Touching lives in Honduras

Woman turns on light

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light.

By Neal Beard, Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

Since 2006, I have traveled to Honduras on numerous occasions as part of a village electrification project organized by the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg and our Rotary district. The Rotary Club of Madison, Alabama, has also been working with us in the same area for about nine years, doing incredible work delivering healthy burning Eco-Stoves, eye clinics, and dental clinics.

Last year, I wired this lady’s home for electricity (photo at right). All she wanted was one light bulb to illuminate her kitchen. On her first attempt the string broke. I had to repair it and let her try again. Continue reading

5 concerns facing professional women today

Clara MontanezBy Clara Montanez, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., USA

Women are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, supporters, even a shoulder to cry on. Yet women still earn less than their male counterparts. In my field, women comprise maybe 12 percent of all financial advisers. Women need to feel there is a support group, a sisterhood, they can go to for help.

And that is why it is important for us to celebrate this special day, International Women’s Day. Motherhood is one of the most important roles a woman can have. But it can be an isolating role in Continue reading

What can we learn from inspiring Women of Action?

160307_wodon_iwdBy Quentin Wodon

Rotary is about service and fellowship. While some value fellowship the most, others place the emphasis on service as the defining characteristic of their Rotary experience. I tend to belong to the second group. I believe in the importance of thinking through the design of our service projects to ensure they have a lasting and measurable impact on those we are trying to help.

That is why I am excited about an upcoming event for International Women’s Day that will feature two Continue reading

Creating peace in Myanmar

Rachel Hall Beecroft with local Myanmar youth

Rachel Hall Beecroft with local youth on a field visit to Hpa-An, Karen State.

By Rachel Hall Beecroft, Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia

I looked around me at the faces of these change makers and felt overwhelmed by happiness, power, and positivity. These everyday people were coming together for a shared cause — peace. They were giving up aspects of their life to become something greater than themselves alone. They were contributing, they were committing, and most importantly, they were changing the world around them. Continue reading

Rotary Peace Fellows unite in Oslo

Rotary Peace Fellows in Oslo

Rotary Peace Fellows in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, Norway.

By Lucienne Heyworth, a Rotary Peace Fellow at Uppsala, and Yuko Maeno, a Peace Fellow at University of Bradford

This year has been a momentous one for Rotary Peace Fellows at the Bradford and Uppsala Peace Centers. For the first time, 18 peace fellows met in the beautiful city of Oslo, Norway, for a three day program in January including action packed and ‘peace centered’ information and entertainment that left us enlightened. The purpose of this trip was to develop further collaboration between the two peace centers and to learn about Norway’s peace-building efforts. Continue reading

Paul Harris on what Rotary will be in 100 years

Quote

“May our happiness increase with our usefulness. What Rotary will be one hundred years hence, none living can imagine.”

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

Rotary founder Paul Harris was a semi-regular contributor to The Rotarian magazine, and the February issue often included an anniversary message from him.

In 1915, he wrote, “We are passing our tenth milestone now. May our happiness increase with our usefulness. What Rotary will be one hundred years hence, none living can imagine. There is nothing impossible to Rotary now.”

Harris noted that Rotary had demonstrated its ability to “contribute toward the world’s supply of happiness” in terms of promoting ethical Continue reading

If Paul Harris started Rotary today

Evan Burrell and Room 711

Evan Burrell, left, with other members of the Joint Committee on Alumni Relations during a visit to Room 711, a recreation of the room where Rotary began.

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

I wonder, as we approach yet another Rotary anniversary, what Paul Harris would think of the Rotary of today? Would he smile, or grimace? He probably didn’t imagine how far his little idea would go when he sat down for that first meeting on 23 February a full 111 years ago.

As a fun exercise, I tried to imagine what it might be like if Paul Harris started Rotary today. To do this, I first imagined what a Gen Y Paul might be like. Continue reading

Does your village need a Rotary Community Corps?

The Rotary Community Corps of Ameligan.

The Rotary Community Corps of Genesis Ameligan.

By Jerry Olson, past president of the Rotary Club of Metro Roxas Central, Capiz, Philippines

When then President-elect M.A.T. Caparas, the only RI president from the Philippines, introduced the Rotary Community Corps (RCC) program in 1985, I’ll bet he didn’t envision the effect it would be having on the world today.

His vision for RCC’s has improved the quality of life in villages, neighborhoods, and communities all over the world. There are now around 7,500 RCC’s in over 80 countries. Continue reading

Support Rotary through eBay Live Auctions

The eBay Live Auctions team

Linda Campbell (first from the right) and the Live Auctions team at eBay headquarters.

By Linda Campbell, eBay’s Divisional Merchandising Manager for Live Auctions, Collectibles and Art.

eBay logoFor all of us at eBay Live Auctions, 2016 is shaping up to be a year of opportunities: a time to overcome old challenges, a time to set ambitious goals, and a time to try bold, new ventures. In that spirit, we are excited about the partnership between eBay Live Auctions and Rotary International. Continue reading

Peace is possible: lessons from war-torn Bosnia

Bridge over Neretva River

The restored bridge over the Neretva River in Mostar, a symbol of peace in Bosnia.

By Anton Polsterer, past governor of District 1910 and past chair of the Intercountry Committees Executive Council 

I joined Rotary in Vienna in 1986 and transferred to the Rotary Club of Moscow while working in Russia from 1989-92. After moving back to Austria, I became governor of the district covering Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Austria. After years of war and totalitarian government rule, these communities longed for freedom and peace. Continue reading