Polio survivors say ‘thank you’

Carol Ferguson presents the Collage of Gratitutde

Carol Ferguson, right, presents the Collage of Gratitude to Carol Pandak, Director of PolioPlus for Rotary International.

By Rotary staff

On 9 September, we received a visitor at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, who reminded us just how important the fight to eradicate polio is.

Every year, fewer and fewer cases of polio are reported, bringing us one-step closer to a polio-free world. Before Rotary launched the PolioPlus program in 1985, some 350,000 people a year were infected with the disease worldwide. Carol Ferguson was one of those people. Continue reading

Ready for the challenge of El Tour de Tucson

161010_drewBy Courtney Drew, Rotary staff

When I first interviewed to work at Rotary International, I told my future manager I was looking for a place to dig my roots deep; to contribute to the bigger picture, and to feel like I was part of an extended family. That, so far, has exactly been my experience here at Rotary and I am incredibly grateful.

Taking part in El Tour de Tucson as a member of the Miles to End polio team will provide a new level of depth to my roots; and bolster my connection to the Rotary family. Continue reading

How do you create stronger connections in your community?

Michael Bucca

Michael Bucca addresses a club about raising its profile in the community.

By Michael Bucca, president of The Central Ocean Rotary Club of Toms River, New Jersey, USA. 

Rotary clubs are always looking for ideas on how to increase membership and develop meaningful service projects. Sometimes, the answers lie outside our own club or organization.

Partnering with other local charities, or joining a service project already in progress, are excellent ways of furthering our mission of Service Above Self. Look around for organizations that share similar goals as Rotary. Invite someone from their group to come and speak to your club. In doing so, you develop an immediate contact that can be built into a deeper relationship. Continue reading

7 features of a highly effective service project

Rotary members in Virginia, USA, deliver mobility equipment for a local hospital.

Rotary members in Virginia, USA, deliver mobility equipment for a local hospital.

By Richard Cunningham, Rotary Club of James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA

We cannot expect to grow membership without engaging our members in service. RI President John Germ has stated this unequivocally and our club is taking that to heart.

Selecting the right project, therefore, is critical to the health of your club. Here’s a few basic principles we’ve found to be true about service projects: Continue reading

Where a passion for cycling, service collide

Robson Duarte and bike in front of the São Paulo Cathedral.

Robson Duarte and bike in front of the São Paulo Cathedral.

161003_duarte_headBy Robson Duarte, Rotary staff

For the past two years, I have been a part of a volunteer group called “Atitude Certa.” Our mission is to visit orphanages and help with whatever we can, bringing joy and comfort to children even if it’s only on weekends. This is very gratifying, because we can see the joy stamped on the face of every child. Continue reading

New Englanders, Nigeria clubs aid Boko Haram refugees

By Marty Peak Helman, District 7780 Foundation Chair

Children in a refugee camp in eastern Nigeria.

Children in a refugee camp in eastern Nigeria.

The American University of Nigeria (AUN) was co-founded by Rotarian Felix Obadan in 2000, and 12 years later, when Felix was governor of Rotary’s District 9125, which covers a large portion of Nigeria, he chartered the Rotary Club of Yola-AUN on campus. Their strong influence on campus makes it not surprising that many University professors and senior staff are Rotary members, and that the University prides itself on its work toward peace, entrepreneurship, and economic development as well as its strong academics.

The University’s mission is to graduate students prepared to take on the challenges in Nigeria and throughout West Africa – challenges of climate change, development, and peace building. And peace is not an abstract concept at the university. After all, it is located in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, in the region where Boko Haram is most powerful. In fact, those few dozen Chibok schoolgirls who escaped from being kidnapped by Boko Haram are now safely living at the University, where they are receiving social services and education. Continue reading

How to promote your club by not talking about your club

Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless.

Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless. Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Group Ministry

By Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA

Sometimes the best way to gain a little attention for your club is to not talk about your club, but about other worthy groups and volunteers you are working with.

Rotary members are becoming more aware of the need to tell their Rotary story. But here’s the catch. It may be better to use local blogs or magazines in your community rather than your club or district’s own channels. This is because typically, these external sources will have a much larger readership. Continue reading

How to get more bang out of your bulletin

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

Every single time you publish your online club bulletin or newsletter and email it to your subscribers, you should be asking yourself, “Have I made it informative AND engaging?”

Basically, your club bulletin could be the best piece of writing ever, but if no one reads it, what is the point? And if they do happen to read it but get absolutely no value out of it, what have you accomplished? Continue reading

Meet the 2016 Miles to End Polio team

2015 Miles to End Polio team

Last year’s Miles to End Polio team on ride day.

By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary

On 19 November, a team of Rotary staff and I will join Rotary members from Arizona (District 5500) and around the world to cycle up to 104 miles in El Tour de Tucson to raise funds for polio eradication.

The event is one of the top cycling events in the U.S., attracting more than 9,000 cyclists each year. We are aiming to raise $3.4 million, which will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of more than $10 million for the fight to end polio. Continue reading

How Rotary is providing opportunities for a brighter future

School children in Kampala, Uganda.

School children in Kampala, Uganda.

By Carolyn Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group and member of the Rotary Club of Yarmouth, Maine, USA

Recently, I visited a small government school outside Kampala, Uganda. The school is located on the edge of a growing community, but most of these students live in a small nearby fishing village.

Many of the children were barefoot and dressed in what they could assemble of the school uniform. The school is basic: a concrete floor, block walls and a tin roof- but clean and neat, with all the children wearing broad smiles and clearly happy to be in school with caring and supportive teachers. The first time I visited this school, it was a very different sight.  Continue reading