By Alejandra Rueda, 2008-10 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Berkeley
When I became a Rotary Peace Fellow in 2008, the presidential theme was Make Dreams Real. My dream was to support the Colombian countryside by improving the quality of life of farmers and, in turn, to achieve a more responsible use of nature and the ecosystem services it provides. I also wanted to help resolve the social conflict that Colombia has experienced. Or at the very least, to contribute to the development of projects that would spur economic and social recovery in areas that sorely needed it.
I was a small part of an effort to help longtime Rotary member Dennis Gordon and his wife, Kate, this spring. Every spring and summer since they had married 46 years ago, Kate had planted and cultivated brightly-colored gardens. But this year, she was in bed with a terminal illness which prevented her from doing so.
By Julian Andoh, president of the Rotaract Club of Accra-La East, Ghana
I was standing at the Black Star Square, a large public space in Accra, watching a global change movement happen right before my eyes. And the best part? It was a concert.
It all started when I was scrolling through social media and came across a flyer for a concert in Accra. I wondered what organization could get all these artists to come to Ghana to hold a concert this big. A quick Google search gave me the answer: Global Citizen, an action platform dedicated to rallying people around critical issues of climate change, poverty, and inequality.
By Mohan Kumar, charter president, Rotary Club of Bangalore Prime, India
I was given the opportunity to establish a plan aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our club as the chair of our DEI taskforce.
We have found that when we approach millennials or women to join Rotary, they look at the level of diversity in our club. We are a four-year-old Rotary club with 34 members, seven who are women. For the current Rotary year, we also have women serving as president, secretary, and treasurer. We have just one member below the age of 40 and six members in the range of 40-49. Through this lens, we knew that we could do better and be more relevant in the communities we serve.
By Edward Hicks, a member of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
I first became acquainted with The Rotary Foundation and its Fellowship for Undergraduate Study Abroad in 1970, as a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. My faculty adviser suggested I apply for the fellowship. Little did I imagine how much it would change my life. I used the fellowship to study Economics at the University of Melbourne in Australia during the 1971 academic term.