Helping Afghan girls get an education

Beth Murphy

Beth Murphy

Beth Murphy, a founder of the film production company Principle Pictures and a director, producer, and author, will speak at the second plenary session of the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo. Murphy is the director/producer of “What Tomorrow Brings,” a documentary about Rotary member Razia Jan’s work founding a school for girls in Afghanistan, and “Beyond Belief,” which follows two women who lost their husbands on September 11, 2001. Learn more about Murphy and find information on our other convention speakers.

Medical camp delivers the gift of sight

A member of the medical team inspect a patient for cataracts.

A member of the medical team inspect a patient for cataracts.

By Himal Pandya, past president of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal, Gujarat, India

Every year, our club has arranged multiple medical camps in and around the town of Uttarkashi. We began the effort two years ago when heavy flooding struck the state of Uttarakhand, and our charter president risked landslides and other perils to help deliver 1,200 cooking stoves and other supplies to flood victims. We struck up a close association with Rotary members in Uttarkashi about 1,000 miles from our city.

It is a great and most satisfactory experience performing humanitarian service miles from home. This year, seven committed medical Continue reading

Enjoy Ivete Sangalo’s music at the Closing Plenary Session

Ivete Sangalo

Ivete Sangalo

Brazilian music superstar Ivete Sangalo, a Latin Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, will perform at the closing plenary session of the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo, 9 June. Sangalo’s music is a high-energy fusion of Afro-Brazilian sounds called axé. She made her recording debut as lead singer of the group Banda Eva in 1993 on the album Banda Eva Ao Vivo, which included the 1994 carnival hit “Adeus Bye Bye.” After leaving Banda Eva, Sangalo made her solo album debut in 1999 and has since topped the charts with several albums and won numerous musical accolades.

Continue reading

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

Get the most out of the convention with our mobile app

150518_mobileapp2Plan your schedule, get the latest update on featured speakers and entertainment, download session handouts, and connect with friends using our convention mobile app. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned convention goer, this app will help you get the most out of your convention experience. You’ll be able to:

  • Navigate the convention venue and House of Friendship with interactive maps
  • Create a schedule of events and sessions
  • Upload your photos to the convention photo album
  • Rate sessions and provide feedback to convention organizers

You don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use the app. Once you’ve downloaded it, the information remains available to you offline. Download it for free in iTunes, Google Play and Blackberry.

Rotary club meets on a train

Members of the Rotary Club of Pune Deccan Queen meet on the passenger train between Pune and Mumbai.

Members of the Rotary Club of Pune Deccan Queen meet on the passenger train between Pune and Mumbai.

By Deepak Shikarpur, past district governor

On the Deccan Queen Express, an Indian passenger train that connects Mumbai with Pune, members of the Rotary Club of Pune Deccan Queen conduct their weekly meeting. It may very well be the only Rotary club in the world that meets on a train.

The Deccan Queen is one of the most popular trains in the sector and a daily means of transportation for thousands commuting between the two cities. The idea was first proposed in 2012, but since the route crosses through two Rotary districts, it took a while to reach agreement the club would be considered to meet in District 3131 (which includes Pune).

Every Thursday, members get together in a special car for pass holders. There are 25 members at the moment, and prominent citizens traveling on the train are invited as speakers. We have conducted community service projects including health checkup camps for train porters and railway staff, and made infrastructure improvements to the station in Pune. We are planning to begin monthly fellowship meetings in the city so members can bring their family and they, too, can experience the joy of Rotary.

Find a Rotary club near you

Pakistan picnic benefits blind children

Children gather in the park for a Rotary-sponsored picnic in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Children gather in the park for a Rotary-sponsored picnic in Islamabad, Pakistan.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, president of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

My club recently arranged a picnic for children who have visual impairments or learning delays at the Lake View Park in Islamabad. We were able to partner with True Site, an organization dedicated to the welfare of blind children, through our Rotary member Shehzad Javed, who is secretary general of the organization.

The children enjoyed rides in the park, a visit to a bird aviary, and a healthy lunch provided by the Rotary club. It was a great picnic, enjoyed by the children to the fullest. What better example to the community of the power of Rotary!

Learn how India became polio-free

Dr. Hamid Jafari

Dr. Hamid Jafari

You’ll have a chance to hear from one of the masterminds behind India’s successful drive to become polio-free during the Rotary convention in São Paulo, 6-9 June. Dr. Hamid Jafari will deliver the keynote speech of the Monday, 8 June, plenary session. As a medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working with the World Health Organization, Jafari led the polio eradication project in India from 2007 to 2012. India’s polio cases dropped from hundreds each year when he took the job to zero in 2011. India was officially declared polio-free in 2014 after a three-year certification period. Continue reading

Tips for smarter fundraising

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

I’m not a huge donor with the capability of making or breaking your club’s fundraising campaign. At least not yet. And I am fully aware Rotary isn’t just a fundraising organization. But we do need funds to carry on our service projects and do good in the world.

So here are a few of my ideas for how to put fun back in your fundraiser, and increase your reach and effectiveness. Continue reading