Incoming district governors eager to serve humanity

160118_themeBy Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

Incoming district governors got their first look at the presidential theme for 2016-17, Rotary Serving Humanity, today at the International Assembly, an annual training event for future leaders. RI President-elect John F. Germ encouraged attendees to work as a team to get the word out about what Rotary is, and what we do, especially as we near the end of our goal to eradicate polio. “The more we are known for what we’ve achieved, the more we’ll be able to attract the partners, the funding, and most important of all, the members to achieve even more.”

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts. Continue reading

What do we mean by vocation, anyway?

Alabama club builds wheelchair ramps

Members of the Rotary Club of Greater Huntsville, Alabama, USA, use their vocational skills to build two wheelchair ramps for needy families in December.

By Evan Burrell

The question we face almost from the time we are old enough to talk is “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a question most often put to us by our parents, teachers, and friends. When we are young, we are content to keep our answers pretty vague or even whimsical. When I was 10, I wanted to be a Cowboy Astronaut Zookeeper!! Sometimes I wish I was one, if only to see the look on the face of Rotarians who ask me what my vocation is. Continue reading

Need a great education project for your club?

Students and teachers

Students and teachers from one of the participating schools.

By Quentin Wodon

Last month, I had the pleasure of serving as an essay judge for a great program that strengthened the writing, research, and presentation skills of hundreds of high school seniors in the Washington D.C. area. The College and Career Senior Challenge, organized by the nonprofit One World Education, is a great example of a nonprofit working collaboratively with a public school district to achieve wonderful results for students. My club is thinking of putting together a global grant to expand this project, and would love the support of additional clubs, so let me explain how our effort works. Continue reading

A Rotary Passage to India

By David Goodstone, Rotary senior writer

As a writer, I’m always looking for metaphors and similes, especially in unfamiliar places, searching for the right phrase to tell a story.

On my first Rotary trip to India with Rotary Polio Ambassador Minda Dentler, the story I was seeking to tell was the work of Rotary members and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. My task was easy. For in India’s sights, objects, and even signs, rich metaphors are abundant.

Take this sign on the back of a ubiquitous Tata truck: “Obey the Traffic Rules.”

160108_trucks

Tata truck in India

Continue reading

What 30-Somethings need to know about Rotary

The Central Ocean Toms River Rotary Club enjoys the in person interaction during a club meeting,

The Central Ocean Toms River Rotary Club during a recent meeting.

By Michael Bucca, a member of the Rotary Club of Central Ocean Toms River, New Jersey, USA

You might think that I, a 32-year-old member of a 110-year-old organization, would be preoccupied with trying to modernize my club’s way of doing things. But remarkably, my experience in Rotary is teaching me to spend more energy convincing my generation – which keeps trying to reinvent everything – that there is much to be gained in the lost art of personal connection. Continue reading

3 secrets of Rotaract

Fernanda Moraes entertain child

Rotaractor Fernanda Luz Moraes entertains a child during a club outing. Happiness, she says, is an essential part of Rotaract.

By Fernanda Luz Moraes, president of the Rotaract Club of Cachoeirinha, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

When I began participating in Rotaract in 2012, I viewed it as a way to spend my weekends doing something good in my community. But then I realized it is so much more than that.

I have met many other members of Rotaract who have a hard time explaining the passion that comes over them for doing volunteer work. The best way I can put it is this: We think globally, then act locally.

I want to change the world, and in order to make it happen, I know I need to develop my Continue reading

5 amazing projects on Rotary Showcase

Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, disburse supplies to people affected by flooding.

Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, hand out supplies to people affected by flooding. Read more below.

New Zealand Rotary members are putting food on the tables of low-income families this holiday season by teaming up with the Salvation Army to collect and distribute fresh produce from local growers.

Starting several years ago, the Rotary Club of Drury, Auckland, New Zealand, annually contacts growers to set up a time in mid-December to collect produce for distribution, and then coordinates with the Salvation Army. The club lines up three large trucks, each with a crew of three Rotary members, to drive to different regions to collect the produce, which the Salvation Army then distributes to families during the holidays. Continue reading

How your year-end gift to the Foundation does a world of good

Students at their desks

Students sit at new desks that were provided through a grant organized by the Rotary Clubs of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, and Kennebunk Portside, Maine, USA

By Rotary Voices staff

There’s still time to make your year-end gift to The Rotary Foundation. Here are a few ways that your support is helping to change lives all over the world: Continue reading

How Rotary made Jose’s high school graduation possible

Jose with his high school diploma.

Jose with his high school diploma.

By Martha Peak Helman

Rotary members often say that the work we do will change the lives of people we will never have the chance to meet. But nothing could be further from the truth in Jose’s case.

My Rotarian husband and I first met Jose when he was a gawky teen enrolled at Safe Passage, a program that makes it possible for children who live on the Guatemala City garbage dump to go to school and improve their lives. Through Rotary Foundation grants and Rotary involvement, Safe Passage has grown in the past decade into an organization that supports more than 500 children each year, in preschool through high school and beyond.  Continue reading

My Rotary Youth Exchange year in Canada

2014-15 Rotary Youth Exchange students.

2014-15 Rotary Youth Exchange students.

By Gabriela Vessani

I spent a year in Canada as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, and I can’t believe how fast the year went by. On my flight back to Brazil a few months ago, I reflected on the experience, and had so many thoughts.

I remembered arriving with anxiety, and yes, even a little fear. The experience is never entirely what you expect and you can never totally prepare for it. I think that few students go in with a full understanding of how intense and Continue reading