Jordan Koletic, left, and Robert Smayda Jr. at Rotary Day at the United Nations in 2014.
By Kamlesh Chandan, Rotary Club of Lake Norman/Huntersville, North Carolina, USA
In 2015, I was working at one of the largest Fortune 500 banks in the United States when I read an article on our internal website about a team member traveling to eastern Africa. I found the story intriguing, and reached out to her for more details about the trip and to see if it had a connection with Rotary. But at the time I did not hear back. Continue reading
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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