From Rotary Scholar to Peace Corps

Jasmine Segall, right, and her best friend in Monterrey, who entertains children as a clown.

By Jasmine Segall, former Rotary global grant scholar

I have heard a variety of interesting stories about why the rural Costa Rican town I live in as a Peace Corps volunteer is called Monterrey. My favorite is the literal translation: “King of the Grass,” explained by a wizened elderly gentleman as the place his family settled to farm cattle because of its nutritious vegetation. On a good day, I can get a clear view of the Arenal Volcano and see the lush farmland that stretches endlessly below. The view is breathtaking. It truly is a green kingdom. Continue reading

Being the oxygen that fuels the flame (of service)

Vasanth Kuppuswamy motivates students in Tamil Nadu, India.

By Bill Smyth, Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA

It’s not every day that an eighth-grade student’s essay rivets a teacher’s attention. But this one themed “The Oxygen That Fueled the Flame” got mine.

The essay, written by a student at Buist Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, described his experience two summers earlier teaching English in Tamil Nadu, India, motivated by a desire to make a difference in kid’s lives. The story would have been powerful enough if the student had been of high school age, but this was the story of a 12-year-old boy. Continue reading

Good news for Ghana sanitation efforts

Rotary and USAID are creating Tippy Tap devices to encourage good hygiene in remote areas. The devices use a simple foot paddle to tip a water container so people can safely wash their hands.

Rotary and USAID are creating Tippy Tap devices to encourage good hygiene in remote areas. The devices use a simple foot paddle to tip a water container so people can safely wash their hands.

By Mohamed Keita, RI staff, Administrative Coordinator, Areas of Focus, Programs and Grants

In January, a new government came into office in Ghana and set a different tone in addressing access to water and public sanitation in the country. President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the creation of a Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources. It is the first time an administration has dedicated the centrepiece of an executive cabinet agency to public sanitation.

Ghanaian Rotarians who are involved in the rollout of the Rotary-USAID International H2O Collaboration, a $4 million initiative to support lasting, positive change to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives in Ghana, have welcomed the move. Continue reading

More than friends, Rotary Peace Fellows are a family

Rotary Peace Fellows at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

Rotary Peace Fellow Class 22 at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

By Hermanto Hasan, A Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

When I found out I was accepted for the Rotary Peace Fellowship at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, I was filled with happiness and also surprise. I had applied for several fellowships in the past, but all required a university degree, which I do not have. Continue reading

How is your club celebrating Rotary’s anniversary?

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Rotary clubs around the world will mark Rotary’s 112th anniversary by holding fundraisers, illuminating famous buildings, and hosting events of all sorts. We’ll add a sampling of photos from around the world to this gallery. Send us one from your club’s celebration. Please include a brief description.

Getting creative with science in rural Taiwan

Students show off their construction skills by making kites out of newspapers during classes supported by the Rotary Science Education Program.

Students show off their construction skills by making kites out of newspapers during classes supported by the science education program.

170209_leungBy Pauline Leung, a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei Pei An, Taiwan, and past governor of District 3520

On a rainy day in Spring four years ago, I was talking to a few young teachers about the education system in Taiwan. The country was on the verge of extending free education to children through the age of 12, which I thought was a good policy to reduce illiteracy.

However, the teachers had concerns about the impact of the policy on schools in remote areas of Taiwan that have less resources and thereby have a harder time staying competitive. Continue reading

Bringing about reconciliation

A community reconciliation event in the Solomon Islands

A community reconciliation event in the Solomon Islands.

By Nadia Mahmood, Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland, Australia

Over the past two and a half months, I have been working with Prison Fellowship Solomon Islands (PF), a grassroots peace-building organization which runs conflict resolution, restorative justice,and reconciliation programs and provides support for families of inmates.

It is honestly hard to put into words how inspiring and engaging it is to work with this team of local volunteers who exemplify everything that Rotary stands for. Continue reading

Empowering women in India through education

Women in the second chance literacy program.

Women in the second chance literacy program.

By Manish Shroff, past president of the Rotary Club of Ankleshwar, India

Our Rotary club is surrounded by rural and tribal villages in the Bharuch District of Gujarat State, India. The literacy rate in these villages is low and dropout rates of students in primary schools are high, most particularly among girls. We wanted to do something about that. Continue reading

5 reasons to make a year-end gift to The Rotary Foundation

By Rotary Voices staff

There’s still time to make your year-end gift to The Rotary Foundation. Here are a few ways that your support is helping to change lives all over the world: Continue reading

Providing children hope and opportunity in Nepal

161220_ahsaBy Tulsi R. Maharjan, Rotary Club of Branchburg

Asha is the Nepali word for “HOPE.” When we think about what motivates us to serve, we are drawn to this word, which is the name of my current mission, the Asha Project. To us, hope and opportunity are really at the core of Rotary’s mission. It is what motivates us to help the people of Nepal.

Hope and opportunity brought me to America 45 years ago and I always wanted to do something for the less fortunate in Nepal. Now, my son, Anil, has joined me as an E-club member in our district to assist with this project. We will be taking our third humanitarian mission in early February 2017. While there, we will also celebrate the silver jubilee of our humanitarian work in Nepal. Continue reading