in my energy and concentration levels. My cognitive function became compromised, to the point where I began to experience trouble navigating my way home after meetings more than a few miles away. There were times when my wife had to accompany me to meetings to respond to simple questions, because I couldn’t find words to answer for myself. I realized that what I had thought were simply natural changes due to aging might be something else. Continue reading