New action group unites leaders to protect endangered species

Jane Goodall joins the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species’ “Say No!” campaign to promote animal conservation. Photo courtesy of RAGES

Jane Goodall joins the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species’ “Say No!” campaign to promote animal conservation. Photo courtesy of RAGES

By Philip Merritt, vice chair of the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species and a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat Clark, Pampanga, Philippines

About three years ago, Rotary member John Glassford sent a message to the Rotarians on the Internet (ROTI) Fellowship’s discussion list asking if anyone had any ideas on how we could help stop the poaching of elephants. I responded: “Why don’t we start a Rotarian Action Group (RAG)?”, and from that point forward, it was a long journey to finally get the Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species (RAGES) recognized by the RI Board in January. Continue reading

Recycling old shoes to protect the environment

Shoes collected during the drive.

Shoes collected during the drive.

By Anit Thapaliya, president of the Rotaract Club of Pashupati Kathmandu, Nepal

We collected more than 1,100 pairs of used shoes to be recycled and reused as part of our project “Yes Dear, You Change Before the Climate.” It proved that we can teach others to change their behaviors before our climate changes, for the worse.

We set out with the help of Working Hands, a local nongovernmental organization, to convince people to give us their old shoes
instead of throwing them away. Shoes take Continue reading

How Rotary supports the environment

140422_earthday_smallOn Earth Day, billions of people worldwide take action to protect our planet by holding demonstrations, cleaning up their communities, planting trees, contacting elected officials, or otherwise showing their support for renewable energy and conservation. Follow the links below to learn how Rotary clubs are committed to the environment, particularly through managing our vital resources and providing clean water. Continue reading

Fighting indoor air pollution in Nepal

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

By Yale Jones, Rotary Club of Taos-Milagro, New Mexico, USA

I first met George Basch when he joined our Rotary Club some years ago. In 2009 we spent two weeks together hiking in the Upper Mustang region in Nepal, one of the main areas now served by the Himalayan Stove Project. 

In 2010, George’s desire to give back to the people of the Himalayas, an area he loves and has visited often, led to a plan to distribute clean-burning, vented cook stoves for free. Continue reading

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

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

How your gift to The Rotary Foundation changes lives

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

By Rotary staff

Leonor Fraser and other members of her Rotary club arrived in Masaya, Nicaragua, ready to deliver shoes to the elementary schoolchildren and play with them.

It immediately became apparent that the school, located near a diesel plant, had bigger problems. The plant emitted pollutants into the air, which made the children and teachers lethargic, and the cracked building had no sanitation facilities. Fraser had difficulty breathing during her visit. Continue reading

Milwaukee club celebrates its centennial with an arboretum

The stone arch has become  a signature icon of the new arboretum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Milwaukee

The stone arch has become a signature of the new arboretum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Milwaukee

By Jim Barry, member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

In 2007, when I was president of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, we started to look ahead to celebrating our 100th year in 2013. We put out a call to our members to identify a grand gift we could make to the community to commemorate our centennial.

That seed grew into the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, which opened this past September – a beautiful new natural space in the heart of the city, reclaimed from post-industrial land.  Continue reading

Club project tackles water crisis with technology, soul

Jon Kaufman, left, and team members hold up three fingers, signifying water, education, and peace, during the installation of a SunSpring.

Jon Kaufman, left, and team members hold up three fingers, signifying water, education, and peace, during the installation of a SunSpring.

By Jon Kaufman, a member of the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise (Redwood City/Menlo Park), California, USA

When we launched our club’s project, H2OpenDoors, we said that the world’s water crisis can be solved with a little technology and a whole lot of soul.

With our first two installations completed at two hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand in February 2013, we are now preparing for the next in Myanmar. Continue reading

Daily litter walk improves your health, and your community

Robin Roberts picks up trash during his daily litter walk.

Robin Roberts picks up trash during his daily litter walk.

By Robin Roberts, a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile West, Mobile, Alabama

Would you like an a easy way to change the world?  What if there was a project you could start today, in your own neighborhood regardless of where you live?  Implementing it requires no fundraising and no committee approval. You can take part starting today. It improves your mind, body and spirit and improves your environment too.

Here’s the idea: Every day take a daily litter walk. You will be happier, you will be leaner, and your community will be cleaner. Continue reading