Welcome to Lisbon

Tagus river, Lisbon, Portugal

Tagus River, Lisbon, Portugal

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial Staff

As I watch a vessel leave a wake across the Tagus River from my hotel room in the Amoreiras neighborhood of Lisbon, Portugal, the early morning sun is washing over the terracotta roofs and palm trees are swaying slightly in the light breeze. Continue reading

RI President Tanaka’s Rotary Moments in February, March, and April

RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from left) takes part in a Holi festival 27 March, organized by Rotarians in District 3010 (Union Territory, India) during a visit to the district. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and Nepal.

RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from left) takes part in a Holi festival 27 March, organized by Rotarians in District 3010 (Union Territory, India) during a visit to the district. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and Nepal.

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

While I was preparing for a Major Donor dinner in Tampa Bay, Florida, on my birthday, which is 4 February, I thought about the past year. As people often do on their birthdays, I was reflecting about how quickly time passes and about my purpose in life of being useful to others — especially during my year as RI president when I feel I must do my best for Rotarians. I was remembering all the places I’ve traveled as a Rotarian and the interesting people I’ve met along the way. Continue reading

Paul Harris on the role of friendship in Rotary

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“If you have the love of your fellow men in your hearts, my friends, you are a potential Rotarian.”

Paul Harris

Paul Harris

On 27 June, Rotary founder Paul Harris gave a live radio broadcast from the 1933 convention in Boston. Near the end of his talk, Harris noted that Rotary is a way of life and the world is full of potential Rotarians.

Celebrate Harris’s birthday on 19 April by listening to his message. How will you share his vision with prospective members you know? Leave a comment below.

No border divides us

Rotarians from India and Sri Lanka exchange club banners during a Friendship Exchange.

Rotarians from India and Sri Lanka exchange club banners during a Friendship Exchange.

By S.K. Saxena, a member of the Rotary Club of Guna (Madhya Pradesh) India, a runner-up in the 2012-13 Rotary Friendship Exchange video contest.

I had the privilege as part of a team of four Rotarians and three spouses to visit our neighbor Rotarians in Sri Lanka, Rotary District 3220. Our main goal through the Rotary Friendship Exchange was to build friendship and goodwill, and bridge the gap between the two countries. Continue reading

Sisters share a passion for peace

Katrina (left, second row) and Summer (center) in 2009 with members of MarketPlace India, a fair trade textile cooperative based in Mumbai.

Katrina (left, second row) and Summer (center) in 2009 with members of MarketPlace India, a fair trade textile cooperative based in Mumbai.

By Summer Lewis, a 2010-12 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland

My sister Katrina and I grew up overseas with our mom, an international educator. Between the two of us, we have traveled, lived and worked in 57 countries.

Katrina is a design professor. I am committed to fair trade and small-scale farmer development. We like to say that Katrina got her start playing with boxes as a kid, and I began cultivating my passion for grassroots development in the garden. Continue reading

Women creating peace across the world’s divides

By Christina DeAngelis, a 2006-2008 Rotary Peace Fellow, Bradford University

Christina DeAngelis works with women as part of Creators of Peace.

Christina DeAngelis works with women as part of Creators of Peace.

Since 2005, I have had the privilege of being involved in an international women’s peace-building program called Creators of Peace. Creators of Peace empowers women to be radical peace-builders, starting with themselves, their families, their communities and further afield. The idea is that if peace is to start anywhere then the best place for it to start is in “me.”  Continue reading

Searching for peace on International Women’s Day

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Francesca Del Mese

By Francesca Del Mese , a 2002-2004 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland

I recently travelled to Pretoria, South Africa on behalf of UN Women as part of the newly formed group of investigators for sexual and gender based crimes as war crimes. When I was in South Africa, I was struck by a comment I heard from a prominent South African Minister. She made parallels between apartheid and sexual and gender based crimes, saying that apartheid had been defeated and so could violence against women. When I heard the comparison, I instantly dismissed the idea; the two are completely non-comparable. Continue reading

Interactor inspired by Vancouver peace forum

Interactors and Rotarians discuss bullying and gang violence during the peace forum.

Interactors and Rotarians discuss bullying and gang violence during the peace forum.

By Anushka Kurian, a member of the Interact Club of Hugh Boyd Secondary School in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

As an Interactor, I gained a deeper respect for Rotarians and a renewed admiration for their dedication to service last Saturday, 23 February, when I had the privilege of attending a peace forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, sponsored by districts 5040 and 5050.

It was an empowering experience to be in a room filled with such positive vibes from both Rotarians and Interactors. Continue reading

Promoting Peace Through Service in Vancouver

Chris Offer addresses the peace forum in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

Chris Offer addresses the peace forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

By Chris Offer, past governor of District 5040 and a member of the Rotary Club of Ladner

On 23 February, I had the pleasure of chairing a Rotary Peace Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This forum and other ones, a response to RI President Sukuji Tanaka’s challenge for districts to hold their own peace forums, allow Rotarians to discuss and debate regional peace issues. Local forums permit Rotarians who cannot attend one of the three Rotary Global Peace Forums to explore new opportunities and bring life to our theme, Peace Through Service. Continue reading

Preparing for the future

Incoming Rotary leaders receive training in the new grant model in January.

Incoming Rotary leaders receive training in the new grant model in January.

By Rotary Foundation Trustee Ashok M. Mahajan

Buddha said “do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” This, in my opinion, is a call for service.

But for Rotarians to undertake projects that change lives, seeing the future is important. We work for a future where people everywhere can live in peace and harmony, enjoy a decent standard of living, and know that their children are safe and have a bright future. Continue reading