By Helene Dudley, past president of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove, Florida, USA
My eyes filled with tears as I attended a Zoom meeting of the Yumbe, Uganda provisional Rotary Club discussing a service project they were planning to help a nearby village. I reached out in chat to another participant of the meeting who admitted she too was tearing up. The club is not yet officially recognized by Rotary International and the women are well below the poverty line but they are already doing service projects.
By Roger Bjoroy-Karlsen, Rotary Club of Roatan, Bay Islands,Honduras
I am on a small boat fully loaded with food bags headed for the people of St. Helene, a small island about two miles long and one mile wide, separated by a canal from the island of Roatan. Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands located off the northern coast of Honduras.
As the waves are striking our boat, my thoughts wander to the approximate 1,000 people in 218 households who are in need of the food we’re delivering. Many of whom have no income because they lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. St. Helene has no roads and no infrastructure. Its people are descendants of African slaves brought by the British to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands who then migrated to Roatan after gaining their freedom in the 1830’s.
Semilla Nueva technician Noe speaks to farmers about their new seed. Photo by Sarah Caroline Müller/Semilla Nueva
By Don Reiman, Rotary Club of Boise, Idaho, USA
Semilla Nueva means “New Seed.” In Guatemala the “new seed” developed by Semilla Nueva is creating new life for some of the world’s most malnourished children.
In March 2013, my wife and I traveled to Guatemala to check out Semilla Nueva, a nonprofit our Rotary club was considering supporting as part of our international service. Our past history with nonprofits taught us it was important to make sure the Rotary club’s resources would be backing a valid and sustainable project. What we found and experienced far exceeded our expectations. Continue reading →
By Divya Gopisetty, president of the Interact Club of Oakwood High School, Morgan Hill, California
I am amazed at all Rotary is able to accomplish. Each of you, members of Rotary, has an unyielding passion for change, a kind heart, and a determined spirit. You have discovered the importance of taking action instead of merely acknowledging issues exist. You are role models for the rest of the world. Continue reading →
Villagers increased their income by learning more efficient ways to raise guinea pigs and other livestock. Photo courtesy of Willem van Immerzeel
By Willem van Immerzeel, a member of the Rotary Club of Inka Cusco, Cusco, Peru
Cusco, Peru, where I live, is a touristy place. Most visitors get only a glimpse of the poverty that exists in rural areas in my country. But poverty is a very real side of Peruvian society, deeply impacting the lives of the millions engulfed in it. Widespread poverty has a destabilizing effect on society and goes a long way in explaining the extreme violence that dominated life in Peru for decades.
Since I was young, I considered it my duty to contribute to end poverty. In the early 1980s, I worked as a volunteer in Guinea Bissau, Africa, and later in Cusco. I soon discovered that projects can provide relief for some, but eradicating poverty for many requires much more. Continue reading →