By Celia Giay, chair of the 2020 Rotary International Convention and a past RI vice president
When RI President Mark Maloney invited me to be the chair of the 2020 Rotary International Convention two and a half years ago, I accepted the honor, aware of the responsibility of being the first woman Rotarian to serve in that position, but motivated by the opportunity to organize such an important meeting. Continue reading
Viviana Bennett (middle) and friends at the Rotaract Preconvention in Hamburg, Germany.
By Viviana Bennett, president, Plano Community Rotaract Club, Texas, USA
I get very excited when it comes to Rotary events, and the 2019 Rotaract Preconvention was no exception. It was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my Rotary journey so far. I attended my first Preconvention and Convention in Hamburg, Germany, in 2019, and had an amazing experience meeting fellow Rotaractors and Rotarians from all around the world. Continue reading
Kiran Singh Sirah (middle with sunglasses) and other Rotary Peace Fellows at the Rotary Peace Symposium in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International.
By Kiran Singh Sirah, Rotary Peace Fellow and president of the International Storytelling Center
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of visiting Hamburg, Germany, to present a series of talks at the Rotary International Convention and Peace Symposium. I always look forward to the symposiums and the chance to reconnect with other Rotary Peace Fellows. The event underscored for me how much better it is to hear people’s stories in real life, in person, as opposed to on the news. Continue reading
Rüdiger Niemz. 4 June 2019, Hamburg, Germany.
Rüdiger Niemz, Rotary Club of Mondseeland, Austria, as told to Diana Schoberg. Photos by Monika Lozinska
“When I was invited to join Rotary, instead of giving a presentation about my job, as everyone is expected to do, I did a whiskey tasting.
“I became interested in whiskey when I was traveling a lot as a journalist. I was working on travel shows about foreign countries. You would come back very late from the filming and editing, and then you’d meet somebody at the bar. You’d start talking, and start sharing whiskey. You don’t drink whiskey to get drunk. It’s part of an exciting lifestyle. Continue reading
Ella Lacey. 1 June 2019, Hamburg, Germany.
Ella Phillips Lacey, a member of the Rotary Club of Carbondale, Illinois, USA, as told to Jenny Llakmani. Photos by Monika Lozinska
“I was a professor at Southern Illinois University’s school of medicine for 22 years. My Ph.D. is in health education. At the end of 1994, I retired and joined the Peace Corps. It was a transitional step for me. I think it’s a great opportunity for people who are retired. When you’re working in cultures as different from yours as Malawi was from mine, it’s great to have some life experiences already. Sometimes when we first leave college, we think we’ve learned all we ever need to know. Continue reading
Alexandria Ritchie, 2 June 2019, Hamburg, Germany.
Alexandria Ritchie, a member of the Rotaract Club of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Rotary Club of James River (Richmond), Virginia, USA, as told to Diana Schoberg. Photos by Monika Lozinska
“I decided when I was 14 that I wanted to be a physician. It was when my parents told me about Oliver.
“Oliver is my older brother. He was born with Trisomy 13 (also called Patau syndrome), a chromosome dysfunction. He was alive for a day. I never had the opportunity to meet him. I remember when my parents were talking with me about it. I felt this pull – I wanted to be someone that could alleviate for other families what my family had felt. Continue reading
Eduardo Rodrigues da Costa, Rotary Peace Fellow 2010-12; Global Grant Scholar at University of Manitoba, Canada, as told to Diana Schoberg. Photos by Monika Lozinska
“I was the first Rotary Peace Fellow from the Brazilian Amazon. The Amazon rainforest has a number of conflicts right now related to development, deforestation, and local indigenous people. I was interested in how we can promote peace by promoting sustainable development. Continue reading
Rick Olson visits with children in Tanzania.
By Rick Olson, Rotary Club of Prior Lake, Minnesota, USA
Climate change is an impersonal, ambiguous term, which denotes negative impact on people around the world. But on a recent trip to Tanzania in Africa I met some of the innocents who will be most affected by the increased droughts caused by carbon dioxide emissions. Continue reading
Rotaractors take a selfie during the Rotaract Preconvention in Toronto, Canada, 22 June 2018. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
By Florian Wackermann, Rotary Club of Germering, Germany
You don’t have to be a Rotaractor to enjoy the Rotaract Preconvention. In fact, there are plenty of reasons for Rotarians to attend, as well. Perhaps one of the best is getting to know this vibrant part of the Rotary family and building connections that will welcome these younger members into the Rotary fold. Continue reading
Viktorija Trimbel and her daughter, Gabija, a 2010 Rotary Youth Exchange student.
By Viktorija Trimbel, District 1462 (Lithuania) Youth Exchange Chair, and Governor nominee for 2020-2021
Days before the Rotary Convention, over 500 Youth Exchange Officers (YEOs) from all over the world get together to learn and share best practices. The YEO Preconvention is my favorite Rotary meeting. From my past experience, I have found the challenges of youth exchange are pretty universal – selecting students, overseeing behavior, finding host families, and involving Rotary clubs. It is very interesting to learn solutions from other districts. Continue reading