The right to a better life

The commemoration of the mass murder of 72 migrants

LA 72 held this commemoration of the mass murder of 72 migrants by the Los Zetas drug cartel in San Fernando, Mexico, in 2010. Photo courtesy Giorgio Algeri

By Giorgio Algeri, 2010-11 Rotary Peace Fellow, University of Queensland, Australia 

On a late evening in August, a family of eight migrant persons from Honduras arrived at the refugee shelter where I was serving as a short-term volunteer in Tabasco, Mexico, near the border with Guatemala. The family of three adults and five children, most below the age of 10, had fled their country for security reasons and were renting a tiny room in Tabasco awaiting asylum. The son of the landlord came home drunk and threatened the family with a machete, forcing them to leave all their belongings behind. Continue reading

How we set up a Rotaract club in a refugee settlement

A Rotary team visited the Nakivale Rotaract Club in January (select cc for English subtitles)

By Francis Xavier Sentamu, District 9211 (Uganda) governor-elect

When I first saw a story on BBC in the spring of 2016 about the Nakivale Refugee settlement, I didn’t give it much thought. It was distant to me. Somewhat coincidentally, I attended a “changemaker” event that November organized by the American Refugee Committee, where 13 youth from the Nakivale Refugee settlement were being honored for their project ideas to impact the refugee community. Continue reading

Assisting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Eric Lee and his wife hand out supplies to refugee children in Bangladesh.

By Eric Lee, a member of the Rotary Club of Cheat Lake, West Virginia, USA

Service above self was the underpinning theme of our aid project for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh this year. The project was a colorful example of how Rotary works around the globe in the service of others. Clubs from the United States and Bangladesh delivered dry goods to Rohingya refugees in the Bahlukali camp along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in February. Continue reading

Helping refugees in Europe

Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld treating a patient at a refugee shelter.

By Brady Way, 2017-18 president of the Rotary Club of Moorehead City-Lookout, North Carolina, USA

In the winter of 2014, Europe was beginning to experience a massive refugee influx as a result of the turmoil in the Middle East and Africa. Berlin would receive 100,000 of the 1.2 million refugees which came to Germany.

Rotarian Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld went to a refugee shelter with a much needed donation of clothing. She was immediately struck with the urgent need for medical care and medical supplies. The refugees had traveled long distances for several months, in harsh conditions, fleeing many atrocities at home. They had many obvious acute and chronic problems, especially the children. Continue reading