Why The Four-Way Test is my ethical guide

S.R. Yogananda

S.R. Yogananda

By S.R. Yogananda, past district governor, past regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, and a member of the Rotary Bangalore East, Bengaluru, India

The year was 1987. I had come back from the Sultanate of Oman and was running a consumer products distribution company in Bangalore, India, when a business executive came to my office one evening. He said “I have been watching the way you do business. You are not taking short cuts, you have asked your staff and accountants to follow all the government regulations. I would like to invite you to join my Rotary club.” Rotary, he said “amongst other things, stands for integrity” Continue reading

Discovering the power of Rotary during a pandemic

Sorting food for the food drive

Members of the Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas, sort items for a food drive in a school parking lot.

By Nathan Rizzo, Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas, USA

I have been a member of my club for two years, but it was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that I learned what it truly means to be a Rotarian. When my state of Texas went into quarantine, our club president, Brandon Logan, set up a ‘virtual happy hour’ on Thursday evenings. It was amazing to see all of the friendly, smiling faces of my fellow Rotarians. We spent an hour catching up; and then our conversation turned to service, and what we could do to help during the pandemic. Continue reading

Event highlights how Rotary members can help refugees

Cristal Montañéz has been working with Rise Against Hunger to provide meals for Venezuelan refugees in Colombia.

By Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Washington Global, USA

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are among the most vulnerable people on earth. The latest UNHCR report released ahead of World Refugee Day in June estimates that 79.5 million people were forcibly displaced in 2019. Sadly, the number keeps rising as conflict and economic crises force people out of their home. Syria still has the largest number of refugees globally, but displacement is also affecting millions of people in Venezuela and Central America, generating major economic and civilian challenges for the Latin America region as a whole. Continue reading

How to support Rotary Youth Exchange students during the pandemic

By Rotary International’s Youth Exchange and Youth Protection staff

As the world faces extraordinary challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotary Youth Exchange students worldwide are facing unique challenges of their own. Rotary International has been working in tandem with Youth Exchange club and district leaders to ensure that the health and safety of students remains the priority whether in their host country or returning  home. Continue reading

Atomic bomb trees serve as silent witness for peace

Akio Nishikiori

By Akio Nishikiori, member of the Rotary Club of Hiroshima Southeast, Japan, and an atomic bomb survivor

My Rotary club, Hiroshima Southeast, has actively promoted peace for its entire 60-year existence. We built a house for orphans who lost their families during the atomic bombings in 1945 and in 1982, became a sister club with Rotary Club of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA. Our two clubs continue to exchange friendship and organize joint service projects. Continue reading

Why Toastmasters benefits Rotary clubs

Toastmasters meeting

Portland Rotary members at a Toastmasters meeting.

Terry Beard

Terry Beard

By Terry Beard, Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon, USA

You may have heard that most people would rather die than give a speech. Public speaking is the number one fear for many people.

For 49 years, I too had a fear of public speaking. It was so bad, I would break out in a sweat. I’d leave the room. I’d find excuses, or ask other people to stand up and speak for me. Anything to avoid having to speak in public. A couple of bad experiences early in my life built up this fear, but I made it my goal to overcome it. Fifteen years ago at the age of 50, I was introduced to Toastmasters by a good friend, and I’ve been a member since. Continue reading

Our promises to the world

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of reflections on Rotary’s Vision Statement: Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Paddy Rooney

Paddy Rooney

By Paddy Rooney, governor of District 7390 (Pennsylvania, USA)

Just recently we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the first time any human had stood on another world. But as remarkable as that event was what I remember most from that whole period was the earlier flights from the Kennedy Space Center and, above all, that remarkable photograph of Earth taken from the module which was the first time any of us had seen our planet as a whole from a distance. There it was, splendid in its suspension in the midst of the black space which surrounded it, a remarkable view of our world which took your breath away for its beauty and its wonder. Continue reading

Artists unite to help The Bahamas rebuild

Julien Believe

Julien Believe, singer, songwriter and Rotarian, performs at the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg. Julien is collaborating with other artists and Past RI President Barry Rassin on recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

By Julien Believe, singer, songwriter, entertainer, and member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau

Three years ago, I penned “I Believe in You,” along with my amazing team, with one purpose in mind – to inspire and motivate. It is a timeless song for anyone that needs a moral boost or just a little nudge to say, “you matter.” After the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in both Abaco and Grand Bahama, it was only fitting that I release ”I Believe in You” with a few tweaks. My fellow country mates needed help but most importantly they needed HOPE. This song is designed to create a sense of hope, strength and assurance in knowing that we, as a nation, will live up to being strong. Continue reading

Rotary members don’t turn a blind eye to need

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of reflections on Rotary’s Vision Statement: Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Paddy Rooney

Paddy Rooney

By Paddy Rooney, governor of District 7390 (Pennsylvania, USA)

It is said that the greatest problem with adolescents is that they are selective listeners … although I personally believe that the problem is not limited to adolescents! We all hear what we want to hear and choose to ignore those things that we don’t want to hear. We pick and choose from the information offered to us, accepting that which pleases us to hear at the moment and ignoring that which we find uncomfortable. Continue reading

What the ‘together’ in Rotary’s vision statement means

Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Rotary International Vision Statement

Paddy Rooney

Paddy Rooney

By Paddy Rooney, governor of District 7390 (Pennsylvania, USA)

The word which defines much of our world today is division. We are divided in so many ways by race or creed, ethnicity or belief, by gender or age or sexuality. But the divisions have gone beyond mere realities and instead have become a source of dissention among us with the result that we have sliced and diced ourselves into smaller and smaller groups or tribes which only further exacerbate our  sense of alienation one from the other.

So what does it mean when our Rotary International Mission Statement begins with the word “Together.” Does together mean that we ignore the differences between us, pretend that they don’t exist, make believe that there never was any division among us? I don’t think so. Continue reading