How Rotary is assisting recovery in Puerto Rico

By José Lucas Rodríguez, governor of Rotary District 7000 (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, which is distinguished by its natural beauties, the talent of Puerto Ricans in music, arts, and sports, and above all for the warmth of its people.

But the so-called island of Enchantment was transformed by what already has been classified as the most catastrophic event in the history not only of Puerto Rico, but of the United States. More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, our people are still struggling to recover from the impact of this natural phenomenon, which left so much desolation in its wake. Continue reading

How Rotarians are providing disaster relief

Heart to Heart medical director Rick Randolph treats a child at a mobile clinic in Florida. Photo courtesy District 5710

By Pat O’Donnell, public image chair for Rotary District 5710 (Kansas, USA)

The 45 Rotary clubs in my district have come together to support Heart to Heart International’s disaster relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Immediately after Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast of Texas with over 51 inches of rain, followed by the damage caused in Florida by Hurricane Irma, our Rotary members opened their hearts and checkbooks to help. Continue reading

Visit to new ShelterBox HQ in Truro

Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett briefs Newton

Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett (left) briefs MP Sarah Newton on preparations to help people fleeing Mosul. Photo © Thom Axon

By Sarah Newton, Rotary Club of Falmouth, and a Member of Parliament representing Truro and Falmouth, United Kingdom

In July, Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox moved its headquarters to Truro, keeping its warehousing and aid-packing base in Helston.

On 10 November, I made my first visit to Falcon House, now that ShelterBox has relocated most if its staff, including its operational and fundraising teams, into my Continue reading

Reflections from earthquake stricken Italy

Earthquake damage central Italy

Geraniums hang from the railing in front of a house destroyed by the earthquake in central Italy.

By Luca Della Volta, Charter President of Rotary E-Club 2042 Italia and 2016-17 Service Projects Committee Chair. ( Read it in Italian )

I wanted to write about how much love and support Rotary is bringing to the areas of Italy devastated by the recent earthquake. But my words fail me, so I have to first write from the heart about what I have seen.

I feel as if death has entered me. My lungs inhale the dust of the earth. My feet walk amid debris. My hands touch stone that suddenly gave way, smashing hopes and dreams. Continue reading

5 amazing projects on Rotary Showcase

Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, disburse supplies to people affected by flooding.

Rotary members in Tamil Nadu, India, hand out supplies to people affected by flooding. Read more below.

New Zealand Rotary members are putting food on the tables of low-income families this holiday season by teaming up with the Salvation Army to collect and distribute fresh produce from local growers.

Starting several years ago, the Rotary Club of Drury, Auckland, New Zealand, annually contacts growers to set up a time in mid-December to collect produce for distribution, and then coordinates with the Salvation Army. The club lines up three large trucks, each with a crew of three Rotary members, to drive to different regions to collect the produce, which the Salvation Army then distributes to families during the holidays. Continue reading

Rebuilding smiles in earthquake-torn Nepal

Rotary members in Nepal build shelters for earthquake survivors.

Rotary members in Nepal build shelters for earthquake survivors.

By Roshan Maharjan, Rotary E-Club of District 3292 Nepal

I was finishing a lecture at the Academia International College in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Nepal, on 25 April when the ground began to shake with increasing violence and I had trouble standing on my own. Supporting myself on the side of a computer table, I noticed my students were very frightened. As I consoled them as best I could, I also worried about my mother, brother, sister, and wife and children. It wasn’t until I got the text from them that all was OK that I could breathe a sigh of relief, but I was suffering from a terrible headache. The earthquake was 7.9 in magnitude. Continue reading

Fighting malnutrition with special peanut butter formula

A child in Sierra Leone eats some of the specially developed peanut butter formula.

A child in Sierra Leone eats some of the specially formulated peanut butter.

By Rotary Voices staff

Severe acute malnutrition kills millions of children around the world every year. Those who don’t die often suffer from stunted growth and other health problems. More children between the ages of one and three die of inadequate food intake every year than from HIV/AIDS.

In Sierra Leone, Rotary members are partnering with more than 20 clubs in the United States and Canada to prevent some of these deaths by supplying jars of specially developed peanut butter, known as “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food,” to treat children suffering from malnutrition. The project, funded by a global grant from the Rotary Foundation, began in January of 2013 and is continuing through September. Continue reading

When the floods came, Rotary stepped in to help

150501_ramaswamyBy Thamilarasu Ramaswamy, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Madras Vadapalani, Tamil Nadu, India

This is my Rotary story. In November of 1995, heavy rains created floods that uprooted trees and ravaged agricultural fields in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, paralyzing many communities. The district of Tiruvannamalai was the hardest hit. District administrators worked hard to help those affected by the floods, providing food and clothing.

In one subdistrict known as Sengam, there are many weavers who make dhoties and sarees on manually operated hand looms operated by wooden pedals. Many of these looms ended up under water, destroying the equipment and the ability of these weavers to carry on their craft and make a living. In addition, many lost all or most of their belongings. Continue reading

Traveling around the world experiencing Rotary

By Brian Rocha, a member of the Rotary Club of Goleta, California, and District 5240 Public Relations Chair

I’ve done a bit of traveling in my life. But recently, I got an urge to turn my travel experience into something much more rewarding. I wanted to travel not just to travel, but to make an impact and make a difference in the world.

I pitched the idea to my Rotary club and Rotary International, and they were in full support. Support in terms of moral support. I financed the trip myself. So last year, I began an eight month journey visiting several different countries around the world, capturing pictures and video throughout the experience. Continue reading

Recovering from Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont

Rotary members helped a father and son in Vermont return to their home following Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox, Rotary Club of Hanover, New Hampshire

Rotary members helped a father and son in Vermont return to their home following Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox, Rotary Club of Hanover, New Hampshire

By Marilyn Bedell, Rotary Club of Lebanon-Riverside, New Hampshire, USA, and Jan McElroy, Rotary Club of Henniker, New Hampshire

Rotary members in the New England region of the United States are providing long-term recovery from Tropical Storm Irene, with the help of Rotarians around the globe. Here’s one story of the difference we are making.

Irene, a large and destructive tropical cyclone, affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during late August 2011. In Vermont, Irene flooded most of the state’s rivers and streams and in many places stripped away the earth itself, leaving fields of stone and boulders where lush crops and gardens once stood. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed and thousands badly damaged. Continue reading