By Cristal Montañéz, 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.
By Abdullah Al Fahad, Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchid, Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, the infection rate from COVID-19 had been increasing daily earlier this year. The death rate was also frighteningly high. It’s a threat to our country’s health and economy. Our population density is simply too high. The best way to decrease the spread of COVID-19 is by using facemasks. Therefore, we felt we needed to work hard as a Rotaract club to remind people of the importance of wearing face masks.
By S.R. Yogananda, past governor of District 3190 and 2011-14 regional Rotary Foundation coordinator
I had just come back from an assignment overseas in 1987 when I rejoined the Rotary Club of Bangalore East after an absence. I enjoyed the fellowship before meetings when I could connect with all my friends in one time and place. At one such meeting, one of our club leaders talked about Rotary’s top priority to eradicate polio and mentioned an upcoming immunization drive that Sunday.
Editor’s Note: In September 2020, Rotary formed a taskforce charged with assessing the current status of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in Rotary and shaping a comprehensive action plan to help us further value and live those principals throughout the organization. This is the first installment of a series of blog posts from DEI Taskforce members reflecting on their work on the committee and why it is critical for the organization.
Katey Halliday is a past president and founding member of the Adelaide City Rotaract Club, and a member of the Rotary Club of Adelaide Light. She initiated her district’s first-ever participation in the local Pride March celebrations and is a member of her Rotaract club’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group. Professionally, she is a diversity and inclusion project officer and training facilitator for South Australia Police (read her full bio). We asked Halliday the following questions about DEI and Rotary.
By Alex Johnson, President of Rotary Club of Plano West, Texas, USA
From my town of Plano, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, we see the virus devastating lives in India. Last year, COVID-19 affected people overseas, and then took hold in America. We can counter the threat and stay safe by getting people vaccinated.
Most people have access to information on COVID-19 vaccines. But we discovered many minority residents do not. Motivated by a wish to help our fellow citizens, we partnered with our city government to inform this group.
Every month in Rotary magazine, we showcase answers to ethical questions that members might face in their Rotary clubs, to help members share best practices with each other as they make their clubs stronger. Below is the ethical challenge we will tackle in the September issue of the magazine.
You’ve been asked to promote resources for service and to get club members more involved in projects. To succeed, you realize you’ll need to work with the chairs of your club’s Rotary Foundation, membership, public image, and club administration committees. But when you contact them, they don’t seem interested. You believe it’s vital that you all work together, but they want to focus on their own goals. What would you do?
By Meg Ramey and Duke Adams, Rotary Club of Harrisburg Keystone, Pennsylvania, USA
Since I was first introduced to Rotary in 2016, I have experienced a month-long vocational study trip to Taiwan, became a Rotarian, and met my wife, Dr. Meg Ramey, all through Rotary. Along the way I’ve served a few pancakes, planted some shrubbery for a Martin Luther King memorial, picked up pounds of trash, made some great friends, and had the honor to experience the hospitality of Rotarians locally and abroad. Rotary is awesome! Now, I am embarking on my latest Rotary adventure as the 2021-22 president of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg Keystone.
By Liz Courtney, assistant public image coordinator for Zone 8 (Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands)
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working in a virtual world and it has created a huge upsurge in using technology to communicate. We know that using social media and online marketing tools can reach a huge audience in a cost-effective way and it gives Rotary clubs an opportunity to be seen by many. As a training leader, I often teach clubs how to make sure their club logo is used correctly and consistently in their communications, especially online and on social media, because consistency builds trust and recognition. Here’s what I share during my trainings.
By Dorothy Gilmour, Rotary Club of Melbourne, Australia
As a grief therapist, I have assisted individuals impacted by suicide. My work as a therapist and as a lecturer in the areas of trauma, loss, and grief counseling included explaining to people how we cannot “save” a suicidal person ourselves, but need to refer them to trained professionals.