Rotary Peace Fellow sheds light on minorities in Japan

Farrah Hasnain and her friends at the Hamamatsu Festival.

Farrah Hasnain

By Farrah Hasnain

My aim is to change my students’ perception of the U.S. There is a hegemony of whiteness in English language teaching, and I want to represent how diverse and multifaceted the American identity truly is.”

When I wrote this to enter The JET Program as a high school English teacher in 2014, I was not aware of how much this would impact my life in Japan. As I began to crack open textbooks, wake up sleepy students, and navigate the enigma that was the old-school Japanese copy machine, I slowly built a consciousness for the parallels that thrived in the rice fields and smoky factories of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. Continue reading

Italian Rotarians screen homeless for COVID-19

Healthcare workers apply rapid serology tests to consenting homeless individuals on the streets of Palermo, Italy, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless and those who help them.

Italian Rotary members through a partnership between the Rotary Club of Palermo, the Associazione Francesca Morvillo, and Karol Strutture Sanitarie, launched a screening campaign to help stop the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population of the City of Palermo. It is part of the ongoing efforts of Italian Rotarians to use their skills and connections to counter this pandemic. Continue reading

Becoming a champion for Syrian youth

Champion School students fix a soccer goal and clean up a practice field.

Muyi Yang

Muyi Yang, Rotary Peace Fellow, Uppsala University, 2019-21

If you told me ten years ago that I would be running a non-profit school in a post-conflict country, I would have laughed out loud. At the time, I was working as a business representative for a commodity trading company, visiting clients and inspecting their coal mines.

Visiting one client, colleagues and I found several unbelievably young workers at several mines. Some of them looked even under 10 years old. The client admitted to us that the workers were indeed below the legal age to be working in the mines, but they were keeping it secret because, “what else can we do?” Continue reading

Million Mask challenge displays power of Rotary network

A 26-foot truck, emblazoned on all sides with the Million Mask Challenge Tour
message, distributed face masks to Rotary clubs throughout New England.

By Robert Friend, Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 32

In the early morning of 29 September, a cargo ship carrying 800,000 face masks arrived at the Port of Boston. Over the course of the following 14 days, those masks were delivered to first responders, healthcare providers, and frontline workers in cities, towns, and villages across New England.

This is a story of service and leadership. It’s a story of how our District and Zone responded to a crisis, rallied its resources, put boots-on-the-ground to bring disparate and far-flung communities together to spread goodwill. Most importantly, it’s a story about working together and using our collective professional backgrounds through the Rotary network to make a difference. Continue reading

Top 10 ways to be a peacebuilder in the new year

A peace mural in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The mural is part of a project initiated in 2017 by Yesenia Uribe Rochel, of the Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of Juarez Emprende, which she helped to found in 2019. The project is designed to promote leadership, open minds, and develop resiliency in the community.

By Fergal McCarthy, Peace Programs Manager

Many people use the end of one year to reflect on things they would like to accomplish in the coming year. What better resolution than to sow the seeds of peace in 2021?

Peace underscores much of the work that Rotary members do in improving their communities around the world. Rotary’s peacebuilding initiatives seek to create environments where lasting peace is possible. Continue reading

Planting seeds of motivation to support the environment

Members of the Rotaract Club of Nürtingen, Germany, plant trees in a cleared area last spring.

Dominik Huhndorf

By Dominik Huhndorf, vice president of the Rotaract Club of Nürtingen, Germany

My Rotaract club established a project, Treety of Generations, to motivate clubs around the world to plant trees in cleared areas. In doing so, we show the power of working with Rotary.

We began by finding two partner clubs on different continents who were as passionate about the environment as we were: The Rotaract Club Cumbayá, Ecuador, and Club MOP Vaishnav, India. With this strong alliance, we launched a pilot project. Continue reading

Love, loss, a novel, and a new Rotary club

Soumya and Rupa Mohanty

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”
—Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

By Soumya Mohanty, Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar Smile, India

We all fall in love, at different stages of life. But there is always that one person you meet and hold dear to your heart. No matter how many new people you meet or how many acquaintances you make, you look for traces of that one person in anybody and everybody. That is the kind of impact they have on you. Now imagine never being able to see that person again – because that is how destiny likes to play. And all you have left are memories that last a lifetime. Continue reading

Why I Raise for Rotary: Doing Good with the World Fund

Trustee Brenda Cressey

By Brenda Cressey, Trustee and Rotary Member of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA

Several years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to take part in a multi-project mission with more than 100 Rotarians, spouses, Rotaractors and even a few new Rotarians from Rotary District 5280. We flew to Panama to visit project sites, perform cataract surgeries, and deliver wheelchairs.

There were several “Rotary moments” on that trip, but the truly unforgettable moment for me was when a grandfather, having no legs, was presented with the gift of mobility in the form of a bright red wheelchair. Continue reading

My miracle and ending modern slavery

Chiang’s class at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

By Mina Chiang, Rotary Global Grant Scholar to University of Sussex, 2017-18

I will never forget the miracle that changed my life. I call it a miracle because the sheer chance of it happening is close to zero.

I was living in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, at the time supporting the establishment of a new science university for a local Catholic church. There was a small museum next to the university that tells the story of the town’s role as a major port and central hub during the slave trade centuries ago. I have always had a passion for helping the vulnerable and deprived, and had secured master’s degree offers from some of the best International Development programs in the world. But my family and I lacked the resources for me to pursue an advanced degree. Continue reading

Bring sunshine to a stormy day

Taking part in a service project in Manila.

By Maria Elena “Marilen” Tronqued-Lagniton, past president of the Rotary Club of Cubao Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines

I shall pass this way but once. Any good that I can do or kindness I can show let me do it now.

But what if today was the last day of your life? Would you be fulfilled with how you have invested your time? Would you have any regrets? Time is the currency we begin each day with. It is our most valuable and most limited asset. Continue reading