Building a better tomorrow for youth of Kenya

28 May

Rotary Voices

Class beside new bathrooms The author with Kenyan students and their teacher in front of the new bathrooms provided by Rotary.

By Sarah Rolfing

No matter how many times I visit the slum in Nairobi or the poverty-stricken schools in the outskirts of the city, I’m not prepared for the feeling of despair that follows. Basic human rights, such as educational opportunity and access to healthcare, are constantly upended by poverty in many regions of Kenya. Children are often the most vulnerable, and the impact on education and the advancement of society is significant.

Lack of resources should not compromise the right to education, particularly in a society that has considerable disparities in wealth. Since 2013, the Rotary Club of Sumner, Washington, USA, has partnered with low-income schools in Southern Kenya to provide bathroom facilities for students with special needs. Lack of basic sanitation at schools across the region is common, negatively impacting…

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Rotary International Convention breakout sessions can enhance service projects

26 May

Rotary Service Connections | English

If you’re joining us at the 2016 Rotary International Convention, 28 May-1 June, plan to participate in a variety of service-related breakout sessions. You’ll have a chance to learn from program experts, explore service opportunities, build new friendships, and connect with prospective project partners. Sessions will be held in the afternoons, 30 May-1 June.

Service-oriented breakout sessions:

  • Speed Project Fair— This is an opportunity to learn how you can help the Rotary family address local community needs through international partnerships, and for your club or district to find an international project to support. You’ll meet project coordinators, explore partnership, and perhaps be inspired to host or attend a project fair in your region.
  • Rotary Community Corps: Community Solutions for Community Challenges— A Rotary Community Corps (RCC) is a group of non-Rotarians who share our commitment to service
  • and who carry out projects in their communities as well as…

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Rotary International Convention breakout sessions can enhance service projects

26 May

If you’re joining us at the 2016 Rotary International Convention, 28 May-1 June, plan to participate in a variety of service-related breakout sessions. You’ll have a chance to learn from program ex…

Source: Rotary International Convention breakout sessions can enhance service projects

Scholarship program is Rotary alum’s way of giving back

25 May

Rotary Voices

Keyla with diploma Keyla receives her diploma through the program.

By Richard Hartwig, Rotary Club of Kingsville, Texas, USA

One day in 1964, during my junior year at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA, I was approached by Professor Frank Klingberg, who asked if I would like to be nominated for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship (the predecessor of today’s global grant scholarships.) Two years later, I was off to Argentina, arriving just after a military coup, which was excellent training for a budding political scientist.

I owe much of my career as a political science professor to Rotary. The last few years, I have had a chance to give back as international services director for our Rotary Club.  One of our two international projects is a scholarship program for poor students in Mexico.

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Promoting peace between countries

24 May

Rotary Service Connections | English

By Kristin Brown, Rotary Service Connections Manager

Past District Governor Anton (Toni) Polsterer is passionate about peace. His district includes Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) and part of Austria, and he’s seen firsthand the role that Inter-Country Committees (ICCs) can play in promoting peace between countries, or between different ethnic groups within the same country. He’s also seen what the Rotary Foundation can do through grants for large-scale, sustainable projects.

So last year, at a conference on “Building Peace with Rotary” at UNESCO, Polsterer issued a challenge: he would contribute USD 10,000 to the Rotary Foundation for an international project in Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution. The USD 10,000 cash contribution will receive a 50% match by the World Fund, making his gift worth USD 15,000. A number of worthy proposals were submitted and Polsterer announced two projects will split the gift once the grants are finalized and approved by The Rotary Foundation.

One project…

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Promoting peace between countries

24 May

By Kristin Brown, Rotary Service Connections Manager Past District Governor Anton (Toni) Polsterer is passionate about peace. His district includes Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) and part of Austria, and…

Source: Promoting peace between countries

What does a Rotary club designed by younger members look like?

21 May

Rotary Voices

Members of the Rotary Club of Metro Savannah The leadership team of the Rotary Club of Metro Savannah with the author (seventh from left in white shirt).

By Gordon Matthews, past governor of District 6920 (Georgia, USA), Rotary Club of Savannah East

A panel of three young members spelled out for us the issues that block young people from joining Rotary during our spring assembly a few years ago — scheduling, cost of dues, and rules.

I’ve been active in developing leaders in our community and have worked with our Group Study Exchange teams in the past, so I know the energy and potential in this “under 40” generation that we need to tap for Rotary. But I’ve also seen several Rotary clubs try to do this with limited results, because they stayed too close to the traditional model and dues structure.

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