German Rotaractors build hotels for wild bees as part of the BeeAlive project.
By Henrik Thiele, a member of the Rotaract Club of Paderborn, Germany, and president of the Rotaract Germany Committee
Recently, Rotaract clubs throughout Germany were looking for a signature project and decided to concentrate on the environment. After watching a Swiss documentary on bees, “More than honey,” one Rotaractor became passionate about focusing our attention on protecting these little superheroes. Did you know, for instance, that wild bees are responsible for pollinating more than 80 percent of our crops and wild plants? We can’t survive without them. Continue reading
The project team from left Lamin Manneh, Beth W. Kealy, Maggie Peterson, and Randy Hutchins.
By Maggie Peterson, Rotary Club of Edmonds, Washington, USA
Four members of our club left Seattle on 1 February and flew some 30 plus hours to The Gambia, arriving on the evening of 2 February. The purpose of the trip was to identify a site in the remote area of the Central River Valley for a “pure” science lab. This crucial component for Secondary Schools does not currently exist, effectively cutting off access to college or even high school graduation, as this science lab work is required for both. Continue reading
Rotary Regional Grants Officer Steven Sundstrom (right) with Dr. Koki Inai of the Rotary Club of Hiroshima South.
By Steven Sundstrom, RI regional grants officer
As a regional grants officer for Rotary, I spend most of my work time at Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, working with members around the world, including in Japan. Given the time difference, communication is naturally often by email. The first time I traveled to Japan for work was for the Rotary Institute in Nagoya, Japan. I met many Rotarians in person who I had been emailing for years. We were meeting face to face for the first time, but somehow we were already old friends. “お会いが出来て嬉しいですね！Nice to finally meet you!” Continue reading
Younis Sebaggala takes part in a service project.
By Younis Sebaggala, professional leadership and development chair and president-elect of the Rotaract Club of Kampala North, Uganda
Common wisdom tells us that when you help someone else, you help yourself. But what does that mean? What does it mean to find yourself, or for that matter lose yourself? In the busy world we live in, we are becoming more and more isolated from our friends, neighbors, and family.
I believe that by using our time and talents to help people, we can reverse that trend. I believe that there is value in being connected to other people, and the volunteers I meet professionally and every day through my Rotaract club continuously strengthen this belief. Continue reading
Konrad Niemann, left, and his son by the junk car they used in the Carbage Run. The car was auctioned off, and combined with funds raised by the run, to benefit the Salberghaus, a home for children.
By Konrad Niemann, President of the Rotary Club of München-Münchner Freiheit, Germany
In February, my son and I were driving in Germany when we began passing a bunch of strange-looking cars on the highway. We discovered they were part of a road rally called the Carbage Run, that is essentially a five-day road trip across Europe in a junk car. For the past 10 years, participants have paid about €350 (about $400) to take part in the event, originating in the Netherlands, with cars that must be more than 18 years old and worth less than €500 ($560). Looking at all these junk cars, my son and I thought “what a funny idea for a father-son activity.” Continue reading
Editor’s note: World Homeless Day, 10 October, is an opportunity to educate people about homelessness and raise awareness in your community.
By John Matthews, Rotary International Vice President 2018-19 and member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, Washington, USA. Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
Spending the night under the stars sounds romantic. But for hundreds of thousands of Americans, it’s the exact opposite. It’s not a choice; it’s an unpleasant reality that can quickly become detrimental to one’s life. And it happens more often than most people with a roof over their heads might think – 553,742 people were homeless on a single night in 2017. Alarmed by the growing homeless population in our city, my club and I felt compelled to take action. Continue reading
A scene from the Rotaract Club of Darmo Raya’s ludruk, a type of theater native to Surabaya.
By Alma Dhiafira, president of the Rotaract Club of Darmo Raya, Surabaya, Indonesia
During my year as president of my Rotaract club, we decided to put on a ludruk. It is a type of theater from East Java that includes music, jokes, and drama performed in the Surabaya dialect.
We’ve done a ludruk once before, working with our partner Rotary Club of Surabaja-Darmo. But I was particularly excited this time because we would be spreading the message that literacy is fun. Continue reading
The Dutch Rotarians took 11 cars to The Gambia, which were auctioned off to support women’s education.
By Tineke Ruijter, Rotary Club of Zwijndrecht, The Netherlands
Our adventure started on 21 October 2017. Rally teams of six Dutch Rotary clubs, accompanied by five independent supporting teams, departed from Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands for a challenging 7,500 km (4,600 mile) journey to The Gambia, where we arrived on 11 November. The trip passed through Belgium, France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal, through dessert areas and sometimes accompanied by local guides for security reasons.
The 11 cars that took us to The Gambia were sponsored and auctioned at final destination. The result: $50,000 to be donated to a Dutch Rotary initiative called “School Plan Gambia,” which enables young women to attend school up to and including university. Continue reading
Members of the Rotaract club perform community service.
By Fatima Khurram, Rotaract Club of Faisalabad Janubi, Pakistan
Not long ago, a mother of one of our members saw on the news a documentary about a widow struggling to provide for herself and her three adult children living with disabilities. Her house was broken and she had no income to support them.
When word reached us, we called the news channel to ask for contact information so we could visit her. The very next day, a group from my club visited. Continue reading
Members of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana, hold a polio day rally.
By Frank Kofi Owusu Debrah, Foundation Chair and Past President of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana
It is certainly true that the reasons for a person joining Rotary are varied and many. For some, it’s the personal and business networking that motivates them. For others, it’s fellowship and a sense of belonging to a world-wide organization of people. Still for others, it’s a status symbol. Whatever the reasons, everyone has one. Sadly, some of the reasons don’t fit Rotary’s primary purpose; a network of problem solvers living the mantra of Service Above Self. Continue reading