Ending polio and prejudice

Paralympic athlete João Correa and his team.

Paralympic athlete João Correa and members of his team.

By João Correa, a Paralympic athlete from Brazil and supporter of Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign

My name is João Correa and I am 49 years old.  Although I was not affected by poliomyelitis, I know the kind of suffering many polio victims have to endure.

When I was 19, I had an accident while working in construction. I was in the hospital for a year and a half, after which I could never walk again. Since then, I have used a wheelchair to get around. Continue reading

Service transforms lives

Paula Caldeiram

Paula Caldeiram

By Paula Caldeiram, a member of the Rotaract Club of St. Paul Espro, Sao Paulo, Brazil

This is my “Rotary Moment.” I became an Interactor in 2008, and after a year of activities found myself transitioning to Rotaract as a member of the St. Paul Espro club. One of our service projects is a campaign to help provide warm clothing for the homeless.

I was taking part in this project this August when something special touched my heart. Continue reading

Ultramarathon Challenge raises awareness for Rotary

João Correa with his new handcycle, and a member of the Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial.

By Marcos Netto, Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

As a business person for almost 30 years, I have seen many people approaching our company asking for donations for all sorts of needs.

So when paralympic athlete João Correa from Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, contacted me asking for financial support to purchase a racing handcycle, I thought there could be another way to help him and raise awareness for his disability. (João lost the use of his leg in a work-related accident when he was 18). Continue reading

RI President: Rotarians promoting service and peace

President Tanaka and club presidents from Hong Kong visit a site in Mongolia. Photo by Peter Pang

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

Throughout my travels in September, I saw Rotarians promoting Peace Through Service and diligently helping others.

One event that comes to mind, which I attended in September, was the 11th Korea-Japan Goodwill Conference in Tokyo. It brought together more than 1,400 Rotarians from two countries that are experiencing conflict. I was proud to see Rotarians talking about promoting friendship between their countries. Many Rotarians feel that, despite what politicians say, Rotarians share common ideals of service, and this attitude can help transcend conflict. Continue reading

How Rotary Youth Exchange shaped my life

Ivan Vianna

By Ivan Vianna, District 4760 Rotary Youth Exchange chairman emeritus and a member of the Rotary Club of Belo Horizonte-Pampulha, Brazil

My Rotary Youth Exchange provided me with the main ingredients I needed to be successful in my profession as an engineer. More important, the experience shaped my character and helped make me the person I am.

In January 1968, I began my exchange year in Montrose, Pennsylvania, USA. I knew enough English to communicate, but adjusting from the 98 degrees Fahrenheit days in Brazil to 12 degrees during a Pennsylvania winter was rough! Continue reading

Enhancing Rotary’s image through service

Claudio Spiguel, third from left, and other members of the Rotary Club of Guaxupé, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a car they purchased for a school for at risk youth.  Photo courtesy Claudio Spiguel

By Claudio Spiguel, District 4560 Rotary Foundation Chair  and a member of the Rotary Club of Guaxupé, Minas Gerais, Brazil

In the past few years, my Rotary Club of Guaxupé has hosted five Matching Grant projects with The Rotary Foundation. Two of these projects aimed at the purchase of vehicles for beneficiary organizations that support needy segments of the community. These vehicles have fulfilled the project objectives, and have been put to very good use.

They have also accomplished something else as important — they have elevated our club’s visibility in the community and helped us attract new members. Continue reading

Brazilian hospital gets its own dialysis machine

Claudio Spiguel (right) helps unveil a sign noting Rotary’s contribution to a new dialysis machine for the ICU in Guaxupé. Photo courtesy of Claudio Spiguel

By Claudio Spiguel, assistant governor for District 4560 and Rotary Foundation committee chair for the Rotary Club of Guaxupé, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

I served as president of my club for two consecutive years in 2006-07 and 2007-08, two very busy years. In those years, and the ones since, my club has undertaken a number of important service projects, including one to support a pilot bakery and an industrial sewing training room at a local school for underprivileged children. But perhaps the most memorable project so far has been one that we just completed in May. Continue reading