Changing the world is possible, through Rotary

Bethany Lerch, right, takes notes while speaking to a female attendee during a national mine awareness conference in Kabul.

By Bethany Lerch, former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, 2010-2011

I knew little about Rotary eight years ago when my former high school counselor encouraged me to apply for an Ambassadorial Scholarship. He was retired, but still active in Rotary, and knew a master’s was my next step. At the time, I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and knew I needed to go to graduate school. But where and how? Continue reading

From Rotary Scholar to Peace Corps

Jasmine Segall, right, and her best friend in Monterrey, who entertains children as a clown.

By Jasmine Segall, former Rotary global grant scholar

I have heard a variety of interesting stories about why the rural Costa Rican town I live in as a Peace Corps volunteer is called Monterrey. My favorite is the literal translation: “King of the Grass,” explained by a wizened elderly gentleman as the place his family settled to farm cattle because of its nutritious vegetation. On a good day, I can get a clear view of the Arenal Volcano and see the lush farmland that stretches endlessly below. The view is breathtaking. It truly is a green kingdom. Continue reading

Meet my vibrant club

Members of the Seoul Young Leaders Satellite Club in Seoul, Korea.

S. David Chang

By S. David Chang, Rotary Club of Seoul, Korea

Our club, The Rotary Club of Seoul, was established in 1927 as the first club in Korea. We are unique in that our members are multinational and our official language is English. Like most other clubs, our challenges were: diminishing membership; inability to attract younger people; lack of community service; and uninteresting meetings sinking motivation and enthusiasm. Continue reading

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