By Ademar Bechtold and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration
The number of refugees globally has been steadily rising. The ongoing war in Ukraine has created an even larger humanitarian crisis with millions of displaced people. There is much that Rotary clubs are doing, and can be doing, to help the resettlement of refugees.
About a month ago, Ademar and I joined a combined board meeting of our Rotary Action Group and the Rotary Fellowship for Global Development, discussing what could be done to help the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the United States. Ademar, a professor of economics at Notre Dame of Maryland University, suggested his university might be able to provide one or two scholarships for Afghan youth. We all thought this would be a brilliant idea.
A decade ago, Jackie Huie and members of the Rotary Club of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA, launched a program that has helped hundreds of local high school students learn more about their dream careers by connecting them with professionals in those fields. The program is still running strong. And Huie talks about the value of the program, and what she loves about Rotary in this podcast. Learn more about the program at https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-pairs-students-top-mentors
By Abdullah Al Fahad, immediate past president, Rotaract Club of Dhaka Orchid, Bangladesh
Esara is a seven-year-old girl who lives in the Habiganj district of Bangladesh with her mother. She lost her father three years ago when he was killed in a traffic accident. They live on the income of her mother, who barely makes enough to put food on the table.
By Meg Ramey and Duke Adams, Rotary Club of Harrisburg Keystone, Pennsylvania, USA
Since I was first introduced to Rotary in 2016, I have experienced a month-long vocational study trip to Taiwan, became a Rotarian, and met my wife, Dr. Meg Ramey, all through Rotary. Along the way I’ve served a few pancakes, planted some shrubbery for a Martin Luther King memorial, picked up pounds of trash, made some great friends, and had the honor to experience the hospitality of Rotarians locally and abroad. Rotary is awesome! Now, I am embarking on my latest Rotary adventure as the 2021-22 president of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg Keystone.
Youth Service Month is a special time in Rotary. Throughout the month of May, members of Rotary clubs, Rotaract, Interact, and those involved in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) and Rotary Youth Exchange celebrate the opportunities Rotary provides to connect, grow through service, develop leadership skills, mentor or be mentored, and have fun.
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 →
The COVID-19 crisis has created significant challenges in education. Developing remote learning plans and using new technology compounds the already complex task of teaching children and achieving the desired educational outcomes. Rotarians are quick to want to help, but not all responses have the same kind of impact. Read these suggestions for Rotary clubs wanting to support education sustainably through a global grant project. Continue reading →
Kisa mentors on a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro with Curt Harris in 2018.
By Curt Harris, past governor, Rotary District 5450
Although I joined Rotary in 1997, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a Rotary-sponsored fundraiser three years later that I really felt I had become a Rotarian.
This was my first opportunity to visit a developing country and see first-hand what poverty looks like. It is quite an eye-opener. I also got to observe some of the great things that Rotary was doing in the area. On that trip, our team of 11 climbers raised nearly $300,000 to support the Selian Hospital in northern Tanzania. Three years later, I returned with a smaller team, raising $125,000 to help build Selian Hospital’s new sister facility near downtown Arusha. Continue reading →
Ryan Bell explains what Rotary has to offer young people, including exciting service opportunities that will connect you to others in your community.
By Ryan Bell, Iowa City District 6000 Public Image Co-Chair
I have a message for all you young people out there who may never have heard about Rotary. Or if you have, it was from a parent or grandparent who spent more time talking about the lunch menu or how great the salad bar is. If that’s all you’ve heard about Rotary, then you’re missing a lot. And let me tell you why, in the middle of this pandemic, Rotary is more relevant than ever. It’s definitely something you want to know about. Continue reading →
Students in Santa Lucia, Guatemala, are making soap from volcanic ash as part of the district grant project to empower students and keep them in school.
By Maureen Duncan, a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers and a returned Peace Corps volunteer
As a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, I evaluate projects in Central and South America. I am also a former Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Brazil (from 1966 to 1968). These two organizations have great potential for working together to achieve amazing results. Recently, I was able to combine these two networks for a grant project that is advancing education and providing economic opportunities for youth in Guatemala. Continue reading →