Small grant leads to big changes for Tanzanian girls

Kisa mentors with Chris

Kisa mentors on a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro with Curt Harris in 2018.

By Curt Harris, past governor, Rotary District 5450

Although I joined Rotary in 1997, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a Rotary-sponsored fundraiser three years later that I really felt I had become a Rotarian.

This was my first opportunity to visit a developing country and see first-hand what poverty looks like. It is quite an eye-opener. I also got to observe some of the great things that Rotary was doing in the area. On that trip, our team of 11 climbers raised nearly $300,000 to support the Selian Hospital in northern Tanzania. Three years later, I returned with a smaller team, raising $125,000 to help build Selian Hospital’s new sister facility near downtown Arusha. Continue reading

Traveling around the world experiencing Rotary

By Brian Rocha, a member of the Rotary Club of Goleta, California, and District 5240 Public Relations Chair

I’ve done a bit of traveling in my life. But recently, I got an urge to turn my travel experience into something much more rewarding. I wanted to travel not just to travel, but to make an impact and make a difference in the world.

I pitched the idea to my Rotary club and Rotary International, and they were in full support. Support in terms of moral support. I financed the trip myself. So last year, I began an eight month journey visiting several different countries around the world, capturing pictures and video throughout the experience. Continue reading

Rotaract members in East Africa unite in service

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By Sarah Maingi, Rotaract representative from Kenya

On a warm Saturday morning in April, about 100 Rotaractors from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi gathered at a community in Buterere in Bujumbura, Burundi, to provide households with clean drinking water.

Some of the Rotaractors, myself included, had traveled over 1,000 kilometers by road, and all sacrificed their Easter holidays to serve. Continue reading

Listening is sometimes the best education

The vocational training team to Dar es Saalam. Photo courtesy Susan Meskis

The vocational training team to Dar es Saalam. Photo courtesy Susan Meskis

By Susan Meskis, RN, member of the Rotary Club of Fishers, Indiana, USA, and leader of a vocational training team to Tanzania

After a year of planning and with much anticipation, I set out for Tanzania, Africa, as part of a vocational training team (VTT) comprised of nurses to share my expertise in nursing education with the faculty at Aga Khan University’s (AKU) School of Nursing.

We had built a curriculum, created slides and documents, and spent many hours fine-tuning Continue reading

Texas Rotarians light the way to a better future

By Steve Welch, president of the Rotary Club of Northwest Austin, Texas, USA

In the squatter’s village of San Mateo, Belize, my Rotary club is providing solar lights for more than 100 school children who previously attempted to study by candle light. We are working in partnership with the Grid Earth Project, which was founded by members of our club, a charity dedicated to providing solar powered lighting to replace other dangerous light sources used in remote areas of the world. Continue reading

Stories of sustainability from Mt. Kilimanjaro

Children wash their hands from a spigot in Mwika, Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Walt Schafer

Children wash their hands from a spigot in Mwika, Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Walt Schafer

By Walt Schafer, a member of the Rotary Club of Chico, California, USA

After a 45 minute drive up a winding dirt road on the shoulder of Mt. Kilimanjaro, we arrived at a new waste-high trench and could smell the soil of the fresh dig.

About 75 young farmers had made remarkable progress digging the trench for a new four-inch water pipe in just two hours. The water pipe will transport clean water trickling down from a tiny stream higher up the slope to Mwika, Tanzania. Continue reading

Rotary collaborates with others for clean water

Ron Denham, chair of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, addresses Rotary’s commitment to water at an independently organized TED event.
By Ron Denham, a member of the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton, Ontario, Canada, and chair of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group.

A change is taking place in the way Rotarians approach water and sanitation programs.

We realize that the challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals is something that no organization can achieve on its own; not even Rotary with its 33,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members. To be successful we need leverage, the leverage that comes from collaboration with others who share our goals. Continue reading

Climbing Kilimanjaro to End Polio Now

Macon Dunnegan on Mount Kilimanjaro

Macon Dunnegan, a member of the Rotary Club of Charlotte-South, North Carolina, USA, at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

By Macon Dunnagan Jr., a member of the Rotary Club of Charlotte-South, North Carolina, USA

In September, I will be leading a party of Rotarians from District 7680 (North Carolina, USA) up Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, to raise money and awareness for Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

I am not a stranger to the top of the mountain. Since 1999, I have reached the summit 20 times, on my own and as an expedition director for Zara Tours, based in Moshi, Tanzania. Since my first wife, Michelle, died of ovarian cancer in 2007, I have been climbing Kilimanjaro every September in support of cancer awareness.

Last May, a friend of mine who is a Rotarian invited me to speak to the Charlotte-South Rotary Club about my climbing experience. They must have enjoyed the talk, for they invited me to join their club! Continue reading