Archive | November, 2014

Amazing projects shared on Rotary Showcase

30 Nov

Rotary Voices

Women use Hippo Water Rollers in Africa to transport clean drinking water. Women use Hippo Water Rollers in South Africa to transport clean drinking water.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Juneau, Alaska, USA, are using their loose coins to create big change in different parts of the world.

The Rotary Club of Juneau-Gastineau collects nickels, dimes, and quarters from members in glass jars placed around the room during its weekly meetings. More than $8,000 has been collected since the program began. But more amazingly, the spare change has been turned into more than $39,000 in micro loans, by working through the microfinance website Kiva.

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Volunteering isn’t supposed to be fun, is it?

29 Nov

Rotary Voices

Nisha Kotcha, right, with English television and radio personality Jonathon Ross. Nisha Kotecha, right, with English television and radio personality Jonathan Ross.

By Nisha Kotecha, president of the Rotaract Club of Hampstead, Hendon and Golders Green, England

Earlier this month, I volunteered with some of my fellow Rotaract members at the Hampstead Christmas festival in the Hampstead area of London, England. We had no idea what we were going to be asked to do. It was cold, dark, rainy, and my feet were soaked within minutes of getting there.

We had organized an event for past members of our club a few days before, and I heard from some of them who had volunteered for the Live

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Making the most of Rotary’s online tools

28 Nov

Rotary Voices

Himal Pandya leads a digital workshop in Gujarat, India. Himal Pandya leads a digital workshop in Gujarat, India.

By Himal Pandya, a member of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal, Gujarat, India

We conducted a digital workshop recently to give incoming leaders in Rotary District 3060, eastern India, hands-on training on how to use Rotary’s website and various other online tools to manage their clubs and publicize Rotary’s good works. It was my pleasure to walk participants through how to register on, edit their profiles, share a project on Rotary Showcase, and much more.

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Courting Blakness — offering indigenous peoples a voice in art

27 Nov

Rotary Voices

The Courting Blakness exhibit showcased work by indigenous peoples. The Courting Blakness art show included work by indigenous peoples.

By Bobbie Chew Bigby

Since beginning as a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, earlier this year, I have found many opportunities to build peace and not even have to leave campus.

One of the most profound experiences thus far was volunteering to put together “Courting Blakness,” a curated art show that featured works by Australia’s First Peoples — Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The show was set against the backdrop of the Great Court, known for its picturesque grassy area and stunning sandstone pillars.

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Climbing Mount Olympus to eradicate polio

26 Nov

Rotary Voices

The climbers raise a banner on Mount Olympus, Greece. The climbers raise banners on Mount Olympus, Greece.

By Kostas Karvounis

In September, I joined two fellow Rotary members in Greece, Vassilis Papagiannis and Spyros Gravellas, in climbing Mount Olympus to raise money and awareness for polio eradication.

Almost three-decades ago, Rotary promised to eradicate polio, and we intend to keep our promise. Even though Greece has been polio-free for more than two decades, I still remember close family friends who were disabled by polio. I have four children, and I know that until polio is eradicated from the world, it remains a threat to children everywhere. So offering our children a polio-free world is the least we can do.

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No better place to be nurtured than the family of Rotary

25 Nov

Rotary Voices

Dedication of a new library in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dedication of a new library in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

By Ahmed Yusuf Omer, immediate past president of the Rotaract Club of Habesha, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

There is an Ethiopian saying, “50 lemons are heavy for one man but are a treat for 50 men.”

Dissatisfied with the opportunities I saw around me to give back to my community and repay the debt I felt I owed for the blessings I had received, I joined the Rotaract Club of Habesha in Addis Ababa,

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Five reasons to give to The Rotary Foundation

18 Nov

Pushing the limits to help end polio

17 Nov

Rotary Voices

The Miles to End Polio team during a chilly training ride. The Miles to End Polio team during a chilly training ride.

By Kristin Brown, Rotary staff

It’s been three months since I was appointed captain of the Rotary staff Miles to End Polio bike team and it’s been a great ride! Over the past 12 weeks, we’ve ridden hundreds of miles together, including weekly group rides of between 40 and 100 miles. More importantly, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for PolioPlus: as of this week, we met and passed the team goal of $15,000 well on our way to $20,000.

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A Day at the White House with Rotary

10 Nov

Rotary Voices

Honorees speak during Rotary's Women of Action event at the White House 7 October. Alyce Henson/Rotary International Honorees speak during Rotary’s Women of Action event at the White House 7 October. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Adam Ross, Web Content Manager for

When I lost my state identification card while writing about Rotary’s Women of Action event at the White House on Tuesday, I didn’t have to panic by myself. A Rotarian was there to aid and comfort me.

I’m not surprised, but I’m thankful. Thankful we found my ID together so I could fly home to my family, and thankful to have made a new friend.

I had never been on the White House campus before, but the site was far less impressive than our Rotarians. Ten of them were honored as Rotary’s Women of Action, and they gracefully shared their stories. There are too many amazing projects to write about here, but we documented them on

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How we survived the Mississippi River in a kayak

8 Nov

Rotary Voices

Ken Robertshaw and Grace during their trip down the Mississippi River. 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

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