About Rotary International

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My mother’s dream

Reem Ghunaim and her nieces.

Reem Ghunaim and her nieces. Photo by Moataz Al Sadey

By Reem Ghunaim

I am a Rotary Peace Fellow from Palestine. My mother is a Palestinian refugee who fled her home with her family in 1948. My father’s entire village was displaced for two weeks in 1967. In fact, nearly half of my family are Palestinian refugees.

I was born and raised in Tulkarem, home of two refugee camps that still exist from the Nakba of 1948. One camp is beside my former high school in the middle of downtown. The other is located at the Eastern entrance of my city. This refugee camp is the first thing I see every time I return home to visit my family. Continue reading

Magic potion for membership growth?

Nancy LeonhardtBy Nancy Leonhardt, 2018-19 membership chair for District 6150, Arkansas, USA

When it comes to membership growth, there are no magic potions. Our district was blessed to add more than 65 new members last year, one of only four districts in our zone to have any increase. But I can’t point to just one thing we did that achieved those results. Instead, planning, goal-setting, follow-thru, and hard work on the part of many committed individuals were instrumental in the success we achieved. Continue reading

Rotarians respond in the Bahamas

Report compiled by Diana White, past district governor, and District 7020 Rotarians

The destruction left behind by Hurricane Dorian is devastating. In parts of the Bahamas, literally everything is gone, replaced by piles of rubble where homes once stood. Roads blocked with debris and thousands on thousands left homeless and in need of supplies.

As Rotarians in District 7020, one of two districts that cover the Caribbean and hard-hit Bahamas, we immediately switched into assistance mode. Significant donations of supplies are funneling in from various local efforts and through international disaster relief agencies. Continue reading

Why Passport clubs work

Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club

Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club of District 9640 at Karma Collab Hub in June.

By Jayde Purnell, Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club, District 9640 (Australia)

A passport Rotary club is designed to attract a diverse demographic, and from my perspective, it’s working. On the last Tuesday of each month, I merrily waltz my way into Karma Collab Hub for an evening of wine, cheese, laughter and community impact; all in the company of great friends and with the guidance of Rotary members from local clubs. It’s unlike any community I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve come to realise that my Rotary badge is consistently (and quite unintentionally) accompanied by a wide grin. Continue reading

Lights, camera, Rotaract!

The Beaches Rotaract Club

The Rotaract Club of Jacksonville’s Beaches, Florida, USA

By Charlie Flynn

When I first walked into a meeting of the Rotaract Club of Jacksonville’s Beaches, I couldn’t have possibly known all the unique and rewarding experiences my involvement would afford me. I had no idea what was in store; the connections I would make, the communities I would serve, and the knowledge I would amass.

At the time, the club consisted of less than 10 people. I admired each and every person in the small group and wanted to get involved. They taught me that groups of all shapes and sizes can make a difference in their local and international community. Since then, the club has seen significant growth and now has a membership of over 80. Continue reading

How women lead differently

By Kathleen Rose, vice president of the Rotary Club of Gilroy, California, USA

I attended the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, in June, to widen my own leadership experience as I prepare to serve as club president next year. I was asked to present a breakout session entitled Women’s Leadership Skills: Strengthening Our Rotary Legacy. What an experience! Although I have been a scholar of leadership for many years, have written on the subject often, and have had the opportunity to speak nationally, it was a thrill to present to an international audience of Rotary leaders who are clearly motivated change agents.

If ever there were a time to focus on the work of leadership, the development of leadership skills, and the debate around qualified leadership, it is now. Continue reading

How Rotary changed my career

Thineskumar Asokokumara

Thineskumar Asokokumara

By Thineskumar Asokokumara, past president of the Rotary Club of Subang, Malaysia

In June, my company held interviews to fill an opening for manager of our Kuala Lumpur support center. We are a company of over 2,000 employees listed on NASDAQ and worth multi-millions of dollars. The interview was no small thing. A panel of four including our senior vice president judged the candidates. I would not have even considered applying if it were not for Rotary. Continue reading

Why our club promotes equal rights, responsibilities

Knut Ebel congratulates president Stefanie Kämpf in 2016. Ebel went on to serve as president the following year.

By Christoph Ahlmann-Eltze, president of the Rotary Club of Bordesholm, Germany

Our club chartered 10 years ago, and from the very start, equality between the genders has been a priority. We alternate between a male member and a female member serving as club president every year, and we make sure that men and women have equal rights and responsibilities. This has not always been the case in clubs in my part of the world. But if we are to move forward as an organization, this will need to become more of the norm. Here is more of our club’s story. Continue reading

Gosha-e-Ilm: A Ray of Hope

Faisalabad Rotaract club members lead an evening class for child laborers.

By Ebadat-ur-Rehman Babar, 2019-20 secretary, Rotaract Club of Faisalabad, Pakistan

Our idea started back in 2018, when I and two other members of my Rotaract club began looking for an innovative, sustainable project. We wanted to submit an entry for the Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards and we came up with an idea of starting a school for child laborers who do not have enough resources for their education. Continue reading

How I found support and acceptance in my Rotary club

By Monica Mulholland, Rotary Club of Queenstown, New Zealand

When I made the decision to come out as transgender to my Rotary club, my wife and I were worried that we would be shunned by our community and lose many of our friends, including those in the Rotary club. It is common for transgender people to lose half their friends and half their family when they come out. But we couldn’t have been happier with the acceptance and support we received from club members. Continue reading