Can you top these creative polio fundraisers?

 

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By Arnold R. Grahl

From riding the rails in Sydney, Australia, to crossing mountain paths on the way to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru, members of Rotary have been coming up with creative ways to raise money and awareness for polio eradication leading up to World Polio Day 24 October.

Already, clubs and individuals have listed more than 1,600 events on Endpolio.org. Promote your event and mark your calendar to watch the livestream of Rotary’s World Polio Day event at 18:30 Philadelphia time (UTC-4) on 24 October.

Here are just a few of the events Rotarians have planned or held: Continue reading

Improving sanitation in a school in Ghana

Hand washing demonstration

Vera Allotey demonstrates hand washing to school children in Denkyira, Ghana.

Editor Note: Rotary International partners with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support lasting, positive change in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). This is part of a series of occasional blog posts from local Rotary members describing their visits to project sites.

By Vera Lamiley Allotey, Rotary Club of Accra Dansoman

In July, I left my home with fellow Rotarians to visit Upper Denkyira East in the central region of Ghana to see progress on water and sanitation projects. Despite riding in a very new vehicle, the ride was bumpy due to poor road conditions. But we enjoyed talking and learning about the Rotary-USAID partnership during our more than six-hour journey. I was encouraged by what I saw and the impact Rotary is having in the region. Continue reading

Helping the homeless, one tiny house at a time

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Editor’s note: World Homeless Day, 10 October, is an opportunity to educate people about homelessness and raise awareness in your community.  

By John Matthews, Rotary International Vice President 2018-19 and member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, Washington, USA. Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Spending the night under the stars sounds romantic. But for hundreds of thousands of Americans, it’s the exact opposite. It’s not a choice; it’s an unpleasant reality that can quickly become detrimental to one’s life. And it happens more often than most people with a roof over their heads might think – 553,742 people were homeless on a single night in 2017. Alarmed by the growing homeless population in our city, my club and I felt compelled to take action. Continue reading

The right to a better life

The commemoration of the mass murder of 72 migrants

LA 72 held this commemoration of the mass murder of 72 migrants by the Los Zetas drug cartel in San Fernando, Mexico, in 2010. Photo courtesy Giorgio Algeri

By Giorgio Algeri, 2010-11 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland, Australia 

On a late evening in August, a family of eight migrant persons from Honduras arrived at the refugee shelter where I was serving as a short-term volunteer in Tabasco, Mexico, near the border with Guatemala. The family of three adults and five children, most below the age of 10, had fled their country for security reasons and were renting a tiny room in Tabasco awaiting asylum. The son of the landlord came home drunk and threatened the family with a machete, forcing them to leave all their belongings behind. Continue reading

Get your professional development in Rotaract

Peer workshops allow Rotaract members to learn skills from each other over coffee and doughnuts.

By Katherine Kirkpatrick-Wahl, Rotaract Club of Toronto, Canada

We are our own greatest networking asset. I realized that early on when I assumed the role of professional development director for my Rotaract club. It amazed me every time I spoke with one of our members how accomplished they were and how they were almost afraid to talk about what they had achieved in their relatively short careers. It became my mission to help members connect with each other. I did this in two ways, peer-workshops and members connect. Continue reading

Everybody deserves a choice

Editor’s Note: This summer, Rotary International hosted two fellows from the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program, who worked with our Rotary Peace Centers and Global Communications staff. Veracruz Ebong, a corporate finance professional and civic leader from Equatorial Guinea, wrote the following account of her experience.

Veracruz Ebong

By Veracruz Ebong

Had it not been for my friends Pablo Edu Nkene and Rosa Reyes Salomon Ehopi, I would have missed the opportunity to witness the important role education plays in people’s lives – people like myself. Pablo is a very good friend of mine who attended last’s year Mandela Washington Fellowship. One of the first things he did upon his return was talk to me about how amazing the program was and most importantly how it has changed his perspective of life. Continue reading

How does it look when I walk?

Francine Falk-Allen

By Francine Falk-Allen

As a polio survivor (age three, left with partial paralysis of one leg which did not grow as much as the other leg), all of my life I have had moments when I turned to see a child trying to imitate my walk. It was always disconcerting, and of late, just a little surprising, as when you realize toilet paper is stuck to your shoe and trailing along behind.  When I matured, I could smile at the pantomime, and think, “Do I really walk like that??!”  Continue reading

Bridging the gap between Rotary’s programs for young leaders

Planting a tree

Jessie Case plants a tree with the Coronado Rotary Club.

By Jessie Case, Rotaract Club of Pacific Beach, California, USA

My very first Interact project was picking up trash at a nearby lake and recreation area. It was so simple, yet I was so moved by the idea that if you wanted something to happen, you could take matters into your own hands and get it done. I am still moved by that feeling that comes from identifying a problem, finding a solution, and acting upon it. Continue reading

Satellite club gets back to Rotary’s roots

Leeds Phoenix satellite club

Members of the Leeds Phoenix satellite club present their first charity check in dramatic fashion.

By Tony Scaife, Rotary Club of Aireborough, West Yorkshire, England

For the last few months, I’ve been helping exuberant members of the Leeds Phoenix Satellite Rotary Club get established. I’ve been on a wonderful voyage watching as a new network of professionals rediscover Rotary’s roots. Continue reading

Firefighter exchange builds bonds

Firefighter exchange

Firefighters from Argentina and Florida, USA, share techniques during an exchange sponsored by Rotarians in both countries.

By Celia Giay, past RI vice president and a member of the Rotary Club of Arrecifes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The idea for our firefighter exchange was born when my club received a visit from local volunteer firefighters. Club members listened attentively as our guests explained their dream of continuing to learn better ways to protect their community, and on that very night we set a goal to organize an international exchange to make that possible. Continue reading