RI President: Receiving a goat in Kenya

RI President Sakuji Tanaka receives a goat as a gift during his visit in Kenya.

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

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

Sunshine rally puts a smile on children’s faces in Kenya

Sunshine rally, Nairobi, Kenya

Children enjoy the Sunshine Rally held every year by Rotary clubs in Nairobi, Thika, and Machakos, Kenya.

By Beatrice N. Thairu, a member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi-East, Kenya

Buses full of eager students rolled into the Jamhuri showground in Nairobi, Kenya, 25 February.

Every year, Rotary clubs in Nairobi, Thika, and Machakos collaborate to put together a special rally for children with physical and mental disabilities. This year, a record 3,500 children took part in the event, hosted by the Rotary Club of Nairobi East and Nairobi Parklands.

It is a joy to see the excitement on the faces of the children, who, according to their teachers, hardly sleep the night before. The rally is a big event on their calendars. Continue reading

Real change and a Rotary challenge

Former Scholar and Youth Exchange student Hunter Tanous at a Rotary club in Zahle, Lebanon.

Former Ambassadorial Scholar and Youth Exchange student Hunter Tanous recently visited a Rotary club in Zahle, Lebanon.

By Hunter Tanous, alumni of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and Youth Exchange programs

It’s 6:30 a.m. on a work week in Nairobi, Kenya. East Africa is facing possibly the worst drought in 60 years, and I work for the leading social enterprise [Backpack Farm] working with small farmers in the region. I put those together in the same sentence because they are sadly contradictory statements.
Why is it that East Africa, a largely agriculture-based society with the land and labor to feed nearly all of Africa, still falls into famine year after year after year? Even as I speak about the drought in East Africa, little ol’ Zimbabwe is quietly falling into starvation. Zimbabwe, a country that used to be the bread basket of the South, is now facing famine. Why is all this happening?
The list of reasons goes on and on — water, HIV/AIDS, corruption, politics, war. But another reason is a lack of long-term investment and commitment to small-scale growth.