A member of Rotaract, and Rotary too

Rotaract Club of John Tyler Community College

Alexandria Ritchie (seated under banner), with the Rotaract Club of John Tyler Community College.

By Alexandria Ritchie, a member of the Rotaract Club of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Rotary Club of James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Recently, two Rotary friends shared with me the decision taken by the Council on Legislation to allow Rotaractors to also join Rotary. (The Council is where Rotary members gather every three years to discuss changes to the policies governing our organization.)

So I thought I’d give it a try. I am 21, and now also a member of the Rotary Club of James River. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience in Rotary and its young leaders programs from the perspective of a brand new young Rotarian. Continue reading

Our greatest gift to future generations

Hussey and children in Nigeria

Ann Lee Hussey and children in Nigeria

By Ann Lee Hussey, a member of the Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise, Maine, USA

Polio can affect children anywhere. The poliovirus doesn’t discriminate based on geography, skin color, or religion. If we don’t eradicate polio now, the world could see cases rebound to 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years.

I’ve participated in 27 immunization campaigns, leading 23, throughout Africa and Asia, not because I’m a polio survivor, but because I believe polio eradication will be one of our greatest gifts to future generations. Continue reading

Children draw the most interesting things

Children and their drawings

Children display their drawings about the environment.

By Shiv Agrawal, past president of the Rotary Club of Bokora Midtown Couples, Jharkhand, India

Protecting our environment is probably one of the most important issue of our day. My club wanted to tap the creativity of children, and see what they were thinking about the environment. So we organized a drawing competition to let children unleash their imagination and build an awareness of the issue. Continue reading

Are you willing to be third class, and serve?

Tiffany and baseball players

Tiffany Ervin with participants in a special needs baseball league her club sponsors.

By Tiffany Ervin, past president of the Rotary Club of Four Seasons – Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA

In the days of the American wild west, if you wanted to travel a great distance, you had to go by stagecoach and it was a very long trip. There were three different classes of passengers – first, second, and third class. The seats were all the same, but the prices were different. Here’s why… Continue reading

African youth construct kitchen gardens for genocide survivors

Rotaractors take part in clean up

Rotaractors and guests clean up and create kitchen gardens in the village of Kinyinya, Rwanda.

By Peter King Oloo, a member of the Rotaract Club of Kie, Rwanda

Nearly 140 Rotaractors and guests from across the East African countries of Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda gathered in Rwanda on 26 March to participate in the monthly cleaning exercise in Rwanda called Umuganda.

The Rotaractors, through their award-winning annual project called REACT (Rotaract East Africa Impact), had organized a project to construct kitchen gardens and raise funds for medical insurance. Both these activities were geared toward helping the community of the 1994 Rwanda genocide survivors who were resettled in Kinyinya village in Kigali. Continue reading

Workshops teach students to be good citizens

Students at the workshop

Students respond to a question during the two-day workshop.

By Rajesh Kumar Modi, Rotary Club of Mumbai Borivali East, India

Children are the future of any country. We as members of Rotary have an opportunity to mold them in such a way that they can emerge as efficient and valuable resources for our country. All it takes is changing the way we approach our club activities. Not every project has to be a huge project. Sometimes, size isn’t the only indicator of success. Continue reading

How to handle a social media crisis

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

There seems to be a social media crisis or PR nightmare almost every other week nowadays, and even your Rotary club isn’t immune to a potential crisis that can blow out of all proportion.

Crisis planning is essential and an effective crisis plan is based first and foremost on truth, transparency, and sincerity. Every Rotary club should have a strategy for how it will deal with a public relations disaster, either online or offline. If your club does not have a plan in place, I recommend your club devise one as a matter of urgency. 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

A proud son

Bill and Joan

Bill Pollard and his mom, Joan, president of the Rotary Club of Petersburg.

By Bill Pollard, past governor of District 7600 and a member of the Rotary Club of Churchland – Portsmouth, Virginia, USA

In 1988 at the age of 25, I was invited by Tommy Adkins, a retired banker and neighbor of my parents, to a meeting of the Rotary Club of Petersburg, Virginia. I had just started my banking career in my hometown of Petersburg and I remember calling my mom, Joan Pollard, asking her about Rotary. I recall her telling me it was a service oriented club and that my mom and dad had friends in the club.

We discussed it for a few minutes and I told my mom I would go because it would help Continue reading

Peace Fellow’s project improves access to health care for refugees

Bartlett

Bartlett

By Rebeccah Bartlett, 2014-16 Rotary Peace Fellow, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Many refugees rank finding a job and getting a good education for their children as their most pressing needs after finding asylum in a new country. Access to healthcare barely makes their list, even though health affects their ability to acquire and keep a job as well as their children’s ability to perform well in school.

What’s more, refugees are rarely able to focus on accessing prenatal/postnatal health care and family planning services, despite the fact that 80 percent of most refugee populations are made up of women and children. Many refugees in transit through Europe have little or no systematic support or knowledge of the public health resources and legal rights available to them. They are also particularly vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking. Continue reading