A simple idea benefits many in Mexico

28 Aug

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel. Rotary members, students, and teachers in front of the water purification system in San Miguel.

By Jon Kaufman

From 2 to 8 July, I led my club’s second H2OpenDoors expedition to central Mexico. The three-year-old Rotary project provides SunSpring water purification systems for poor villages and schools and allows the villages to sell the surplus water from the systems.

The project touches on several of Rotary’s areas of focus: providing clean water, building peace (by combating poverty), and educating youth.

We bring along a dozen or so students, as well as a few teachers, so they can see how a simple idea can become a project and benefit thousands of people. We hope the students return to their schools empowered to make a difference.

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Supporting education in Nepal: technology that improves teaching and student learning

26 Aug

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal Students in Nepal use laptops provided by OLE Nepal. Photo by OLE Nepal

By Quentin Wodon

Rotary members come in many different styles. Most have a day job and engage in service work in their free time. Some go a step further: They make service work their day job!

Rabi Karmacharya belongs to the second group. In 2007, he founded Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal. His organization is respected internationally as a pioneer in the integration of technology in the classroom. OLE Nepal has worked with Nepal’s Department of Education to make laptops available in schools. But much more importantly, it has also developed great digital learning materials for students, and trained teachers to use technology and digital libraries to enhance learning.

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What keeps me in Rotary: capturing good through the lens of my camera

25 Aug

Friendship and networking: That’s why I stay in Rotary

24 Aug

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Chris Offer, middle, during a recent service project for Rotary. Chris Offer, middle, in Kassala, Sudan, representing Rotary on a World Health Organization polio surveillance project. 

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

One of the difficult decisions I made recently was to change Rotary clubs. I had moved from the city of Vancouver to the suburb of Ladner. I had continued commuting for a few years, 45 minutes each way, to my Rotary meeting. When I finally decided to join a club only 10 minutes from my home, I left friends of many years behind and was introduced to new friends. The network of friends in my old club and the new friends in my current club are why I stay in Rotary.

My network of Rotary friends goes far beyond my Rotary club. I have made Rotary friends from many countries. Rotary has taken me to every corner of the world. Rotary conventions and opportunities for…

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The elephant in Rotary’s living room

14 Aug

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Rotarian Bill Grazio and District 7750 Past District Governor Bruce Baker provide students with practical information about preparing for the working world during a recent Junior Achievement program. Rotarian Bib Grazio and District 7750 Past District Governor Bruce Baker give students practical information about the working world during a recent Junior Achievement program. Some clubs count participation in a service project toward attendance.

By Terry R. Weaver, governor of District 7750 (South Carolina, USA)

In my travels as a newly fielded district governor, I’ve run into a misperception that several clubs have told me is getting in the way of membership growth.

The elephant in the living room? ATTENDANCE.

Let’s step back. Several years ago, Rotary’s Council on Legislation declared that almost ANY legitimate Rotary activity qualifies as a make-up. This includes not

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Building connections with young professionals

9 Aug

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with David Knight, a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, during a recent meeting. Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with Rotaractor David Knight during a recent meeting.

By Jeris Gaston, Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA

At the recent Rotary International Convention in São Paulo, Brazil, there were several breakout sessions geared toward the next generation of Rotarians. The one that stood out the most for me was “thirtysomething: How Clubs/Districts Can Provide Rotary Experiences for Young Professionals,” moderated by John Smola, a past president of my club, and Christa Papavasiliou, of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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Are you a Rotary superhero?

8 Aug

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Evan Burrell reveals his “superhero” Rotary identity. Evan Burrell reveals his “superhero” Rotary identity.

By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a regular contributor

I’m sure that, as a child, you had a favorite superhero. Maybe it was Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman or even Spiderman, weaving webs or leaping tall buildings in a single bound to help those in need.

Now that we’re older, we know all too well that that sort of superhero is hard to find. But do you know the easiest place to find modern-day superheroes? Your local Rotary club! And they don’t even hide behind a secret identity.

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