What is your image of Rotary?

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a regular contributor to this blog

If you are a member of Rotary, you probably already know that it’s one of the largest and oldest service organizations, that we try to attract good people and equip them to be even better, and that we are all about doing good works in our local communities. But what does the general public think about Rotary? Continue reading

Discussing maternal health in Canada

Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime MInister Stephen Harper, addresses Rotary members in Canada during a recent Rotary Day.

Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, addresses Rotary members in Canada during a recent Rotary Day.

By Douglas W. Vincent, Rotary Club of Woodstock-Oxford, Ontario, Canada

In January, the Rotary Club of Mississauga Meadowvale hosted a Rotary Day event exploring what we as Rotary members can do to improve the health of mothers and their children, through our club projects and working with the United Nations. Rotary has had a long-standing relationship with the UN dating all the way back to its formation, and improving maternal health and reducing child mortality are two of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

We invited a special guest, Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Continue reading

Golf marathon raises money for polio eradication

Jerry Venters (left) and Rger Samuel, members of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, show the played 100 holes of golf, adding the "This Close" gesture.

Jerry Venters (left) and Roger Samuel, members of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, show they played 100 holes of golf, adding the “This Close” gesture.

By Jerry Venters,  a  member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza

Some golfers played 54 holes, some played 65 holes. Others played 100 holes, and one played 126 holes. All in a single day in September, in a drive to raise money to help eradicate polio. And, oh, how they succeeded!

In our district’s first-ever Pars v. Polio Golf Marathon, Rotary members in District 6040 (north Missouri) raised $42,530 in pledges and donations. When you figure in the Bill & Melinda Gates pledge to match 2-to-1 every dollar that Continue reading

Sesame Street Muppet invites you to the World Water Summit

Raya, one of the newest Muppets from Sesame Workshop, is pretty excited about the World Water Summit in Sao Paulo Brazil on 4 June, 2015, immediately before the Rotary Convention. As Raya explains in the video above (with Marga Hewko, wife of RI General Secretary John Hewko, and past RI President Bill Boyd), Rotary is all about clean water and sanitation for children everywhere. This year’s summit focuses on water and sanitation in schools.

Sesame Workshop introduced Raya last year with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to teach the TV show’s millions of viewers in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria about sanitation and hygiene. Look for Raya at the World Water Summit.

Attending a Rotary convention is one of the great benefits of membership. This year in Sao Paulo, you’ll have a chance to enjoy great speakers, connect with other members over a great cup of coffee, dance the night away Brazilian style, and so much more. Register today.

A day at Chulalongkorn studying peace

Rotary Peace Fellows attend the first week of classes at Chulalongkorn, Bangkok, Thailand.

Rotary Peace Fellows attend the first week of classes at Chulalongkorn, Bangkok, Thailand.

By Marty Peak Helman, Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA

My husband, Frank, and I were recently invited to sit in on a day of classes during the first week of the current Rotary Peace Center’s certificate program, held at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Every year, Rotary selects 50 mid-life professionals in a worldwide search to come to Bangkok for three months to study peace and conflict resolution.

As I looked around the room, I realized that
I was surrounded by professionals who Continue reading

Preventing leg amputations in the Caribbean

Patients with diabetes receive foot care on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

A patient with diabetes receives foot care on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

By Rotary Voices staff

In 1983, Alan Hudson spent several weeks on the Caribbean Island of Dominica as part of a Rotary Group Study Exchange. He was charmed by the local culture, and the warm welcome he received. So when an opportunity arose in 2012 to help people with diabetes on the island avoid having their legs amputated, Hudson jumped at the chance to give back.

Hudson’s Rotary Club of Hereford Wye Valley, Herefordshire, England, partnered with the Continue reading

The amazing role of Australians in eradicating polio

Susanne Rea and a friend during her visit to India.

Susanne Rea and a friend during her visit to India.

By Susanne Rea, past president of the Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise, Queensland, Australia

I was four-years-old when I contracted polio. I was fortunate to have made a complete recovery, but defeating polio has remained personal for me. I am also proud to be an Aussie. You can bet I was cheering loudly during the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney when our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced a pledge of $100 million over five years to help eradicate polio.

On Australia Day (26 January), I reflected on the significant contribution Australians have had on polio eradication. Past RI President Clem Renouf (1978-79) had the vision to involve Rotary in ridding the world of this crippling disease. Rotary member Jenny Horton has spent her life on the front lines, immunizing children against polio in endemic countries. Continue reading

Rotary Peace Fellow: storytelling can build peace

Kiran Sirah speaks at the International Assembly 21 January. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Kiran Sirah speaks at the International Assembly 22 January. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Kiran Sirah is the executive director of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He graduated from the Rotary Peace Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a Master of Arts in Folklore. The following is a excerpt from his speech 22 January at the International Assembly, a training event for incoming leaders in San Diego, California, USA.

There is a saying: The world is like a book, and those who do not travel will only ever have read the first page. For me storytelling is a way of traveling the world. Why? Because it enables us to be inspired, to follow our dreams, and to realize that our stories belong to a world full of stories just waiting to unfold.

Continue reading

Why telling Rotary’s story is so important

Rotary Director-elect Jennifer E. Jones talks about the importance of Rotary's brand.

Rotary Director-elect Jennifer E. Jones talks about the importance of Rotary’s brand. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

More than a year ago, Rotary leaders launched the Strengthening Rotary initiative to enhance and simplify the organization’s story, visual identity, and digital experience. While Rotary’s recognition on the global scale is strong, our image can still use strengthening in local communities.

Speakers at Rotary’s annual training event for leaders in San Diego, California, USA, this week challenged incoming district governors to champion Rotary’s brand in their districts and make sure that their clubs support the effort to tell Rotary’s story in a clear and compelling way. Here’s what a few incoming governors had to say about the initiative: Continue reading

Sesame Street health crusader visits Rotary leaders

Past RI President Bill Boyd and Raya

Past RI President Bill Boyd and Raya. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

Rotary leaders received a surprise visit Monday from Raya, one of Sesame Street’s newest puppets, during their annual training exercise in San Diego.

Raya joined past RI President Bill Boyd on stage during the third general session of the 2015 International Assembly, joking about how cool Rotary’s emblem looked and chatting with Boyd about toilets.

Sesame Workshop introduced Raya last year with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to teach the TV show’s millions of young viewers in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria about sanitation and hygiene.

Continue reading