Why not spice up your next installation dinner?

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

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

I’ve been a member of Rotary since 1989, and I have never heard of or participated in a changing of the guard ceremony like the one held in District 6040, Missouri, USA, this year. It had more energy and enthusiasm, participation, and fun than any I’ve attended!

The district governor for 2014-15, Cassy Venters (full disclosure here: my wife) began thinking two years earlier about how she could make the event different and uphold the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self. She chose to make it a service project with our local food bank, Harvesters – The Community Food Network. Continue reading

10 tips to enhance your next service project

Young professionals and university students may have unique insights into a community’s needs, offer technical skills and expertise as volunteers or fundraisers, and be adept at promoting your project through social media

Young professionals and university students may have unique insights that can assist your service project.

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary staff

Your Rotary club has decided to do a service project. You’ve met with the local community and determined the needs they identify as the most pressing. You’ve put together a project plan, and are ready to roll up your sleeves and get started. Now what?

Here are 10 practical tips from the webinar, Lifecycle of a Service Project, Part 3, which focus on acquiring the resources you need to carry out an effective and sustainable project: Continue reading

Roundup: Must-read posts of the month

By Rotary Voices staff

Here are some of our favorite blog posts from the past month, which focus on the transforming power of Rotary Youth Exchanges, the good work being done by Rotary Scholars around the world, and how to make the most of social media.

Share a link to your favorite blog post in the comments section below.

Touching the hearts of thousands through Rotary service

Viral Purohit

Viral Purohit

By Suman Ramesh, a member of the Rotary Club of Lago-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria

For several years, our club has had the privilege of being part of an eye camp that provides free surgeries to patients with limited access to care in Nigeria. There is nothing quite like witnessing the joy on the face of a patient who arrives with limited vision, and leaves with the ability to see.

We team up with the medical staff from the Eye Institute in Navsari, India, to sponsor the camp, treating nearly a thousand patients in the Nigerian states of Lagos and Ogun spread over 10 days. Patients are screened and pre-surgery tests conducted for four to five weeks prior to the camp, drawing crowds of needy people, many of them suffering cataracts and similar eye conditions. It is very common for our club to receive calls from cataract patients inquiring about the dates of our camp. Continue reading

Providing women the Right to Go in rural India

A woman stands in front of her toilet block in Sogav, India.

A woman stands in front of her toilet block in Sogav, India.

By Atul Bhide, immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Thane Hills, India

Less than 80 kilometers (49.6 miles) from the urban centers of Mumbai and Thane, India, lies the village of Sogav in Shahapur Taluka. Here, like in many villages in India, women and girls face the daily indignity of having to walk miles in the early hours to find a safe and discreet place to relieve themselves.

A simple bodily need that many of us take for granted exposes these women and children to hygiene and safety risks every day. It is a difficult situation under normal circumstances, but when these women experience any kind of sickness or health concern, their experience becomes appalling. Continue reading

Taking the law to the streets

Students in Washington, D.C., USA, learn basic legal concepts from the Street Law curriculum.

Students in Washington, D.C., USA, learn basic legal concepts from the Street Law curriculum.

By Divya Wodon and Naina Wodon, Interact Club of Washington International School, and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Washington, Washington D.C., USA.

Why do you teach the children to jump up at our throat? This question was once asked by an unhappy South African high school principal to Ed O’Brien, a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., USA, and founder of Street Law, a nonprofit that strives to teach individuals and communities, especially in underserved areas, about the law. Continue reading

Safe drinking water for every child

Rotary members tour one of the schools that received water coolers and purification systems.

Rotary members tour one of the schools that received water coolers and purification systems.

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

Earlier this month, Rotary members from Pakistan and India joined together to provide clean drinking water to two government-run schools in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Continue reading

Operation Life Jacket saves lives

Donated life jackets in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

Donated life jackets in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

By Sergio Santi, International Commodore of the Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians

In September of 2012, we heard from Bill Kosar, a new member of the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians from Kenya, that fishermen or ferry passengers were drowning in local waters every week because of a lack of life jackets. We knew we had to do something to help. Continue reading

What kind of a doctor are you?

Don Messer with students from Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Don Messer with students from Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

By Divya Wodon and Naina Wodon, Interact Club of Washington International School, and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Washington, D.C.,USA

How come you know so much? What kind of a doctor are you? The child who asked this question to (Dr.) Don Messer is from the Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The school is located in Anacostia, one of the poorest parts of the city. Until recently, few children passed the mathematics and reading tests, but things have improved, in part because of a tutoring program run by Don. 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