A boy awaits the results of tests to determine if he has contracted polio.
By Mike Parry, regional Rotary Foundation coordinator for Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, northern and central England
As an RI representative on a World Health Organization post-polio outbreak surveillance audit in Ethiopia, I saw first-hand the front line difficulties experienced by doctors and local health workers. I also witnessed the very real fear of a child awaiting the result of tests to see if he had contracted polio. On my return to the United Kingdom, I was determined to be as involved as possible in supporting Rotary’s number one humanitarian project. Continue reading
Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett (left) briefs MP Sarah Newton on preparations to help people fleeing Mosul. Photo © Thom Axon
By Sarah Newton, Rotary Club of Falmouth, and a Member of Parliament representing Truro and Falmouth, United Kingdom
In July, Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox moved its headquarters to Truro, keeping its warehousing and aid-packing base in Helston.
On 10 November, I made my first visit to Falcon House, now that ShelterBox has relocated most if its staff, including its operational and fundraising teams, into my Continue reading
Ann Syrett, middle, with Past District Governor Ron Lucas, who served as her counselor during her scholarship year, and David Riley, president of the Rotary Club of Newcastle-under-Lyme
By Ann Syrett, former Ambassadorial Scholar and member of the Rotary Club Sunrise of Road Town, British Virgin Islands
In April, I paid an emotional visit to the Rotary Club of Newcastle-under-Lyme that had hosted my Ambassadorial Scholarship more than 40 years ago while I attended Keele University in North Staffordshire, England.
As I shared my experiences with them, I reflected upon how much the experience had changed my life. I grew up in Astoria, Oregon, and the cultural differences between small town USA and Keele University were immense. Continue reading
By Nisha Kotecha, president of the Rotaract Club of Hampstead, Hendon and Golders Green, England
I know a Rotary Club that has changed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of young people over the years. I know this because I have attended some of their meetings. And because I am one of the lives they have changed.
The Rotary club I am referring to is one of the largest in London, so they don’t need to generate publicity around their activities. Or do they? Continue reading
Ken Robertshaw and Grace Alsancak during their trip down the Mississippi River.
By Ken Robertshaw, Rotary Club of Halifax, Yorkshire
On 7 August, my friend Grace and I set out on an expedition to kayak the length of the Mississippi River. We completed the journey on 4 October.
Our goal was to raise funds for a charity in the United Kingdom, The Theodora Children’s Trust, that places specialist entertainers in Children’s hospitals and hospices to cheer up ill children and assist their recovery through laughter.
The journey was not without problems. We encountered severe electrical storms, woke Continue reading
Ken Robertshaw and Grace Alsancak during a stop in the kayaking challenge.
By Ken Robertshaw, a member of the Rotary Club of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
I had the misfortune of seriously injuring my leg 35 years ago, requiring six operations, and the leg still troubles me. So I know how challenging hospital stays can be, even with the best efforts of the medical staff.
Imagine how much worse it is for a child; frightened, sick, and away from family and friends. A while ago, I learned about a small charity in the United Kingdom called the Theodora Children’s Trust that specializes in sending in trained entertainers to bring mirth and merriment to children in the hospital. Continue reading
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Luke Addison at the PeaceJam conference in Monaco.
By Luke Addison, a member of the Rotaract Club of University of Winchester, England
Two years ago, two members of the Winchester Rotary Club gave a talk at the University of Winchester. I was so inspired by the work they described and their own personal reasons for joining that I stayed to ask them how I could help out.
Eventually the experience motivated me to seek out other students and form a Rotaract Club. The club took off amazingly, and through our local and international service projects, my eyes were open to the amazing work Rotary and Rotaract members do. I developed a passion for the world outside Winchester and a strong desire to make a difference. Continue reading
David Johnson (right) and his son, Tom (left) with their sherpa on Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
By John Hiscock, past president of the Rotary Club of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England
The exciting thing about Rotary is being able to get to know and serve alongside some fantastic individuals, who help inspire us all to greater things. David Johnson, a member of my club, is one such person, who has captured the imagination of our local community, and inspired members of Rotary throughout our district with his fundraising dedication. Continue reading
Ade Adepitan with other polio survivors in Nigeria.
By Ade Adepitan, polio survivor, United Kingdom broadcaster, and former Paraylmpian.
I contracted polio at the age of 15 months while living in Lagos, Nigeria. I had been given two drops of the polio vaccine, but the virus caught me before I had the third and final drop which would have protected me for life. Continue reading
Above: Dolly Patron talks about the Imagination Library and the partnership with Rotary during the 2010 Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
By David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation
The wonderful partnership between Dolly Parton and Rotary International continues to flourish in communities both large and small all across the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most recently Australia.
Although every community approaches the program in its own way, one thing impresses me much more than dollars raised or even time invested –and this is the enormous influence Rotarians exert in their communities. Continue reading