Dieter Erhard sculpted a huge bee to draw attention to the plight of bees and the BeeAlive project.
By Gundula Miethke
Every year Rotaract clubs throughout Germany look for a common initiative to participate in on a country-wide basis to demonstrate their commitment to social action. This effort includes hands-on activities, lectures, and public awareness around a single issue. This year, that issue centered on an environmental theme, protecting wild bees.
A Swiss documentary “More than Honey” left a lasting impression on one Rotaractor, who convinced other Rotaract and Rotary members about the menacing problem that these little superheroes find themselves in, one that impacts us as humans as well. The hard-working wild bees are responsible for pollinating more than 75 percent of our crops and wild plants. If they die out, we cannot survive either. Continue reading
By Kerstin Dolde, Rotary Club of Hof-Bayerisches Vogtland, Germany
It is beyond question that Rotary club charters are something special. The fact that the latest Nuremberg addition to the Rotary family was personally welcomed by RI President-elect Mark Maloney is even more memorable for the new members. But the composition of the club is also extraordinary: It consists of 42 committed members – 24 women and 18 men, with an average age of 42 years. Sixteen of them are former Rotaractors. The aim of the club is to connect people, hence the name: Rotary Club Nürnberg-Connect. Continue reading
Konrad Niemann, left, and his son by the junk car they used in the Carbage Run. The car was auctioned off, and combined with funds raised by the run, to benefit the Salberghaus, a home for children.
By Konrad Niemann, President of the Rotary Club of München-Münchner Freiheit, Germany
In February, my son and I were driving in Germany when we began passing a bunch of strange-looking cars on the highway. We discovered they were part of a road rally called the Carbage Run, that is essentially a five-day road trip across Europe in a junk car. For the past 10 years, participants have paid about €350 (about $400) to take part in the event, originating in the Netherlands, with cars that must be more than 18 years old and worth less than €500 ($560). Looking at all these junk cars, my son and I thought “what a funny idea for a father-son activity.” Continue reading
Thando Gwatyu shares the South African flag with his host family in Germany.
By Thando Gwatyu, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from South Africa to Germany
Recently, I finished my third month in Germany, and it’s already changing my life. The process has not always been easy, but I’ve made quite a few discoveries about German culture and tradition, some of which is very different from the life I’m used to.
My first host family, the Roos, were simply amazing. Both parents are architects and they have a 16-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son. The parents were eager to show me many things about their country Continue reading
Youth Exchange students in Europe.
By Augusto La Colla, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Villa Regina, Argentina, to Muenster, Germany
Through my Interact club in Argentina, I learned of an opportunity last year to go on a Rotary Youth Exchange to Muenster, Germany. I want to echo what others have said on this blog, that Youth Exchange is an unforgettable experience.
I had the pleasure of staying with two families in Germany — the Kirchhoffs and Beikers — and I consider both part of my family. Getting to know the German culture, to be a part of it, and to be immersed in it, I developed a new appreciation for my home country, and the world beyond. It made me realize just how amazing this world is, and gave me a desire to work to make the world a better place. Continue reading
RI President Sakuji Tanaka presents an award to Ralf Trautwein, president of the Rotary Club of Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. Monika Lozinska/Rotary International
By Ralf Trautwein, president of the Rotary Club of Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. In English and German.
This year’s convention in Lisbon was my first, mainly because I dislike air travel. But I had a very good reason to overcome my fear of flying this year. I was invited as a personal guest of RI President Sakuji Tanaka to present our project, the “Rotary Peace Song” during the closing plenary session. Continue reading
By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese
As I traveled in 2012 to Rotary clubs and projects, I saw the joy of being a Rotarian. I noticed that the deeper your involvement with Rotary, the more you can grow as a person. Furthermore, I believe that Rotary can mean something different to each Rotarian, and it’s a part of our journey to discover that meaning. My wish for 2013 is that Rotarians discover what this organization means to them, and then share it with others. These personal experiences are our Rotary moments. Here were some of my Rotary moments from the past few months. Continue reading
Peace Fellow Anne Riechert (left) speaks during a panel at the peace forum in Berlin.
By Anne Riechert, a 2010-12 Rotary Peace Fellow, International Christian University
Saturday morning, Paul Knyff shared his favorite Rotary moment with the more than 1,800 Rotarians attending the first Rotary Global Peace Forum in Berlin. Having been involved with Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) and the Rotary Peace Centers program for more than a decade, I asked myself what my favorite Rotary moment had been. It felt a little like picking a favorite child. I would like to share with you, however, my favorite moment from the forum. Continue reading
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