Archive | December, 2017

Whirlwind tour of alumni in Japan

21 Dec

Rotary Voices

Bill Rintz, second from left, in the radio studio with alumni in District 2650.

By Bill Rintz, Rotary alumni relations specialist

A visit to Japan last month took me on a week-long, whirlwind tour. My visits to multiple Rotary districts gave me the chance to meet members of the Rotary family, including classically-trained musicians, development workers, school teachers, architects, university professors, business leaders, and young professionals. Despite their varied backgrounds, those I met have something in common: they proudly call themselves Rotary alumni.

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This is your Rotary club: a new approach to keeping members

16 Dec

Rotary Voices

Jessica Connors and Club President Michael Della Rocca plant a tree, an example of the kind of  projects that can give new members ownership and responsibility.

By Michael Bucca, membership chair of the Rotary Club of Central Ocean – Toms River, New Jersey, USA

So many Rotary membership events focus on engagement and retention. It makes sense. For every member that joins Rotary, it seems there’s another member walking out the door. Long term engagement and retention are an important part of successfully growing a club for the simple fact that new membership gains can be quickly wiped out by non-engaged members choosing to leave.

The advice being given by membership chairs and leaders is sound: get new members involved right away. Our club has taken this one step further by explaining something important to our new members:

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New shoes delight children in Uganda

15 Dec

Rotary Voices

Children try on shoes as part of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South’s service project.

By Immy Julie Musoke Nakyeyune, president of the Rotaract Club of Kampala South, Uganda

A mist was rising over the meadow when I arrived early in the morning at Nyakishumba with members of my Rotaract club, brimming with excitement for the day ahead. Located in the hilly Kabale District of western Uganda, Nyakishumba is colder than most of the surrounding region. So we were bundled in our heavy coats this September day as we hurried to set up the medical camp in time; coordinating with the health care workers, arranging the necessary medicines, and establishing diagnostic stations and areas for HIV testing.

It has been almost three years since we first visited the community to do our needs assessment, discovering their unique concerns and needs. The first phase of our project in 2016 had…

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Warming up through service

14 Dec

via Warming up through service

Warming up through service

14 Dec

Service in Action

By Kristen Ockenfels, Rotary Club of North Liberty, Iowa, USA

Rotary District 6000 started working with Operation Warm in 2014 as a district project. Operation Warm, founded by Rotarian Dick Sanford from the Rotary Club of Longwood in Pennsylvania, USA, to provide brand new coats to children in need across the United States.  That first year, our district aimed to raise funds to purchase 4,000 coats, one for each of the 4,000 members in our district.  Thanks to the generous support of every Rotary club in the district, we were able to provide almost 9,000 coats to the children of Iowa!  The project went extremely well, but the need for coats in our region is so great that our district was able to provide another 9,000 coats the second year!

The range in coat styles and colors is one of the reasons we partner with Operation Warm.  You can’t…

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How we started a new Rotaract club

6 Dec

Rotary Voices

Members of the Sewanee Rotaract Club visit Pelham Elementary School to serve as role models.

By Samuel R. Kern, Rotaract Club of Sewanee, Tennessee, USA

I was walking out of my accounting class this summer when I received a message from the dean of students asking if I would be willing to start a Rotaract club at the university for the fall semester. I knew nothing about Rotaract and very little about Rotary but Dean Gentry assured me he would be our club adviser and provide support, so I accepted. Sewanee does not have a plethora of clubs with the national or international recognition that Rotaract has, and I felt confident that students would be interested.

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Project Fairs as a catalyst to Rotary international service

5 Dec

via Project Fairs as a catalyst to international service

Project Fairs as a catalyst to international service

5 Dec

Service in Action

By David H. Griggs, member of the E-Club of Lake Atitlán-Panajachel, Guatemala

A District International Service Chair recently wrote to me about his struggle to get his clubs more involved in international projects. My response to him was to keep working at it – getting a club involved in international service can be a challenge. If you could get even one person from your district (even you!) to attend a project fair, the gained enthusiasm may be a valuable catalyst for getting involved in international projects. Here’s my story.

I had been a Rotarian back in New England, U.S., in the 1970’s. Then I changed jobs, moved to a different state, and dropped out of Rotary.

Years passed. Four years ago, I retired and moved to Guatemala for the winter (no snow to shovel). Fellow ex-pats brought me to several lunches with their local Rotary members. Then, the time arrived…

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Improving access to water in Ghana

4 Dec

Rotary Voices

Ako Odotei greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra. Ako Odotei, chair of the Ghana Host Committee of the RI-USAID collaboration, greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.

By Theophilus Mensah

In early October, Rotary Foundation Chair Paul Netzel was on hand to open the West Africa Project Fair in Accra, Ghana, where Rotary and USAID are partnering to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene in six regions of the country.

The project fair, as the name suggests, involves Rotary clubs across the West Africa sub-region, and is in its 12th year. It serves as an excellent forum for local clubs to show off their projects and establish partnerships with international clubs to secure the financial and technical support needed to implement projects in the region.

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How Rotary is assisting recovery in Puerto Rico

1 Dec

Rotary Voices

By José Lucas Rodríguez, governor of Rotary District 7000 (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, which is distinguished by its natural beauties, the talent of Puerto Ricans in music, arts, and sports, and above all for the warmth of its people.

But the so-called island of Enchantment was transformed by what already has been classified as the most catastrophic event in the history not only of Puerto Rico, but of the United States. More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, our people are still struggling to recover from the impact of this natural phenomenon, which left so much desolation in its wake.

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