By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a regular contributor to this blog
If you are a member of Rotary, you probably already know that it’s one of the largest and oldest service organizations, that we try to attract good people and equip them to be even better, and that we are all about doing good works in our local communities. But what does the general public think about Rotary? Continue reading
By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales
I’ve been volunteering with Rotary ever since I was a kid. Well, since I was 18. Originally, I joined for my own selfish reasons. I wanted to meet new people and find a girlfriend. I didn’t join because of some great desire to help change the world. I hadn’t had much experience with that at the time. But I soon realized what a difference I was making. Continue reading
Shoes collected during the drive.
By Anit Thapaliya, president of the Rotaract Club of Pashupati Kathmandu, Nepal
We collected more than 1,100 pairs of used shoes to be recycled and reused as part of our project “Yes Dear, You Change Before the Climate.” It proved that we can teach others to change their behaviors before our climate changes, for the worse.
We set out with the help of Working Hands, a local nongovernmental organization, to convince people to give us their old shoes
instead of throwing them away. Shoes take Continue reading
Rotaractors in Lithuania during an annual conference.
By Laurynas Suodaitis, chair of the council of Rotaract clubs for District 1462
This past year, 2014, was special to us because not only did it mark 80 years of Rotary in Lithuania, but 20 years of Rotaract in the country. The first Rotaract Club was chartered in Kaunas. There are now eight active Rotaract clubs in Lithuania, drawing together nearly 200 young leaders eager to make a positive change in society. Continue reading
Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.
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):
- During her Rotary Youth Exchange to the United States, Argentinian Victoria Alvarez met teenagers from all over the world and learned how to appreciate different points of view. Alvarez shared how her Rotary Youth Exchange opened her eyes.
- Chris Davidson, a member of the Rotary Club of Newport News, Virginia, joined 29 other Rotary members under the age of 40 during a Young Professionals Summit in Chicago to discuss how Rotary can better attract and engage young professionals. Davidson shared what young professionals are looking for in Rotary.
- Jurag Gago, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Slovakia, fell in love with Chicago during his year in the United States, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Aurora Sunrise. Gago shared how Rotary Youth Exchange exceeded his expectations.
- Bill Wittich, past president of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise, Elk Grove, California, USA, is the kind of guy who hangs out in the local Starbucks. Wittich discovered that the best way to invite someone to join Rotary is to ask.
- Ron Nethercutt, a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines, shares his reason for wearing a Rotary pin. Nethercutt was attending a large chamber of commerce meeting in New Orleans when he was approached by a young lady who thanked him. When he asked why, she recounted how her Rotary scholarship allowed her to earn a master’s degree in international banking and improve her life circumstances.
“Louis” Liu (right) is welcomed by members of the West Oak High School Interact Club.
By I-Ting “Louis” Liu
In 2013-14, I took part in a Rotary Youth Exchange from Taiwan to the United States. It gave me the opportunity to see things from a new perspective, think differently, and to gain a better understanding of myself. I made many new friends.
I grew up in a single parent home with my mother, who had lost most of her left arm earlier in life. She was beautiful and strong and took care of me herself. We had no income and survived on the money the government gave us each month. I brought home part of my school lunch to use as breakfast or dinner the next day. This gave me compassion for children who don’t have enough to live on. Continue reading
Courtney (left) meets the Rotary Youth Exchange safari in 2013. Photo courtesy of District 9800
By Courtney, a Rotary Youth Exchange student sponsored by Rotary District 9550 (Australia)
Thanks to my Rotary Youth Exchange in Brazil, I now have friends from all corners of the globe. I have made some of the best friends I’ve ever had here, and it has been an amazing experience.
A little more than two years ago, I was sitting along the highway in a small town in the Queensland Outback watching traffic go by, when two members of a Rotary Youth Exchange safari tour walked by and struck up a conversation. Little did I know that simple conversation, and later meeting the entire busload of teens on the safari, would eventually lead to my own Rotary Youth Exchange, with financial support from the Rotary District that covers Queensland and from members and clubs throughout southeast Australia. Continue reading
Nisha Kotecha, right, with English television and radio personality Jonathan Ross.
By Nisha Kotecha, president of the Rotaract Club of Hampstead, Hendon and Golders Green, England
Earlier this month, I volunteered with some of my fellow Rotaract members at the Hampstead Christmas festival in the Hampstead area of London, England. We had no idea what we were going to be asked to do. It was cold, dark, rainy, and my feet were soaked within minutes of getting there.
We had organized an event for past members of our club a few days before, and I heard from some of them who had volunteered for the Live Continue reading
Dedication of a new library in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
By Ahmed Yusuf Omer, immediate past president of the Rotaract Club of Habesha, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
There is an Ethiopian saying, “50 lemons are heavy for one man but are a treat for 50 men.”
Dissatisfied with the opportunities I saw around me to give back to my community and repay the debt I felt I owed for the blessings I had received, I joined the Rotaract Club of Habesha in Addis Ababa, Continue reading
Ema Talam addresses Rotary members in Oslo, Norway, during the program on dialogue as a means of promoting peace.
By Ema Talam, a university student from Bosnia and Herzegovina
This summer, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of 16 participants from the Western Balkans to participate in a program for university students and young professionals, age 20 through 30, organized by The Rotary Club of Oslo Vest, Norway, and supported by other Rotary clubs throughout Norway and the Western Balkans.
When I boarded the plane on 15 June, I did not know that this was going to be one of the most interesting summers of my life. I didn’t know much about Rotary and I knew Continue reading