Good news for Ghana sanitation efforts

Rotary and USAID are creating Tippy Tap devices to encourage good hygiene in remote areas. The devices use a simple foot paddle to tip a water container so people can safely wash their hands.

Rotary and USAID are creating Tippy Tap devices to encourage good hygiene in remote areas. The devices use a simple foot paddle to tip a water container so people can safely wash their hands.

By Mohamed Keita, RI staff, Administrative Coordinator, Areas of Focus, Programs and Grants

In January, a new government came into office in Ghana and set a different tone in addressing access to water and public sanitation in the country. President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the creation of a Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources. It is the first time an administration has dedicated the centrepiece of an executive cabinet agency to public sanitation.

Ghanaian Rotarians who are involved in the rollout of the Rotary-USAID International H2O Collaboration, a $4 million initiative to support lasting, positive change to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives in Ghana, have welcomed the move. Continue reading

Building a better tomorrow for youth of Kenya

Class beside new bathrooms

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

Support Rotary through eBay Live Auctions

The eBay Live Auctions team

Linda Campbell (first from the right) and the Live Auctions team at eBay headquarters.

By Linda Campbell, eBay’s Divisional Merchandising Manager for Live Auctions, Collectibles and Art.

eBay logoFor all of us at eBay Live Auctions, 2016 is shaping up to be a year of opportunities: a time to overcome old challenges, a time to set ambitious goals, and a time to try bold, new ventures. In that spirit, we are excited about the partnership between eBay Live Auctions and Rotary International. Continue reading

A beautiful partnership of service through Rotary

Students use the sound proof therapy room at the school for the deaf and mute.

Students use the sound proof therapy room at the Kamalini school for children with hearing and speech impairments.

Prafull Karnik, past president of the Rotary Club of Thane East, Maharashtra, India

Our unique partnership with the Rotary Club of Mission Viejo in California, USA, began more than a decade ago when I was president and I was looking for a centennial project for our club. With other members of the club, I visited Nakhwa School in Thane, established in 1964 to provide education for children from low-income families, and was convinced this would be a great opportunity for us to serve. Continue reading

Rotary Day at UNESCO

RI President Gary C.K. Huang (middle) with young participants of the Rotary Day UNESCO in Paris.

RI President Gary C.K. Huang (middle) with young participants of the Rotary Day UNESCO in Paris.

By Kristin Brown, manager of Rotary Service Connections

I like to say I have one of the best jobs at Rotary because in Rotary Service Connections we are responsible for many of the programs and activities that help Rotarians connect, partner and serve to make the world a better place.

Last Saturday found me in Paris where, as part of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebration, the organization welcomed 400-plus Rotarians and Rotaractors from more than 20 countries for Rotary Day UNESCO. The conference highlighted Rotary’s history with UNESCO and ongoing work for peace, with particular emphasis on the role of intercountry committees (ICCs). ICCs are cooperative relationships established between districts in two countries to promote bi-lateral communication and cooperation between Rotarians, leading to greater understanding and peace between peoples. Continue reading

Audio books for the visually impaired

A member of the Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Sicily, records a section of an audio book.

A member of the Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Sicily, records a section of an audio book.

By Mirko Gangi, Rotaract Club of Caltanissetta, Siciliy

There are many visually impaired children in Italy and Sicily who lack teaching materials and educational aids. The purchase and distribution of books in Braille is difficult, there is only one distribution house in Sicily, and the cost of audio books is very high.The present economic crisis and lack of public funds also does not help.

So as members of Rotaract, we joined together with the Rotary Club of Caltanissetta to record and produce three audio books which we distributed to 750 Continue reading

Working together, we get more done

Members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact join community health workers in a cleaning up an impoverished neighborhood near Naivasha, Kenya.

Members of Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact join community health workers in cleaning up an impoverished community near Naivasha, Kenya.

By Joe Kamau, service project chair for the Rotary Club of Naivasha, Kenya

My Rotary club recently completed a very successful Rotary At Work Day in January where we cleaned up a poor community near Naivasha, Kenya.

This activity was truly a collaborative and inter-generational effort, bringing together members of the Interact Club of Trinity Mission School, the Rotaract Club of Naivasha, members of Rotary, friends, community health workers, and local government officials. Continue reading