By Helene Dudley, past president of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove, Florida, USA
My eyes filled with tears as I attended a Zoom meeting of the Yumbe, Uganda provisional Rotary Club discussing a service project they were planning to help a nearby village. I reached out in chat to another participant of the meeting who admitted she too was tearing up. The club is not yet officially recognized by Rotary International and the women are well below the poverty line but they are already doing service projects.
By Carolyn Schrader, Rotary Club of Denver Mile High, Colorado, USA
When I first joined Rotary, I was encouraged by another member to join in sponsoring a $14,000 AIDS awareness grant in Harare, Zimbabwe. I helped raise funds and worked with the Harare Rotarians to write the grant completed in 2005. But my connection to Zimbabwe lasted much longer.
As I was writing the grant report, I realized I had no idea what had really happened because the grant activity was in Zimbabwe and I was in Denver. I needed to go see the project. That was perhaps one of the most fateful decisions I ever made.
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 →
Eva Kurniaty harvests a paddy field that was turned into productive land through a global grant.
By Eva Kurniaty, Rotary Coordinator, Past District Governor, and member of the Rotary Club of Jakarta Sunter Centennial, Indonesia
When I was a district governor in 2013, there was a Rotary club in my district, in Cilacap, Central Java, that only had a few members. My senior leaders advised me to terminate the club since they were inactive, held no meetings, conducted no projects, and never contributed to The Rotary Foundation. But I was determined not to end it; I knew it was possible to revive it. Continue reading →
Martin Cohn holds up containers of Green Mountain Yogurt made from surplus milk.
By Martin Cohn, past president of the Rotary Club of Brattleboro, Vermont, USA
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont dairy farmers were in trouble. With the close of colleges and restaurants, there was too much supply of milk. This excess was headed to be spilled into mudholes. At the same time, the need to help food-insecure families was increasing. How could food that was being wasted reach people who needed food?
That’s when I heard about a project where the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets was coordinating an effort to recover raw milk from being disposed of while creating a new, temporary food supply for Vermont Foodbank. In collaboration with the Vermont Community Foundation, $60,000 was made available to purchase this milk for the benefit of Vermonters. These efforts were particularly important as Vermont’s dairy industry, like all sectors, had been challenged by COVID-19 but remain essential to the state’s food supply. However, more money was needed. Continue reading →
A member of the Rotary Club of Camp Aguinaldo, Philippines, delivers a packet of food.
By Elizabeth P. Directo, Rotary Club of Camp Aguinaldo, Philippines
Knowing that many people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, incoming club presidents in our district (3780) were looking for a way to spread a little bit of hope to those who lacked it. So we partnered with a mobile kitchen, run by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to make and distribute meals for residents in need. Continue reading →
Using global grant funding, Rotary members provided a well, water tower, and new fountains to a village in Benin.
By Victor Barnes, Director of Programs & Grants
In 2013, Rotary set out on its new grant model under the Future Vision Plan, in the hopes that the approach would enhance the scope, impact, and sustainability of humanitarian projects. More than six years later, and with over $460 million invested in almost 7,000 projects across the globe, Rotary is ready to augment these critical investments with a new grant type. Beginning January 2020, Rotary International is introducing a highly selective, competitive grant model that empowers Rotarians to implement large-scale, high impact projects with experienced partners. Continue reading →
Semilla Nueva technician Noe speaks to farmers about their new seed. Photo by Sarah Caroline Müller/Semilla Nueva
By Don Reiman, Rotary Club of Boise, Idaho, USA
Semilla Nueva means “New Seed.” In Guatemala the “new seed” developed by Semilla Nueva is creating new life for some of the world’s most malnourished children.
In March 2013, my wife and I traveled to Guatemala to check out Semilla Nueva, a nonprofit our Rotary club was considering supporting as part of our international service. Our past history with nonprofits taught us it was important to make sure the Rotary club’s resources would be backing a valid and sustainable project. What we found and experienced far exceeded our expectations. Continue reading →
Establishing a food garden in your school or community can help reduce malnutrition. The Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group promotes innovative solutions, such as community gardens, to end hunger, fight malnutrition, and ensure food security. World Food Day is a great time to think about planting a garden. Here are five steps to get started: Continue reading →
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 →