Children in Los Bancos, Ecuador, receive computer training in their new learning center.
By Rob Wood, past president of the Rotary Club of South San Francisco, San Francisco, USA
A few years ago, I learned valuable lessons in sustainability trying to help the people of Los Bancos, a community of about 100 villagers living in extreme poverty in the jungle near Guayaquil, Ecuador.
As president of my club in 2007, I was expected to come up with an international service project and had heard about a new club in Guayaquil looking for an international partner. When I asked them what the villagers needed, they answered “They need everything!” Continue reading
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
RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from right) visits a lab at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, The Netherlands, in November. From left are Kaycee Okoli, a Rotary Scholar from Nigeria; Titia Jonkman, spouse of governor Nico Jonkman of District 1600; and Henk Jaap Kloosterman, the district’s UNESCO-IHE coordinator.
By Henk Jaap Kloosterman, a member of the Rotary Club of Voorburg-Vliet, The Netherlands, and district UNESCO-IHE coordinator
My Rotary life suddenly changed in late 2011, when Rotary Foundation Trustee Stephen R. Brown dropped me an email, saying he was coming to The Netherlands to talk to UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.
I knew Stephen from his former involvement in efforts on getting Rotary started in Afghanistan and the Sultanate of Oman (where I lived at the time), and now I suddenly found out that Steve was Continue reading
Rotary Scholar Kenechukwu “Kaycee” Okoli in Delft, Netherlands.
By Kenechukwu “Kaycee” Okoli, Rotary Scholar from Nigeria
Leaving Nigeria for Delft, Netherlands, to take part in a Rotary scholarship program at UNESCO-IHE has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. It has been a goal of mine to pursue advanced studies in hydraulic engineering. Being a Rotary scholar, not only has funding been provided for my graduate studies, but I am part of a strategy conceived by Rotary to address the complex issues of water and sanitation. It inspires me to rise to the challenge of seeking solutions to the world’s water and sanitation crisis as a water professional. Continue reading
The 2013-14 RI theme, Engage Rotary, Change Lives
By Daniela Garcia, RI editorial staff, reporting from the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA
Incoming district governors broke into applause as RI President-elect Ron Burton announced the 2013-14 RI theme, Engage Rotary, Change Lives, during the first plenary of the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for future leaders.
I asked several of the future leaders their thoughts about the theme, moments after it had been announced here in San Diego, California, USA. Here is what they said: Continue reading
By Walter Hughes, grant chair for Rotary District 7570 and a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA
What is our role as Rotarians? How big can we dream? Can Rotary be involved in eradication of Polio and Guinea Worm Disease from the world?
Over 80 Rotary clubs were part of the effort to eradicate the three-foot long parasite in Ghana. Could we do it again? Rotarian Kenny Lovelace and I went to South Sudan in October 2012 to find out. Continue reading
By Mike Freeman, Rotarian and Shelter Box Response Team volunteer from Gainesville, Georgia, USA
Mike Freeman (far right) helps deploy disaster relief aid from ShelterBox following severe flooding in Niger. Photo courtesy of ShelterBox USA
On 26 August, I arrived in Niamey, Niger, as member of a ShelterBox Response Team, along with team member Fiona McElroy from the United Kingdom. The area is experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had put out a request for assistance.
Prior to the flooding, the country was already struggling with an invasion of locusts, a cholera epidemic, a flow of refugees from Mali, and a food shortage affecting all of the Sahel region. The flooding has seriously stretched the government’s resources. Continue reading
By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese
RI President Sakuji Tanaka receives a goat as a gift during his visit in Kenya.
While I was in Africa recently, I traveled through eight countries and nine cities, meeting people and projects along the way. What I saw amazed me.
For example, I met Rotarians who had an impressive ability to identify the needs of orphaned children. They were using grants from The Rotary Foundation to help support a dairy farm in Kenya. Continue reading
By Suman Ramesh, president of the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos State, Nigeria
Children wait to use toilets at a primary school in Lagos, Nigeria.
At the Shyllon primary school in Lagos, students lacked proper toilet facilities, using the grounds of the school for their sanitation needs. The smell was often unbearable, and the girls found it embarrassing to use an open toilet. Water is scarce, making the environment very unhealthy and disease-prone.
Learning of this situation, my Rotary club undertook a project to provide 10 toilets and a water tank to provide adequate water during the day. Continue reading
By Karena Bierman, a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse, Illinois, USA, and manager of Gift Planning for The Rotary Foundation.
Karena Bierman races vintage motorcycles for a hobby.
In 2005, a year after I started working at the Rotary Foundation, I worked on a tsunami relief project with a very active Rotarian – Chuck Remen, from the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse.
He convinced me that I ought to be a Rotarian. (Actually, it didn’t take much convincing, because I liked the organization.) Since, I’ve been on the club’s board of directors every year. It’s not something I do because of my job. It’s something I do because my club is awesome. Continue reading