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
Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.
By Jon Kaufman
From 2 to 8 July, I led my club’s second H2OpenDoors expedition to central Mexico. The three-year-old Rotary project provides SunSpring water purification systems for poor villages and schools and allows the villages to sell the surplus water from the systems.
The project touches on several of Rotary’s areas of focus: providing clean water, building peace (by combating poverty), and educating youth.
We bring along a dozen or so students, as well as a few teachers, so they can see how a simple idea can become a project and benefit thousands of people. We hope the students return to their schools empowered to make a difference. Continue reading
Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal
By Quentin Wodon
Rotary members come in many different styles. Most have a day job and engage in service work in their free time. Some go a step further: They make service work their day job!
Rabi Karmacharya belongs to the second group. In 2007, he founded Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal. His organization is respected internationally as a pioneer in the integration of technology in the classroom. OLE Nepal has worked with Nepal’s Department of Education to make laptops available in schools. But much more importantly, it has also developed great digital learning materials for students, and trained teachers to use technology and digital libraries to enhance learning. Continue reading
Students at St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, display the books they received from the Rotary Books for the World program and the Hashoo Foundation.
By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Back in June, my Rotary club partnered with the Hashoo Foundation to distribute books to schoolchildren in Rawalpindi during a ceremony held at St. Mary’s Academy.
Through the Rotary Books for the World program, Rotary members in Pakistan are working with the Hashoo Foundation to actively promote education throughout Pakistan, and to help our country meet the Millennium Development Goals for literacy set by the United Nations. The books and educational material help teachers and students increase their knowledge, enhance classroom learning, and promote community development. Continue reading
Children receive their toys in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.
By Rotary Voices staff
A girl clutched the new purse she had just received during the annual toy giveaway in the community of Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.
Another child examined the coloring books and colored pencils with interest, while a crowd of other children and their parents surrounded a table in the market square, waiting their turn to select a free toy. Continue reading
Some of the children at the school we visited. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Dombivli East
By Dr. Swati Gadgil, Rotary Club of Dombivli East, Maharashtra, India
Our Rotary club’s women’s welfare society recently went to a tribal settlement in Katkar Wadi, where we visited 60 households and a 35-student school for kindergarten through grade four, handing out notebooks, writing materials, clothing, and utensils. Many of the women in the settlement have never been to school, and it is a rare occasion when they even travel out of their community. Our youth wing conducted games for the children, also engaging our members in the fun.
We were also able to plant trees in the community and distribute snacks and treats. The team left with the determination to adopt the settlement and make a significant difference for years to come.