By Ann Marie Ellis, Rotary Club of Austin, Texas, USA
I had been to Serbia in 2019 before as a tourist, but I didn’t expect that I’d develop a life-long relationship with the people, the country, and its traditions through Rotary. However, that’s exactly what happened.
In the spring of 2020, I received an email from former Governor Vladimir Matic in District 2483 (Serbia & Montenegro) asking if my club, the Rotary Club of Austin, would participate as the international partner on a global grant. The grant would be part of a new initiative called Hearts of Europe, which is a collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Rotary International.
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 →