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Ideas for staying connected during social distancing

Ingrid Waugh

By Ingrid Waugh, Assistant Rotary Coordinator and Past Governor of Rotary District 9920

During this time of physical separation and social distancing, it is more important than ever to keep our social connections. Rotarians join Rotary to do good in their community. They stay because of the connections they make. Our relationships are important, and we need to strengthen the ones we have and to build new ones. What might this look like in our changed world? Continue reading

Interact and Positive Peace

Members of the Interact Club of South Delta Secondary, British Columbia, Canada, with Canadian Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister Carla Qualtrough.

By Devon Joy and Joelle Hamilton, co-presidents of the Interact Club of South Delta Secondary, British Columbia, Canada

“How does Interact affect Positive Peace?

That is the question we had to ask ourselves when we were selected to represent Interact at Rotary Peace Day on 21 September 2019. This annual event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada, and attended by community leaders, elders of Tsawwassen First Nations, Rotarians, members of Tsawwassen, and the greater Delta community.

When we thought about how we as Interact Club members could bring about Positive Peace, we thought about our desire to give back to the community, our drive to work with organizations that also promote peace, and our efforts to run our club in a way that builds harmony. We realized that there were many similarities between what is important to us and the eight pillars of Positive Peace. Continue reading

Polio: beyond the talking points

Health workers administer polio vaccine to migrant families during a National Immunization Day organized by UNICEF and its GPEI partners in Ghaziabad, India, in January.

By Stephanie Herzfeld

On 27 March 2020, the World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Region recognizes six years of polio-free certification.

To be sure, this is an important benchmark as we progress toward a polio-free world, but as I look back on my first National Immunization Day trip to India, the country in the region once considered the most difficult to bring to zero cases, this date has now taken on a new personal significance. Continue reading

Embracing virtual meetings for your club

District 6440 Governor Suzanne Gibson

By Suzanne Gibson, governor of District 6440 (northern Illinois, USA)

For many of us, our Rotary family is an important part of our lives. These friendships connect us to our communities and the world and provide avenues of soul-enriching service.

These uncertain times caused by the coronavirus pandemic challenge us to be innovative and adaptable. In District 6440 (Illinois), all our clubs have canceled in-person meetings, following the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the need for social distancing. But that does not mean we have to give up on regular fellowship opportunities. Several of our clubs have already met this week virtually using Zoom. Continue reading

Increasing the number of operational wells in Haiti through WASH projects

Neil Van Dine, a member of the E-Club of WASH in District 9980 (New Zealand), spent 15 years on projects to bring wells and hand pumps to communities in Haiti, struggling to keep them operational. In 2004, he commissioned a survey that revealed half of the wells weren’t functioning. Previous efforts to provide maintenance weren’t holding up. So Van Dine and his team reassessed and came up with a new plan: His Rotary club trained the community to develop a business plan that involved the whole community. The plan involves collecting a small amount of money from each household that is earmarked toward maintenance and repairs of the wells. Now, 90 percent of the wells they have built are operational.

While today is World Water Day, Rotarians will continue solving problems around the world with their expertise. Learn more about Rotary International’s initiative to provide clean water and how Rotarians like Van Dine are mobilizing resources around water, sanitation, and hygiene.

How to engage members during the coronavirus pandemic

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Keep members engaged through virtual meeting platforms.

By George Robertson-Burnett, Zone 34 Rotary Coordinator and past governor of Rotary District 6890

These are certainly interesting times we live in. None of us could have foreseen these extraordinary circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Rotary clubs everywhere are wrestling with the question, How do we maintain membership engagement during the pandemic?

Well, this is Rotary and I am sure that these challenges will bring out our considerable strengths – ingenuity, decisiveness, flexibility, and integrity. Continue reading

Rotary e-club serves as think tank on international development

Members of the Rotary Club of Washington Global

By Quentin Wodon, District 7620 membership chair

Creating new clubs is one of the best ways to grow Rotary. It’s also a great way to give the gift of Rotary to new members who may not have access to existing clubs where they live or work. Today, Rotary International gives us ample freedom to be creative when launching new clubs. This has led a group of us – professionals working in international development – to charter a new club – the Rotary Club of Washington Global, that will aim to serve as a small “think tank” for Rotarians on international development issues. Continue reading

3D printable prostheses help child amputees

A youth tests his new prosthesis  made through 3-D printing.

By Rafael Vazquez Barragan, Rotaract Club of Monterrey Cumbres, Nuevo León, Mexico

Three years ago, the nephew of one of my best friends was born with a congenital condition that required one hand to be amputated. As a result, he had trouble keeping his balance and when it came to taking his first steps, he fell repeatedly. He was unable to lift himself up with just one hand and would just cry until someone could help him get up. Continue reading

Rotary’s peace initiatives at a tipping point

Positive Peace activity

Rotarians, Rotary Peace Fellows, Rotaractors, and Rotary Scholars participate in a Positive Peace workshop.

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and chair of the Peace Major Gifts Initiative

I spent three days in Ontario, California, USA, in January with a group of passionate peacebuilders learning to be Rotary Positive Peace Activators.

The goal of the three-day training was to develop a worldwide network of peacebuilders to support Rotarians and Rotaractors in fostering Positive Peace in their communities. By 2024, Rotary will train 150 new Positive Peace Activators in six global regions, prepared to educate, coach, and accompany Rotarians in at least 1,000 presentations and/or workshops, and act as consultants on projects locally and globally. Continue reading

Peace Fellow makes films to heighten understanding

Former Rotary Peace Fellow Megumi Nishikura filming with a DSLR camera.

Megumi Nishikura

By Megumi Nishikura, 2006-08 Rotary Peace Fellow, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan

When I was six years old, my Japanese father and American mother took me to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii. When I saw the wreckage of the USS Arizona, I was shocked to learn that the two countries that I belonged to had once been at war with each other. Continue reading