Building connections with young professionals

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with David Knight, a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, during a recent meeting.

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with Rotaractor David Knight during a recent meeting.

By Jeris Gaston, Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA

At the recent Rotary International Convention in São Paulo, Brazil, there were several breakout sessions geared toward the next generation of Rotarians. The one that stood out the most for me was “thirtysomething: How Clubs/Districts Can Provide Rotary Experiences for Young Professionals,” moderated by John Smola, a past president of my club, and Christa Papavasiliou, of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Continue reading

Perhaps a fifth test: Is it fun?

David Postic, left, and other members of the Rotaract and Interact Committee had fun posing for this photo in December at Rotary’s headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Rotary International/Alyce Henson

David Postic, left, and other members of the Rotaract and Interact Committee had fun posing for this photo in December at Rotary’s headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Rotary International/Alyce Henson

By David Postic, a member of the Rotaract and Interact Committee and a past president of the Rotaract Club of Norman, Oklahoma, USA

We all know and love The Four-Way Test. In many ways, it’s an improvement on the age-old golden rule that you should treat others the way you wish to be treated. It’s a guide for living, a tool for decision making, a moral code. While Rotary has been served well by these four questions, they may not be enough in an era in which Rotary is trying to appeal to more people and have a broader impact.

There is another crucial question that we as Rotary members must always ask ourselves, and it is this: Is it fun? Continue reading

Rotaractors enjoy special deals to Rotary’s Carnival

150424_carnivalRotaractors who register for the convention can attend Rotary’s Carnival for free! Don’t miss your chance to experience the energy and color of a typical Brazilian Carnival party. To receive your complimentary ticket, stop by the HOC ticket booth in the House of Friendship and present your convention badge.

If you register for the Rotaract Preconvention only, you can attend Rotary’s Carnival event for half price. Go online to purchase your ticket at the discounted rate of $15. You’ll receive an email confirmation to present at the HOC ticket booth.

Four countries meet to tackle malaria

Members of Rotaract clear blocked ditches and conduct other improvements in the Nyalenda settlement of Kenya.

Members of Rotaract clear blocked ditches and conduct other improvements in the Nyalenda settlement of Kenya.

By Kenneth Masamaro, Rotaract Club of Kisumu, Kenya

On 3 April, we hosted a malaria prevention program in Kisumu, Kenya, as part of the third year of Rotaract East Africa Impact (REACT). The project is a multi-district initiative that brings together Rotaract clubs from throughout Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

More than 100 members from 19 different Rotaract clubs across these countries travelled to the lakeside city to make a difference in the informal settlement of Nyalenda. A story is told of a young boy who was four years old and had many dreams ahead of him. One evening, the boy developed fevers and refused to eat. Though his mother had a premonition about it, she decided to brush it aside. The preceding week, her other two children, a boy and girl, developed fevers and had reduced appetites but their symptoms had resolved on their own. Continue reading

Audio books for the visually impaired

A member of the Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Sicily, records a section of an audio book.

A member of the Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Sicily, records a section of an audio book.

By Mirko Gangi, Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Siciliy

There are many visually impaired children in Italy and Sicily who lack teaching materials and educational aids. The purchase and distribution of books in Braille is difficult, there is only one distribution house in Sicily, and the cost of audio books is very high.The present economic crisis and lack of public funds also does not help.

So as members of Rotaract, we joined together with the Rotary Club of Caltanissetta to record and produce three audio books which we distributed to 750 Continue reading

Working together, we get more done

Members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact join community health workers in a cleaning up an impoverished neighborhood near Naivasha, Kenya.

Members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact join community health workers in cleaning up an impoverished community near Naivasha, Kenya.

By Joe Kamau, service project chair for the Rotary Club of Naivasha, Kenya

My Rotary club recently completed a very successful Rotary At Work Day in January where we cleaned up a poor community near Naivasha, Kenya.

This activity was truly a collaborative and inter-generational effort, bringing together members of the Interact Club of Trinity Mission School, the Rotaract Club of Naivasha, members of Rotary, friends, community health workers, and local government officials. Continue reading

The benefits of Rotary: friends wherever you go

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a former member of Rotaract

It’s nice to have connections in a foreign country. That’s what makes Rotary International so, um, international! Whether you’re travelling for work, or for leisure, you can visit a Rotary club almost anywhere you go. And one of the benefits of being a Rotary member is that you are certain to make new friends, and find valuable local information to enhance your stay, while you are at it.

Need to know the best things to see during your stay? Where to eat? You might even find someone who has a room to rent for cheap. Continue reading

Rotaract members in Germany “Make it Happen”

Doris Grimm and two fellow Rotaract leaders.

Doris Grimm (middle) and two fellow Rotaract leaders.

By Doris Grimm, Rotaract representative District 1860 (Mannheim, Germany). This is the third in a series of blog posts about women making a difference in Rotary leading up to International Women’s Day 8 March.

In Germany, International Women’s Day plays a rather subordinate role, even though two German women proposed the first women’s day in 1910. Nevertheless, I personally think that having an International Women’s Day, where we specifically look into gender equality and women’s rights, is an important observation we should not miss. In her speech at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2014, Emma Watson, ambassador of the UN-campaign “He for She” declared that up till now there is not a single country in the world which has achieved gender equality. Continue reading

Why we need to share Rotary’s good news

Nisha Kotecha

Nisha Kotecha

By Nisha Kotecha, president of the Rotaract Club of Hampstead, Hendon and Golders Green, England

I know a Rotary Club that has changed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of young people over the years. I know this because I have attended some of their meetings. And because I am one of the lives they have changed.

The Rotary club I am referring to is one of the largest in London, so they don’t need to generate publicity around their activities. Or do they? 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