Rotary, a matter of the heart

Manaka

Manaka Kuwabara

By Joseph Batory, past president of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Six years ago, I agreed to serve on my district’s scholarship committee. I now have many fond memories of helping 12 students attain fully subsidized Rotary International scholarships abroad. I have also counseled and befriended 23 Rotary scholars from around the world who have studied in Philadelphia.

I could easily highlight some of the “scholar characters” I have met or even some marriages that have occurred among Rotary scholars studying here in Philadelphia, but I would rather emphasize just one story that illustrates the magnificence of Rotary. Continue reading

Everyone has a story to tell

Roy Gandy, left, members of the Rotary Club of Madison, Georgia, and volunteers stand by a ramp they built for a 47-year-old woman who had suffered a severe stroke in January.

Roy Gandy, left, and volunteers stand by a ramp they built for a 47-year-old woman who suffered a severe stroke in January.

By Antoinette Tuscano, Rotary International staff

As manager of Rotary International’s social media channels, I’ve heard from Rotary members who say they don’t have a good story to tell about their club. But everyone has a story to tell. And I’ve heard some good ones from Rotarians.

You might look at a ramp outside of a house, and just see a wooden ramp. I see a lot of heart – as well as a way to help attract members and donations to a Rotary club. Continue reading

Reading program bridges continents

Elementary school students in Durham, North Carolina, take part in a teleconference with students in India.

Elementary school students in Durham, North Carolina, take part in a video conference with students in India.

By Mark Lazenby, a member of the Rotary Club of Durham, North Carolina, USA

Sixth-grade students from Y.E. Smith Elementary School traded big smiles and stories about school work and home life with counterparts in India during a big-screen video conference at the headquarters of Duke Corporate Education in downtown Durham. Continue reading

Visiting orphans in Nairobi

Cleaning utensils after feeding the children.

Cleaning utensils after feeding the children.

By Thaddeus Bah Masika, president of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Parklands, Kenya

In November, we visited children at Mother Teresa’s Home of Mercy, run by the Missionaries of Charity. For just a one day visit, it had a profound effect on our club and members, some of whom were moved to tears.

After meeting at 8 a.m. we traveled by public transportation to Huruma, a slum on the northeast edge of Nairobi, and walked the few meters to the home. We had three main goals in mind: clean the place, feed the children, and play with the children.

Continue reading

Vanakkam from southern India

Thomas Smith in the Bay of Bengal with Pondicherry, India, in the background.

Thomas Smith in the Bay of Bengal with Pondicherry, India, in the background.

By Thomas Smith, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Palm Springs, California

People everywhere. Horns blowing. Never-ending rushhour. Color. Activity. Passion. These were a few of my first impressions of India.

I feel very fortunate to have been selected recently to take part in a vocational training team from California, USA, to southern India, supporting education and literacy initiatives. Our district is committed to helping India achieve its goal of becoming 100 percent literate by 2018. Continue reading

Rotaract, Rotary go hand in hand

President Ron Burton joins participants in forming the largest human image of a hand in India.

President Ron Burton joins participants in forming the largest human image of a hand in India.

By Ramkumar Raju A., Rotaract Club of Madras Central, Tamil Nadu, India

Last April, I was asked by  RI Director P.T. Prabhakar to form a team and help gather 10,000 Rotaractors for a Presidential New Generations Conference to be held in Chennai, India, for then President-elect Ron Burton. We have more than 25,000 Rotaract members in our district but I was overwhelmed by the request. Continue reading

Lighting up villages in Honduras

Tennessee Rotarian Charlie Brown with new friends at a school in Honduras.

Tennessee Rotarian Charlie Brewer with new friends at a school in Honduras.

By Jim Johnston, past governor of District 6760 and a member of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

While RI President-elect Gary C.K. Huang has urged Rotary members to Light Up Rotary, the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg has been leading an effort to light up villages in Honduras in a more literal sense.

In February, our team of 14 volunteers traveled to the country to wire 70 homes Continue reading

Transforming lives in Ghana

Women weave baskets at a center in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes Jr.

Women weave baskets at a center in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes

By Walter Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA

What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. Continue reading

The room where Rotary began

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

By Dick Galitz, president of the 711 Club, at the rededication of Room 711 on the first floor of RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA

It’s very special to be standing in front of the rededicated Room 711 on this occasion. It is a special room. When you go into the room, you can just feel, I can feel, the atmosphere and sense of four guys getting together and saying “let’s build a fellowship.” Continue reading

Victoria club celebrates 100 years by helping hungry, homeless

Rotary members in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, celebrated their centennial by financing a truck lease for the local food bank.

Rotary members in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, celebrated the club’s centennial by funding a truck for the local food bank.

By Murray Ramsbottom, president of the Rotary Club of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Our club wanted to do something special to observe the 100th anniversary of our club’s charter on 15 November, 1913. So we launched several initiatives disbursing $250,000 from club fundraisers to help those in need in our community.

The results have been nothing short of amazing, and have brought members closer together. There is nothing more fulfilling Continue reading