A simple idea benefits many in Mexico

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

By Jon Kaufman

From 2 to 8 July, I led my club’s second H2OpenDoors expedition to central Mexico. The three-year-old Rotary project provides SunSpring water purification systems for poor villages and schools and allows the villages to sell the surplus water from the systems.

The project touches on several of Rotary’s areas of focus: providing clean water, building peace (by combating poverty), and educating youth.

We bring along a dozen or so students, as well as a few teachers, so they can see how a simple idea can become a project and benefit thousands of people. We hope the students return to their schools empowered to make a difference. Continue reading

Pakistan Rotary members distribute free books

Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.

Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

Back in June, my Rotary club partnered with the Hashoo Foundation to distribute books to schoolchildren in Rawalpindi during a ceremony held at St. Mary’s Academy.

Through the Rotary Books for the World program, Rotary members in Pakistan are working with the Hashoo Foundation to actively promote education throughout Pakistan, and to help our country meet the Millennium Development Goals for literacy set by the United Nations. The books and educational material help teachers and students increase their knowledge, enhance classroom learning, and promote community development. Continue reading

Rio Branco School for the Deaf

The video above aired during the convention Sunday, showing how São Paulo Rotary clubs are improving their communities. , founded in 1977 by Fundação de Rotarianos de São Paulo, offers a free education for deaf children from low-income households. The school is dedicated to develop and socialize deaf children into a predominantly hearing society with a carefully planned out curriculum.

Students learn through advanced educational and technical resources, including Libras – the Brazilian Language of Signs until the fifth grade of elementary school. After the sixth year, through the School Continuity Program, a partnership with the Colégio Rio Branco and associate school, deaf students are fully integrated into classes with hearing students.

Interactors aim to score a goal with soccer ball project

Interactors from California show off a  high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

Interactors from California show off a high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Soccer is not just a passion for Brazilians, it’s a way of life. It’s tradition. Entire industries are dedicated to the sport.

So it came as no surprise to me to walk by a booth in the House of Friendship and see people kicking a ball around. But these were no ordinary soccer balls. They’re made from high-tech indestructible rubber. You can puncture a hole in one of these balls or cut it down the middle, and it will still be playable. Continue reading

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

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!

Putting books in the hands of children

Children read books they received through Gyan Jyot, a program of the Rotary Club of Baroda Sayajinagari.

Children read books they received through Gyan Jyot, a program of the Rotary Club of Baroda Sayajinagari.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Gujarat, India, have launched a program to put books into the hands of children from low income families who cannot afford them, or whose schools lack large library collections.

Gyan Jyot is a program of the Rotary Club of Baroda Sayajinagari. For as little as $3,000, the club purchases and circulates a variety of reading material to students, who get to pick a book of their choice a week to read at no cost. Continue reading

Two of the most exciting words in Rotary

150413_solowBy Kenneth Solow, incoming governor of District 7620 (Maryland, USA)

Can you picture Dr. John Sever, member of the Rotary Club of Potomac, Maryland, asking Rotary’s 1979-1980 Board, at the request of RI President Clem Renouf, to imagine “what if” Rotary adopted the goal of a polio-free world?” The rest is history.

Recently the Zone 33-34 class of incoming district governors asked a different “what if” question. What if the Rotary districts in Zone 33-34 combined to fund an international project using a global grant from the Rotary Foundation?  If they could pull it off, the financial contribution from each district would be relatively small, but the impact of their combined effort would be gigantic. The result of asking that “what if” question is the unprecedented cooperation of twenty-two districts to fund a Rotary Family Health Day in the country of Ghana in Africa next year. Continue reading

A day at the orphanage

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage. Photo courtesy of Yomi Lawson

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo, Lagos State, Nigeria, decided to celebrate 110 years of Rotary by donating supplies to a Red Cross orphanage that provides a home for 200 abandoned or vulnerable children. The club delivered 10 packs of diapers, 150 liters of diesel fuel, two cartons of infant formula, ten crates of eggs, two cartons of biscuits, five cartons of noodles, three cartons of fruit drink, and detergent. Members stayed to play with the children after dropping off the goods.

Providing safe drinking water in rural Kenya

Michiko Mitarai shows Ugandan villagers a Japanese method for drawing water from a well.

Michiko Mitarai shows Kenyan villagers a Japanese method for drawing water from a well.

By Michiko Mitarai, Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo

Rotary has changed my life in many ways. Through Rotary, I have discovered the world is a bigger place and I have been able to visit parts of it that I would never have been able to if I hadn’t joined.

As a member of the Rotary club of Tokyo Hiroo, I traveled to rural communities in Kenya with members of four different Rotary clubs. We visited 14 wells that our club supported. In Funyula, near the border of Uganda, we even stayed at the house of a member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi East, who was once a member of our club while he served as the Kenyan Ambassador to Japan. Continue reading