A simple idea benefits many in Mexico

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

By Jon Kaufman

From 2 to 8 July, I led my club’s second H2OpenDoors expedition to central Mexico. The three-year-old Rotary project provides SunSpring water purification systems for poor villages and schools and allows the villages to sell the surplus water from the systems.

The project touches on several of Rotary’s areas of focus: providing clean water, building peace (by combating poverty), and educating youth.

We bring along a dozen or so students, as well as a few teachers, so they can see how a simple idea can become a project and benefit thousands of people. We hope the students return to their schools empowered to make a difference. Continue reading

Supporting education in Nepal: technology that improves teaching and student learning

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

By Quentin Wodon

Rotary members come in many different styles. Most have a day job and engage in service work in their free time. Some go a step further: They make service work their day job!

Rabi Karmacharya belongs to the second group. In 2007, he founded Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal. His organization is respected internationally as a pioneer in the integration of technology in the classroom. OLE Nepal has worked with Nepal’s Department of Education to make laptops available in schools. But much more importantly, it has also developed great digital learning materials for students, and trained teachers to use technology and digital libraries to enhance learning. Continue reading

Pakistan Rotary members distribute free books

Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.

Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

Back in June, my Rotary club partnered with the Hashoo Foundation to distribute books to schoolchildren in Rawalpindi during a ceremony held at St. Mary’s Academy.

Through the Rotary Books for the World program, Rotary members in Pakistan are working with the Hashoo Foundation to actively promote education throughout Pakistan, and to help our country meet the Millennium Development Goals for literacy set by the United Nations. The books and educational material help teachers and students increase their knowledge, enhance classroom learning, and promote community development. Continue reading

Free toys brighten children’s lives

Children receive their toys in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.

Children receive their toys in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.

By Rotary Voices staff

A girl clutched the new purse she had just received during the annual toy giveaway in the community of Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.

Another child examined the coloring books and colored pencils with interest, while a crowd of other children and their parents surrounded a table in the market square, waiting their turn to select a free toy. Continue reading

A good day at Katkar Wadi

Some of the children at the school we visited. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Dombivli East

Some of the children at the school we visited. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Dombivli East

By Dr. Swati Gadgil, Rotary Club of Dombivli East, Maharashtra, India

Our Rotary club’s women’s welfare society recently went to a tribal settlement in Katkar Wadi, where we visited 60 households and a 35-student school for kindergarten through grade four, handing out notebooks, writing materials, clothing, and utensils. Many of the women in the settlement have never been to school, and it is a rare occasion when they even travel out of their community. Our youth wing conducted games for the children, also engaging our members in the fun.

We were also able to plant trees in the community and distribute snacks and treats. The team left with the determination to adopt the settlement and make a significant difference for years to come.

A beautiful partnership of service through Rotary

Students use the sound proof therapy room at the school for the deaf and mute.

Students use the sound proof therapy room at the Kamalini school for children with hearing and speech impairments.

Prafull Karnik, past president of the Rotary Club of Thane East, Maharashtra, India

Our unique partnership with the Rotary Club of Mission Viejo in California, USA, began more than a decade ago when I was president and I was looking for a centennial project for our club. With other members of the club, I visited Nakhwa School in Thane, established in 1964 to provide education for children from low-income families, and was convinced this would be a great opportunity for us to serve. Continue reading

Rotary exchange inspires children’s books about animals

Rachel Shaw with Rotary members at the launch of her book in Manila.

Rachel Shaw (middle, first row) with Rotary members at a book launch in Manila.

By Rachel Shaw, honorary member of the Rotary Club of West Bay, Laguna, Philippines.

Six years ago, I visited the Philippines as part of a Group Study Exchange team from Rotary District 1270 (Lincolnshire, England).The opportunity to visit one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots as a professional wildlife conservationist became for me the start of a new writing and illustrating adventure.

Glimpsing just a little of the amazing diversity of animals sparked my imagination. 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

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

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.