Mia Henderson, 2019-20 Youth Exchange Student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Madrid, Spain
When I was 16, Rotary offered me a chance to experience life beyond anything I had known before. After attending a meeting about Rotary Youth Exchange, I decided to apply to study in Spain.
It took months of hard work to prepare. But before I knew it, it was time to pack up my things and leave. I arrived for my 2019-20 exchange in an unfamiliar country, meeting people I didn’t know, who spoke a language I didn’t speak well. But even though this was my most difficult path yet, I was at peace.
A prominent business leader recently joined your Rotary club. They run a global business and their customers are primarily Rotarians. Your club’s leadership team decides to pay this new member’s way to the next Rotary International Convention; they think the experience will inspire the new member to get more involved in club activities. The member mentions that they plan to have a booth promoting their business in the House of Friendship during the entire convention and probably will not have time to attend sessions. What would you do?
By Michael Collins, Executive Director Americas, Institute for Economics and Peace
In June, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) released its 15th annual Global Peace Index, one of the leading measures of peacefulness globally. Since 2017, the IEP and Rotary have been in a strategic partnership, providing members with new tools to effectively build peace in communities around the world. It has been my pleasure to work with Rotary members as I have been involved in the process of creating a number of global peace indexes.
By Roger Bjoroy-Karlsen, Rotary Club of Roatan, Bay Islands,Honduras
I am on a small boat fully loaded with food bags headed for the people of St. Helene, a small island about two miles long and one mile wide, separated by a canal from the island of Roatan. Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands located off the northern coast of Honduras.
As the waves are striking our boat, my thoughts wander to the approximate 1,000 people in 218 households who are in need of the food we’re delivering. Many of whom have no income because they lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Helene has no roads and no infrastructure. Its people are descendants of African slaves brought by the British to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands who then migrated to Roatan after gaining their freedom in the 1830’s.
By Abdullah Al Fahad, Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchid, Bangladesh
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a new environmental challenge. Every month, more than 120 billion disposable masks and gloves are being thrown out, with some of them polluting our land and water.
Our Rotaract club, like many, is concerned about the environment. Emboldened by Rotary’s newest cause, protecting the environment, we decided to do something about this problem. We began a recycling effort which we called our Clean Earth project to collect masks that were littering our streets, parking lots, and other common areas and find a way to reuse them.
By Elizabeth Guybert, Rotary Club of Grande Terre Pointe Des Châteaux, Guadeloupe, French West Indies
In April, the successive eruptions of the Soufrière volcano devastated part of the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, leading to an urgent evacuation of the population from the affected areas.
By Carlito “Tolitz” Villanueva, Rotary Club of Baguio Summer Capitol, Philippines
We heal as one. Our communities were brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic. But now that vaccine is becoming available in the Philippines, we are slowly regaining our strength, confidence, and mobility to carry on our daily tasks.
Your club president is on the board of a local organization. The organization wants to partner with your club, but it doesn’t have many resources that would enhance your club. In fact, you believe your club would end up providing resources and network connections without getting anything in return. Your club president is insistent on creating the partnership, and wants you as service chair to find a way to make it work. What would you do?
Every month, Rotary magazine showcases answers to an ethical question that members might face in their Rotary clubs. Above is the ethical challenge we will tackle in the October issue of the magazine. Share your suggestions below and send them to email@example.com
By Cristal Montañéz Baylor, International Coordinator for Hope for Venezuelan Refugees and a member of the Rotary E-club of Houston, Texas, USA
It is immensely gratifying to witness children, in the midst of crisis, smiling again over a shared meal. Your heart is touched as you sense their parents’ tension ease and see expressions of hope radiate across their faces.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes access to food as a fundamental human right. And access to food continues to be a focal point of the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.
We are in the fifth phase of the Hope for Venezuelan Refugees project, which is providing hot “soup meals” to Venezuelan refugees, migrants, and walkers (also known as “caminantes”) on the Cúcuta-Pamplona humanitarian route.
By David Harmon, president, Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond, New South Wales, Australia
If we want to reverse the decline in membership that many clubs have been experiencing the last 10 years, we need to have a cause that engages our members and communities. With this in mind, our Rotary club created a focus group three years ago that searched for an issue that would make a real difference in our community. After carefully consideration we decided to adopt a project to address domestic violence and family abuse. Since our involvement in this project, we have grown from 31 members to 76 members.