The most important thing in the world

Jessica Compton enjoys the view on Mount Sunday, located in the middle of the South Island in Kakatere Conservation Park.

By Jessica Compton, Rotary Global Grant Scholar to New Zealand

As a child, I dreamed of teaching. But it took until my junior year of college to return to that dream. My undergraduate coursework had prepared me for the content, if not the pedagogical strategies, to effectively engage and teach adolescents English – reading, listening and viewing; writing, speaking, and presenting. Continue reading

Improving the lives of Ghana children through handwashing

By Neyeram Kukula, Rotary Club of Accra-West, Ghana

On 18 May, I joined fellow Rotary members, the project manager for the Rotary-USAID partnership in Ghana, and an engineer from Global Communities, the implementing partner, in visiting sites in the Shai Osu Doku district two hours northeast of the capital of Accra. We visited three schools where the partnership is working to improve water and sanitation facilities and change personal hygiene habits. Continue reading

Helping refugees in Europe

Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld treating a patient at a refugee shelter.

By Brady Way, 2017-18 president of the Rotary Club of Moorehead City-Lookout, North Carolina, USA

In the winter of 2014, Europe was beginning to experience a massive refugee influx as a result of the turmoil in the Middle East and Africa. Berlin would receive 100,000 of the 1.2 million refugees which came to Germany.

Rotarian Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld went to a refugee shelter with a much needed donation of clothing. She was immediately struck with the urgent need for medical care and medical supplies. The refugees had traveled long distances for several months, in harsh conditions, fleeing many atrocities at home. They had many obvious acute and chronic problems, especially the children. Continue reading

Kenyan clubs celebrate Foundation centennial

Rotary members worked with the Hope Citadel Foundation to provide health care at the medical camps.

By Valentine Nyakiere, a member of the Rotary Cub of Nyeri, Kenya

We wanted to celebrate The Rotary Foundation Centennial by addressing the health challenges of people in Kenya. So clubs in District 9212 came up with the idea to hold medical camps across the country and provide much needed health services to hundreds. This was also perfect timing as doctors in Kenya had gone on a strike that lasted 100 days! Continue reading

Trip to World War I sites provokes thoughts of war, peace

Rotary Peace Fellows from the University of Bradford visit World War I sites in France and Belgium.

By Holly White, Class XV, Rotary Peace Center at the University of Bradford, England

Earlier this month, I took part in a tight, four-day trip to World War I battlefields and commemorative sites in France and Belgium with other Rotary Peace Fellows at the University of Bradford (including one Fellow’s sweet, energetic daughter!), host coordinators, and a few others connected to Rotary.

From the perspective of a Peace Fellow, it was interesting and, at times uncomfortable learning about the “Great War,” and how war is interpreted, commemorated, and, at times, glorified. Continue reading

Deeply wounded world needs Rotary Peace Centers

Maire-Paule Attema, right, and her husband, left, with host Rotarians in Brisbane, Australia.

By Marie-Paule Attema, a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

After months of anticipation, I finally arrived in Brisbane, Australia, where I will be for the next 18 months while I pursue the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland Rotary Peace Center.

I quickly felt at home after being picked up by our “Australian parents,” who have been extremely helpful in our transition.  I have enjoyed the pros and cons of Australian living as I have quickly adapted to 30 Continue reading

Rotary brought joy back into my life

Jack Bechaud with children in Cusco, Peru.

By Jack Bechaud, Rotary Club of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, USA

If you would have told me a few years ago that I’d be lugging 15 bags of cement in the high mountains of Cusco, Peru, to help local villagers, I would not have believed you.

It sounds a little cliché, but Rotary has helped me come so far, in so many ways. It’s helped me grow as a person in ways I never thought possible. It’s brought joy back to my life. Continue reading

Rotary training team helps the girls of Malawi

The Rotary club’s project trained teachers for an after school program designed to empower girls, like those above, to stay in school.

By Elizabeth Usovicz

Last April, I led a Vocational Training Team (VTT) to Malawi. The global grant project of the Rotary clubs of Limbe (Malawi) and Kansas City-Plaza (Missouri, USA) installed solar lighting in schools and trained primary school teachers in an after-school program designed to empower children, especially girls, to stay in school. Continue reading

Why host a Rotary Peace Fellow?

Masao Mizuno meets with a Rotary Peace Fellow.

By Masao Mizuno, Rotary Club of Ageo West, Japan

Hosting a Peace Fellow substantially changed my life in Rotary. Since joining Rotary, I have been running a company that imports industrial tools, mostly from Israel and Europe, so I am familiar with talking to people from other countries. Continue reading

Changing the world is possible, through Rotary

Bethany Lerch, right, takes notes while speaking to a female attendee during a national mine awareness conference in Kabul.

By Bethany Lerch, former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, 2010-2011

I knew little about Rotary eight years ago when my former high school counselor encouraged me to apply for an Ambassadorial Scholarship. He was retired, but still active in Rotary, and knew a master’s was my next step. At the time, I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and knew I needed to go to graduate school. But where and how? Continue reading