Talking sticks, restorative practices build cooperation

Lindsey Pointer facilitates a connection circle using a talking piece.

By Lindsey Pointer, Rotary Global Grant Scholar

During the recent U.S. government shut down, a bipartisan group of roughly two-dozen senators helped craft the funding deal to reopen the government. The group used a “talking stick” as a tool to facilitate their meeting, only allowing the senator with the stick to speak in an effort to cut down on interruptions. Continue reading

Clean water for Fante Mayera, Ghana

Albert Essien, left, visits the stream that is a source of water for the village.

By Albert Essien, Rotary Club of Tema Meridian, Ghana

Fante Mayera is a medium-size rural community of about 800 people in the greater Accra region of Ghana. In August, I visited the community with the manager of the Rotary-USAID partnership in Ghana and other officials to meet with villagers and check on the progress of a borehole and latrine. I had been part of an initial visit with my Rotary club in 2016 to assess conditions there, and it was exciting to return and see the difference this important collaboration is making. Continue reading

7 steps for submitting an outstanding peace fellowship application

A Rotary Peace Fellow at the 2017 Convention in Atlanta.

By Sarah Cunningham, Marketing and Recruitment Specialist at The Rotary Foundation

Although the application window for fellowship programs is generally short, applying for a fellowship is a long-term process requiring research, planning, outreach, and perseverance. Here are seven critical application steps we’ve learned from 15 years reviewing and selecting finalists for the Rotary Peace Fellowship. Continue reading

Two brothers take aim at eliminating hepatitis

In front of the hydroelectric power plant in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. About 11,000 cubic meters of water pass over the dam a second.

By Fred Mesquita, Rotary Club of São Paulo-Jardim das Bandeiras, São Paulo, Brazil

Two brothers, a car, one important social cause, a lot of courage, and many adventures along the way. That’s how our Expedition “Me Leva Junto” (Take me with you) began in October 2015, now more commonly known as the “Hepatitis Zero Expedition.”

My brother José Eduardo and I completed the first stage of our expedition, the Americas, in December, traveling through 20 countries and visiting 274 cities on the American continent. All our efforts are volunteer; there is no sponsorship from any company or organization. Continue reading

Rediscovering traditional justice in Africa

George Chacha

By George Chacha, 2013 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Before Europeans colonized much of Africa, local villagers had their own way of resolving conflicts through traditional justice systems. The community would select a certain number of elders, who they felt most suitable for deciding cases, to handle disputes. A distinctive characteristic of these traditional justice systems is that they primarily sought to heal relations between victims and offenders, in contrast to English Common Law, which by and large seeks to punish offenders as a deterrent to further offenses. Continue reading

My return to Minneapolis after 7 years

Rotary Scholar Anna Ueda with Rotarians in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

By Anna Ueda, 2010-11 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar

On Thanksgiving week in November 2017, I visited Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, where I was accredited as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar seven years ago. This short trip brought me so many precious moments in reconnecting with amazing people that I had met through Rotary, that I had to share them. Continue reading

Teaspoons of peace that will last a lifetime

With peace makers from around the world at the International Institute on Peace Education conference in Innsbruck, Austria

By d’Arcy Lunn, 2016-18 Rotary Peace Fellow, International Christian University, Tokyo

Take visiting 15 countries over five months, then add in any number of training events, an internship, research, attending conferences and events, and meeting two Nobel Peace Laureates, and you get an amazing formula for gaining skills in peace building. The final and most important result of this equation, though, will be what I eventually do with it all. I have some ideas about that. Continue reading

Durango club brings the power of light

By Joe Williams, Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak, Colorado, USA

Most people in the United States take electricity for granted. Only if a powerful storm hits and it is taken away do we get an understanding of what it is like to depend entirely on the sun for our light.

There is, however, a significant population in the heart of the United States that lives their lives with only the sun to light the way. Continue reading

New shoes delight children in Uganda

Children try on shoes as part of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South’s service project.

By Immy Julie Musoke Nakyeyune, president of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South, Uganda

A mist was rising over the meadow when I arrived early in the morning at Nyakishumba with members of my Rotaract club, brimming with excitement for the day ahead. Located in the hilly Kabale District of western Uganda, Nyakishumba is colder than most of the surrounding region. So we were bundled in our heavy coats this September day as we hurried to set up the medical camp in time; coordinating with the health care workers, arranging the necessary medicines, and establishing diagnostic stations and areas for HIV testing.

It has been almost three years since we first visited the community to do our needs assessment, discovering their unique concerns and needs. The first phase of our project in 2016 had focused on supporting education at the primary school. Now, we were addressing disease prevention, maternal and child health, education, and economic and community development. We were all excited at the opportunity Rotaract was providing us to work with members of other clubs to help this community. Continue reading

Improving access to water in Ghana

Ako Odotei greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.

Ako Odotei, chair of the Ghana Host Committee of the RI-USAID collaboration, greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.

By Theophilus Mensah

In early October, Rotary Foundation Chair Paul Netzel was on hand to open the West Africa Project Fair in Accra, Ghana, where Rotary and USAID are partnering to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene in six regions of the country.

The project fair, as the name suggests, involves Rotary clubs across the West Africa sub-region, and is in its 12th year. It serves as an excellent forum for local clubs to show off their projects and establish partnerships with international clubs to secure the financial and technical support needed to implement projects in the region. Continue reading