By Marty Peak Helman, District 7780 Foundation Chair
Children in a refugee camp in eastern Nigeria.
The American University of Nigeria (AUN) was co-founded by Rotarian Felix Obadan in 2000, and 12 years later, when Felix was governor of Rotary’s District 9125, which covers a large portion of Nigeria, he chartered the Rotary Club of Yola-AUN on campus. Their strong influence on campus makes it not surprising that many University professors and senior staff are Rotary members, and that the University prides itself on its work toward peace, entrepreneurship, and economic development as well as its strong academics.
The University’s mission is to graduate students prepared to take on the challenges in Nigeria and throughout West Africa – challenges of climate change, development, and peace building. And peace is not an abstract concept at the university. After all, it is located in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, in the region where Boko Haram is most powerful. In fact, those few dozen Chibok schoolgirls who escaped from being kidnapped by Boko Haram are now safely living at the University, where they are receiving social services and education. Continue reading
Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless. Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Group Ministry
By Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA
Sometimes the best way to gain a little attention for your club is to not talk about your club, but about other worthy groups and volunteers you are working with.
Rotary members are becoming more aware of the need to tell their Rotary story. But here’s the catch. It may be better to use local blogs or magazines in your community rather than your club or district’s own channels. This is because typically, these external sources will have a much larger readership. Continue reading
By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia
Every single time you publish your online club bulletin or newsletter and email it to your subscribers, you should be asking yourself, “Have I made it informative AND engaging?”
Basically, your club bulletin could be the best piece of writing ever, but if no one reads it, what is the point? And if they do happen to read it but get absolutely no value out of it, what have you accomplished? Continue reading
Last year’s Miles to End Polio team on ride day.
By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary
On 19 November, a team of Rotary staff and I will join Rotary members from Arizona (District 5500) and around the world to cycle up to 104 miles in El Tour de Tucson to raise funds for polio eradication.
The event is one of the top cycling events in the U.S., attracting more than 9,000 cyclists each year. We are aiming to raise $3.4 million, which will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of more than $10 million for the fight to end polio. Continue reading
School children in Kampala, Uganda.
By Carolyn Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group and member of the Rotary Club of Yarmouth, Maine, USA
Recently, I visited a small government school outside Kampala, Uganda. The school is located on the edge of a growing community, but most of these students live in a small nearby fishing village.
Many of the children were barefoot and dressed in what they could assemble of the school uniform. The school is basic: a concrete floor, block walls and a tin roof- but clean and neat, with all the children wearing broad smiles and clearly happy to be in school with caring and supportive teachers. The first time I visited this school, it was a very different sight. Continue reading
Mikah Meyer at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Rotary has helped Meyer reach for his dreams, including visiting all 400 plus U.S. National Park sites in a single tour.
By Mikah Meyer, former Rotary Scholar
Growing up as a pastor’s kid in Nebraska, I had a strong desire to get out and see the world. But I would never have had the opportunity to pursue my dreams if it had not been for Rotary.
I was awarded a Rotary scholarship during my junior year at the University of Memphis, while earning a degree in voice performance. I heard about the opportunity through a teacher who had been a Rotary Scholar herself, and a close friend who had been a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. Continue reading
Jean Best addresses participants of a peace conference.
By Jean Best, a Peace Officer in District 1020, with Rotary Peace Fellow Flor Yanez and Rotary Coordinator Keith Best
Who would have thought that sitting in an awareness raising session about Rotary Peace Fellows would have led to the creation of a skills based Peace Advocate Programme and an invitation to affect the lives of young people across the entire country of Mexico?
We received an invitation from Mexico’s national commission for peace after Rotary Peace Fellow Flor Yanez Continue reading
Rotary Peace Fellow Barbara Herthel
By Barbara Servulo Herthel, a Rotary Peace Fellow from Brazil
As I reached the end of my Professional Certificate Fellowship Program at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, I found myself dealing with a lot of feelings and thoughts about this experience. I am very thankful for the three months, all the sharing and learning I received from others, the daily routine, the field trips, and more.
To express my gratitude, I decided to come up with 5 reasons to apply for this program, based on my own experience and the lessons I learned. Continue reading
The Emergency Operations Center in Abuja, Nigeria, kicks into action.
By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada
In late August 2016, I had the extraordinary opportunity to be in the National Polio Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Abuja, Nigeria. The center was activated to manage the response to two polio cases confirmed in Borno State.
I was in Nigeria as part of a Polio External Review team with the World Health Organization, CDC, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that had been planned months before. But with the discovery of new polio cases, our focus shifted. Continue reading
Peggy Tingle with Neal Beard (left) and Keith Rohling, president-elect of the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club.
By Neal Beard, a member of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA
“I was 18 when I contracted the disease,” Peggy said, as she spoke into a lowered, stationary microphone set up at the front of our meeting room. She spoke from a motorized wheelchair, reading from her notes.
Peggy was the guest speaker at our club meeting recently, and her story underscored for me why we need to remain committed to eradicating this terrible disease of polio. Statistics are one thing, but when you hear someone’s story who has battled the disease, it takes your emotional resolve to a completely different level. Continue reading