Leaders, members must work together for an effective club

AP Singh

Amrit Pal Singh

By Amrit Pal Singh, immediate past president, Rotary Club Chandigarh, India

For a Rotary club to be effective, it must be active in all avenues of service. It must also create a positive public image and be a catalyst for promoting peace and understanding globally. The key to achieving this lies in the members. Without members, there is no club, and without effective members, clubs cannot be effective. Continue reading

My first Rotaract Preconvention

Viviana Bennett (middle) and friends at the Rotaract Preconvention in Hamburg, Germany.

By Viviana Bennett, president, Plano Community Rotaract Club, Texas, USA

I get very excited when it comes to Rotary events, and the 2019 Rotaract Preconvention was no exception. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my Rotary journey so far. I attended my first Preconvention and Convention in Hamburg, Germany, in 2019, and had an amazing experience meeting fellow Rotaractors and Rotarians from all around the world. Continue reading

New Programs of Scale grants for new year

Using global grant funding, Rotary members provided a well, water tower, and new fountains to a village in Benin.

By Victor Barnes, Director of Programs & Grants

In 2013, Rotary set out on its new grant model under the Future Vision Plan, in the hopes that the approach would enhance the scope, impact, and sustainability of humanitarian projects. More than six years later, and with over $460 million invested in almost 7,000 projects across the globe, Rotary is ready to augment these critical investments with a new grant type. Beginning January 2020, Rotary International is introducing a highly selective, competitive grant model that empowers Rotarians to implement large-scale, high impact projects with experienced partners. Continue reading

Resolve to protect the Rotary brand in the new year

Amanda Wendt

Amanda Wendt

By Amanda Wendt, vice chair of the RI Communications Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I recently saw a story on television about a West Papuan woman who received life-changing facial surgery to fix a a deformity which had caused her a lifetime of struggling to eat, drink and speak. Members of the Rotary Club of Liverpool West and Bendigo Strathdale flew the woman to Australia for the surgery. I was instinctively moved to share the story immediately with my network, congratulating the team involved and expressing how truly proud I was at that moment to be a Rotarian.

I’m sure many of my fellow Rotary members can relate to this feeling. We’ve all experienced pride when our Rotarian friends locally or abroad have helped change the world. But this instance made me realize that we have something else that communicates that sense of pride and it is valuable to preserve and promote. Continue reading

Building Positive Peace in Venezuela

Mauricio Pernía-Reyes

Mauricio Pernía-Reyes leads a class on Positive Peace in Venezuela.

Mauricio Pernía-Reyes

Mauricio Pernía-Reyes

By Mauricio R. Pernía-Reyes, president of the Rotary Club of San Cristóbal Metropolitano, Venezuela

I recently discovered a valuable resource on Rotary’s website that has strengthened my club’s efforts to serve our community and build peace. When I was selected to serve as club president for the 2019-20 year, I wanted to expand my understanding of the resources that Rotary makes available online and through social networks. That is when I found the Rotary Positive Peace Academy. Continue reading

Collect, contribute, connect to end polio

Stamp fundraiser

Employees from Myjob in Mauritius support the stamp fundraiser for polio eradication.

By Nurveen Ratty, Rotary Club of Floreal, Mauritius

As Rotarians, we pride ourselves in taking collective action to create lasting change. And our fight to eradicate polio is without a doubt one of our finest efforts. For World Polio Day on 24 October, my club wanted to plan something different. We wanted an activity where anyone could donate their time, their funds, and their voice simultaneously, regardless of where they were in the world. Continue reading

Event brings together Peace Fellows, Nobel laureates

Rotary Peace Fellows at Mexico summit

Rotary Peace Fellows at the Nobel Peace Summit (from left to right): Lauren Coffaro (University of Bradford); Summer Lewis (University of Queensland); Rosalvina Otálora (Universidad del Salvador); Jorge Meruvia (International Christian University)

By Summer Lewis, Rotary Peace Fellow and coordinator of the Rotary-Institute for Economics and Peace Partnership

It’s not often that you get to spend International Peace Day, 21 September, surrounded by more than 30 Nobel Peace laureates and 1,200 young peacebuilders. But thanks to my network of connections with Rotary Peace Fellows, I was able to do just that and bring 30 Rotaractors, Rotarians, and Peace Fellows from the United States, Mexico, and Colombia with me to the 17th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Continue reading

How we created five new clubs in under a year

Shah and Bhatt

Vikash Shah with Sharmila Bhatt, 2018-19 governor of District 9211, at a club event.

By Vikash Shah, Rotary Club of Dar es Salaam Oyster Bay, Tanzania

My year as Rotary club president was approaching, and I knew I had to do something substantial to leave my mark. I had participated in a district team training seminar by our district governor, Sharmila Bhatt, and was inspired by her vision for growing Rotary. For many years, the growth in District 9211 (Tanzania and Uganda) had come mostly from Uganda. But she saw potential in the “sleeping giant” of Tanzania. It was then that I conceived the bold idea to form not just one, but five new clubs during my year as president. Continue reading

Why Toastmasters benefits Rotary clubs

Toastmasters meeting

Portland Rotary members at a Toastmasters meeting.

Terry Beard

Terry Beard

By Terry Beard, Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon, USA

You may have heard that most people would rather die than give a speech. Public speaking is the number one fear for many people.

For 49 years, I too had a fear of public speaking. It was so bad, I would break out in a sweat. I’d leave the room. I’d find excuses, or ask other people to stand up and speak for me. Anything to avoid having to speak in public. A couple of bad experiences early in my life built up this fear, but I made it my goal to overcome it. Fifteen years ago at the age of 50, I was introduced to Toastmasters by a good friend, and I’ve been a member since. Continue reading

Selma Rotary Club thrives on diversity

Selma club bicycle giveaway

The Selma Rotary Club partners with business leaders to invest in youth.

Jerria Martin

By Jerria Martin, past president of the Rotary Club of Selma, Alabama, USA

Diversity is important to my club, and that’s a big reason why I am a member and past president. My club is a second family to me, one that began investing in me all the way back in 2006.

As a senior in high school, I received a Rotary Scholarship as part of my club’s annual scholarship competition. The program is just one way my club embraces and seeks diversity. We invite a graduating senior from every high school, public and private, from all neighborhoods and walks of life, to share their leadership and service skills with us. Every senior who is chosen receives a scholarship. Continue reading