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

Is your club fun?

The San Francisco Evening club makes their presence known during a recent district assembly.

The San Francisco Evening club makes its presence known during a recent district assembly.

By Danielle Lallement, past president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Evening

Walking into our district assembly recently, I looked up and saw fellow club members at the top of the bleachers in crazy wigs and big funky glasses, passing out noisemakers.  When our president-elect, Ehlan Siddiqi, crossed the stage to receive his pin and banner for his presidential year, we raised the roof with our noisemakers and cheers.

This is just one example of the fun and energy that we are trying to create in our district. Our club may have unconventional ideas, but we are bringing  more life and vitality to the organization. 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

Share your project on Rotary Showcase

Rotary Exchange Students help Rotary members in Minnesota pack school materials for a nonprofit in Guatemala.

Rotary Youth Exchange Students help Rotary members in Minnesota pack school materials for a nonprofit in Guatemala.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary clubs in Minnesota, USA, have banded together to send boxes of textbooks to and purchase school supplies for an organization in Guatemala that is helping students from poor families receive an education.

In 2014, the step-daughter of James Benshoof, a member of the Rotary Club of Crystal, New Hope, Robbinsdale, decided to donate dozens of textbooks to Common Hope, a nonprofit based in St. Paul that works to provide educational opportunities, health care, and housing assistance to families outside Antigua Continue reading

Ten years of changing lives in Honduras

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard

By Neal Beard, past president of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

Rotary members from District 6760 returned from Central America on 5 Feburary, after completing a 59-home electrification project in Chaguiton, Honduras. This was the tenth leg of a journey that began in 2006 for my club.

Over the course of the last ten years, the most exciting and rewarding moments of our lives took place not in the office, or on the shop floor, or while sitting in front of a computer screen, but in the remote mountain villages of southern Honduras.

Those moments have been filled with pure emotion. Like the time when a mother and her children looked on as we built a water storage tank and laundry table that would eliminate their Continue reading

Replacing classroom and library books in the Philippines

Volunteers from several clubs in Hawaii help collect and store books to ship to the Philippines.

Volunteers from several clubs in Hawaii help collect and store books to ship to the Philippines.

By Charlene Santala Gearing, public relations chair, Rotary Club of Kapolei Sunset, Hawaii, USA

Are you familiar with the word serendipity? That certainly seems like what has happened for the Rotary Club of Kapolei Sunset, Hawaii.

We started the project to support libraries in the Philippines, but it has turned into a mission of hope and recovery for schools impacted by the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. Our efforts coincided with Hawaii public schools replacing textbooks as they adapted to a changed curriculum.  Continue reading

Preventing leg amputations in the Caribbean

Patients with diabetes receive foot care on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

A patient with diabetes receives foot care on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

By Rotary Voices staff

In 1983, Alan Hudson spent several weeks on the Caribbean Island of Dominica as part of a Rotary Group Study Exchange. He was charmed by the local culture, and the warm welcome he received. So when an opportunity arose in 2012 to help people with diabetes on the island avoid having their legs amputated, Hudson jumped at the chance to give back.

Hudson’s Rotary Club of Hereford Wye Valley, Herefordshire, England, partnered with the Continue reading

More amazing projects on Rotary Showcase

A boy in Belize holds the solar powered light that replaced dangerous Kerosene lamps, provided by Rotary members in Austin, Texas.

A boy in Belize holds the solar powered light that replaces dangerous kerosene lamps, provided by Rotary members in Austin, Texas.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Nigeria banded together to provide 850 children in Nnewi, Anambra State, with medicine to kill a type of intestinal worm transmitted through the soil.

A single 400 milligram tablet of Abendazole deworms the children and kills the parasite, which is prevalent in many areas of Nigeria. The project is an example of Rotary’s work in preventing disease, but also in supporting education, as the parasite affects the children’s ability to concentrate on school work.

Members of the club distributed the tablets in October to an enthusiastic group of school staff and students. The project is just one of many that Rotary members have shared on Rotary Showcase. Continue reading

Amazing projects shared on Rotary Showcase

Women use Hippo Water Rollers in Africa to transport clean drinking water.

Women use Hippo Water Rollers in South Africa to transport clean drinking water.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Juneau, Alaska, USA, are using their loose coins to create big change in different parts of the world.

The Rotary Club of Juneau-Gastineau collects nickels, dimes, and quarters from members in glass jars placed around the room during its weekly meetings. More than $8,000 has been collected since the program began. But more amazingly, the spare change has been turned into more than $39,000 in micro loans, by working through the microfinance website Kiva. Continue reading

Economist explains why it’s worth giving to The Rotary Foundation

The Muso pilot, a project supported by Rotarians in Washington D.C., has significantly reduced deaths from malaria. Photo courtesy of Muso

The Muso pilot, a project supported by Rotarians in Washington D.C., has significantly reduced deaths from malaria. Photo courtesy of Muso

By Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington D.C.

This is November — Foundation month for Rotary. As the co-chair of my club’s Rotary Foundation committee, together with my other co-chairs Nancy Riker and Kenneth Kimbrough, I have been asking members to donate. As an economist, I had to give clear reasons why. So here are my top five reasons to donate: Continue reading