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
Students show off their construction skills by making kites out of newspapers during classes supported by the science education program.
By 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
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
Students respond to a question during the two-day workshop.
By Rajesh Kumar Modi, Rotary Club of Mumbai Borivali East, India
Children are the future of any country. We as members of Rotary have an opportunity to mold them in such a way that they can emerge as efficient and valuable resources for our country. All it takes is changing the way we approach our club activities. Not every project has to be a huge project. Sometimes, size isn’t the only indicator of success. Continue reading
Jon Kaufman with children in Nepal during an installation of a water filtration system.
By Jon Kaufman, a member of the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise, California, USA
The installation of two water plants in rural villages in Nepal now produce more than 20,000 liters of safe drinking water every day, using solar wind as their power source. We helped install the SunSpring ultra-filtration systems the week of 1 July through 7 July as part of the ongoing H2OpenDoors project sponsored by my Rotary club and partnering clubs.
I was able to raise the $50,000 for these units at two different golf tournaments in 2015, thanks to hundreds of generous donors. Continue reading
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
Mother and son enjoy a game of chess as part of the Rotary Club of Point Fortin project.
By Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal, a member of the Rotary Club of Point Fortin, Trinidad, West Indies
I have always had an interest in chess. So I was thrilled when Raymond Aaron, project coordinator of the “Chess in Schools” project and a past president of my Rotary club, invited me to be on the project committee. Our project is introducing primary and secondary school children to the game of chess.
When I joined Rotary in January, it was a life changing experience for me. I come from a background in academia, which can be quite isolating, no matter how hard you try for it not to be. So joining my Rotary club helped me get reconnected to my community. Continue reading
Jeri Fujimoto, governor-elect of District 5150, displays some of the gifts delivered by the team of Rotary members.
By Jon Kaufman, director of H2OpenDoors
Along with 40 friends and supporters of the H2OpenDoors project, I took part in an eight-day exploratory expedition to Cuba on 8 April.
Members of six Rotary clubs in District 5150 and their friends and family joined The Bay Area Cuba Community Alliance, starting on the far eastern side of the island for a visit and site survey at a small village in Granma province. Each person presented a suitcase of donations to the Town Delegate in an emotional ceremony. Continue reading
A mother and her child in one of the remote clinics in Guatemala.
By Carlos Frum, past governor of District 6440 and a member of the Rotary Club of Northbrook, Illinois, USA
The line went around the block and people were still coming! It was 2003 and my first trip to Guatemala as a translator for a medical team. Upon my return, I realized that we have no idea in the United States how difficult it is for people in poor countries to get basic health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that two thirds of the world’s population doesn’t even have access to simple X-rays.
After several more trips, I resolved, with two other past governors from Rotary District 6440, to do something about this. Bruce Baumberger, Pam Kerr, and I started a project to install 29 digital X-ray systems in remote clinics in Guatemala. We called it HealthRays™. Continue reading
The transfer car that Rotary members gave to the Schenectady rehabilitation hospital.
By Kathy Ziobrowski, executive director of the Sunnyville Rehabilitation Hospital, Schenectady, New York
At our rehabilitation hospital, we have a piece of equipment that we use in our therapy to help patients practice getting in and out of vehicles, in preparation for their leaving our care and recovering at home.
When Rotary members in our county of Schenectady, New York, heard about the limitations of our “transfer car,” they generously stepped in to raise money to provide us with a newer model that has many additional features. The selflessness of these Rotary members speaks volumes about their motto of “Service Above Self,” and has greatly enhanced Rotary’s image in our community. Continue reading