What is inspiration?

The Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada, involves children in all club activities.

By Stacey Jones, Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada

What is inspiration? To me it means that we are so moved by something, that we are compelled to act. Almost without a conscious thought.

That was my experience in Italy in the summer of 2018. While attending an event at the Coliseum, I had the opportunity to speak to Connie Nielsen about her charity called the Human Needs Project. They work primarily in the slums of Nairobi assisting people with the very basics of human needs. And as I stood there, literally rubbing elbows with these celebrities listening to them speak so passionately about their charity work; and staring out into the city from this private gala, I couldn’t help but question what I was doing with my life. And so at that moment my question became my answer. Continue reading

New Rotary club models enhance connections

Munkhtuul Nyamdorf, from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, checks out the four priorities of Rotary’s new strategic plan in the Future of Rotary Booth during the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Jessie Harman, chair of the Rotary International Membership Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast, Victoria, Australia

Rotary’s new strategic plan is underpinned by four key priorities – to increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt. The emergence of new club models is evidence that Rotary clubs and districts are working actively to advance these priorities. Continue reading

“Every whiskey contains a story”

Rüdiger Niemz. 4 June 2019, Hamburg, Germany.

Rüdiger Niemz, Rotary Club of Mondseeland, Austria, as told to Diana Schoberg. Photos by Monika Lozinska

“When I was invited to join Rotary, instead of giving a presentation about my job, as everyone is expected to do, I did a whiskey tasting.

“I became interested in whiskey when I was traveling a lot as a journalist. I was working on travel shows about foreign countries. You would come back very late from the filming and editing, and then you’d meet somebody at the bar. You’d start talking, and start sharing whiskey. You don’t drink whiskey to get drunk. It’s part of an exciting lifestyle. Continue reading

“My role was to educate”

Ella Lacey. 1 June 2019, Hamburg, Germany.

Ella Phillips Lacey, a member of the Rotary Club of Carbondale, Illinois, USA, as told to Jenny Llakmani. Photos by Monika Lozinska

“I was a professor at Southern Illinois University’s school of medicine for 22 years. My Ph.D. is in health education. At the end of 1994, I retired and joined the Peace Corps. It was a transitional step for me. I think it’s a great opportunity for people who are retired. When you’re working in cultures as different from yours as Malawi was from mine, it’s great to have some life experiences already. Sometimes when we first leave college, we think we’ve learned all we ever need to know. Continue reading

“I wanted to be someone that could alleviate for other families what my family had felt”

Alexandria Ritchie, 2 June 2019, Hamburg, Germany.

Alexandria Ritchie, a member of the Rotaract Club of Virginia Commonwealth University and the Rotary Club of James River (Richmond), Virginia, USA, as told to Diana Schoberg. Photos by Monika Lozinska

“I decided when I was 14 that I wanted to be a physician. It was when my parents told me about Oliver.

“Oliver is my older brother. He was born with Trisomy 13 (also called Patau syndrome), a chromosome dysfunction. He was alive for a day. I never had the opportunity to meet him. I remember when my parents were talking with me about it. I felt this pull – I wanted to be someone that could alleviate for other families what my family had felt. Continue reading

“I am part of something bigger than myself”

Eduardo Rodrigues da Costa, Rotary Peace Fellow 2010-12; Global Grant Scholar at University of Manitoba, Canada, as told to Diana Schoberg. Photos by Monika Lozinska

“I was the first Rotary Peace Fellow from the Brazilian Amazon. The Amazon rainforest has a number of conflicts right now related to development, deforestation, and local indigenous people. I was interested in how we can promote peace by promoting sustainable development. Continue reading

4 lessons from launching a Rotaract club

Working with your sponsoring Rotary club is critical for a Rotaract Club’s success. Here, Austrian Rotaractors build homes for those affected by the war in Bosnia as part of an intergenerational project. Photo by Stefan Fürtbauer © Rotary International. All Rights Reserved.

By Lauren Smyser, president, Rotaract Club of Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho, USA

Last year was both exciting and challenging for our club because we officially received our charter. With any new thing, there’s a lot to figure out. We have many people to thank, who I’ll note at the end. The year also taught us many valuable lessons, but four in particular, that we hope to use to improve our club going forward. Continue reading

Stories, not stats, attract people to Rotary

Joe Otin

By Joe Otin, governor-elect of Rotary District 9212 (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan)

I gravitate naturally to statistics despite the negative feelings some people have about them. I think that information is the fuel that our world runs on and without it our systems will sputter, stall, and shut down. That is because statistics are significant in decision making.

When I joined the Rotary Club of Nairobi East, Kenya, 19 years ago, I was told that good Rotarians were defined by the regularity of their attendance, the frequency of their gifts to The Rotary Foundation, and most importantly by their ability to introduce new members to the club. Continue reading

How will you respond to the flamingo challenge?

Alison Frye at the District 6600 conference in May

By Alison Frye, president of the Rotary Club of Perrysburg, Ohio, USA
Back in July, the cover of The Rotarian featured a picture of RI President Barry Rassin and his wife, Esther, with a flock of flamingos. The cover received a lot of love on social media, and people began to attend Rotary events wearing flamingo swag and tagging Barry in the pictures. A few weeks ago, a couple of Rotarians were in a party store and filled their arms with tacky flamingo items and tagged Barry in the picture.

Continue reading

Follow all the action from Hamburg

Capture the Moment in Hamburg, Germany, 1-5 June.

Whether you’ll be attending the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, from 1 to 5 June, or you simply want to keep up with everything that’s happening there, you can find all the latest news on riconvention.org and social media using #Rotary19. Continue reading