The author with Kenyan students and their teacher in front of the new bathrooms provided by Rotary.
By Sarah Rolfing
No matter how many times I visit the slum in Nairobi or the poverty-stricken schools in the outskirts of the city, I’m not prepared for the feeling of despair that follows. Basic human rights, such as educational opportunity and access to healthcare, are constantly upended by poverty in many regions of Kenya. Children are often the most vulnerable, and the impact on education and the advancement of society is significant.
Lack of resources should not compromise the right to education, particularly in a society that has considerable disparities in wealth. Since 2013, the Rotary Club of Sumner, Washington, USA, has partnered with low-income schools in Southern Kenya to provide bathroom facilities for students with special needs. Lack of basic sanitation at schools across the region is common, negatively impacting health, hygiene, and attendance. Poor health makes education an afterthought, and Rotary’s investment in creating healthy environments for students in Kenya is impacting thousands on a daily basis. Continue reading →
Michiko Mitarai shows Kenyan villagers a Japanese method for drawing water from a well.
By Michiko Mitarai, Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo
Rotary has changed my life in many ways. Through Rotary, I have discovered the world is a bigger place and I have been able to visit parts of it that I would never have been able to if I hadn’t joined.
As a member of the Rotary club of Tokyo Hiroo, I traveled to rural communities in Kenya with members of four different Rotary clubs. We visited 14 wells that our club supported. In Funyula, near the border of Uganda, we even stayed at the house of a member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi East, who was once a member of our club while he served as the Kenyan Ambassador to Japan. Continue reading →
Four hundred citizens in northeast China received free cataract surgeries in 2013 thanks to efforts by the Rotary Clubs of Warner Robins, Georgia, USA, and Shanghai, China. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Shanghai
By Rotary Voices staff
There’s still time to make your year-end gift to The Rotary Foundation. Here are a few ways your support is helping change lives all over the world:
Educating children: Rotary members in Maine, USA, and Bikaner, India, are using a global grant to educate hundreds of children in Bikaner who previously were not attending school, and provide professional development for their teachers. Learn more about the project, which also provided desks for the students. Continue reading →
By Brian Rocha, a member of the Rotary Club of Goleta, California, and District 5240 Public Relations Chair
I’ve done a bit of traveling in my life. But recently, I got an urge to turn my travel experience into something much more rewarding. I wanted to travel not just to travel, but to make an impact and make a difference in the world.
I pitched the idea to my Rotary club and Rotary International, and they were in full support. Support in terms of moral support. I financed the trip myself. So last year, I began an eight month journey visiting several different countries around the world, capturing pictures and video throughout the experience. Continue reading →
By Sarah Maingi, Rotaract representative from Kenya
On a warm Saturday morning in April, about 100 Rotaractors from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi gathered at a community in Buterere in Bujumbura, Burundi, to provide households with clean drinking water.
Some of the Rotaractors, myself included, had traveled over 1,000 kilometers by road, and all sacrificed their Easter holidays to serve. Continue reading →
By Thaddeus Bah Masika, president of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Parklands, Kenya
In November, we visited children at Mother Teresa’s Home of Mercy, run by the Missionaries of Charity. For just a one day visit, it had a profound effect on our club and members, some of whom were moved to tears.
After meeting at 8 a.m. we traveled by public transportation to Huruma, a slum on the northeast edge of Nairobi, and walked the few meters to the home. We had three main goals in mind: clean the place, feed the children, and play with the children.
By Steve Welch, president of the Rotary Club of Northwest Austin, Texas, USA
In the squatter’s village of San Mateo, Belize, my Rotary club is providing solar lights for more than 100 school children who previously attempted to study by candle light. We are working in partnership with the Grid Earth Project, which was founded by members of our club, a charity dedicated to providing solar powered lighting to replace other dangerous light sources used in remote areas of the world. Continue reading →
By Marion Bunch, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (formerly RFFA)
World AIDS Day 1 December holds special meaning to me. I lost my second born child, Jerry, to AIDS early in the American epidemic (1994). At that time, the disease was so stigmatizing, I felt quite lonely not being able to discuss Jerry’s illness with anyone outside my family. I never thought I’d do anything about it until one day, three years after his death, I felt a tap on the shoulder and a voice in my ear said “mom, get up and get going, you haven’t done anything, and it’s been three years.” Continue reading →
While I was in Africa recently, I traveled through eight countries and nine cities, meeting people and projects along the way. What I saw amazed me.
For example, I met Rotarians who had an impressive ability to identify the needs of orphaned children. They were using grants from The Rotary Foundation to help support a dairy farm in Kenya. Continue reading →