What you may not know about an outbound-only youth exchange

The Rotary Youth Exchange students from Macau.

By Eric Cowcill, governor-elect of District 1285

The Rotary clubs of Sandbach, United Kingdom, and Macau have worked together for several years to provide opportunities for Macau youth to attend the annual District 1285 Summer Camp in northwest England. This year Macau Rotarians were ready to expand opportunities for young people and together we embarked on creating a short-term exchange.

Our simple idea turned into a huge success! This summer, nine 16 year-old students and two teachers from St Paul’s School, Macau, arrived in the UK for a visit. Continue reading

When more women work, economies grow

By Annemarie Mostert, a member of the E-club of Southern Africa

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, it is important to reflect on the milestones women have achieved in economic opportunity, and the role Rotary clubs can play.

The World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap report identified the continued burden of economic inequality and gaps in economic opportunity for women across the world. This data isn’t just about representation and greater opportunity. It is important for global economic growth. Continue reading

The future of women in Rotary

International Women’s Day, 8 March, celebrates women and their social, economic, political, and cultural achievements around the world. This year’s campaign asks individuals to #BeBoldForChange in working for a more gender inclusive world.

RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley has also called upon Rotary clubs to seek more diversity in their membership, including improving the gender balance. In his address to Rotary’s annual leadership training event in January, Riseley noted that 103 of the incoming 539 district governors are women. These are “leaders who will help Rotary connect with, and represent, and better service, all the members of all our communities,” says Riseley.

Governors-elect Sandy Sava of District 5180 (California, USA) (left) and Dawn deFuria of District 7450 (Pennsylvania, USA) sat down to talk about the current and future state of women in Rotary.

A larger than life youth exchange experience

Youth Exchange Students on European Tour

Youth Exchange Students take part in a year-end European Tour.

By Joel Dzuba, Rotary Exchange Student from Ontario, Canada, to Lower Saxony, Germany

It would be impossible to pick a favourite memory from my exchange in Germany due to the sheer number of opportunities I had and dreams I lived. From sailing in the Baltic Sea, to walking in the North Sea, to swimming in the Mediterranean, there are simply too many experiences to pick a favourite. Continue reading

Rotary Youth Exchange gave me hope for peace

Kate Roff

Kate Roff

By Kate Roff, a former Rotary Youth Exchange student

Being lost in the middle of the bustling, hazy, city of Bangkok, Thailand, is not ideal for a 17-year-old Australian girl. But, it was a moment that changed my life.

I was on Rotary Youth Exchange and despite excellent instructions from my caring host-family; I had no idea how the intricate bus system worked, and hadn’t mastered the language yet to ask. After boarding the wrong bus for the third time, Continue reading

Rotary means family

Emily Koerner with her father (left) and the past president of the club (right).

Emily Koerner with her father (left) and Peter Singagliese, past president of the Central Ocean Rotary club (right).

By Emily Koerner, a former Interactor, native of Toms River, New Jersey, and student at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, USA

I often wonder what other people think about when they hear the word “Rotarian.”

Since I was about 10 years old, I attended many service events with my dad (a member and past president of the Central Ocean Rotary Club in Toms River, New Jersey). The members welcomed me with open arms, laughs, and, of course, a ton of work to be done. Continue reading

Incoming district governors look forward to making a difference

170116_themeBy Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley urged incoming district leaders to seek gender and age parity and protect the environment in announcing the 2017-18 presidential theme Rotary: Making a Difference. “We know that we can do more together than we could ever do alone. I ask you to keep that spirit of teamwork and cooperation always in your minds and to take it back with you to your districts.”

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts, and see how they planned to make a difference in their leadership year. Continue reading

The best of both worlds: Rotary and Rotaract

Fernando Pinto Nercelles

Fernando Pinto Nercelles

By Fernando Pinto Nercelles

When I learned about the changes approved by the 2016 Council on Legislation that allowed Rotaractors to join a Rotary club while maintaining their Rotaract membership, I immediately saw an opportunity and knew that I had to take it. Why?

It’s quite simple, I feel dual membership is one of the most effective ways devised to achieve the best of both worlds. Continue reading

Our top 5 stories of 2016

The Rotary Club of Alanya International, Turkey, with confetti and cake.

The Rotary Club of Alanya International, Turkey, celebrates with confetti and cake.

By Rotary Voices staff

As the year draws to a close, we recap our top five stories of the year (based on number of views): Continue reading

When I give to Rotary, I get so much more back

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Stephanie Witkowski, middle in blue shirt, during her Rotary Youth Exchange in Slovakia. 

By Stephanie Witkowski, Rotary Club of Honolulu Pau Hana

At 28 years old, I decided to become a Rotarian, because Rotary changed my life.

I grew up in a small town in Oregon, USA, and was a young leader in my school. When I was 15 years old, I applied to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event in Rotary’s District 5110 to learn more about myself and what leadership meant to me. During that amazing week-long experience, I learned not only about how to be a better leader for my school and community, but about Rotary itself.  Continue reading