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Members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact join community health workers in a cleaning up an impoverished neighborhood near Naivasha, Kenya.

Members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact join community health workers in cleaning up an impoverished community near Naivasha, Kenya.

By Joe Kamau, service project chair for the Rotary Club of Naivasha, Kenya

My Rotary club recently completed a very successful Rotary At Work Day in January where we cleaned up a poor community near Naivasha, Kenya.

This activity was truly a collaborative and inter-generational effort, bringing together members of the Interact Club of Trinity Mission School, the Rotaract Club of Naivasha, members of Rotary, friends, community health workers, and local government officials. Continue reading

How we increased attendance at our district training event

Presentations with posters allowed participants to have individual discussions with trainers.

Presentations with posters allowed participants to have individual discussions with trainers.

By Deepak Agrawal, past governor and 2015-16 trainer for District 3060 (India)

I have been a Rotary member for more than two decades and have attended multiple district assemblies as a club officer or trainer. We recently adopted a new approach to our assemblies, and opened them up to members who are not preparing for a new role as a club officer. Where else can these members get one-on-one information about the exciting new things happening in Rotary? Continue reading

Putting books in the hands of children

Children read books they received through Gyan Jyot, a program of the Rotary Club of Baroda Sayajinagari.

Children read books they received through Gyan Jyot, a program of the Rotary Club of Baroda Sayajinagari.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Gujarat, India, have launched a program to put books into the hands of children from low income families who cannot afford them, or whose schools lack large library collections.

Gyan Jyot is a program of the Rotary Club of Baroda Sayajinagari. For as little as $3,000, the club purchases and circulates a variety of reading material to students, who get to pick a book of their choice a week to read at no cost. Continue reading

Four countries meet to tackle malaria

Members of Rotaract clear blocked ditches and conduct other improvements in the Nyalenda settlement of Kenya.

Members of Rotaract clear blocked ditches and conduct other improvements in the Nyalenda settlement of Kenya.

By Kenneth Masamaro, Rotaract Club of Kisumu, Kenya

On 3 April, we hosted a malaria prevention program in Kisumu, Kenya, as part of the third year of Rotaract East Africa Impact (REACT). The project is a multi-district initiative that brings together Rotaract clubs from throughout Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

More than 100 members from 19 different Rotaract clubs across these countries travelled to the lakeside city to make a difference in the informal settlement of Nyalenda. A story is told of a young boy who was four years old and had many dreams ahead of him. One evening, the boy developed fevers and refused to eat. Though his mother had a premonition about it, she decided to brush it aside. The preceding week, her other two children, a boy and girl, developed fevers and had reduced appetites but their symptoms had resolved on their own. Continue reading

Rotary Flame arrives in Evanston

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By Rotary Voices staff

The Rotary “Flame” arrived at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, on Tuesday, 14 April, on its journey from India to São Paulo, Brazil, site of the 2015 Rotary International Convention in June.

The flame was launched in Chennai, India, in December to celebrate India being polio-free and commemorate the 30th anniversary of PolioPlus. The torch has made its way through Colombo, Karachi, Kabul, Sydney, Taipei, Manila, London, and Lagos, and will make an additional stop in Toronto before the convention. Continue reading

Two of the most exciting words in Rotary

150413_solowBy Kenneth Solow, incoming governor of District 7620 (Maryland, USA)

Can you picture Dr. John Sever, member of the Rotary Club of Potomac, Maryland, asking Rotary’s 1979-1980 Board, at the request of RI President Clem Renouf, to imagine “what if” Rotary adopted the goal of a polio-free world?” The rest is history.

Recently the Zone 33-34 class of incoming district governors asked a different “what if” question. What if the Rotary districts in Zone 33-34 combined to fund an international project using a global grant from the Rotary Foundation?  If they could pull it off, the financial contribution from each district would be relatively small, but the impact of their combined effort would be gigantic. The result of asking that “what if” question is the unprecedented cooperation of twenty-two districts to fund a Rotary Family Health Day in the country of Ghana in Africa next year. Continue reading

Rotary Day at UNESCO

RI President Gary C.K. Huang (middle) with young participants of the Rotary Day UNESCO in Paris.

RI President Gary C.K. Huang (middle) with young participants of the Rotary Day UNESCO in Paris.

By Kristin Brown, manager of Rotary Service Connections

I like to say I have one of the best jobs at Rotary because in Rotary Service Connections we are responsible for many of the programs and activities that help Rotarians connect, partner and serve to make the world a better place.

Last Saturday found me in Paris where, as part of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebration, the organization welcomed 400-plus Rotarians and Rotaractors from more than 20 countries for Rotary Day UNESCO. The conference highlighted Rotary’s history with UNESCO and ongoing work for peace, with particular emphasis on the role of intercountry committees (ICCs). ICCs are cooperative relationships established between districts in two countries to promote bi-lateral communication and cooperation between Rotarians, leading to greater understanding and peace between peoples. Continue reading

How to use hashtags to promote #Rotary

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a regular contributor to this blog

Have you noticed that everywhere you look these days people are using this symbol #?

To the social media novice, hashtags might seem confusing, annoying, or even pointless at first. But if you understand their purpose and learn how to use them properly, hashtags can be a powerful way to help you engage with new members and the community and increase Rotary awareness. Continue reading

Audio books for the visually impaired

A member of the Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Sicily, records a section of an audio book.

A member of the Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Sicily, records a section of an audio book.

By Mirko Gangi, Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Siciliy

There are many visually impaired children in Italy and Sicily who lack teaching materials and educational aids. The purchase and distribution of books in Braille is difficult, there is only one distribution house in Sicily, and the cost of audio books is very high.The present economic crisis and lack of public funds also does not help.

So as members of Rotaract, we joined together with the Rotary Club of Caltanissetta to record and produce three audio books which we distributed to 750 Continue reading

Rotary values translate into any culture

Renée Riley-Adams exchanges club banners with a member of the Rotary Club of Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.

Renée Riley-Adams exchanges club banners with a member of the Rotary Club of Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil.

By Renée Riley-Adams, Rotary Club of Ashland, Oregon, USA

My husband and I recently traveled to Brazil on vacation to visit my brother. The one-hour Rotary meeting I went to while there remains one of my most  treasured memories from the trip.

Though I understood perhaps only ten percent of what was being said, it was the welcome I received that made the experience so worthwhile. There is a magic in knowing that I share the same values as the people I met. The hearty handshakes I Continue reading

A day at the orphanage

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage. Photo courtesy of Yomi Lawson

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo, Lagos State, Nigeria, decided to celebrate 110 years of Rotary by donating supplies to a Red Cross orphanage that provides a home for 200 abandoned or vulnerable children. The club delivered 10 packs of diapers, 150 liters of diesel fuel, two cartons of infant formula, ten crates of eggs, two cartons of biscuits, five cartons of noodles, three cartons of fruit drink, and detergent. Members stayed to play with the children after dropping off the goods.