Incoming district governors prepared to Be the Inspiration

By Hank Sartin, Rotary editorial staff

District governors-elect got their first look at the 2018-19 presidential theme Be the Inspiration Sunday at the International Assembly, an annual training event for incoming district leaders. RI President-elect Barry Rassin urged the audience to build a stronger organization by inspiring a younger generation and by getting the word out to the community at large about the work Rotary does. “I will ask you to inspire with your words and with your deeds: doing what we need to do today, to build a Rotary that will be stronger tomorrow; stronger when we leave it, than it was when we came.”

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts on being the inspiration. Continue reading

5 reasons why Pakistan needs Rotaract

By Fatima Khurram, newsletter editor for District 3272

1. Polio

Administering polio vaccine at the train station

Pakistan is one of only three countries that have never stopped the transmission of the wild polio virus, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria. Two years ago, polio was widespread in my country. Today, through Rotary’s efforts we are down to a very few cases. In fact, worldwide, Rotary has helped drop the incidence of polio by 99 percent since it began the effort to eradicate this disease. We need Rotary to bring us to the goal we are all hoping for, an end to polio in Pakistan, and everywhere. Every year, polio vaccines are donated to each province of Pakistan and immunization workers carry out the honorable effort of administering the vaccine, sometimes at personal risk, to children. Continue reading

The power of volun-telling

Sarah Tuberty, right, and her mother during a visit to Boston last year.

By Sarah Tuberty, president of the Rotaract Club of Sargent College Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I awoke early on a Saturday morning to the sound of my mother’s voice. “Good morning Sarah, I signed us up for a Rotary service project. You should put on old clothes. We are painting a map on the Alamo Elementary School playground. Quick, we need to leave in 15 minutes”

A form of this conversation occurred more times than I can remember when I was growing up. My mother, Katheryn Tuberty, has been a member of the Vacaville Rotary Club in California, USA, since 1998. Someone recommended to her that as the new administrator of the local assisted living center, it would be a great way to get to know the community. She was hooked from the first meeting. She loved the club, the people, and the community. She is an engaged person of action, a prominent figure in town, and a “mover and shaker.” She is also the queen of “volun-telling.”

Continue reading

Why Rotary scholarships are sustainable investments

Sarah Ehlinger Affotey, a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, at a project site in Ghana.

By Sarah Ehlinger Affotey

After receiving an Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary in 2011, I put a lot of pressure on myself to “do it right,” or in other words, give Rotary a solid return on its investment. With each passing month in Ghana, what I had first deemed as peripheral – the friendships, conversations, and breakdown of stereotypes – were actually advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. How ingenious that this scholarship allowed me to advance Rotary’s mission subconsciously?

Continue reading

3 lessons I learned as a Rotary club president

By Quentin Wodon, past president of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA 

Every year, 35,000 new presidents pick up the reins to guide their Rotary clubs. Having recently completed a year as president myself, I thought it would be beneficial to share three lessons I learned from the experience. Continue reading

Why you should enter the 2017 Interact Video Awards

By Andrei Precup, president of the Interact Club of Constanta, Romania

We were honored to be selected as best video in last year’s Interact Video Awards. Our goal was to open people’s eyes to the need to take care of our planet and ourselves.

We were driven to take part both because it was something different from our usual activities and because the theme was so interesting (If Interactors ruled the world). I remember being at our club’s meeting when our president announced the idea of making a video. Many people were very excited. Our club likes taking on new challenges and trying things for the first time. Continue reading

Why it’s not good enough just to bring in new members

A club member gets a turn in the driving simulator during the Rotary Club of Brisbane’s vocational visit to the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety.

By Daniel Vankov, president of the Rotary Club of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

One of the biggest conversations around Rotary these days is membership growth. There are quite a few stories flying around and all of them provide good advice. But there is a second topic that is as important, if not more so, than membership acquisition, and that is retention. What can we do to keep these members we have worked so hard to bring in?  Continue reading

How to make the most of your year as president

Taking a usie, a selfie with others, during a recent club meeting.

By Kamlesh Chandan, assistant governor for District 7680 and past president of the Rotary Club of Lake Norman/Huntersville, North Carolina, USA

It was an honor to serve as the 19th president of my Rotary club this past year. It broadened my horizons and deepened my insights into our great organization of People of Action. Before the year began, I had a bold vision. I wanted to engage members, do service projects, have fun, incorporate technology, and leave members more educated about Rotary and our club. Every meeting, we took a usie (selfie with others) and shared what we were doing on social media. What did I learn from all this activity? Continue reading

Rotary Scholar in the path of the eclipse

Former Rotary Scholar Mikah Meyer, right, views the solar eclipse with friends.

By Mikah Meyer, former Rotary Scholar

Have you ever seen a 360-degree sunset? If you’re like me and spend a lot of time outdoors, you know that doesn’t make sense. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, creating a blinding view as you drive east in the morning and a radiant sunset full of colors in the west in the evening. But a 360-degree sunset? Sounds like science fiction. But it’s not. Continue reading

Enjoying the benefits of dual membership in Rotary, Rotaract

Petar Pešić addresses a recent meeting.

By Petar Pešić, a member of the Rotary Club of Nis, Serbia

Driven by a desire to help my local community, I discovered Rotaract when I was attending the Faculty of Law at the University of Niš, Serbia. In the Rotaract Club of Nis, I met a number of young people who, like me, shared an interest in improving our community. It made our actions easier that we all shared the same goal, and we took part in many projects that made us visible in the community. Continue reading