Together we transform, one mangrove at a time

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By Hope A. Sealey, president, Rotary Club of East Nassau, Nassau, Bahamas. Photos by Alyce Henson, Rotary International.

Storm damage and coastline erosion are threatening many shores around the world, especially islands in the Caribbean. On top of these concerns, climate challenges are vastly affecting the natural ecosystems of these islands. And the island of New Providence, Bahamas, is no exception.

Bonefish Pond National Park, which was established in 2002, has one of the last remaining mangrove systems on New Providence island. During the time of its establishment, part of the park was a dumping ground but the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) – a non-profit organization that manages the country’s national parks – has been working ever since to clean up the park and turn it into a thriving mangrove area.

Some people might ask, why mangrove trees? Continue reading

Rotary alum turns trash into treasure

Binish Desai’s company makes bricks from industrial waste otherwise destined for the landfill.

By Binish Desai, a member of the Rotary Club of Bulsar, India, and a former Rotary Youth Exchange student 

I started my journey in Rotary as a Youth Exchange Student in 2009-10, hosted by the Rotary Club of Waukegan, Illinois, USA. I’m now a member of the Rotary Club of Bulsar, India, and Rotary helps me live out my dream, a dream I have had since age 11 – giving back to my community in service.

In 2005, I created my first brick using industrial paper waste and chewing gum. Similar bricks of recycled materials would go on to make thousands of stand-alone toilets for rural communities by 2015. Continue reading

Why plant trees when you can plant seaweed

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By Parry Monckton, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

In early March, members of my club joined the Operation Crayweed team at Mona Vale Beach to restore the denuded reef on the Sydney shore coastline. We decided to help plant a Crayweed forest as part of our unique response to RI President Ian Riseley’s challenge for Rotary members to plant trees around the world. Underwater trees, you see, are just as important, if not more so, to restoring the health and vitality of the world’s oceans. Continue reading

How small clubs make a big impact – with trees

Rotarians in Tempe plant 124 trees in one day. Photo by Shawna Wolf Photography

By Laura Higgs, chair-elect of the Satellite Club of Camelback Crossroads, 2004-05 Rotary Youth Exchange Student

Our club in Phoenix, Arizona, is a small one. We have about 25 members total, between our morning and evening segments. While cacti typically cover the arid landscape, tree shade in parks is an important aspect of community development in Arizona, and we knew planting one tree per Rotarian was one of RI President Ian Riseley’s goals for the Rotary year. Continue reading

New shoes delight children in Uganda

Children try on shoes as part of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South’s service project.

By Immy Julie Musoke Nakyeyune, president of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South, Uganda

A mist was rising over the meadow when I arrived early in the morning at Nyakishumba with members of my Rotaract club, brimming with excitement for the day ahead. Located in the hilly Kabale District of western Uganda, Nyakishumba is colder than most of the surrounding region. So we were bundled in our heavy coats this September day as we hurried to set up the medical camp in time; coordinating with the health care workers, arranging the necessary medicines, and establishing diagnostic stations and areas for HIV testing.

It has been almost three years since we first visited the community to do our needs assessment, discovering their unique concerns and needs. The first phase of our project in 2016 had focused on supporting education at the primary school. Now, we were addressing disease prevention, maternal and child health, education, and economic and community development. We were all excited at the opportunity Rotaract was providing us to work with members of other clubs to help this community. Continue reading

Mobile blood bank saves lives in Saint Lucia

Malcolm Charles

By Malcolm Charles, past president of the Rotary Club of St. Lucia, Saint Lucia

One day while visiting with my mom over lunch, I heard over her portable transistor radio a call for people with Type O positive blood to come to the local hospital to give blood in preparation for a patient surgery later that day.

I asked my mom if she knew my blood type, because I didn’t. But she didn’t know, either. So I drove to the nearest health clinic in her area to Continue reading

Create ‘Twitter volunteer’ opportunities

Past District Governor Doug Vincent (left) with school children during his recent Rotary travels.

By Doug Vincent, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Woodstock-Oxford, Ontario, Canada

Recently, I attended a great presentation on “Embracing Opportunity” as part of our day-to-day life. I’ve had the benefit of enjoying opportunities through my global Rotary activities and travels, but many members do not do take advantage of this outside their local Rotary club. Here is a great way to attract new member prospects with fun and enjoyment. Continue reading

Being the oxygen that fuels the flame (of service)

Vasanth Kuppuswamy motivates students in Tamil Nadu, India.

By Bill Smyth, Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA

It’s not every day that an eighth-grade student’s essay rivets a teacher’s attention. But this one themed “The Oxygen That Fueled the Flame” got mine.

The essay, written by a student at Buist Academy in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, described his experience two summers earlier teaching English in Tamil Nadu, India, motivated by a desire to make a difference in kid’s lives. The story would have been powerful enough if the student had been of high school age, but this was the story of a 12-year-old boy. Continue reading

Getting creative with science in rural Taiwan

Students show off their construction skills by making kites out of newspapers during classes supported by the Rotary Science Education Program.

Students show off their construction skills by making kites out of newspapers during classes supported by the science education program.

170209_leungBy Pauline Leung, a member of the Rotary Club of Taipei Pei An, Taiwan, and past governor of District 3520

On a rainy day in Spring four years ago, I was talking to a few young teachers about the education system in Taiwan. The country was on the verge of extending free education to children through the age of 12, which I thought was a good policy to reduce illiteracy.

However, the teachers had concerns about the impact of the policy on schools in remote areas of Taiwan that have less resources and thereby have a harder time staying competitive. Continue reading

Crossing the Choluteca bridge

The Choluteca bridge

The Choluteca bridge is a suspension bridge in Honduras built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1935 and 1937.

By Neal Beard, a member of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

For the past eleven years, I have traveled to Honduras with many other Rotarians to help on numerous Rotary humanitarian projects in the southwestern part of Honduras near the Pacific Ocean and in the mountains along the Nicaraguan border. Continue reading