Connecting with others through Ukrainian virtual club

Editor’s note: The following personal account is an excerpt from a story about Rotary in Ukraine compiled by Rotary Magazin for Germany and Austria. Past and current conflicts have had a significant impact on Rotary in Ukraine, making members there more resolute.

By Tetiana Godok, president-elect of the Rotary E-Club of Ukraine

Tetiana Godok
Tetiana Godok

My history with Rotary began when I was a senior in high school. The newly formed Rotaract Club of Yalta ambitiously set out to establish an Interact club, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of it.

I didn’t know much about Rotary, and the complex club organization befuddled me at first. But over several months, we visited Interact clubs in Kharkiv and Cherkasy, and I came to learn more about Rotary and gradually immersed myself in the ideas and values of this service organization. With strong convictions about the role I might play, I joined the Rotaract Club of Yalta, serving as president and treasurer, and set a goal to get to know Rotaract all over Europe.

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Editor of Rotary magazine in Ukraine thanks Rotary network for its help

Mykola Stebljanko
Mykola Stebljanko

Editor’s note: The conflict in Ukraine has displaced millions of people and has created a humanitarian crisis across Europe. The following is an interview between Rotary magazine and Mykola Stebljanko, editor of Rotary magazine in Ukraine.

Q: What’s your situation there now?

Stebljanko: I’m now living in Odesa. It’s the third most populist city on the southwest of Ukraine, an important port city on the Black Sea coast. Currently, there’s no military action here yet, but we live under the constant threat of bombs and missiles. Often, air raid sirens will wake us up in the middle of the night. We have to get up and hide in a safe place. You know, in my apartment, the safest place is the bathroom. We huddle together and spend the rest of the night there. Occasionally, we experienced a few rocket attacks, but most of the time, it’s a safe place.

Most of the military actions now center around Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and Kharkiv. More than a dozen smaller cities are also under attack. The city of Mariupol in the Southeast of Ukraine is under siege. More than 2,500 civilians have died there and close to 400,000 people are trapped in the city. The Russian army stopped anyone from escaping. Many are without electricity, water, and heat.

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Nonprofits need to embrace strategies for success from the for-profit world

Lisa Greer
Lisa Greer

By Lisa Greer, Rotary Club of Beverly Hills, California, USA

“WE ARE NON-PROFIT. We are not a business!” As someone who has served as a board member, adviser, and donor for nonprofits, I’ve heard a version of this sentiment more times than I can count. At a meeting, it might be someone’s response while discussing a financial or organizational governance issue of the nonprofit. The statement often carries a whiff of disdain.

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Restaurant venue dilemma

By Rotary staff

Your club has been meeting at a restaurant for 35 years. Your meeting contract extends for another five years, and your members like the venue and say the location is convenient. You recently learned that several restaurant staff members resigned and that the management is being investigated for serious discrimination allegations. What would you do?

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Young mother wants to serve on your club’s board

By Rotary staff

A meeting of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, in 2018.

During a discussion of candidates for an upcoming club election, a member objects to one candidate on the grounds that she’s a mother of young children and wouldn’t have the time to commit to Rotary. What would you do?

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