7 features of a highly effective service project

Rotary members in Virginia, USA, deliver mobility equipment for a local hospital.

Rotary members in Virginia, USA, deliver mobility equipment for a local hospital.

By Richard Cunningham, Rotary Club of James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA

We cannot expect to grow membership without engaging our members in service. RI President John Germ has stated this unequivocally and our club is taking that to heart.

Selecting the right project, therefore, is critical to the health of your club. Here’s a few basic principles we’ve found to be true about service projects: Continue reading

Golf tournaments fund clean water for Nepal

Kaufman and children in Nepal

Jon Kaufman with children in Nepal during an installation of a water filtration system.

By Jon Kaufman, a member of the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise, California, USA

The installation of two water plants in rural villages in Nepal now produce more than 20,000 liters of safe drinking water every day, using solar wind as their power source. We helped install the SunSpring ultra-filtration systems the week of 1 July through 7 July as part of the ongoing H2OpenDoors project sponsored by my Rotary club and partnering clubs.

I was able to raise the $50,000 for these units at two different golf tournaments in 2015, thanks to hundreds of generous donors. Continue reading

Life-giving water in Ghana

Theresa Osei Tutu

Theresa Osei Tutu

By Theresa Osei Tutu, a member of the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, Ghana

It is often said that water is life. But for many in Ghana, water is disease and death. It is for this reason that Ghanaian Rotarians have embraced the RI-USAID Water and Sanitation Project, to help reduce the diseases that break out as a result of poor water quality and improper sanitation.

About 80 Rotary members from 31 clubs assembled at the Tema Rotary Centre on 12 March to get more insight on their role in the project. Continue reading

Opening doors in Cuba

Jeri Fujimoto with Oragami book

Jeri Fujimoto, governor-elect of District 5150, displays some of the gifts delivered by the team of Rotary members.

By Jon Kaufman, director of H2OpenDoors

Along with 40 friends and supporters of the H2OpenDoors project, I took part in an eight-day exploratory expedition to Cuba on 8 April.

Members of six Rotary clubs in District 5150 and their friends and family joined The Bay Area Cuba Community Alliance, starting on the far eastern side of the island for a visit and site survey at a small village in Granma province. Each person presented a suitcase of donations to the Town Delegate in an emotional ceremony. Continue reading

A bridge over peaceful waters

160412_WelchBy Christina Welch, Rotary Scholar to UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

As I pedaled my newly acquired bicycle through the streets of Delft, in the Netherlands, I realized I was smiling to myself. Navigating through the cobblestone streets and over the canals felt nothing like home, yet I was so grateful to be here.

This bicycle is on loan from Paul Gompen, a fellow Rotary member. I didn’t realize being a beneficiary of the global grant meant so much more than simply a scholarship. It became immediately clear upon my arrival that I am Continue reading

My UNESCO-IHE scholarship has defined my career

UNESCO-IHE scholarship recipients

Rotary and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education scholarship recipients at the April graduation ceremony. From left: Gonzalo Duro (Argentina), Godfrey Baguma (Uganda), Bernice Asamoah (Ghana), Kaycee Okoli (Nigeria), and Temesgen Adamu (Ethiopia).

By Bernice Asamoah

When I first arrived in the Netherlands, I marveled at how clean everything was and how neatly water was channeled through town. It was very different from my homeland of Ghana, and I was struck by the diversity of Delft’s population.

I had arrived in the Netherlands on a scholarship from The Rotary Foundation to study sanitary engineering at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. The opportunity came unexpectedly, but has turned out to be a career defining moment. I am so grateful to the Rotary Clubs of Kumasi East and Accra who supported my efforts to meet all the requirements for the scholarship. Continue reading

Ghana excited to take part in next phase of H2O Collaboration

School children at spigot in Volta

Primary school children in the Volta region of Ghana use a new spigot to wash their hands.

By Ako Odotei, a member of the Rotary Club of Tema, Ghana, Africa. This is the first in a series of planned posts from Rotary members involved in the Rotary-USAID International H2O Collaboration that supports lasting, positive change to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives.

When the Rotary-USAID International H20 Collaboration asked Rotary clubs in Ghana to participate in the second phase of the partnership, there was a lot of excitement as well as some trepidation. US$4 million (the amount the collaboration has committed to each country for 2015-18) is a lot of money! Continue reading

Rotary members respond to Flint, Michigan, water crisis

160203_waterflintBy Amy Krug, president of the Rotary Club of Flint, Michigan, USA

We have been heartened by the outpouring of support from Rotary members in response to the water crisis in our city of Flint, Michigan. In April of 2014, a switch in the source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River without an appropriate corrosive control plan resulted in erosion of pipe scale, lead solder, and lead copper joints which allowed the release of this lead into our water supply. Continue reading

Rotary Scholar runs for clean water

A team of walkers carry a ladder rigged up with water jugs to simulate the burden that women and children in some parts of the world must bear to fetch water.

A team of walkers carry a ladder rigged up with water jugs to simulate the burden that women and children in some parts of the world must bear to fetch water.

By Hai-Ryung Sung

Access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation should be a right for all people. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many people still suffer and die from waterborne diseases they contract because of an inadequate supply of water, lack of sanitation, or poor hygiene. In many developing countries, women and children are forced to carry heavy bottles of water for many miles.

As a Rotary Scholar, I had the pleasure of taking part in the GlobalRun4Water recently in North Carolina, USA, raising awareness and money for water- and sanitation-related projects. My scholarship was funded by a global grant sponsored by Districts 3640 (Korea) and 7710 (North Carolina), my host district, which also organized the run. Scott Rossi, a member of the Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club, came up with the idea for the event, and has earned the affectionate nickname, the “Water Guy of District 7710.”  Continue reading

Enhance your next school water project

Students at a school recently equipped with toilets.

Students at a school recently equipped with toilets. Water projects in schools lower dropout rates and prevent the spread of disease.

By Sandy Forster

The young girl shyly held my hand as she took me on a tour of her school — similar, yet strikingly different, from the schools I knew at home, half a world away. The students were eager to have a visitor and excited to show me their work. Since supplies were limited, I could see many students sharing paper, short nubby pencils, and schoolbooks.

I noticed that in the upper primary school grades, four through eight, the classrooms had fewer students, especially girls. The headmaster explained that many children, girls especially, drop out of school to help their mothers bring water from creeks or rivers or when the girls reach the age when their menstrual cycles begin because they don’t have access to bathrooms. He said this particular school didn’t have a water source, nor toilets or even latrines for the students to use. Continue reading