Bridging the gulf to protect our valuable water resources

Emmanuel Umolu, with scarf, and his host counselor Tanny Agustinus, second from left, at a welcoming event for the second class of Rotary scholars at UNESCO-IHE.

Emmanuel Umolu, with scarf, and his host counselor Tanny Augustinus, second from left, a member of the Rotary Club of Delft-Koningsveld, at a welcoming event for the second class of Rotary Scholars at UNESCO-IHE.

By Emmanuel Chinedu Umolu, Rotary Scholar from Nigeria

Three months have gone by since I began my master’s program in Hydraulic Engineering – Land and Water Development at UNESCO-IHE as a Rotary Scholar. The pace of learning has been quite intense. Indeed, most students realized within the first few weeks that the rector was right when he warned us during opening week that the suffix IHE does not mean  “International Holiday in Europe.” Continue reading

How your gift to The Rotary Foundation changes lives

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

By Rotary staff

Leonor Fraser and other members of her Rotary club arrived in Masaya, Nicaragua, ready to deliver shoes to the elementary schoolchildren and play with them.

It immediately became apparent that the school, located near a diesel plant, had bigger problems. The plant emitted pollutants into the air, which made the children and teachers lethargic, and the cracked building had no sanitation facilities. Fraser had difficulty breathing during her visit. Continue reading

Milwaukee club celebrates its centennial with an arboretum

The stone arch has become  a signature icon of the new arboretum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Milwaukee

The stone arch has become a signature of the new arboretum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Milwaukee

By Jim Barry, member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

In 2007, when I was president of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, we started to look ahead to celebrating our 100th year in 2013. We put out a call to our members to identify a grand gift we could make to the community to commemorate our centennial.

That seed grew into the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, which opened this past September – a beautiful new natural space in the heart of the city, reclaimed from post-industrial land.  Continue reading

Club project tackles water crisis with technology, soul

Jon Kaufman, left, and team members hold up three fingers, signifying water, education, and peace, during the installation of a SunSpring.

Jon Kaufman, left, and team members hold up three fingers, signifying water, education, and peace, during the installation of a SunSpring.

By Jon Kaufman, a member of the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise (Redwood City/Menlo Park), California, USA

When we launched our club’s project, H2OpenDoors, we said that the world’s water crisis can be solved with a little technology and a whole lot of soul.

With our first two installations completed at two hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand in February 2013, we are now preparing for the next in Myanmar. Continue reading

Daily litter walk improves your health, and your community

Robin Roberts picks up trash during his daily litter walk.

Robin Roberts picks up trash during his daily litter walk.

By Robin Roberts, a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile West, Mobile, Alabama

Would you like an a easy way to change the world?  What if there was a project you could start today, in your own neighborhood regardless of where you live?  Implementing it requires no fundraising and no committee approval. You can take part starting today. It improves your mind, body and spirit and improves your environment too.

Here’s the idea: Every day take a daily litter walk. You will be happier, you will be leaner, and your community will be cleaner. Continue reading

Leading the way for a clean, healthy world on Earth Day

Members of the Rotary Club of Duluth Superior Eco clean up debris along the St. Louis River.

Members of the Duluth Superior Eco Rotary Club clean up debris along the St. Louis River.

By Mary Kay Bates, a member of the Duluth Superior Eco Rotary Club, and Karen Anderson, club president

We will be spending Earth Day, 22 April, as we have the past several, with members of the Duluth Superior Eco Rotary Club cleaning up debris along our “adopted” river, the St. Louis, which separates Duluth, Minnesota, from Superior, Wisconsin. Continue reading

Rising to the challenges of water management at UNESCO-IHE

Rotary Scholar Kenechukwu "Kaycee" Okoli in Delft, Netherlands.

Rotary Scholar Kenechukwu “Kaycee” Okoli in Delft, Netherlands.

By Kenechukwu “Kaycee” Okoli, Rotary Scholar from Nigeria

Leaving Nigeria for Delft, Netherlands, to take part in a Rotary scholarship program at UNESCO-IHE has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. It has been a goal of mine to pursue advanced studies in hydraulic engineering. Being a Rotary scholar, not only has funding been provided for my graduate studies, but I am part of a strategy conceived by Rotary to address the complex issues of water and sanitation. It inspires me to rise to the challenge of seeking solutions to the world’s water and sanitation crisis as a water professional. Continue reading

Personal reflections from the Berlin peace forum

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By Susanne Büttner, online editor of the German Rotary Magazine and a member of Rotaract in English and German

Over the past years, I have been fortunate to attend many Rotary International events in various countries. At each, I have enjoyed the hospitality and friendliness of the hosts, so I was excited when I heard that RI President Sakuji Tanaka chose to hold the first of three Rotary Global Peace Forums in my home country. I would have an opportunity to return some of the hospitality I have received. Continue reading