How to make literacy fun

A Surabaya ludruk

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

To The Gambia and back: Our Dutch adventure

The Dutch Rotarians took 11 cars to The Gambia

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

In Rotaract, we see, feel, and act

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

Are you Proudly Rotarian?

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

Father, son team up to make a difference

Anil and Tulsi Maharjan on a project site in Nepal.

By Tulsi R. Maharjan, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Branchburg, New Jersey, USA

For this father and son combination, Rotary is about much more than belonging to a humanitarian organization. It’s about making a difference in the world.

When you’re a part of Rotary, you’re really making a difference, both locally and internationally. When you think about all the wonderful things Rotary has accomplished, who wouldn’t want to be part of one of the most successful humanitarian organizations in history. Continue reading

Durango club brings the power of light

By Joe Williams, Rotary Club of Durango Daybreak, Colorado, USA

Most people in the United States take electricity for granted. Only if a powerful storm hits and it is taken away do we get an understanding of what it is like to depend entirely on the sun for our light.

There is, however, a significant population in the heart of the United States that lives their lives with only the sun to light the way. Continue reading

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