Lessons from a new club in Nuremberg

By Kerstin Dolde, Rotary Club of Hof-Bayerisches Vogtland, Germany

It is beyond question that Rotary club charters are something special. The fact that the latest Nuremberg addition to the Rotary family was personally welcomed by RI President-elect Mark Maloney is even more memorable for the new members. But the composition of the club is also extraordinary: It consists of 42 committed members – 24 women and 18 men, with an average age of 42 years. Sixteen of them are former Rotaractors. The aim of the club is to connect people, hence the name: Rotary Club Nürnberg-Connect. Continue reading

An innovative idea to promote Rotary in Ghana

Displaying the district cloth.

Members of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana, with the District cloth.

By Dominic Kornu, president-elect, Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana

In Ghana, the public’s understanding of Rotary is still not where we would like it, especially as most projects take place in communities with little or no formal education, away from the larger cities where potential members would see what we do. Other misconceptions get in the way of people appreciating our cause or joining us. Continue reading

Who knew attempting a world record could transform your club?

Palacio Hall

More than 300 participants fill Palacio Hall for the Beetle game world record attempt.

By Joanna Chrzanowska, president, Rotary Club of Marabella-Guadalmina, Spain

The event planning team from the Rotary Club of Marbella-Guadalmina, Spain, was awed by the first sight of the hall they had to fill. We have drawn 80 people to our walks or events before, but aircraft hangar might be the best description for the room we were looking at. It had been generously donated free of charge by Marbella Town Hall, who have been very supportive of the expatriate community. The space was also free of tables, chairs, a sound system, a stage and several other necessities for putting on a large public event.

Founded in 2010, our club is English-speaking with members from a number of different nationalities, including many new Rotarians. We have been effective at fundraising for local and international charities, but why did we suddenly take this on? Continue reading

Everybody deserves a choice

Editor’s Note: This summer, Rotary International hosted two fellows from the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program, who worked with our Rotary Peace Centers and Global Communications staff. Veracruz Ebong, a corporate finance professional and civic leader from Equatorial Guinea, wrote the following account of her experience.

Veracruz Ebong

By Veracruz Ebong

Had it not been for my friends Pablo Edu Nkene and Rosa Reyes Salomon Ehopi, I would have missed the opportunity to witness the important role education plays in people’s lives – people like myself. Pablo is a very good friend of mine who attended last’s year Mandela Washington Fellowship. One of the first things he did upon his return was talk to me about how amazing the program was and most importantly how it has changed his perspective of life. Continue reading

Satellite club gets back to Rotary’s roots

Leeds Phoenix satellite club

Members of the Leeds Phoenix satellite club present their first charity check in dramatic fashion.

By Tony Scaife, Rotary Club of Aireborough, West Yorkshire, England

For the last few months, I’ve been helping exuberant members of the Leeds Phoenix Satellite Rotary Club get established. I’ve been on a wonderful voyage watching as a new network of professionals rediscover Rotary’s roots. Continue reading

3 steps to a 100 percent membership increase

Dinesh Gajeelee

Dinesh Gajeelee

By Dinesh Gajeelee, Rotary Club of Haute Rive, Mauritius

One of the ongoing challenges in Rotary is maintaining a healthy level of membership. My club of Haute Rive is no exception. We started the club in 2014 with 20 members, and despite the fact that we have gained new members since then, we’ve also lost a few. So much so that membership fell to just 18 as of 1 July 2017. Fortunately, our leadership team was proactive and began forming a plan to address the situation. Continue reading

How Rotary helped my career

Board of directors include four Rotarians.

Joyce Lau’s Rotary experience helped her land a position with a major financial firm in Hong Kong. Four Rotarians serve on the board of directors.

By Joyce Lau, past president of the Rotary Club of Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

On my first day at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a college senior invited me to the Rotaract Club of Chung Chi College. This small step introduced me to the wonderful world of Rotaract, where I strengthened my leadership and organizational skills while taking part in some amazing activities, including bringing smiles to the faces of people with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, hosting a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards training camp, and helping charter a new community-based Rotaract club.

Having benefited so much from Rotaract, it was natural for me to join Rotary when I had the chance. But never would I have thought that Rotary would take my career to the next level. Continue reading

Why you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks

John Smerdon and Daniel Vankov prepare sausages for the homeless.

John Smerdon and Daniel Vankov prepare sausage sizzle for the homeless in Brisbane.

By Daniel Vankov, Immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Brisbane, Australia

Rotary’s secret is cooperation. Alone we are useless. Together we are powerful. And together in a million we are unstoppable.

I had the honor of serving as president of the Rotary Club of Brisbane in 2017-18. It was a task that was not only challenging, but highly rewarding. My desire had been to make a difference, which also happened to be the theme 2017-18 Rotary President Ian Riseley put forward for the year. Continue reading

How we set up a Rotaract club in a refugee settlement

A Rotary team visited the Nakivale Rotaract Club in January (select cc for English subtitles)

By Francis Xavier Sentamu, District 9211 (Uganda) governor-elect

When I first saw a story on BBC in the spring of 2016 about the Nakivale Refugee settlement, I didn’t give it much thought. It was distant to me. Somewhat coincidentally, I attended a “changemaker” event that November organized by the American Refugee Committee, where 13 youth from the Nakivale Refugee settlement were being honored for their project ideas to impact the refugee community. Continue reading

How accessible is your club?

Shogo Williams-Matsuka, left, attends a club event in 2016. Williams-Matsuka says he joined Rotary partly to improve the representation of people with disabilities in community groups.

By Shogo Williams-Matsuoka, president-elect, Rotary E-club of Western Australia

My life as a Rotarian began in 2014, when I became a member of the Rotary Club of Cockburn in Western Australia. Since then, I have joined the Rotary E-club of Western Australia and am the current president-elect for 2019-2020. My involvement in Rotary is motivated by the need to do more to improve the representation of people with disabilities in community organisations. Often people with disability are portrayed as the passive recipients of charity, undermining our capability to provide meaningful contributions to society. Continue reading