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Access to safe and clean water revitalizes a community

31 Mar

Service in Action

By Narayan Murarka, Suzanne Gibson, Mark Gibson, Mary Holcomb (Members of the Rotary Club of Barrington Breakfast), Jorge Aufranc (Rotary International Director), and Francisco Viau (Member of the Rotary Club of Guatemala Sur)

The Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club from Illinois, United States, has been working with the Guatemala Sur Rotary Club in Guatemala City, Guatemala, for more than six years. We have concentrated on the needs of people in the region of Sumpango, in the Sacatepequez Department, by carrying out several major initiatives which have expanded in both breadth and depth over time.

One of these initiatives focuses on preventing diseases in children through access to clean drinking water and improved hygiene practices within the community.

As part of their five-year plan for community service, the Guatemala Sur Rotary Club identified water and sanitation as a priority for nine elementary and seven secondary schools in Sumpango. For over a year, we…

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Providing safe water to thousands in Uganda

28 Mar

Service in Action

By Peter Kasango, TRF Cadre of Technical Adviser and member of the Rotary Club of Bweyogerere-Namboole

To develop a response to persistent water flooding in Butalejja District, Uganda, caused by overflowing of the Manafa River, my Rotary Club of Bweyogerere Namboole partnered with the Rotary Club of Bellingham in Washington, USA, on a global grant project.

This flooding would destroy gardens, which affected food production and cash crops. Already problematic sanitation was worsened as toilet facilities were often overflowing due to the flooding, which in turn forced the river’s highly contaminated water into the only open water sources for the village and its surrounding communities. This flooding was dramatically affecting the health of people in the village and nearby communities by spreading a number of diseases, such as Cholera and diarrhea.

The flooding created other problems as well: trees were destroyed, resulting in further erosion and worsened flooding, and serious…

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Creating jobs and promoting a cleaner environment in Brazil

28 Mar

Service in Action

By Susan Doxtator, Regional Grants Officer at Rotary and Bonaventure Fandohan, Rotary’s Economic and Community Development Area of Focus Manager

Over the past 25 years, the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that almost tripled between 1991 and 2015.  Yet as the global economy continues to recover, we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labor force. [i]

For some low-income people in urban areas of developing and emerging countries, informal waste recycling is a common way to earn income. When organized and supported, waste picking can spur grassroots investment into poor communities by creating jobs and reducing poverty, all while saving money for municipalities, improving…

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5 ways to improve water quality and access to water

6 Mar

Service in Action

By Rotary Service and Engagement 

According to the United Nations, there are still 663 million people around the world that don’t have access to clean drinking water.* When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives.

Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families.

During March, Rotary Water and Sanitation Month, take action to provide clean water and sanitation in your communities:

  1. Improve sanitation facilities by providing toilets and latrines that flush into a sewer or safe enclosure.
  2. Promote good hygiene habits through education. Proper hand washing with soap and water can reduce diarrhea cases by up to 35 percent.
  3. Implement rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for drinking or recharging underground…

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Promoting peace alongside Palestinian community leaders

28 Feb

Service in Action

By the Rotarian Action Group for Peace

In January, the Rotarian Action Group for Peace’s (RAGFP) Executive Director, Reem Ghunaim, journeyed from the RAGFP headquarters in Portland, Oregon, to conduct a peace tour in her home country of Palestine. Reem is a Rotary Peace Fellow from the Duke-UNC Peace Center in North Carolina, USA. As a native of Palestine, she is pleased to promote positive peace-building within her community.

RAGFP’s mission of supporting Rotarian peacebuilders was both accepted and appreciated in this fragmented part of the world. Reem’s travels allowed her to build peace while bridging Rotarians and influential Palestinians including business and legislative leaders, educators and students, human rights advocates, and even a pop star.

Rotarians in Palestine are visibly active in their communities. Reem met with Rotary peacebuilders who are making a difference by undertaking infrastructure projects and serving public needs that might otherwise be neglected in…

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Attend the 12th Multi-Club Workshop in Matera, Italy

27 Feb

Service in Action

By Leonardo de Angelis, Member of Rotary Club Ravenna, Italy and Coordinator of the Multi-Club Workshop

In 2007, the Rotary clubs of Ravenna in Italy and Stockholm Strand in Sweden decided to meet in Stockholm with other clubs to plan projects they could implement together while promoting fellowship and experiencing a new culture. They called this meeting the Multi-Club Workshop (MCW). Since then, representatives from various Rotary clubs meet every year in a European town to relive that experience.

Over the past 11 MCWs, Rotary members have been able to build relationships and implement 36 projects together, totalling approximately US $2,000,000. Between 2013 and 2016 alone, clubs from D2072 (Italy) implemented 29 global grants, 19 of which found supportive funding partners at MCWs.

The vocational expertise of Rotarians is essential to the success of projects. Many past participants of the MCW have been club presidents and/or members of their District Rotary…

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4 ways to celebrate Rotaract’s 50th birthday and World Rotaract Week

26 Feb

Service in Action

By Erika EmerickRotary Programs for Young Leaders Staff

Rotaract’s 50th birthday is 13 March! We’re celebrating 50 years of taking action, leading communities, and changing the world throughout World Rotaract Week, 12-18 March.

Want to be a part of the celebration? Not sure where to start? Here are four ways you can take action and celebrate this historic milestone during World Rotaract Week:

1) Celebrate with service
Rotaract clubs are all about developing young leaders through service. Coordinate joint projects with local Rotary and Rotaract clubs to fundraise for The Rotary Foundation, raise awareness around a local cause, or organize a service project.

Need inspiration for your service project? Visit Rotary Showcase for more fun ideas and to celebrate your success with the Rotary community and the world.

2) Foster friendship and fun
Rotaractors are experts at creating friendships and having fun. Partner with local Rotaract clubs…

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Building Peace through Environmental Sustainability in Vancouver

23 Feb

Service in Action

By Rotary Service Staff

We’re bringing you a sneak peek inside the Environmental Sustainability Peacebuilding Conference, hosted in Vancouver, Canada on 10 February, 2018 .

There’s still time to register for the remaining Presidential Peacebuilding Conferences:

For more updates follow the #RotaryPeace hashtag on social media!

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Get on board with Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship

15 Feb

Service in Action

By Brett Morey, Founder & Chair of the Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship

Ever had an idea about turning a hobby and passion into a project benefiting thousands of people?  Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to do with the new Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship. For years, I have been gathering friends, fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors, to help me with Learn to Surf events for high school, college and international students, at risk children as well as disabled children and adults for years. Last year I finally decided to combine my passions and the SURF Fellowship was born.

I first joined the Rotary Club of Brentwood in Northern California in 2002, went on to serve as President of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle and am currently the Youth Service Chair for District 5340 (San Diego, Imperial & part of Riverside County).  Last May, I contacted Rotary International to…

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Global grant partnership started with a project fair visit

9 Feb

Service in Action

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Program staff

In 2015, Pieter Koeleman from the Rotary Club of Campbell River in Canada traveled to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, for the annual West Africa Project Fair. Throughout the week-long event, Pieter was immersed in local culture, visited and participated in Rotarian-led service projects, learned about local priorities and gathered information about projects for his club to consider supporting. Pieter also struck up a friendship with the host district’s Governor, Marie-Irène Richmond Ahoua, whose passion, vision and hospitality evolved into a long-term global grant partnership. We asked Pieter and Marie-Irene to share their story.

What interested you about the project fair in Abidjan? Why did you attend?

Pieter Koeleman: With 20 years of experience in international service, a mailing with information about the West African Project Fair (WAPF) caught my attention. Knowing my long-term interest in West Africa, its communities and culture and people, my…

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