Why our club promotes equal rights, responsibilities

Knut Ebel congratulates president Stefanie Kämpf in 2016. Ebel went on to serve as president the following year.

By Christoph Ahlmann-Eltze, president of the Rotary Club of Bordesholm, Germany

Our club chartered 10 years ago, and from the very start, equality between the genders has been a priority. We alternate between a male member and a female member serving as club president every year, and we make sure that men and women have equal rights and responsibilities. This has not always been the case in clubs in my part of the world. But if we are to move forward as an organization, this will need to become more of the norm. Here is more of our club’s story. Continue reading

Gosha-e-Ilm: A Ray of Hope

Faisalabad Rotaract club members lead an evening class for child laborers.

By Ebadat-ur-Rehman Babar, 2019-20 secretary, Rotaract Club of Faisalabad, Pakistan

Our idea started back in 2018, when I and two other members of my Rotaract club began looking for an innovative, sustainable project. We wanted to submit an entry for the Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards and we came up with an idea of starting a school for child laborers who do not have enough resources for their education. Continue reading

How I found support and acceptance in my Rotary club

By Monica Mulholland, Rotary Club of Queenstown, New Zealand

When I made the decision to come out as transgender to my Rotary club, my wife and I were worried that we would be shunned by our community and lose many of our friends, including those in the Rotary club. It is common for transgender people to lose half their friends and half their family when they come out. But we couldn’t have been happier with the acceptance and support we received from club members. Continue reading

Leadership library transforms community

The inside of the new Leadership Library in Mare Tabac, looking through the reading room.

By Frederic Nullathemby, 2018-19 president of the Rotary Club of Rose-Belle, Mauritius

If you want to be a leader, you have to read. If you want to develop leaders, you have to provide a place for young people to read. When we took on our project to develop the Leadership Library, we very much had the words of Margaret Fuller, a 19th century American journalist and women’s rights advocate, at heart: “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Continue reading

Mock interview project benefits more than just job seekers

Members of the Rotary Club of Silverdale interview a job seeker (left, back to camera)

By Cathy Bisaillon, President & CEO of Easterseals Washington, and a member of the Rotary Club of Silverdale, Washington, USA. Video and photos by Steven Boe, Rotary Club of Silverdale

When I shared with my fellow Rotarians last fall that 70 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed or under-employed, in spite of a national labor shortage, we decided to take action. Our club has a diverse membership, and it values a diverse workforce. By pulling from District 5030’s Partners for Work Program, we organized a high-energy mock interview  during our club’s meeting on 31 January. Continue reading

The power of story to build a better future

Kiran Singh Sirah (middle with sunglasses) and other Rotary Peace Fellows at the Rotary Peace Symposium in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International.

By Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow and president of the International Storytelling Center

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of visiting Hamburg, Germany, to present a series of talks at the Rotary International Convention and Peace Symposium. I always look forward to the symposiums and the chance to reconnect with other Rotary Peace Fellows. The event underscored for me how much better it is to hear people’s stories in real life, in person, as opposed to on the news. Continue reading

3 ways to make your club more inclusive

By Katey Halliday, Rotaract Club of Adelaide City and the Rotary Club of Adelaide Light, South Australia, Australia

Rotary recently adopted a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy that sends a strong message that we embrace inclusivity. Rotary has clubs all over the world and reaches a broad range of people with our service projects. So we are already diverse, but a second ingredient, inclusion, is the key to unlocking and maintaining the full benefits of that diversity. How inclusive is your club? Continue reading

Birth of a new Rotary club: a satellite success story

Members of the Y Garth club at its charter event.

By Douglas Nash, past president of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge, England

A while ago, when my good friend Charles and I started talking about Rotary and the possibility of him becoming a member, he was a little apprehensive.

That is until I explained that Rotary has gone through a number of changes, keeping our core values but embracing the idea of flexibility: that all clubs need not have the same structure, dress code, or event schedule. These changes are embraced in the concept of satellite clubs. Continue reading

5-year plan to increase membership

Rotary and Rotaract members in Taipei, Taiwan, take part in an after-hours service project. Creating a separate after-hour meeting can be an effective strategy to attract members your main group isn’t reaching.

By Galen Engel, Rotary Club of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA

When I first became a member, I was interested in membership. I was new and didn’t know many people in the club and the incoming president asked me to be Sergeant at Arms. It’s a good way to get to know everybody and it’s fun.

In the club of 65 members, the same 10 people seemed to be the ones that were involved in everything. I thought it would be an easy job to engage the whole group and get the rest of them involved. After eight months, I had some success, but not as much as I had thought. It became apparent that it would be easier to build a new group to attract a younger and more vibrant membership base. Continue reading

Paying it forward through Rotaract

Georgi Kardzhaliyski at the Coney Island half marathon.

By Georgi Kardzhaliyski, a member of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA

My love affair with Rotary started when I was a junior in high school and was selected by the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission for their United States Achievers Program. One of the participants told me about Interact during the break of an SAT prep course and sparked my interest in getting involved. Feeling inspired, I went on to start my high school’s first ever Interact club, which I ran successfully with my co-president and about 10 members for a year until I graduated. Continue reading