New club makes disability advocacy a priority

By Ken Masson, President, The Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy

Ken Masson
Ken Masson

The need for human rights for people with disabilities is worldwide. From the largest to the smallest countries, there are opportunities for Rotary to improve the dignity, respect, and quality of lives for people with disabilities. That is why we chartered the Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy. We saw so many possibilities of what Rotary could do.

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Easy, fun ways to keep a new club going

By Tom Gump, governor of Rotary District 5950, member of the Rotary Club of Edina/Morningside, Minnesota, USA

My district has several new and vibrant clubs. They are all flourishing. Not just because they formed, but also, because they keep on growing. 

A majority of charter members, about 88%, are new to Rotary. So, we need to nurture these new clubs as they don’t all know the Rotary way. How do we do this most effectively? It’s simple, we: give them a cause, stay flexible, add diversity, and have fun!

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Innovative effort sparks two new clubs

By Yvonne Kumoji, 2020-21 governor of District 9102 (Benin, Ghana, Niger, and Togo)

As an incoming district governor, my training at Rotary’s annual leadership event in January 2020 in San Diego, California, included information on forming new clubs and new club models. Words that then-President-elect Holger Knaack had shared with us resonated in my mind, words like innovation, adaptation, change, being different. Then I thought about Toastmasters, and wrestled with how those thoughts fit together.

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RYLA fuels creation of new clubs

Jeffrey Thompson, Elizabeth Piwonka, Madalyn Smith, and Sarah Jenkins were motivated to create a new club from their experience leading RYLA camps in District 5830 in 2019 and 2020.

By Sarah Jenkins, president of the E-Club of Leaders in Service (District 5830), Texas, USA

In 1996, Rotary District 5830 held its first ever RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards). On the 25th anniversary, a group of alumni decided it was time to start our own Rotary club. Rather than creating a traditional club, we decided to be innovative and chartered the Rotary E-Club of Leaders in Service in February 2020 with 22 Rotary program alumni, all former participants and staff from RYLA 5830. Continue reading

Love, loss, a novel, and a new Rotary club

Soumya and Rupa Mohanty

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”
—Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

By Soumya Mohanty, Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar Smile, India

We all fall in love, at different stages of life. But there is always that one person you meet and hold dear to your heart. No matter how many new people you meet or how many acquaintances you make, you look for traces of that one person in anybody and everybody. That is the kind of impact they have on you. Now imagine never being able to see that person again – because that is how destiny likes to play. And all you have left are memories that last a lifetime. Continue reading

Honoring the mothers behind our Peace Fellows

Lea Yague leads an activity with the newly formed Rotary Club of Solana Moonlight.

Erika Isabel Yague

By Erika Isabel Yague, Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

As Rotary Peace Fellows, we find inspiration when we take time to remember and recognize the people who support and motivate us in our work of pursuing a sustainable peace. For me, the principal person is my mom, the first woman that inspired me to live life in a way that would give back to the community. And given that May is the month of Mother’s Day, I felt it doubly fitting to talk about my mom as we honor the amazing mothers or mother figures we have in our lives. Continue reading

Rotary e-club serves as think tank on international development

Members of the Rotary Club of Washington Global

By Quentin Wodon, District 7620 membership chair

Creating new clubs is one of the best ways to grow Rotary. It’s also a great way to give the gift of Rotary to new members who may not have access to existing clubs where they live or work. Today, Rotary International gives us ample freedom to be creative when launching new clubs. This has led a group of us – professionals working in international development – to charter a new club – the Rotary Club of Washington Global, that will aim to serve as a small “think tank” for Rotarians on international development issues. Continue reading

How we created five new clubs in under a year

Shah and Bhatt

Vikash Shah with Sharmila Bhatt, 2018-19 governor of District 9211, at a club event.

By Vikash Shah, Rotary Club of Dar es Salaam Oyster Bay, Tanzania

My year as Rotary club president was approaching, and I knew I had to do something substantial to leave my mark. I had participated in a district team training seminar by our district governor, Sharmila Bhatt, and was inspired by her vision for growing Rotary. For many years, the growth in District 9211 (Tanzania and Uganda) had come mostly from Uganda. But she saw potential in the “sleeping giant” of Tanzania. It was then that I conceived the bold idea to form not just one, but five new clubs during my year as president. Continue reading

What is inspiration?

The Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada, involves children in all club activities.

By Stacey Jones, Rotary Club of Kingsville Southshore, Ontario, Canada

What is inspiration? To me it means that we are so moved by something, that we are compelled to act. Almost without a conscious thought.

That was my experience in Italy in the summer of 2018. While attending an event at the Coliseum, I had the opportunity to speak to Connie Nielsen about her charity called the Human Needs Project. They work primarily in the slums of Nairobi assisting people with the very basics of human needs. And as I stood there, literally rubbing elbows with these celebrities listening to them speak so passionately about their charity work; and staring out into the city from this private gala, I couldn’t help but question what I was doing with my life. And so at that moment my question became my answer. Continue reading

4 lessons from launching a Rotaract club

Working with your sponsoring Rotary club is critical for a Rotaract Club’s success. Here, Austrian Rotaractors build homes for those affected by the war in Bosnia as part of an intergenerational project. Photo by Stefan Fürtbauer © Rotary International. All Rights Reserved.

By Lauren Smyser, president, Rotaract Club of Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho, USA

Last year was both exciting and challenging for our club because we officially received our charter. With any new thing, there’s a lot to figure out. We have many people to thank, who I’ll note at the end. The year also taught us many valuable lessons, but four in particular, that we hope to use to improve our club going forward. Continue reading