How my first trip to Africa changed my life

Rotary members and Rotaractors took part in World Polio Day activities as part of the West Africa Project Fair.

Rotary members and Rotaractors took part in World Polio Day activities as part of the West Africa Project Fair.

By Shapreka Clarke, president of the Rotaract Club of Eleuthera, The Bahamas

After an 18-hour flight from The Bahamas, I finally arrived in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on 19 October to participate in the 11th West Africa Project Fair. As I stepped off the plane onto African soil for the first time, I did not know the adventure that was ahead of me, the lasting friendships I would make or how my life would forever be changed. That first moment getting off the plane, I remember being very excited and a little nervous. Continue reading

Providing children hope and opportunity in Nepal

161220_ahsaBy Tulsi R. Maharjan, Rotary Club of Branchburg

Asha is the Nepali word for “HOPE.” When we think about what motivates us to serve, we are drawn to this word, which is the name of my current mission, the Asha Project. To us, hope and opportunity are really at the core of Rotary’s mission. It is what motivates us to help the people of Nepal.

Hope and opportunity brought me to America 45 years ago and I always wanted to do something for the less fortunate in Nepal. Now, my son, Anil, has joined me as an E-club member in our district to assist with this project. We will be taking our third humanitarian mission in early February 2017. While there, we will also celebrate the silver jubilee of our humanitarian work in Nepal. Continue reading

Giving hope to a girl with a hole in her heart

Wayne Kaufman and his wife, middle, with Natalie and her parents.

Wayne Kauffman and his wife, middle, with Natalie and her parents. Rotary connections helped Natalie get surgery to repair a problem with her heart.

By Wayne Kauffman, Rotary Club of Edmonton Riverview, Alberta, Canada

Esperanza is the Spanish word for “hope.” When I think about what motivates me to serve as a Rotary Foundation chair for my district, I am drawn to this word, which is the name of one of our recent projects. To me, hope is really at the core of our Rotary Foundation. Continue reading

It’s not “your” project

161115_tusu_headsht2By Dr. Francis “Tusu” Tusubira, a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala-North, Uganda

How many times do we hear Rotary members say, “we have our project in Kireberebe Kisunkaana?”

Let us get one thing right when dealing with economic and community development. And I will call this lesson one: it is not YOUR project. Continue reading

6 ingredients for membership growth

Festival booth

One public event the club organized included a booth at a neighborhood festival.

By Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA

Let’s admit it: achieving a high growth rate (negative or positive) is easier with a small club. Still, after more than five years of almost continuous decline in membership, my club was excited to report a 60 percent growth in membership from July to October. We had 18 members on 1 July. Now we have 29, with 11 new members inducted in the first trimester of the new Rotary year.

How did we do it? Let me share our recipe: Continue reading

3 ingredients that make a Rotarian remarkable

Our neighboring club, Sunyani East, presented exercise books and other supplies to students at Nwawasua school.

Our neighboring club, Sunyani East, presented exercise books and other supplies to students at Nwawasua school in September. Remarkable Rotarians donate time to projects such as this.

Dominic KornuBy Dominic Kornu, Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana

I first visited the Sunyani Central Rotary club in August of last year as a guest, and was instantly welcomed and integrated into club activities. I knew from the start my relationship with the club was meant to be.

I was immediately encouraged to be part of visits to project sites. My professional skills in information and communication technology were tapped to help design fliers, revamp the club’s website, and teach members about Internet security. It’s been an exciting and challenging year as I grow as a Rotarian. Through it, I’ve come to understand and appreciate three main ingredients that make a Rotarian remarkable: Continue reading

7 features of a highly effective service project

Rotary members in Virginia, USA, deliver mobility equipment for a local hospital.

Rotary members in Virginia, USA, deliver mobility equipment for a local hospital.

By Richard Cunningham, Rotary Club of James River, Richmond, Virginia, USA

We cannot expect to grow membership without engaging our members in service. RI President John Germ has stated this unequivocally and our club is taking that to heart.

Selecting the right project, therefore, is critical to the health of your club. Here’s a few basic principles we’ve found to be true about service projects: Continue reading

Children draw the most interesting things

Children and their drawings

Children display their drawings about the environment.

By Shiv Agrawal, past president of the Rotary Club of Bokora Midtown Couples, Jharkhand, India

Protecting our environment is probably one of the most important issue of our day. My club wanted to tap the creativity of children, and see what they were thinking about the environment. So we organized a drawing competition to let children unleash their imagination and build an awareness of the issue. Continue reading