Home doesn’t have just one name: lessons from a youth exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange students from several countries in Paris.

Rotary Youth Exchange students from several countries in Paris.

Elizabeth, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from District 6080 (Missouri, USA) to France

I used to think that the sky only stretched on for as far as I could see, and then where my vision became blurred, the world ceased to exist.

I used to think that happiness came from surrounding myself with things that brought me comfort. I used to think the best friends I would ever have were the ones I’d known forever. I used to think that in order to call someone family meant they had to be related by blood. And I used to think that home only had one name. Continue reading

Rotaract members in East Africa unite in service

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By Sarah Maingi, Rotaract representative from Kenya

On a warm Saturday morning in April, about 100 Rotaractors from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi gathered at a community in Buterere in Bujumbura, Burundi, to provide households with clean drinking water.

Some of the Rotaractors, myself included, had traveled over 1,000 kilometers by road, and all sacrificed their Easter holidays to serve. Continue reading

Your chance to serve at the Sydney Convention

Rotary will be attempting to set two records during the BridgeClimb at the Sydney convention.

Rotary will be attempting to set two records during the BridgeClimb at the Sydney convention.

By Mark Maloney, chair of the Sydney Convention Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA

We’ve put a lot of effort this year into giving you a chance to serve alongside fellow Rotary members from around the globe during the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney 1-4 June. I’m excited to share some of those opportunities with you, and looking forward to seeing how members get engaged by actively getting involved.

Labyrinth for Literacy
You can begin your service experience by donating one or more new children’s Continue reading

Membership tools you can use

Paul Roy

Paul Roy

By Paul R. Roy, membership chair for Rotary District 7820 (Canada)

Sometimes you do not have to climb over the fence or scale a wall. All you have to do is stand on your toes and peek over the top to get a new view of things.

While attending a conference in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA, for Rotary Zones 24 and 32 this past September, this thought came to my mind. “They can’t see over the fence.” Many of the district membership leaders were expressing all the challenges they have with membership growth and retention despite all their efforts. Continue reading

Recruiting for the Paul Harris Society

Yale Jones

Yale Jones

By Yale Jones, Rotary Club of Taos-Milagro, New Mexico, USA 

This year, I undertook the responsibility of Paul Harris Society coordinator for District 5520 in the charter year of this new giving program. As a leader for any new initiative like this, you never know what the response will be, but I saw it as an opportunity to share my passion for the work I am able to do through The Rotary Foundation with other Rotarians.  Continue reading

You are never too young to change the world

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton present a certificate to Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton recognize Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

By RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay, Rotary Club of Arrecifes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

When RI President Ron Burton asked me to convene one of his five Presidential New Generations Conferences, I was thrilled with the idea. I know firsthand the potential our youth represent, especially after accompanying my husband, Luis Vicente, as President of Rotary International in 1996-97, as we took part in 21 Presidential Conferences for New Generations around the world that year. Luis’ vision for youth set the stage for Rotary International’s support of New Generations and the creation of Rotary clubs composed of young people.

Continue reading

Why should you bring your family to the Sydney Convention?

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park

By Mark Maloney, chair of the Sydney Convention Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA

Children are absolutely welcome at convention activities, and attending a convention can be both an enlightening and exciting experience for them. So bring your children and grandchildren with you when you come to Sydney for the 2014 Rotary International Convention, 1-4 June.

Continue reading

Explore Sydney, New South Wales with free transit pass

Getting around Sydney will be a breeze with a free transit pass

Getting around Sydney will be a breeze with a free transit pass.

By Mark Maloney, chair of the Sydney Convention Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA 

One of the unique benefits for the Sydney Convention is the free transit pass offered to each convention registrant by the New South Wales Government. This pass will permit convention attendees to travel throughout most of the State of New South Wales without cost.

The pass will be honored on trains, buses, and government-operated ferries and will permit travel from Thursday, 29 Continue reading

Sydney Olympic Park offers something for everyone

Convention Committee Chair Mark Maloney, RI President Ron Burton, and Committee Vice-Chair Barry Matheson at ANZ stadium.

Convention Committee Chair Mark Maloney, RI President Ron Burton, and Committee Vice-Chair Barry Matheson at ANZ stadium.

By Mark Maloney, chair of the Sydney Convention Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA

As chair of the Sydney Convention Committee, I am enjoying the opportunity to share the many wonderful opportunities that await Rotarians and their families in Sydney. Sydney Olympic Park may well be the best venue for a Rotary International Convention ever.

In addition to offering world-class convention and meeting facilities, Sydney Olympic Park is a holiday destination in its own right! A vast array of family-oriented activities can be found just steps from the Convention plenary Continue reading

Incoming district governors excited to Light Up Rotary

140114_themelogoBy Daniela Garcia, RI editorial staff

Incoming district governors enthusiastically greeted the theme for 2014-15, Light Up Rotary, during the first plenary of the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for future leaders. RI President-elect Gary C.K. Huang explained he was inspired by the teachings of Chinese philosopher Confucious who said: “It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness.”

I asked several of the future leaders their thoughts about the theme, moments after it had been unveiled here in San Diego, California, USA. Here is what they said: Continue reading