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

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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

Maximizing your giving with the ease of Rotary Direct

140214_rotarydirectBy Terry Ziegler, Rotary Foundation chair for District 5890 (Texas, USA)

I can relate to the frustration of having a cluttered mailbox. Last year, I found one more way to cut out the clutter — Rotary Direct.

In December, I reached out to The Rotary Foundation, delighted by the simple year-end gift Continue reading

The people I meet through Rotary club visits

Tzviatko Chiderov exchanges club banners with a  member of the Rotary Club of Cape Town Noon Gun,

Tzviatko Chiderov exchanges club banners with a member of the Rotary Club of Cape Town Noon Gun, South Africa.

By Tzviatko Chiderov, Rotary Club of Chicago Lakeview, Illinois, USA

Rotary’s values and mine align in more than a few ways. Looking back I’m surprised it took me so long to become a member of Rotary.

Although I have known about Rotary for several years, it wasn’t until last summer that I official joined the Rotary Club of Chicago Lakeview after meeting Club President John Hannes at an expo in the city. He introduced me to the club and the work they are doing in our community. After I got to attend a couple of events and meet some members, I was on board.  Continue reading

Every woman deserves education, access to health care

Divya GopisettyBy Divya Gopisetty, president of the Interact Club of Oakwood High School, Morgan Hill, California

I am amazed at all Rotary is able to accomplish. Each of you, members of Rotary, has an unyielding passion for change, a kind heart, and a determined spirit. You have discovered the importance of taking action instead of merely acknowledging issues exist. You are role models for the rest of the world. Continue reading

Good smells from the kitchen

The team that helped put together the cookbook and some of the young test chefs.

The team that helped put together the cookbook and some of the young chefs.

By Günes Ertas, a Rotary Public Image Coordinator

Rotary members in Turkey partnered with Türkiye Görme Özürlüler Kitaplığı (TÜRGÖK), a library for the blind, to produce the first cookbook for the visually impaired in both Braille and audio CD.

A commission of food engineers, dietitians, members of TÜRGÖK, Rotary members and their spouses, and those who are visually impaired helped select 100 recipes for the book using various criteria paying special attention that the recipes were healthy and included ingredients that are easily Continue reading

Bridging the gulf to protect our valuable water resources

Emmanuel Umolu, with scarf, and his host counselor Tanny Agustinus, second from left, at a welcoming event for the second class of Rotary scholars at UNESCO-IHE.

Emmanuel Umolu, with scarf, and his host counselor Tanny Augustinus, second from left, a member of the Rotary Club of Delft-Koningsveld, at a welcoming event for the second class of Rotary Scholars at UNESCO-IHE.

By Emmanuel Chinedu Umolu, Rotary Scholar from Nigeria

Three months have gone by since I began my master’s program in Hydraulic Engineering – Land and Water Development at UNESCO-IHE as a Rotary Scholar. The pace of learning has been quite intense. Indeed, most students realized within the first few weeks that the rector was right when he warned us during opening week that the suffix IHE does not mean  “International Holiday in Europe.” Continue reading

My Rotary Moment: Emine’s story

140120_alpayBy Şafak Alpay, RI director-elect and a member of the Rotary Club of Istanbul-Sisli, Turkey

About ten years ago, an ambitious literacy campaign was started in our region using the Concentrated Language Encounter (CLE) method. Like all other clubs, my club Sisli participated with great enthusiasm, running a course for women in one of Istanbul’s slum neighborhoods.

On graduation day, one young woman who was among those to receive their certificates captured everyone’s attention. She had both her lower arms missing, and as her certificate was placed under her armpit, Emine timidly asked her instructor to get the sheet of paper she kept in her pocket. It was a thank-you letter written to the person who taught her to read and write.  Continue reading