Building peace in Northern Ireland

Enda Young, right, with the West Belfast delegation and 2012-13 RI President Sakuji Tanaka at the peace conference in Londonderry-Derry.

Enda Young, right, with members of the Belfast West Rotary Club and 2012-13 RI President Sakuji Tanaka, second from left, during the peace conference in Derry-Londonderry.

By Enda Young, a Rotary Peace Fellow and member of the E-Club of District 1100

On stage, the women shared their stories — the suffering and pain of losing loved ones or being caught up in the conflict in Northern Ireland.

As I watched, I couldn’t help notice that most of the audience was in tears. The Theatre of Witness performance was a highlight of the three-day Rotary peace conference in Derry-Londonderry in May, Continue reading

Dolly and Rotary help spread literacy

You can never get enough books in the hands of children, says country music legend Dolly Parton.

Since 2009, Rotary International has been working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote early childhood reading. Through the program, a child receives an age-appropriate book each month until age five. Rotary clubs throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been teaming up with Dolly to bring books to children in roughly 300 communities.

Dolly talks about the reasons she began her program, in this video from the Imagination Library. You can also read about Rotary’s work with the Imagination Library in the March issue of The Rotarian. David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation, took part in a literacy webinar sponsored by Rotary on Tuesday.

Sharing the tale of polio in Canterbury

Steve Root organized a Rotary display in Canterbury.

Steve Root organized a Rotary display in Canterbury.

By Steve Root, Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise, England

Three years ago I was invited to a Rotary meeting by a customer. I’d heard of Rotary but really had no idea what the organization did.

I quickly realized that everyone there wanted to do good things in the community and that together, we could achieve a lot more than we could as individuals. I’d be able to join in and help with projects others were working on — for example, helping at a charity fundraising day — as a new member.

Continue reading