Solar lamp project delivers light in Belize

Residents of a remote village in the Toledo district of Belize use their solar lamps.

By Audrey Cochran, a member of the Rotary Club of Northwest Austin, Texas, USA

Tonight Amelia Ramirez sits with her younger siblings at their kitchen table. A stack of books sit on the table and Amelia smiles as she reads. She no longer fears being burned by a kerosene lamp. The fumes that had irritated her eyes and made her cough are gone. She no longer begs her mother to stop before her school work is done because of the heat, the bugs, and the fumes caused by the kerosene lamp she was previously forced to use. Amelia’s family received a solar lamp from Rotary District 5870. Continue reading

Unique field experience cements Peace Fellow’s desire to pursue human rights

Laurie Smolenski, right, with her Rotary Peace Fellow class at the University of Queensland.

By Laurie Smolenski, 2015-17 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

I’ve just completed 18 months as a Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. A highlight was spending three months in Mexico City for my applied field experience. This is a cornerstone of the University’s Peace Fellow program, through which Fellows take on a project or internship outside of Australia. I interned with the Mexico City office of the MacArthur Foundation, which supports peace and justice initiatives globally. Continue reading

The benefits of a friendship exchange

The Rotary Friendship Exchange team from North Carolina, USA, visits India. Blog author Chandan is in the middle in shorts.

By Kamlesh (Kam) Chandan, assistant governor for District 7680 and a member of the Rotary Club of Lake Norman/Huntersville, North Carolina, USA 

In February, I had the opportunity to lead our first outbound friendship exchange to my home away from home – India. Rotary Friendship Exchange is an international exchange program for Rotary members and friends that allows participants to take turns hosting one another in their homes and clubs. Exchanges offer unique chances for cultural immersion and interchange.  Continue reading

3 tips for using social media to create a buzz

Evan Burrell using social media to create a buzz

By Evan Burrell, Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

I’m sure your club puts a lot of effort into planning events like fundraising dinners, charity golf days, car shows, and changeovers ceremonies. You probably focus right down to the smallest detail. So why not put that much effort into promoting your event on social media? Continue reading

Overcoming Ebola, poverty to educate children in Liberia

Students at African Dream Academy in Liberia.

By Samuel R. Enders, Rotary Club of Yonkers-East Yonkers, New York, USA

On the 1st of July, the African Dream Academy successfully concluded our 2016-17 academic year, our sixth year educating the children of Liberia. Despite lingering effects of the Ebola outbreak (2014-15) in our country and many other poverty-related obstacles, we were able to educate 945 children this year, and provide free health care to 17,000 children under the age of six. Continue reading

Mobile blood bank saves lives in Saint Lucia

Malcolm Charles

By Malcolm Charles, past president of the Rotary Club of St. Lucia, Saint Lucia

One day while visiting with my mom over lunch, I heard over her portable transistor radio a call for people with Type O positive blood to come to the local hospital to give blood in preparation for a patient surgery later that day.

I asked my mom if she knew my blood type, because I didn’t. But she didn’t know, either. So I drove to the nearest health clinic in her area to Continue reading

New award celebrates success of women in Rotary

Tory Paxson, right, with Dr. Sylvia Whitlock.

By Tory Paxson, Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA

On Tuesday, 13 June, we sat down in a cool auditorium in the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, for the first annual Women in Rotary Event. The four of us sitting together were all women, all members of my Rotary club, and all at our very first Rotary International Convention. We were unaware of the impact this event was about to have on us. But then, the lights began to dim. Continue reading

My first convention was amazing for the whole family

Smera Chandan (third from left) making new friends in the House of Friendship in Atlanta.

By Kamlesh (Kam) Chandan, president of the Rotary Club of Lake Norman/Huntersville, North Carolina, USA

As a club president, I attended my first Rotary convention this year in Atlanta with my parents, my children, and my wife. It was a special moment celebrating the end of the Rotary year with my family and with friends from all over the world. I enjoyed connecting with other Rotarians, listening to great speakers, learning about the global impact of Rotary, and celebrating 100 years of The Rotary Foundation. Continue reading

Why attend a Rotary convention?

The House of Friendship is a great place to connect with other Rotary members during a convention. It’s not too early to register for the 2018 Convention in Toronto, Canada.

By Maud Huey Kenyon, Rotary Club of Boulder Valley, Colorado, USA

As I contemplated the survey I received from Rotary for attendees of the 2017 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, I had a chance to reflect on the four conventions I have been to. I think the program put together for the Atlanta Convention was both forward thinking and full of fresh perspectives. Here are my reasons why you should consider attending a convention. Continue reading

The most important thing in the world

Jessica Compton enjoys the view on Mount Sunday, located in the middle of the South Island in Kakatere Conservation Park.

By Jessica Compton, Rotary Global Grant Scholar to New Zealand

As a child, I dreamed of teaching. But it took until my junior year of college to return to that dream. My undergraduate coursework had prepared me for the content, if not the pedagogical strategies, to effectively engage and teach adolescents English – reading, listening and viewing; writing, speaking, and presenting. Continue reading