Living life forward in Rotary

Hudson and husband

Alexandra Hudson and her husband at her graduation from London School of Economics.

By Alexandra Hudson, former Rotary Global Grant Scholar

Looking back on my year in London as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all that Rotary has enabled me to do. On one level, I was born into a family of Rotarians: my grandmother was a founding member for her club in Streetsville, Ontario, and my grandfather was a Paul Harris Fellow.

On another level, I chose to become part of Rotary when I was asked to reinvigorate my community’s Rotaract Club in Langley, British Columbia. Continue reading

Doing good in Vietnam

A young girl washes her hands in the new facilities.

By Shahul Hameed, Rotary Club of Singapore (District 3310)

For some of us, it might be hard to imagine life without clean water. We may have suffered the inconveniences of temporary water cuts due to breakdowns or repairs in the water network. And we may have felt frustration after working out at the fitness center if the shower was broken. But those are just minor inconveniences compared to what people in the Huong Nguyen commune live with. Until recently. Continue reading

Water is building friendships, changing lives in Sri Lanka

Villagers in Vanni Pallugollewa, Sri Lanka, welcome the visiting Rotary members.

By Katie Conlon, PhD student at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, USA

Winding along the bumpy backroads of Sri Lanka and through intermittent rice fields and jungle, our group took hours of navigation skills to find the last village. But as we turned a corner, we got a first glimpse of the village’s welcoming committee, a 50-deep motorcycle “motorcade” assembled to escort us to the Nawa Teldeniya Water Project. Continue reading

Why Rotary scholarships are sustainable investments

Sarah Ehlinger Affotey, a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, at a project site in Ghana.

By Sarah Ehlinger Affotey

After receiving an Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary in 2011, I put a lot of pressure on myself to “do it right,” or in other words, give Rotary a solid return on its investment. With each passing month in Ghana, what I had first deemed as peripheral – the friendships, conversations, and breakdown of stereotypes – were actually advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. How ingenious that this scholarship allowed me to advance Rotary’s mission subconsciously?

Continue reading

How simple schools are helping children in Ghana

Children in Abansere wanting a school to call their own.

By Walter Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA, and a 2013 Rotary Champion of Change

Have you ever wished as a Rotarian that you could do something to help educate a child? Have you ever dreamed that a child could start their education at a younger age? We see children in communities all over Ghana in West Africa and realize that they should be in school.   Continue reading

Why education changes the world

Isma Seetal, middle left of banner, as a team assistant during District 5320’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event.

By Isma Seetal, Rotary Global Grant Scholar

“Education is the best way to change one’s standard of living.”

My mother would repeat this phrase over and over. I was lucky to have been brought up by a hard-working, single, mother, who empowered my brother and me to climb the socio-economic ladder by giving us the best education she possibly could. Other children from broken families like mine did not have the same fortune. My unwavering drive to give back and improve my community led me to join the Rotaract club of Port-Louis, Mauritius in July 2012.  Continue reading

The most important thing in the world

Jessica Compton enjoys the view on Mount Sunday, located in the middle of the South Island in Kakatere Conservation Park.

By Jessica Compton, Rotary Global Grant Scholar to New Zealand

As a child, I dreamed of teaching. But it took until my junior year of college to return to that dream. My undergraduate coursework had prepared me for the content, if not the pedagogical strategies, to effectively engage and teach adolescents English – reading, listening and viewing; writing, speaking, and presenting. Continue reading

Helping refugees in Europe

Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld treating a patient at a refugee shelter.

By Brady Way, 2017-18 president of the Rotary Club of Moorehead City-Lookout, North Carolina, USA

In the winter of 2014, Europe was beginning to experience a massive refugee influx as a result of the turmoil in the Middle East and Africa. Berlin would receive 100,000 of the 1.2 million refugees which came to Germany.

Rotarian Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld went to a refugee shelter with a much needed donation of clothing. She was immediately struck with the urgent need for medical care and medical supplies. The refugees had traveled long distances for several months, in harsh conditions, fleeing many atrocities at home. They had many obvious acute and chronic problems, especially the children. Continue reading

Rotary training team helps the girls of Malawi

The Rotary club’s project trained teachers for an after school program designed to empower girls, like those above, to stay in school.

By Elizabeth Usovicz

Last April, I led a Vocational Training Team (VTT) to Malawi. The global grant project of the Rotary clubs of Limbe (Malawi) and Kansas City-Plaza (Missouri, USA) installed solar lighting in schools and trained primary school teachers in an after-school program designed to empower children, especially girls, to stay in school. Continue reading

Empowering women in India through education

Women in the second chance literacy program.

Women in the second chance literacy program.

By Manish Shroff, past president of the Rotary Club of Ankleshwar, India

Our Rotary club is surrounded by rural and tribal villages in the Bharuch District of Gujarat State, India. The literacy rate in these villages is low and dropout rates of students in primary schools are high, most particularly among girls. We wanted to do something about that. Continue reading