Jose with his high school diploma.
By Martha Peak Helman
Rotary members often say that the work we do will change the lives of people we will never have the chance to meet. But nothing could be further from the truth in Jose’s case.
My Rotarian husband and I first met Jose when he was a gawky teen enrolled at Safe Passage, a program that makes it possible for children who live on the Guatemala City garbage dump to go to school and improve their lives. Through Rotary Foundation grants and Rotary involvement, Safe Passage has grown in the past decade into an organization that supports more than 500 children each year, in preschool through high school and beyond. Continue reading
2014-15 Rotary Youth Exchange students.
By Gabriela Vessani
I spent a year in Canada as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, and I can’t believe how fast the year went by. On my flight back to Brazil a few months ago, I reflected on the experience, and had so many thoughts.
I remembered arriving with anxiety, and yes, even a little fear. The experience is never entirely what you expect and you can never totally prepare for it. I think that few students go in with a full understanding of how intense and Continue reading
RI Director Julia Phelps, back left, visits a classroom in the Philippines taught by one of the teachers who benefited from the 2013 vocational training team.
By Julia Phelps
In May 2013, four science teachers from the Philippines were preparing to return home after a visit to the United States as part of a vocational training team (VTT). They’d spent 30 days observing classrooms, visiting science museums, meeting with policymakers, and making presentations to Rotary clubs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Continue reading
Andrea Shirey speaks to her Rotary Club about hosting an exchange student.
By Andrea Shirey
On a summer day at my weekly Rotary Club meeting, a simple yes changed everything. A series of events and conversations over several weeks had led a fellow Rotarian to ask me if our family would host an exchange student. Somehow, the word yes fell from my lips as my brain lagged behind just long enough to realize I was committed. Soon, the questions formed:
What if the student is weird? What if my kids don’t get along with her? What if she won’t eat anything I cook and she dislikes America because of me? The doubts were endless, the fears considerable. Continue reading
Polio immunization in Ethiopia. Your generous giving supports our work to rid the world of polio.
By Rotary Voices staff
When you make a donation to The Rotary Foundation, you are helping Rotary members make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world, by promoting peace, preventing disease, bolstering economic development, and providing clean water and sanitation.
Here are just a few ways your generosity is changing lives. Continue reading
Kathleen Plaza’s own This Close portrait
By Kathleen Plaza, Rotary Scholar
I was born and raised in a rural barrio (neighborhood) in Mindanao, Philippines. I moved to Guam when I was about 18 years old. I became a member of the Rotaract Club of the Marianas in Guam when I was completing my undergrad degree in biology, and served as secretary in 2011-12 and as youth services director in 2012-13.
I moved to Hawaii in August 2015, and with a Rotary Scholarship funded by a global grant, began taking classes in public health, focused on disease prevention and treatment. I will finish my program in May 2017. Continue reading
Students eagerly participate in a classroom where the teacher has received training.
By Quentin Wodon
Do teacher training programs make a difference in how much students learn in the classroom? If the training programs are well implemented, they can.
Experience around the world suggests that teacher training programs are most effective when they (1) focus on changing teaching methods and practices and not Continue reading
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
Vicki Rankin used funding from the Rotary Club of Florence, Oregon, USA, to introduce small-group workstations in her classroom at Siuslaw Elementary School.
By Meg Spencer
Many young professionals in Florence, Oregon, end up leaving when their children reach school age, seeking greener educational pastures for their kids. Our club began to think about how we could help our schools keep those bright young families around.
We came up with the idea of a Continuing Professional Education Fellowship program, modeled after a national teacher grant program we had seen, to help teachers pursue professional development.
Each year, our club offers two $2,000 fellowships to teachers and other Continue reading
Mike Curtis, a member of the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach, reads to students at Koloa Elementary School.
By Michael Carlsson
As incoming president of our club, I wondered how we could have an even greater impact on the education of our local keiki (children).
We have been supporting Koloa Elementary School over the years with our Rotary Readers program and dictionary distribution to third graders. We have also provided funds and volunteers for the Continue reading