Helping Ukraine, one drill set at a time

Emory Morsberger, surgeon, with drill set
Emory Morsberger delivers the drill set to a surgical team at the hospital in Kiev in June.

By Emory Morsberger, Rotary Club of Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA

Isn’t it a privilege to be a Rotarian who can actually serve others and make a difference in someone else’s life – and even more so if that life is on the other side of the world? I think so! I hope to rally fellow Rotarians on 24 August to join our movement, Helping Ukraine.

In 1998, I took a trip to Ukraine and have been yearning to go back since. The people there are so excited about their freedom. When the war broke out in February, I felt a strong call to do something to help these free-spirited people. I had been hearing about the massive destruction and wanted to do more than make donations.

Continue reading

Creating positive change: Rotary’s Empowering Girls initiative

Pace Universal
Pace Universal is a school for girls in Piyali Junction, outside of Kolkata, India, funded in part by Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation. Rotary’s Empowering Girls initiative encourages projects like this one to empower girls to be able to make choices and create positive change.
Elizabeth Usovicz

By Elizabeth Usovicz, Rotary International Director, chair of Rotary’s Empowering Girls Task Force

What does it mean to be empowered? For girls throughout the world, empowerment is the ability to make choices and create positive change in their own lives, as well as in their families and communities.

Empowered girls become empowered women. Reaching out to the girls of our world is the heart and purpose of Rotary’s Empowering Girls Initiative. Our stories of supporting girls are interwoven with their stories of empowerment, like the story of Atupele, a girl in Malawi.

Continue reading

Peace research brings calm to chaos

Magnus Elfwendahl
Magnus Elfwendahl

By Magnus Elfwendahl, past governor of District 2350 and a member of the Rotary Club of Uppsala-Carolina, Sweden

Some months ago, I participated in the celebration of 50 years of Peace and Conflict research at Uppsala University in Sweden. During the anniversary symposium some prominent international scholars reflected on big societal challenges and the future of peace and conflict research. Experienced practitioners shared their thoughts on how peace and conflict research can contribute to policy and practical peace work. The keynote speaker, Jamie LeSueur, head of Emergency Operations of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), was a Rotary Peace Fellow during 2013-2015 when training for future peace work at Uppsala University.

Continue reading

Why I am a peacebuilder and how you can be one too

Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow,
Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow, speaks at the Rotary Presidential Conference Houston: Serve to Bring Peace 3 June in Houston, Texas, USA.

by Kiran Singh Sirah, president of the International Storytelling Center and a Rotary Peace Fellow alum

In early June, I was a keynote speaker at the Rotary Presidential Conference Houston: Serve to Bring Peace. We were a group of about 1,500 people, many who are leaders in their communities, and all interested in peacebuilding. They were from all over the world. And every day, I was asked the question: what led me to become a peacebuilder?

Continue reading

Rotary e-club empowers girls in Kenya

Young women receive training in self defense during a project to empower girls in Kenya.
Young women receive training in self defense during a project to empower girls in Kenya.

By Roberta Porter, Rotary E-Club of District 5450

I was shocked and stunned as I sat in silence listening to the pain in my daughter’s voice. She was calling me from Kenya where she had travelled as a volunteer with an Australian volunteer organization.

She described witnessing first-hand the impact poverty was having on the health and wellbeing of families and especially the children she was working with. The main focus for her at that time was lack of education about puberty, sexual health, and sexual violence.

Continue reading

How to create a PolioPlus Society in your district

Mollie
Mollie, the unofficial mascot of the PolioPlus Society in Rotary Zones 26 and 27.

Editor’s Note: Bob Rogers of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol, California, USA, and Greg Owen, Rotary Club of Long Beach, California, USA, both End Polio Now coordinators, came together to form a PolioPlus Society in their zones. The Society, which encourages automatic annual giving to Rotary’s PolioPlus fund, has been praised by senior Rotary Leaders as a model for others to follow. Rotary Voices talked to Rogers and Owen about the origins of the idea.

Q: How did you get the idea for a PolioPlus Society in your zones?

Bob Rogers: It was back in 2018 or 2019 and I was beginning my role as District 5130’s PolioPlus committee chair. Cort Vaughn, our End Polio Now coordinator, told me how District 5110 had formed a society several years earlier as a way to increase sustainable giving to the PolioPlus Fund. The original concept has been credited to Harriett Schloer of the Rotary Club of Bend High Desert in Oregon and her district governor, Dell Gray. Vaughn noted it had proved very successful and had been copied by other districts.

Continue reading

From London to Lagos to build awareness for End Polio Now

Kunle Adeyanju and friend
Kunle Adeyanju, left, poises for a selfie with one of the many people he met on his motor ride from London to Lagos.

By Kunle Adeyanju, Rotary Club Ikoyi Metro A.M, Lagos, Nigeria

Nothing worth accomplishing has ever been achieved effortlessly. And this was certainly true of my amazing road trip from London to Lagos on my motorbike to raise awareness for End Polio Now and raise funds for Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio. The road trip passed through desert, freezing cold, stunning forest landscapes, and across some of the remotest part of the earth.

Continue reading

Diving Deep: a look at water conflict and policy

Jahan Taganova
Jahan Taganova

No matter who you are or where in the world you come from, there is one thing that unites us all and makes us uniquely human: our need for clean water. Jahan Taganova is the recipient of a global grant scholarship from District 5340 to pursue a master’s degree in the Water Cooperation and Diplomacy program. Organized by the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, the UN Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and Oregon State University in the United States, it trains future water managers and other professionals to address competition over water. Writer, journalist, and natural resource advocate Ella Rachel Kerr spoke with Taganova about the dangers of conflict and how we can advocate for our number one resource, clean water.

Continue reading

5 ways to help on World Refugee Day

Train station in Pardubic, Czech Republic.
People displaced by the war in Ukraine arrive at a train station in Pardubice, Czech Republic. April 2022.

World Refugee Day, 20 June, is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. Members of Rotary and Rotaract clubs have been taking action through a variety of international projects to help raise awareness of the plight of refugees, advocate for humane policies related to refugees, and provide for immediate needs of refugees. Quentin Wodon, Chair of the Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration, has written a blog on 5 ways to support newcomers and migrants on the Rotary Service in Action blog. Also read about some of the efforts of Rotary and Rotaract members to support refugees through the years:

Continue reading

Through Rotary’s shared efforts, ‘peace will come’

Dr. Olha Paliychuk at convention
Dr. Olha Paliychuk, a gynecologist and Cherkasy Regional Oncologist in Ukraine, speaks at the general session of the Rotary International Convention in Houston 6 June. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

Editor’s note: The following is an adapted version of Dr. Olha Paliychuk’s remarks to the Rotary International Convention in  Houston, 6 June 2022

By Olha Paliychuk, Rotary Club of Cherkasky, Ukraine

I live and work in central Ukraine, not far from Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv. It was a long journey getting to convention: first by bus to the border of Poland, and then across the border and taking a long flight. But all the efforts are worth it.  As we say in Ukraine, “To see a friend, no road is too long.” 

I’m very honored – and happy – to be in Houston with my Rotary family and friends. I stand here on behalf of more than 1,000 Rotary members in Ukraine to say Thank You.

Continue reading