About Rotary International

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RYLA in Madagascar unites cultures

Soovan Sharma Dookho, lower left, with other participants in the RYLA sponsored by District 9220 in Madagascar.

By Soovan Sharma Dookhoo, president of the Rotaract Club of Riviere Du Rempart, Mauritius

Attending a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event hosted by District 9220 in Madagascar has been one of my most cherished experiences both from a leadership and a cultural standpoint. I joined members of Rotaract from Mauritius, marching as one, as we eagerly boarded a flight to the longest island in the Indian Ocean. From my first day in Madagascar, I was surrounded by a completely different culture. It was a joy simply going through the streets, and taking in all of the scenery and action.

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Rotaractors mark a milestone at International Assembly

Mark Daniel Maloney and his wife, Gay, center, with Rotaractors at the 2019 International Assembly.

By María Sol Casas, Rotaract Club Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina

For a week in January, 60 Rotaractors from all over the world actively participated in the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for incoming leaders, and it was, without any doubt, a life-changing experience for me. I sincerely believe that week marked a milestone. Continue reading

Bridge to success in The Gambia

The project team from left Lamin Manneh, Beth W. Kealy, Maggie Peterson, and Randy Hutchins.

By Maggie Peterson, Rotary Club of Edmonds, Washington, USA

Four members of our club left Seattle on 1 February and flew some 30 plus hours to The Gambia, arriving on the evening of 2 February. The purpose of the trip was to identify a site in the remote area of the Central River Valley for a “pure” science lab. This crucial component for Secondary Schools does not currently exist, effectively cutting off access to college or even high school graduation, as this science lab work is required for both. Continue reading

What brings Rotarians, returned Peace Corps volunteers together?

Ross Feezer, Mark Walker and Hal Rifken at the outset of the video project.

By Mark D. Walker, Membership Chair, Partnering for Peace

The recently formed Partnering for Peace (P4P), an affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association, brings together a group of professionals with a shared vision to promote peace by creating sustainable projects locally and around the world. The stories of how and why they joined are as diverse as the 50 members themselves. Continue reading

New Voices club charts its own course

RI Director Jeffry Cadorette, left, with members of the Rotary Club of New Voices.

By Marty Peak Helman, growth chair for District 7780 (parts of Maine and New Hampshire, USA )

A new Rotary club, New Voices, was chartered 15 June in my district with 33 new members. What makes this club unique is that the newly-minted Rotarians – who range in age from 18 to 30 – are all graduates of the district’s phenomenal Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program. Continue reading

Thank you for a wonderful year, Rotaractors

RI President Barry Rassin, middle, with Rotaractors in Mozambique.

By Barry Rassin, 2018-19 RI president

Time has really flown by. As the Rotary year draws to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished together.

When I started my year as president of Rotary, I set a number of goals that I hoped Rotary clubs all over the world would strive to achieve. One significant goal was important, but simple: double Rotaract. Continue reading

RYLA breaks down walls

Mike Norkin leads District 5330’s RYLA as camp director.

By Mike Norkin, RYLA camp director for District 5330 (California, USA)

I attended my first Rotary club meeting as a 24-year-old guest of a member, and sat in complete awe. Students and members who had attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program the weekend before were sharing their stories. I will never forget the feeling I had as I listened to the accounts of how lives were being changed. I knew, at that moment, that I would be a lifelong Rotarian if I was able to participate in this program.

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Rotary and heavy metal

The Rotarian Metalhead Fellowship booth in the House of Friendship, 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany.

By Felix Heintz, founder and chair of the Rotarian Metalhead Fellowship, with Manouchehr Shamsrizi, co-founder and the fellowship’s director of partnerships

What do Rotary and heavy metal music have in common? The similarities may surprise you.

Every year, a special event takes place in Northern Germany where 100,000 heavy metal enthusiasts from all over the world gather. Jörg Scheller of the Zurich University of the Arts, who not only holds a doctorate in cultural studies but is also part of a heavy metal band, has summarized this community as “a hybrid, multi-ethnic and globalized fairground for all shades of color, mentality and gender,” and “a playing field of complex identities.” Continue reading

How to be innovative with People of Action campaign

People of Action campaign assets are available in the Brand Center.

By Ron Janssen, governor of District 6980 (Florida, USA)

Our People of Action campaign tells the world Rotarians are people of action. But are we as district leaders being people of action when it comes to that very campaign?

Faced with a tight budget, many district leaders think there is little room in their spending plan for discretionary items like People of Action ads. The campaign is designed to increase awareness in Rotary and our humanitarian efforts. The desired result is membership growth, which ultimately grows dues and our budget. So isn’t it ironic that it is among the last things we tend to fund? Continue reading

What is inspiration?

The Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada, involves children in all club activities.

By Stacey Jones, Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada

What is inspiration? To me it means that we are so moved by something, that we are compelled to act. Almost without a conscious thought.

That was my experience in Italy in the summer of 2018. While attending an event at the Coliseum, I had the opportunity to speak to Connie Nielsen about her charity called the Human Needs Project. They work primarily in the slums of Nairobi assisting people with the very basics of human needs. And as I stood there, literally rubbing elbows with these celebrities listening to them speak so passionately about their charity work; and staring out into the city from this private gala, I couldn’t help but question what I was doing with my life. And so at that moment my question became my answer. Continue reading