What difference can one conversation, one action really have? As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada living and working in the border area between Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia, I have always had a passion for peace. By good fortune, I have had the opportunity to meet four RI presidents, and I asked each what polio eradication has taught Rotarians about peace. The answer that inspired me most came from past RI President Barry Rassin, who told me “peace happens one conversation at a time.”
By Florencio Naguit, Rotary Club of Intramuros-Manila, Philippines
In 2017, my club began our first global grant project, an effort to provide 28 toilets to three communities of indigenous people called Aeta in the mountains of central Luzon. Two of these communities were in an isolated area a five-hour drive from Manila (including two by 4×4 jeep over rough terrain) while the third is in a closer, more urban area. They have not toilets in their homes (like more than 9 million households in my country) and either rely on pit latrines of defecate in the open. This leaves them open to diseases like diarrhea and cholera.
By Jeff Lake, Rotary Club of Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
I began to work with the nonprofit organization Chin Community of Indiana in 2016 after our club’s foundation granted them $250,000 over five years, with a three-year extension through 2023. Many Burmese Chin, fleeing persecution in their home country, have chosen Southport as their new home. Almost 20,000 Chin live on the south side of Indianapolis, making it one of the largest concentrations of Chin people outside of Myanmar.
By Jeffry Cadorette, past RI director and chair of Rotary International’s Communications Committee
Most of us have social media accounts that we use to promote Rotary. In our network are Rotary friends, but also family, friends, and colleagues outside of Rotary. This is all very good.
Many of our profile banners include a stamp that says “Proud Member” or “End Polio Now” along with our mark of excellence, the Rotary logo. We have photos of club events we attended (from the time when we could attend events in person). Our posts go to both members and those outside the Rotary family.
By Temrah Okonski, assistant governor in District 7620 (D.C. & Maryland, USA)
Our district faced a critical decision on what to do about our annual speech contest on The Four-Way Test when the COVID-19 pandemic began to change the world last year. We decided to still hold one, but online. The results proved to be way better than we expected. And we’re convinced that with these few pointers, you can hold your own virtual competition.Continue reading →
By Genaro da Silva Ribeiro, International Affairs Director, MDIO Rotaract Brazil
Rhythm is sound and movement; it is dance, joy, and creativity. Brazilian rhythms are the expression of a plurality of cultures and pride of being one big country, one great people.
From the Samba to Carimbó, Veneira to Forró we are united in our diversity, dancing, and singing while we make the world a better place. We couldn’t think of a better theme as a group of people from different regions and backgrounds to organize this event. Continue reading →
Atomic bomb survivor Michiaki Ikeda speaks during the webinar “Bearing Witness from Nagasaki”
By Jaclyn McAlester, Rotary Peace Fellow at International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
I grew up in New Mexico, USA. I doubt most people think of nuclear testing when they think of New Mexico, but that’s exactly where testing of nuclear devices of the same design as the atomic bombs detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place. The testing was conducted on 16 July, 1945. Less than one month later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first and only time nuclear weapons of such magnitude have been used in armed conflict. Continue reading →
Erin Maloney watching a recording of the 2020 Virtual Convention on her laptop. (On screen is her brother, 2019-20 Rotary International President Mark D. Maloney
By Erin Maloney
Until this summer, I had never really thought about joining a Rotary club. Even though I have been involved with service – from anti-domestic violence issues to giving music lessons – for all of my adult life, I was not interested in the traditional model of Rotary (with weekly meetings).
Living in Turkey, I was becoming more interested in reducing human trafficking, as I was concerned that female university students from abroad were being “groomed.” After the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it became more difficult to address this issue. Continue reading →
By Janel Breen, member of the Rotary Club of Cupertino and Rotaract Club of Silicon Valley, General Secretary of Big West Rotaract Multi-District Informational Organization
Let’s play a game. I’m American. What assumptions have you just made about me? My parents are Filipino immigrants. How have those assumptions now changed?
Without realizing it, we make assumptions of people on the little we actually know about them. Everyone has some prejudicial beliefs. It’s how society taught us to think. After all, how did societies like mine define lighter skin as the universal truth for “beautiful”? But we CAN change it. We CAN confront these beliefs if we are intentional about it, but we can’t get defensive. We have to accept that our understanding of the world is changing and to do better with our new knowledge. Continue reading →
Editors note: The following blog post was written before COVID-19. It has been edited with permission to reflect the impact of social distancing and meeting virtually. Please visit the Rotary and Toastmasters websites for further info about how these organizations are keeping members safe and connected during the pandemic.
By Alfred Brothers, governor of District 6540 and a member of the Rotary Club of Anthony Wayne (Fort Wayne), Indiana, USA
I had heard of Toastmasters, but never got involved with the organization until last year, when Rotary members from our area and I attended the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. There we heard about Rotary’s collaboration with Toastmasters. Continue reading →