Durango club brings the power of light

By Joe Williams, Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak, Colorado, USA

Most people in the United States take electricity for granted. Only if a powerful storm hits and it is taken away do we get an understanding of what it is like to depend entirely on the sun for our light.

There is, however, a significant population in the heart of the United States that lives their lives with only the sun to light the way. Continue reading

This is your Rotary club: a new approach to keeping members

Jessica Connors and Club President Michael Della Rocca plant a tree, an example of the kind of  projects that can give new members ownership and responsibility.

By Michael Bucca, membership chair of the Rotary Club of Central Ocean – Toms River, New Jersey, USA

So many Rotary membership events focus on engagement and retention. It makes sense. For every member that joins Rotary, it seems there’s another member walking out the door. Long term engagement and retention are an important part of successfully growing a club for the simple fact that new membership gains can be quickly wiped out by non-engaged members choosing to leave.

The advice being given by membership chairs and leaders is sound: get new members involved right away. Our club has taken this one step further by explaining something important to our new members: Continue reading

New shoes delight children in Uganda

Children try on shoes as part of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South’s service project.

By Immy Julie Musoke Nakyeyune, president of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South, Uganda

A mist was rising over the meadow when I arrived early in the morning at Nyakishumba with members of my Rotaract club, brimming with excitement for the day ahead. Located in the hilly Kabale District of western Uganda, Nyakishumba is colder than most of the surrounding region. So we were bundled in our heavy coats this September day as we hurried to set up the medical camp in time; coordinating with the health care workers, arranging the necessary medicines, and establishing diagnostic stations and areas for HIV testing.

It has been almost three years since we first visited the community to do our needs assessment, discovering their unique concerns and needs. The first phase of our project in 2016 had focused on supporting education at the primary school. Now, we were addressing disease prevention, maternal and child health, education, and economic and community development. We were all excited at the opportunity Rotaract was providing us to work with members of other clubs to help this community. Continue reading

5 reasons why Pakistan needs Rotaract

By Fatima Khurram, newsletter editor for District 3272

1. Polio

Administering polio vaccine at the train station

Pakistan is one of only three countries that have never stopped the transmission of the wild polio virus, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria. Two years ago, polio was widespread in my country. Today, through Rotary’s efforts we are down to a very few cases. In fact, worldwide, Rotary has helped drop the incidence of polio by 99 percent since it began the effort to eradicate this disease. We need Rotary to bring us to the goal we are all hoping for, an end to polio in Pakistan, and everywhere. Every year, polio vaccines are donated to each province of Pakistan and immunization workers carry out the honorable effort of administering the vaccine, sometimes at personal risk, to children. Continue reading

How we started a new Rotaract club

Members of the Sewanee Rotaract Club visit Pelham Elementary School to promote physical exercise and serve as role models.

By Samuel R. Kern, Rotaract Club of Sewanee, Tennessee, USA

I was walking out of my accounting class this summer when I received a message from the dean of students asking if I would be willing to start a Rotaract club at the university for the fall semester. I knew nothing about Rotaract and very little about Rotary but Dean Gentry assured me he would be our club adviser and provide support, so I accepted. Sewanee does not have a plethora of clubs with the national or international recognition that Rotaract has, and I felt confident that students would be interested. Continue reading

Improving access to water in Ghana

Ako Odotei greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.

Ako Odotei, chair of the Ghana Host Committee of the RI-USAID collaboration, greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.

By Theophilus Mensah

In early October, Rotary Foundation Chair Paul Netzel was on hand to open the West Africa Project Fair in Accra, Ghana, where Rotary and USAID are partnering to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene in six regions of the country.

The project fair, as the name suggests, involves Rotary clubs across the West Africa sub-region, and is in its 12th year. It serves as an excellent forum for local clubs to show off their projects and establish partnerships with international clubs to secure the financial and technical support needed to implement projects in the region. Continue reading

How Rotary is assisting recovery in Puerto Rico

By José Lucas Rodríguez, governor of Rotary District 7000 (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, which is distinguished by its natural beauties, the talent of Puerto Ricans in music, arts, and sports, and above all for the warmth of its people.

But the so-called island of Enchantment was transformed by what already has been classified as the most catastrophic event in the history not only of Puerto Rico, but of the United States. More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, our people are still struggling to recover from the impact of this natural phenomenon, which left so much desolation in its wake. Continue reading

5 reasons to support The Rotary Foundation on Giving Tuesday

By Rotary 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, supporting education, bolstering economic development, and providing clean water and sanitation.

Here are just a few ways your generosity is changing lives. Continue reading

Celebrating Positive Peace

The Positive Peace rally in New York City on the International Day of Peace. Photo by KseniyaPhotography

By Ana Cutter Patel, Executive Director, Outward Bound Peacebuilding, and a 2016 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Peace can be described as positive or negative. Negative peace refers to the absence of violence. Positive peace describes the attitudes, institutions and structures that, when strengthened, can lead to a more peaceful society. The Positive Peace framework developed by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) identifies eight factors that create peaceful societies. They are: Continue reading

Why satellite clubs can bring together all ages

Members of the new club.

By Yoshisaku Shimamura, past governor of District 2830 and a member of the Rotary Club of Goshogawara Evening, Aomori, Japan

It is always the young people who build our future. At the same time, we now live in an age where life expectancy can reach 100 years. Some say 80 can be the prime of one’s life. I envision a future where younger and older generations work together to promote the ideal of compassion and cooperation that we firmly believe in Rotary. Satellite clubs may be the best way to achieve that approach. This is our story.  Continue reading