Rotary International News


08/05/2017 05:00 PM
The Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom receives gift of £1.25 million from accomplished pianist and teacher
Helen Ruddock of Suffolk, England, promoted the goals and values of Rotary through her leadership, service, and integrity. Helen Ruddock of Suffolk, England bequeathed a generous donation of £1.25 million to The Rotary Foundation. Having passed away in 2015 at the age of 96, and although not a Rotarian herself, Mrs Ruddock had a passion for improving the lives of others. Her introduction to Rotary and The Rotary Foundation was made by a close friend, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Halstead for a number of years. Complying with Mrs Ruddock's wishes, the spendable earnings from...

04/05/2017 05:15 PM
Rotary to premiere latest virtual reality film
Following the success of its first virtual reality film, released in October, Rotary is working with Google's virtual reality team to offer an experience that showcases the impact of compassion to a global audience. We're producing a three-minute virtual reality film that emphasizes the two themes of polio and peace, and how Rotary's work to eradicate the disease is increasing stability across the world. We'll premiere the film on 13 June during the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It will be widely released in time for World Polio Day on 24 October. We invite...

27/04/2017 04:00 PM
Rotary Support Center certified as Center of Excellence
The Rotary Support Center has earned BenchmarkPortal's certification as a Center of Excellence, a noted designation in the customer service and support industry. The certification puts Rotary's Support Center in the top 10 percent of industry peers that requested evaluation by BenchmarkPortal. The Rotary Support Center received nearly 50,000 phone calls and 84,000 email requests for help last year. "I am so proud and happy to have such a great team who continue to reach higher levels of performance and break new records and exceed the goals," says Howard Henry, Support Center manager. "This...

29/03/2017 08:15 PM
Five years since its debut, Rotary Club Central is getting a big upgrade
When we introduced Rotary Club Central in 2012, it revolutionized goal tracking and planning for clubs and districts — no more filling out paper club-planning forms or passing along boxes of historical club information every time a new leader took office. Rotary Club Central offered clubs and districts a quantifiable way to begin measuring local and global impact, specifically membership initiatives, service activities, and Rotary Foundation giving. But as with any technological advancement, in a few short years, Rotary Club Central began to show its age, and Rotarians took notice. They...

17/02/2017 06:45 PM
Rotary International Board adopts new zone structure
At its January 2017 meeting, the Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new zone structure for Rotary clubs. Rotary bylaws require the Board to complete a comprehensive review of the 34 Rotary zones no less often than every eight years to ensure that each zone has an approximately equal number of Rotarians. The Board’s previous review of the zones occurred in 2008. The Board earlier approved the creation of three regional workgroups to develop rezoning proposals for Asia, Europe/Africa, and the Americas. These workgroups comprised one representative (either a current director,...

10/01/2017 05:45 PM
Centennial celebration honors 20 noteworthy global grant projects
Through The Rotary Foundation, Rotary members have supported thousands of projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. We’ve also led the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. As part of our celebration of the Foundation’s centennial, we’re honoring 20 global grant projects with special recognition. Learn more about the projects using our interactive map.

01/01/2017 08:15 PM
Convention: Southern hospitality
The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...

01/01/2017 08:15 PM
Member spotlight: The power of the press
When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...

01/01/2017 08:15 PM
Member interview: Writer sheds light on FDR’s right-hand woman
Battling breast cancer in 2000, Kathryn Smith found comfort pursuing her lifelong interest in Franklin D. Roosevelt. The more she read, the more intrigued she became with the 32nd U.S. president’s private secretary, Marguerite Alice “Missy” LeHand. “I thought, what a fascinating life she had because she was by his side through the polio crisis, establishing the polio rehabilitation center in Warm Springs and then after his return to politics,” she says. Smith, a past president of the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson, S.C., and a longtime newspaper journalist, turned that curiosity into a book...

01/01/2017 08:00 PM
The Rotarian Conversation with Ban Ki-moon
One of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s earliest memories is of fleeing with his family into the mountains during the Korean War, his village burning behind him. His father and grandfather had to forage for food in the woods; his mother gave birth to his siblings away from anything remotely resembling a health facility. “I have known hunger,” he says. “I have known war, and I have known what it means to be forced to flee conflict.” The soldiers who came to their rescue were flying the blue flag of the United Nations. The UN provided them with food and their schools with books....

01/01/2017 08:00 PM
Culture: Life in the bike lane
Like a lot of us, I spent much of my childhood riding bikes, but fell out of the habit for a while. Forty years. Then my wife and I moved to New York, where cyclists risk their necks in a daily Thunderdome of cabs, police cars, firetrucks, double-decker buses, messengers on motorbikes, and delivery trucks backing around corners at 20 miles an hour. Not for me! At least not until my 50th birthday, when my metabolic furnace flamed out. Calories started going directly from beer bottle to beer belly. It was time to start exercising. Either that or give up Samuel Adams, and I couldn’t do that to...

01/01/2017 08:00 PM
A taste of independence
Modena, Italy, is known for fine things. The region is home to manufacturers of Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini automobiles. It’s where the artisan cheese Parmigiano-Reggiano is made, as well as Lambrusco wine. And it’s the only place in the world that produces traditional balsamic vinegar. The vinegar is a delicacy – sweeter and thicker than the kind usually found on restaurant tables, refined and aged in casks up to 25 years. The process has been handed down from generation to generation; the casks are often bequeathed to children or used to celebrate milestones such as weddings and...

27/12/2016 03:15 PM
Giving Tuesday winners announced
Rotary extends its thanks and congratulations to the Rotary Club of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, for having the most club members (35) who made personal contributions through My Rotary on Giving Tuesday, 29 November. The club will receive a copy of our Foundation's centennial book, "Doing Good in the World, The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years." The districts with the most donors who made personal online contributions that day are District 9102 (Benin, Ghana, Niger, and Togo), with 80 donors; District 4400 (Ecuador), 76 donors; and District 7670 (parts of North Carolina,...

16/12/2016 09:15 PM
2016-17 Directors-nominee announced
On 2 December, RI President John F. Germ declared the following candidates for the 2018-20 Board of Directors. The announcement came one day after the deadline passed for receiving proposals of additional candidates, in accordance with the Rotary International Bylaws. The directors-nominee, who will be elected at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, are: Zone: 3 Director-nominee: Akira Miki  Rotary club: Himeji, Hyogo, Japan Zone: 7A Director-nominee: Rafael Garcia III  Rotary club: Pasig, Rizal, Philippines Zone: 12 Director-nominee: Francesco Arezzo Rotary club: Ragusa,...

14/12/2016 06:00 PM
New Grant Center makes applying for grants easier
We are pleased to announce the debut of the new Grant Center, formerly known as the grant application tool. The new site has a fresh look and better organization. The grant application includes clearly defined steps so it’s easier for you to track your progress. Learn more about grants and how to apply.

11/12/2016 08:30 PM
Member spotlight: Do Nguyen builds schools and understanding
Three days after he was born, Do Nguyen’s family fled its small Vietnamese village during the First Indochina War. He didn’t have access to school until they returned nine years later. He made up for lost time, completing high school and then college. But after he came to the United States in 1974 to earn a graduate degree, the capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese prevented him from returning. In the decades that followed, Nguyen became an American citizen, co-founded a chain of video stores, and discovered Rotary, where he’s now a member of the Rotary Club of Maumee, Ohio, USA, and the...

09/12/2016 02:45 PM
The Rotary Foundation ranked in list of top charities
CNBC has ranked The Rotary Foundation No. 3 in its annual list of Top 10 Charities Changing the World in 2016. The list includes some of the largest and highest-rated charities that help women, children, the poor, and the environment throughout the world, according to Charity Navigator, and that maintain high standards of financial health, accountability, and transparency of reporting. The Foundation was noted for connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 geographic areas to tackle the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges, including projects that focus on disease prevention,...

07/12/2016 09:00 PM
Australian entrepreneur announces $1 million gift to Rotary
On Wednesday, over breakfast with the Rotary Club of Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Dick Smith announced a donation of AU$1 million to Rotary (about US$750,000), citing admiration of Rotary members for the time they devote to others. The Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS) will administer the funds. “With 29,500 Rotarians in 1,100 clubs throughout Australia, we have an army of volunteers eager to assist those in need,” says Michael Perkins, RABS chair. “The impact of this donation will be felt throughout all of Australia, from the cities to the...

01/12/2016 09:15 PM
In case of emergency
Three days after Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines in November 2013, Derek Locke was tramping among the sinews of uprooted palm trees, downed power lines, and fragments of homes shattered by one of the region’s deadliest disasters. As he delivered tents and other essentials in Santa Fe, a small community on Bantayan Island, he came face to face with the crushing need and finite resources of the eight-person response team dispatched by ShelterBox. The aid recipients had been identified as families most at risk, and as Locke assisted a young single mother and her toddler, he felt a...

01/12/2016 09:00 PM
Technology: Tricks of the trade
Awhile back, I got a call on my landline phone from a pleasant-sounding fellow who claimed to be from Microsoft. He said that a problem with my computer had been detected over the internet and it was urgent that I let him fix it. “Thanks, that is so nice of you,” I said. “What should I do? ” He told me to go to my computer and click on my Google icon. “Click on my what?” “Your Google symbol. Do you see the Google symbol?” “Uh, no, I don’t.” “What do you see?” “I see a picture of my wife and my kids and my dog and my cat,” I said. “I need you to click on your Google symbol.”  “I don’t see it...

01/12/2016 09:00 PM
The Rotarian Conversation with Annie Leonard
What did you throw away today? Have you thought about it since? Annie Leonard has. Leonard spent more than a decade thinking about your trash and following it around the world. She has toured landfills and testified to the U.S. Congress regarding international waste trafficking. That work, plus a dozen more years studying environmental issues, inspired her to create a series of films about the things we use every day, yet wouldn’t think worthy of a film: our stuff.   Since The Story of Stuff launched online in 2007, it has been viewed more than 50 million times online and millions more times...

01/12/2016 09:00 PM
Option overload? There's an app for that
To capture the depth of my incompetence as a decision-maker, it is perhaps best to revisit the September evening that came to be known around our house as “Steve’s Netflix Nightmare.” My wife, Erin, had taken our three young kids to visit her folks while I worked overtime to hit a major deadline. After two long days at the keyboard, I was finally done. I had an empty house and a rare opportunity to watch any movie I wanted. I opened Netflix and began scrolling through my possibilities. Because of the kids, we rarely go out to the movies, so there were immediately a dozen options that looked...

01/12/2016 09:00 PM
Water wars
The water, steel gray, muscled with hidden current, surges by in a steady itinerant push, making a sound like bacon lightly frying, or faint applause. Blue-black against the afternoon sky, the snowy peaks of the Cascades overlook the river’s basin. To stand on the cool, muddy banks, it’s hard to imagine the tears of heartache, bitterness, hostility, and despair that have been shed over this vital artery of the American West.  The 263-mile Klamath River, which stretches from Oregon to a remote corner of California, has been the object of a custody battle as ugly as any parental fight for a...

01/12/2016 08:45 PM
Member interview: And now a word about sponsors
Anyone who puts on an event knows that costs can add up. Brent Barootes is a marketing specialist with 25 years of sponsorship consulting behind him. Among other events, he has helped the Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore, Ont., grow its Ribfest to host more than 175,000 people over four days and serve more than 150,000 pounds of ribs, while raising a total of $3 million for community organizations and charities. Barootes is a member of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, B.C., and co-author of Reality Check: Straight Talk about Sponsorship Marketing, a textbook for landing event sponsors. We asked...

01/12/2016 08:45 PM
This hero's superpower is kindness
He doesn’t leap tall buildings, nor does he scale them with spider webs or respond to bat signals. What he does is far more challenging. He fights bullies, and he does it with a special superpower: kindness. Nicholas Domingo, 25, of the Rotary Club of Twain Harte, Calif., developed his negativity-fighting alter ego, Captain Encouragement, to help young people build self-esteem and break the cycle of violent behavior. Captain Encouragement hopes to take his message to schools and libraries across the United States, with the goal of changing the world “one smile at a time.” Domingo grew up in a...

01/12/2016 08:45 PM
Culture: Birth of a biopic
We spent months conceiving our baby. Exciting work, but scary, too, especially when our inkjets dried up. We were writing a movie together. But I thought of it as our baby, something we dreamed up together, labored over, primped and fussed with, and finally sent out into the world. It started when a producer called about a book I wrote. “I love Tommy’s Honor,” he said. “Have you thought about turning it into a film?” The book told the true story of “Old Tom” Morris and his son, Tommy, who pioneered modern golf in Scotland in the 1860s. More than a golf history, it was a family drama featuring...

01/12/2016 08:30 PM
Convention: City of peace
Though Atlanta has seen its share of violence and inequity over time, today it brims with reminders that there is another way. Get inspired while you’re visiting for the 2017 Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. Take a short walk from the convention center to the Center for Civil and Human Rights. There, you can see the handwritten notes, speeches, and sermons of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., experience an interactive 1960s-era lunch counter “sit-in,” and learn more about persecuted groups all over the world. A streetcar will take you to the Martin Luther King Jr...

01/12/2016 07:00 PM
The Rotary Foundation ranked in list of top charities
CNBC has ranked The Rotary Foundation No. 3 in its annual list of Top 10 Charities Changing the World in 2016. The list includes some of the largest and highest-rated charities that help women, children, the poor, and the environment throughout the world, according to Charity Navigator, and that maintain high standards of financial health, accountability, and transparency of reporting. The Foundation was noted for connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 geographic areas to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, including projects that focus on disease prevention,...

01/12/2016 07:00 AM
Featured Excerpt From Chapter 11, "It’s Not Just About the Money"
In 2016-17, The Rotary Foundation turns 100. That's a century of helping Rotary members change lives and improve communities all over the world. Throughout the year we're posting excerpts from "Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years." You can purchase the book at shop.rotary.org. To learn more about the Foundation's centennial and find tips and resources for celebrating, visit www.rotary.org/foundation100. From Chapter 11, "It's Not Just About the Money": In 1944, Paul Harris created a charitable trust, which stipulated that the income would...

17/11/2016 11:30 PM
Rotarians report email scam
Some Rotarians have reported receiving a scam email asking them to click a link to update names and contact information in a directory. The email, which stems from a gmail account, is not from Rotary.

17/11/2016 08:00 PM
Arch Klumph’s hometown raises over $2 million through centennial celebration
Rotary members in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, celebrated 100 years of The Rotary Foundation on 23 October with a banquet and a concert by The Cleveland Orchestra that have so far raised more than $2.1 million for the Foundation's next century of good work. Arch Klumph, a Cleveland Rotarian, planted the seed for The Rotary Foundation in 1917, with his idea of having an endowment fund dedicated to "doing good in the world." Today's District 6630 leaders thought that a concert was a fitting way to honor Klumph and mark the centennial because of Klumph's love of music. Klumph performed in several...

16/11/2016 09:15 PM
Rotary's World Polio Day event continues to grow
Participation in this year’s World Polio Day live-streamed event continued the growth registered since it began in 2014. Rotary, the world’s leading advocacy organization on polio eradication, held this year’s program on 24 October at the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The event brought some of the biggest names in the campaign together to highlight the progress that has been made and to discuss what further action is needed to end the disease for good. Here is a summary of this year’s World Polio Day event, by the numbers:...

15/11/2016 04:00 PM
Rotary Foundation named World's Outstanding Foundation for 2016
The Association of Fundraising Professionals has recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation. The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees. “We are honored to receive this recognition from the AFP, which gives us even more reason to celebrate during our Foundation’s centennial year,” says Rotary Foundation Trustee...

14/11/2016 07:45 PM
Featured Excerpt From Chapter 2, “The Seed Is Planted”
In 2016-17, The Rotary Foundation turns 100. That's a century of helping Rotary members change lives and improve communities all over the world. Throughout the year we're posting excerpts from "Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years." You can purchase the book at shop.rotary.org. To learn more about the Foundation's centennial and find tips and resources for celebrating, visit www.rotary.org/foundation100. From Chapter 2, "The Seed Is Planted": Rotary International was one of 42 organizations invited to serve as consultant to the U.S....

12/11/2016 06:00 AM
Rotary-UN celebration mixes business with diplomacy
Outside the United Nations building in midtown Manhattan stands an imposing sculpture of a man wielding a sword in one hand and raising a hammer with the other. It reflects a shared goal that Rotary and the United Nations celebrated at the organizations' annual meeting on Saturday, 12 November: to use our strengths and tools to build a more peaceful and just world. The theme of this year's Rotary Day at the United Nations, "Responsible Business, Resilient Societies," emphasizes Rotary's role as a global network of business leaders using the tools of their trades to build stronger, more...

08/11/2016 07:45 PM
2016 Interact Video Awards now open
Show us your Interact club in action and you could receive $500 for your club's next project. For our eighth annual Interact Video Awards, we're asking Interact clubs to create a short video (30 seconds to three minutes) showing one of the following: If Interactors ruled the world — Imagine a world where Interactors are in charge, making big decisions that shape our world and future. How would Interactors transform the world for good? Sustainable Development Goals — The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals include ending poverty, protecting our planet, and ensuring prosperity for all...

01/11/2016 08:15 PM
Featured Excerpt From Chapter 7, “3-H: A Bright New Dawn for The Rotary Foundation”
In 2016-17, The Rotary Foundation turns 100. That's a century of helping Rotary members change lives and improve communities all over the world. Throughout the year we're posting excerpts from "Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years." You can purchase the book at shop.rotary.org. To learn more about the Foundation's centennial and find tips and resources for celebrating, visit www.rotary.org/foundation100. From Chapter 7 3-H: A Bright New Dawn for The Rotary Foundation In its sixth decade, The Rotary Foundation took a significant turn that set...

01/11/2016 08:00 PM
Sewing skills ease job woes in KwaZulu-Natal
While the picturesque Valley of 1,000 Hills outside Durban, South Africa, offers stunning scenery to visitors, job prospects for the Zulu people who live on tribal land there are bleak. Three years ago, the nearby Rotary Club of Hillcrest addressed the unemployment rate by partnering with Embocraft, a skills training group serving the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The group offers classes in sewing, computers, textiles, welding, and woodwork, with the goal of alleviating poverty. Hillcrest Rotarians have co-sponsored four sewing courses, each lasting 15 sessions, for Zulu seniors or others who...

01/11/2016 04:00 PM
Seven decades of service began in a dorm room
In January 1946, just months after the end of World War II, The Rotary Foundation embarked on a mission to help heal the wounds from the conflict. The Foundation decided to nurture an understanding of other nations and cultures by providing scholarships to promising graduate students. The inaugural class began its year of postgraduate study abroad in the fall of 1947. That class was funded through donations to a memorial fund set up to honor Rotary founder Paul Harris, who had died earlier in the year. They were the first of more than 42,000 collegians to be granted scholarships by the...

01/11/2016 04:00 PM
Culture: Grievance counseling
Several years ago, I had an experience that forced me to confront an aspect of myself I had denied for many years. It began when a friend forwarded me a link to a prominent literary blog launched by a guy who clearly was not a fan of my writing. “The adulation accorded Steve Almond constitutes one of the blogosphere’s enduring mysteries,” he began. “From the very first days of this site, I’ve shaken my head in a sort of dazed wonder at the wake of overheated prose stylings the guys [sic] leaves behind.” As chance would have it, a few months later I was invited to take part in an event that...

01/11/2016 03:45 PM
Member spotlight: Kindness of a stranger
Apostolos Mamatas arrived in America armed with a full scholarship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But things quickly turned bleak as his funding got delayed, and he had to work odd jobs to live. He slept wherever he could, frequently outside at the port in Boston. A Rotarian working on campus offered him a place to stay until his scholarship was sorted out. Mamatas stayed with the Rotarian, who is now deceased, for four weeks, eventually accompanying him to a Rotary club meeting where members discussed how to help the poor and homeless. Mamatas knew all about poverty,...

01/11/2016 03:45 PM
Convention: Old-school ATL
The great city of Atlanta suffered extensive damage during the Civil War, and many of its prewar structures were lost. However, stories of Georgia’s nearly 300-year history abound – you just have to know where to find them. Only a short ride from the site of the 2017 Rotary International Convention, 10-14 June, lies Oakland Cemetery, where you’ll find monuments dedicated to Confederate soldiers and the graves of famous locals, including golf great Bobby Jones and “Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell. Tours of the 48-acre space are available.  Speaking of Mitchell, her former home –...

01/11/2016 03:45 PM
Member interview: Fertile ground for peace
As a teenager growing up in central Iowa, Nora Tobin had ready access to food, clean water, and medical care. “The only time I didn’t eat was when I didn’t like what was on my plate,” she recalls. Today Tobin, now 28 and a member of the Rotary Club of Cedar Valley, is working to make sure others have the same advantages that she did. She is the executive director of Self-Help International in Waverly, Iowa, a nonprofit that trains and educates farmers in Ghana and Nicaragua to boost crop yields and improve nutrition. It also administers a children’s feeding program and small-business loan...

28/10/2016 09:15 PM
Rotary district collecting funds to replace roofs for hurricane victims in Haiti
Rotary clubs in District 7020 (Caribbean) and the Disaster Network of Assistance Rotarian Action Group are collecting donations to replace the roofs of 1,000 homes in Haiti and the Bahamas after Hurricane Matthew devastated the Caribbean on 4 October. The funds will also provide 1,000 water filtration systems to combat the cholera outbreak. To use a wire transfer to donate to the disaster fund, please use the following bank account information:   Correspondent bank: Wells Fargo, N.A., New York, USA Swift code: PNBPUS3NNYC ABA code: 026005092 Beneficiary bank: First Caribbean International...

24/10/2016 07:30 PM
Rotary’s World Polio Day event looks ahead to ending the disease for good
While the fight to eradicate polio suffered a blow this year when the virus re-emerged in Nigeria, Rotary leaders and top health experts focused Monday on the big picture: the global presence of the paralyzing disease has never been smaller. The headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, served as the site of Rotary’s fourth annual World Polio Day event. Some of the biggest names in the polio eradication campaign were there to reflect on the year’s progress and discuss what’s needed to end the disease for good. More than 200 people...

21/10/2016 06:30 PM
Virtual reality films bring new dimension to polio fight
At this year’s World Polio Day celebration in Atlanta, Rotary is harnessing the power of virtual reality technology to build empathy and inspire action in our fight to eradicate polio. Rotary, with support from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, produced a virtual reality film that tells the story of Alokita, a young adult who suffered paralysis from polio as a child growing up in India, which has been polio-free since 2011. “When you open your eyes and see a different environment around you, you relate to the subject on a visceral, personal level,” says Vincent Vernet, direct of digital and...

18/10/2016 03:00 PM
Rotary Day at UN highlights role of business in building a better world
From the United Nations’ earliest days in the aftermath of World War II, the organization’s humanitarian mission has always dovetailed with Rotary’s efforts to administer aid and build peace. This year’s Rotary Day at the United Nations, 12 November, will highlight the role businesses can play in that collaboration as we work toward a more just and equitable world. The theme of this year’s gathering at UN headquarters in New York City, “Responsible Business, Resilient Societies,” recognizes Rotary’s role at the intersection of commerce and cause. As leaders in their professions and...

17/10/2016 09:15 PM
ShelterBox prepares for Mosul refugees
Today marked the start of the battle to take control of Mosul back from the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. The city is the group's last major stronghold in Iraq. But humanitarian aid agencies have known about the military offensive, giving them an unusual opportunity to prepare for the crisis. "It is rare for the world to get early warning of a vast human catastrophe," says Chris Warham, chief executive of ShelterBox. "The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued a paper in July saying this would likely be the biggest humanitarian crisis of the year — and we better get...

17/10/2016 06:30 PM
CDC director and Time senior editor will headline World Polio Day
Held for the first time at the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Rotary's annual World Polio Day event on 24 October will bring together the biggest names in the global fight to eradicate polio. The event will feature CDC Director Thomas Frieden, Time magazine senior editor Jeffrey Kluger, National Geographic writer Maryn McKenna, Rotary International President John F. Germ, Vice President Jennifer E. Jones, and surprise guests. In a recent interview with The Rotarian, Frieden spoke about what he's learned as head of the U.S. public...

17/10/2016 02:30 PM
Skydivers raise thousands for polio eradication
The first time Noel Jackson jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet, it had nothing to do with raising money for polio eradication. The Michigan dentist had received a gift certificate to go skydiving from his staff because they knew he was into adventure. “It is definitely a defining moment,” says Jackson, a member of the Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA, of that first jump, done in tandem strapped to a professional skydiver. “The rush of the free fall is beyond anything I have ever experienced before. Just the speed and acceleration is unbelievable. You don’t even have time to figure out...

14/10/2016 06:00 PM
Rotary and ShelterBox on the ground in Haiti
Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless. The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne...

11/10/2016 09:15 PM
Watch our polio partnership come alive at World Polio Day
On 24 October, World Polio Day, Rotary will bring together partners from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for an update on our fight to end polio. As host and moderator of the event, our organization plays a key role in amplifying one of the most important public health concerns in modern history. When we first took it up as an organizational cause over three decades ago, polio affected 350,000 children every year, mostly in lower-income countries where poor sanitation and limited access to clean water facilitate the spread of the virus. Our collaboration with the World Health...

11/10/2016 05:45 PM
Donors in India can now use rupees when giving online
In India, donors can now give to The Rotary Foundation online using rupees. They can also give in U.S. dollars, but those who use rupees can claim a tax deduction under India’s Section 80G. You need to use a credit or debit card issued by an Indian bank to take advantage of this option. Contribute through either Rotary Foundation (India) or Rotary.org.

07/10/2016 06:00 PM
Nigeria’s top health official visits Rotary to discuss country’s response to polio outbreak
Nigeria’s health minister, Isaac Adewole, said on Friday that his government is determined to rid the country of polio again. New cases recently landed Nigeria back on the list of countries where the disease is endemic. Adewole met with Rotary leaders at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, to discuss Nigeria’s recent efforts to stem the outbreak. All three of the country’s cases were detected in the northern state of Borno, which was under the control of Boko Haram militants until recently. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the virus has been...

04/10/2016 07:45 PM
Germ declares Owori president-nominee
On 1 October, RI President John F. Germ declared Samuel F. Owori Rotary International's president-nominee. The Nominating Committee for President selected Owori, a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda, in August. He will be elected at the 2017 RI Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and will become president on 1 July 2018. Read more about Owori

03/10/2016 03:15 PM
World Polio Day 2016 highlights Rotary’s progress to end polio
Where are we in the fight to eradicate polio? What's left to do? And why does it cost so much? Rotary's World Polio Day event on 24 October will answer these questions and more. Health officials from our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative will join Rotary leaders and special guests at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to give a status update on the eradication campaign. The wild poliovirus has caused fewer new cases of the disease so far this year than this time last year, but recent setbacks in Nigeria — which was re-classified as polio...

29/09/2016 03:15 PM
Nigeria reclassified as polio endemic
Nigeria reported three cases of wild poliovirus in the northeastern state of Borno in August of this year. Following the World Health Organization's confirmation of these cases, the country returned to the list of polio-endemic countries. The other polio-endemic countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are the first cases detected in the country since July 2014, and while this news is disappointing for all Rotary members, we are confident that Nigeria can defeat polio. Rotary provided $500,000 to assist immediately with the outbreak response, and an emergency response plan has been put...

23/09/2016 07:45 PM
Fighting for Flint
Saginaw Street, paved with 116-year-old bricks and lined with restaurants, runs through the heart of downtown Flint, Mich. Around the corner you’ll find a farmers market, a row of museums, a craft brewery, and three campuses: the University of Michigan at Flint, Kettering University (formerly known as General Motors Institute), and the highly rated Mott Community College. In many ways, Flint fits right in with other quaint and trendy towns in America. But while parts of the city are experiencing a renaissance, 40 percent of Flint residents live below the poverty line. And although the murder...

23/09/2016 04:15 PM
Rotarians, Heifer International help farmers grow economy
“Agriculture is the lifeblood of Arkansas; it’s the state’s original business,” says Sharon Tallach Vogelpohl, an Arkansas Rotarian for nearly 20 years. But that business has become more challenging in recent years as row-crop farming has become more commoditized, making it difficult for families who have been farming for generations to make an adequate living. Vogelpohl, who was club president during the Rotary Club of Little Rock’s centennial year in 2014, says club members wanted to mark the milestone with a project that would have a lasting, local impact. “With all the good that Rotary...

22/09/2016 03:00 PM
Rotary staff members help keep India polio-free
More than one million Rotary members have volunteered their time and resources to help end polio. This month, for the first time, a group of Rotary staff members will join volunteers and health workers in the field and see our polio eradication program in action. Follow the five participants as they travel to India to support subnational Immunization Days, expected to reach up to 172 million children across the country. [View the story "India National Immunization Day Trip" on Storify]

20/09/2016 05:00 PM
Live streaming event showcases a century of progress on polio
In 1916, New York City experienced a devastating outbreak of polio— the first major outbreak of the disease in the United States. One hundred years later, the world is a different place in fighting this disease. Cases have been reduced by 99 percent over the last 25 years and polio has been stopped in all but three countries. Global Health Strategies and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are hosting Polio Past & Present on 20 September at the historic New York Library as  an opportunity for global leaders and supporters to recognize the progress we have made...

20/09/2016 04:15 PM
Rotary recognized on public television's 'American Graduate Day'
Rotary was recognized on 17 September on public television's fifth annual American Graduate Day program for its work with San Diego-based Monarch School, a K-12 school for homeless youth. The Rotary Club of San Diego, California, USA, was applauded for its work mentoring Monarch's students, keeping them on track to graduate, and helping the school to continue thriving during tough economic times. Monarch School CEO Erin Spiewak appeared as one of the show's guests, along with Monarch Alumnus Cynthia Valenzuela, who attested to the positive, life-changing experience Monarch School gave her and...

19/09/2016 09:00 PM
Practicing peace
Nations around the world will observe the International Day of Peace on 21 September, a date designated by the United Nations in 2001 as "a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence." Rotary's commitment to building peace and resolving conflict is rooted in the Rotary Peace Centers program, formed in 2002. Each year, the program prepares up to 100 fellows to work for peace through a two-year master's degree program or a three-month professional certificate program at university partners worldwide. Today, nearly 1,000 peace centers alumni are applying their skills — negotiating peace in conflict...

19/09/2016 05:30 PM
Growing a future in Cape Town
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian On a drive along the N2 Freeway in Cape Town, South Africa, travelers speed past endless clusters of corrugated metal shacks that fill the sandy Cape Flats area between the airport and iconic Table Mountain. “I grew up in this area,” says Lloyd Whitfield, a retired dairy products company owner and member of the Rotary Club of Constantia, pointing out where his family once owned land. “There was just bush. I used to ride horses, and we used to shoot game in this area – there was nothing.” Now, more than a million people are crowded here, the...

19/09/2016 05:15 PM
Member interview: John Warren on enlisting men to help end domestic violence
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian As a criminal prosecutor and assistant district attorney, John Warren has seen much more than his share of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse cases. Now, by founding the nonprofit Men of Action, he hopes to help prevent family and sexual violence by redefining manhood. Warren, who was elected district attorney last spring and takes office in January, is a member of the Rotary Club of Gainesville, Texas. THE ROTARIAN: What led you to become a criminal justice lawyer? WARREN: I thought I was going to specialize in estate planning or...

19/09/2016 03:15 PM
Polio in Pakistan: Immunizing a population on the move
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian Dressed in a black burqa under a blazing sun with temperatures topping 100 degrees, Hina is going from house to house, knocking on doors. Plastered against the walls of the mud-brick homes, neat rows of hand-patted dung cakes dry in the sun to be used for cooking fuel. Open sewers stagnate beside the uneven dirt roads where children play. At each home, Hina gives drops of the polio vaccine to any children age five and under and records the doses in her log and with chalk outside the home. An army of women and men like Hina are on the front lines of...

19/09/2016 03:15 PM
Culture: Social niceties gone bad
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian I was having breakfast in my local diner the morning after the Oscars when I happened to mention how surprised I was that Spotlight … I did not get to finish the sentence. “Don’t tell me who won,” said a regular at the table, frantically waving his hands. “I recorded it, but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.” The response was immediate. “Too bad!” said one of the other members of the breakfast club. “Tough break,” said another. “Nice try,” chimed in a third.  “Spoiler alerts don’t apply to the Oscars,” said a fourth. “If you didn’t see the...

19/09/2016 03:00 PM
Culture: Elect to be civil
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian A couple of years ago, researchers at Princeton and Stanford released a study of American political attitudes that was, in a word, terrifying. The most shocking finding was that political prejudice is now more acute than racial bigotry. What’s more, it is voters who are driving the cycle of contempt and confrontation in Washington. Those intractable politicians we love to rant about are, in fact, acting on our orders. Another study, by political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster at Emory University, offers more grim news. Americans are...

19/09/2016 02:45 PM
Member Spotlight: Shamlu Dudeja empowers women through decorative arts
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian Shamlu Dudeja, a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta, India, helped elevate a humble embroidery stitch from relative obscurity to a celebrated decorative art and made life better for hundreds of women in the process. In the 1980s, Dudeja ran across some women at a craft market using the 600-year-old kantha stitch to make wall hangings. Women traditionally used kantha to sew together old saris to make blankets. But it reminded Dudeja of the stitch she used as a child to decorate her mother’s sleeves, and she persuaded the women to use it to...

19/09/2016 02:30 PM
Convention: Musical mélange
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian If you want to know what the music scene in Atlanta is all about, all you have to do is listen. Centennial Olympic Park, a short distance from the site of the 2017 Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June, is home to an outdoor summer music series, featuring everything from pop to jazz to old-school hip-hop. That range of styles is just a taste of the musical melting pot you’ll find elsewhere in the city - and beyond. With a list of famous residents that includes names like André 3000, Ludacris, Lil Jon, and T.I., Atlanta has serious hip-...

19/09/2016 02:15 PM
Surgeons from India bring relief to underserved patients in Rwanda
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian Hundreds of people gather in an open-air courtyard at University Central Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. Men in suits, women in flowered dresses, even prisoners in pink and orange gowns are waiting to find out if they will receive medical care. Some have no visible signs of injury. Others arrived on crutches, with arms in slings, or with catheters protruding from their clothing. Several have swollen, broken limbs: injuries that should have been mended long ago but were neglected because of the country’s long surgical-ward backlog, or simply poverty....

19/09/2016 02:00 PM
CDC Director Tom Frieden talks about the climb to polio eradication
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian Tom Frieden is a little out of breath. He just climbed the stairs from a meeting to his office on the top floor of the 12-story headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “I did that because we have a beautiful stairway in this building. I can look outside, and I get better email coverage on the stairs than I do in the elevator,” the CDC director says. His trip up the stairs sums up his view on one of the tenets of his work: “The sweet spot of public health is making the healthiest thing to do the default value...

19/09/2016 02:00 PM
Our man in Berlin
From the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian Next to getting your facts straight, one of the challenges of writing about historical figures is dealing with other characters who pop up and start hijacking the narrative. These are people who keep doing things so unexpected and compelling that you must find out what made them tick. The problem is that they’ve usually been dead for years, along with anyone who knew them. Left with bits of information – when they were born, where they went to school, whom they married, where they worked – you have to hope that something drops into your lap that...

09/09/2016 09:00 PM
Ironman triathlete Minda Dentler challenges world to end polio
I was born in 1978 in Mumbai to a domestic worker and single mother. At six months old, I was paralyzed from the hips down by polio. The chances of surviving in India until your 18th birthday with a disability are very slim. My mother was unable to care for me and left me at an orphanage. I don't remember much about my time there because I was so young, but I know the conditions were primitive. I had no real hope that my life would become anything of note or that I would have the opportunity to be independent and overcome the burden of a very preventable disease. I didn't know it then, but...

06/09/2016 03:30 PM
Charity Navigator upgrades Rotary Foundation’s rating
The Rotary Foundation has received the highest possible score from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S. In the most recent ratings, released on 1 September, The Rotary Foundation earned the maximum 100 points for both demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.  The Foundation also received its ninth straight 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. "Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in your area of work," said...

26/08/2016 09:00 PM
Rotary district collecting relief funds for Louisiana flood victims
Rotary clubs of District 6200 are collecting relief funds to help thousands of victims after record flooding devastated communities in southern Louisiana, USA, earlier this month. Torrential rains caused rivers, streams, and bayous to swell, damaging or destroying more than 60,000 homes and killing at least 13 people. The U.S. Coast Guard and emergency responders helped rescue more than 30,000 residents from the rising flood waters. As of 25 August, more than 3,000 residents were still in emergency shelters even after the water receded. Donate to District 6200 disaster relief fund.

24/08/2016 09:00 PM
ShelterBox and Rotary clubs take action following earthquake in Italy
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy early Wednesday, killing more than 240 people and trapping an unknown number beneath rubble. Tremors were felt as far away as Rome, 100 km (65 miles) southwest of the quake's epicenter. International disaster relief agency and Rotary International project partner ShelterBox is sending a response team from its headquarters in the United Kingdom to the remote mountainous area of Italy where the destruction is most severe. The response team will arrive Friday, 26 August, to assess the area's needs. Luca Della Volta, president of ShelterBox Italia,...

24/08/2016 05:00 PM
Rotary members link love of beer, clean water crisis
When you sit down to enjoy a beer, you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about one of its main ingredients – water. Or the fact that 3,000 children die each day from diseases caused by unsafe water. A group of innovative Rotarians aren't just thinking; they're doing something about it. Their group, Beers Rotarians Enjoy Worldwide (BREW), has organized events around the world and is working to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Rotary's global water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts. "By drinking a beer, I can help bring fresh water to a village in Africa," says Steven Lack, a...

19/08/2016 06:30 PM
Member Spotlight: Zabit Aimal's mission is to make peace
From the September 2016 issue of The Rotarian Kabul, Afghanistan, isn’t the easiest place for a fatherless child to grow up. Years of harsh Taliban rule had left Zabit Aimal the sole provider for his mother and sister. So in 2007, at age 17, he jumped at the chance to work as a translator and cultural adviser for American troops. Aimal was impressed with one American in particular, Nevada National Guard officer Kurt Neddenriep, a member of the Rotary Club of Elko, Nev. “His unit didn’t break down doors and make people angry. They’d go to the tribal elders, use me as a mediator to ask what’s...

19/08/2016 06:15 PM
Member interview: Chris Clemens, 'homeless Rotary club president'
From the September 2016 issue of The Rotarian Chris Clemens would make a splendid case study in the liberating influence of decluttering. In recent years, he has gone from sharing a five-bedroom house with roommates to living out of an 80-square-foot Volkswagen van. The freelance marketing professional and web designer now has taken downsizing a step further by spending much of the year backpacking around the globe. Untethered, but rooted in Rotary (at age 29, he was elected president of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara, Calif., its youngest ever), Clemens, 32, maintains contact with club...

19/08/2016 06:00 PM
The Rotarian Conversation with Henry Winkler
From the September 2016 issue of The Rotarian In 1977, the nostalgia-fueled sitcom Happy Days was in its fifth season. Many people remember the three-part season opener, when Fonzie “jumped the shark,” but perhaps fewer recall the episode that immediately followed, when the charismatic dropout and consummate cool guy got a library card. He had taken clean-cut pal Richie Cunningham to the local library in an attempt to meet college girls. Richie walked away with his future wife, and Fonzie with his first library book. It was widely reported that library card registration among young people...

19/08/2016 05:45 PM
Service: The motives behind motivation
From the September 2016 issue of The Rotarian You may be surprised to learn that in 1905, when Rotary began, it was not based on the idea of Service Above Self. Instead, the two main aims of the Chicago club were “the promotion of the business interests of its members” and “good fellowship and other desiderata ordinarily incident to Social Clubs.” But for Paul Harris, that wasn’t enough. He wanted a club that would get involved in civic affairs and benefit the community.  A prospective member, Chicago attorney Donald Carter, had been “struck by the selfish character of the organization,”...

19/08/2016 04:30 PM
Convention: Southern comfort
From the September 2016 issue of The Rotarian Unlike some parts of the American South (looking at you, Lone Star State), Atlanta doesn’t often boast about size. But insiders know about its intense heat, enormous airport, deeply layered history, and big heart when it comes to showing visitors a good time. As a native son who committed the yet-to-be-forgiven sin (by my family, anyway) of trucking among the Yankees, I still feel it within my rights to gush over the city I left behind – and to pass along some of its secrets, as well as showstopper sights. The good news is that much of Atlanta’s “...

18/08/2016 09:15 PM
Hall of Fame singer Donovan becomes a Rotary polio ambassador
Legendary singer and polio survivor Donovan Leitch, better known simply as Donovan, has joined Rotary in its fight to eradicate the paralyzing disease that afflicted him during much of his childhood. Donovan contracted polio at age three in Glasgow, Scotland. The disease weakened his right leg and left it thinner and shorter than the other. Confined to his bed for much of his childhood, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer said his father would read him poetry. In a recent interview with the Daily Express, Donovan said that listening to poetry piqued his interest in creative writing. “If I...

18/08/2016 02:15 PM
World Polio Day toolkit available — start planning now
Rotary's fourth World Polio Day celebration, on 24 October, will highlight extraordinary progress in the eradication campaign and emphasize the work that remains before we wipe out the virus for good. With the number of new cases worldwide nearly halved from this time last year, we have the opportunity to rally our resources and see the last case of polio this year. Health officials and Rotary's celebrity polio ambassadors will head to Atlanta, Georgia, USA, for the event, the first to be held at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It will be streamed live and then will...

15/08/2016 01:30 PM
Young member uses leadership positions to promote diversity, inclusion
The way Rotary member Todd Jenkins puts it, he's the first generation in his family "to do everything": first to go to college, first to fly on a plane, first to visit another country, and the first to live across state lines. Jenkins, 28, grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. His family worked hard just to make ends meet. So travel and college seemed out of reach. The eldest of ten children, Jenkins says his goal was to break out of the family status quo and set a positive example for his siblings. He credits his mother with helping him avoid falling into the...

11/08/2016 08:30 PM
Rotary recommits to ending polio in Nigeria
The World Health Organization has confirmed two cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Nigeria, the first cases in the country since July 2014. After passing a year without a case of the wild poliovirus, Nigeria was removed from the list of polio-endemic countries in September 2015. These cases – from two local government areas of Borno state – occurred in July 2016. The Government of Nigeria – in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative – will take immediate steps to respond quickly to the outbreak to prevent further spread of the disease. This response will include...

09/08/2016 10:00 PM
Sam Owori is selected to be 2018-19 Rotary president
The 2016-17 Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International has unanimously nominated Samuel Frobisher Owori, of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda, to be the president of Rotary International in 2018-19. He will be declared the president-nominee on 1 October if no challenging candidates have been suggested. Owori says he sees in Rotary "an incredible passion to make a difference." As president, he plans to "harness that enthusiasm and pride so that every project becomes the engine of peace and prosperity." Owori's chief concerns as a Rotary leader are membership and extension....

01/08/2016 05:00 PM
Convention: Southern fare
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian Often called a city of transplants, Atlanta has a food scene that's suitably eclectic. Sure, you can find your share of traditional Southern fare. But the eateries that locals flock to put creative twists on the classics. For example, if you're looking for straight-up barbecue when you're in town for the 2017 Rotary International Convention, 10-14 June, local standbys D.B.A. and Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – each just a short car ride away – have got you covered. Heirloom Market BBQ offers a marriage of Southern and Korean flavors like a spicy Korean pork...

01/08/2016 04:30 PM
The Rotarian Conversation with Nobel laureate Stefan Hell
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian Four hundred years ago, the invention of the microscope gave us a glimpse into an aspect of the world too tiny to be seen by the human eye. The microscope works by capturing light shone on or through an object observed through lenses, which magnify the resulting image so we can see it. But a microscope has its limits. In 1873, German physicist Ernst Abbe discovered that the ability of a microscope to see past a certain size was limited not by the quality of its lens, but by the wavelength of light shining into it. And since the wavelength of visible...

01/08/2016 04:00 PM
Reasons to love Rotary right now
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian Reasons to love Rotary right now 1. Because we are about to eradicate a disease, and you can be a part of it We are 99.9 percent of the way toward ending polio. As of early June, there were only 16 cases of wild poliovirus in the world, and many think this could be the year we see the last naturally occurring case of polio. As Rotary and our partners work to eradicate the poliovirus in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the remaining endemic countries, we also continue immunization campaigns in other high-risk countries to ensure that the disease remains gone...

01/08/2016 03:30 PM
Brand aid
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian Many people don’t know much about Rotary. Together, we can change that Despite more than a century of Rotarians creating change in communities around the globe, many people don’t understand what Rotary is, how we’re different, and why they should engage with us. To thrive in the 21st century, Rotary needs a strong identity. And while every Rotarian’s experience is unique, how we tell Rotary’s story should be consistent. You can help by following these simple steps. Celebrate our new look and feel How can you help keep Rotary’s identity strong? Around...

01/08/2016 03:15 PM
Service: Into the woods for project ideas
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian We stood in a circle in a forest preserve on Chicago’s Northwest Side and got our marching, or chopping, orders: We were to chop down only those shrubs which were marked with orange, to make sure we didn’t take down vegetation being saved for birds. Then off we went, saws and loppers in hand, to spend the morning helping return a piece of woodland to its wildflower-carpeted glory. Welcome to a habitat restoration workday. How to explain the appeal of such an event, which is, after all, work? Think of it as a little like gardening. Then add in a field...

01/08/2016 03:00 PM
Culture: Outsourcing our brains
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian When I tell people I grew up in Palo Alto, Calif. – the epicenter of Silicon Valley – they tend to assume that I was born with a silver iPod in my mouth. But back in the 1970s, Palo Alto was a sleepy college town. The big innovation of my boyhood was a gizmo that Alissa Fox once brought in for show and tell. It performed four basic math functions and displayed the result on a tiny LCD screen. We regarded the calculator as nothing short of a miracle. When I tell my own kids about the devices I used throughout childhood – the phones bolted to the wall...

01/08/2016 02:45 PM
Member spotlight: Rod Buffington's patchwork of good deeds
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian Quilts may be utilitarian objects, but Rod Buffington’s “quilt paintings” – watercolors on paper that are then covered with small bits of fabric – are geometrics where mathematics and whimsy intersect. Buffington, a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield, Ill., didn’t come up with this unusual method overnight. His voilà moment came as he beheld the mesmerizing quilts made by his grandmother, who lived to 104 and continued her craft until she was 98. To create his works, Buffington lays cotton fabric over paintings he has created, then hand-...

01/08/2016 01:45 PM
Member interview: Steven Goldsmith on mediation
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian Steven Goldsmith is a mediation and training leader with Mediators Beyond Borders International, an organization that develops local skills for peace building and conflict resolution around the world. Goldsmith was among 150 experts and leaders who gathered at a Rotary presidential conference in Ontario, Calif., to discuss issues related to resolving conflicts and reducing violence. More than 1,500 people attended the conference, the first of five hosted this year by 2015-16 Rotary President K.R. Ravindran and Foundation Trustee Chair Ray...

29/07/2016 03:15 PM
Rotary seeks Chief Development Officer
The General Manager of The Rotary Foundation/Chief Development Officer is responsible for the effective management and operations of The Rotary Foundation. Working closely with the executive management team and Rotary leadership, this position will oversee the fund development, polio eradication and partnership/sponsorship activities within the organization. The position reports to the General Secretary and will ensure that strategies are aligned to achieve the goals of The Rotary Foundation, which include annual fund development goals in excess of US$300 million dollars. The leader will...

28/07/2016 04:45 PM
The visionaries: Young women in Peru learn to see a future for themselves
From the August 2016 issue of The Rotarian It’s 3 a.m. on a Sunday, and Katheryne Rosa Barazorda Cuellar is up, preparing to work in her mother’s soup stall in the small Peruvian town of Anta, near the Inca capital of Cusco. Smart and seemingly indefatigable, she has a quick smile and infectious laugh. Rosa is studying to be a chemical engineer, and she has unmistakable talent and drive. She needs them. Poverty, gender bias, and violence darken the lives of many young Peruvian women, including her. Rosa is lucky, though. Her family supports her. And for the past four years,  so has Visionaria...

25/07/2016 08:15 PM
Grant survey shows solid support for new model
More than 6,000 Rotary members in 154 countries reported on their experiences with the new grant model as part of an evaluation during the 2015-16 Rotary year. The results will help us improve the grant process and learn what impact the Foundation's global grants have on our areas of focus. Among the key findings: 90 percent of respondents support the grant model; 86 percent see it as an improvement over the former model. Grant activity and the average grant award continue to increase each year. Rotary members want more resources to help them apply for grants and design sustainable projects...

15/07/2016 08:45 PM
Committee members named to nominate 2018-19 Rotary president
The following Rotary members will serve on the 2016-17 Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International in 2018-19. The committee is scheduled to meet on 8 August. Zone 2Kazuhiko Ozawa, Rotary Club of Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan Zone 4 Sudarshan Agarwal, Rotary Club of Delhi, Delhi, India Zone 6 Noraseth Pathmanand, Rotary Club of Bang Rak, Thailand Zone 8 John B. Boag, Rotary Club of E-Club of District 9650, New South Wales, Australia Zone 10 Jackson S.L. Hsieh, Rotary Club of Taipei Sunrise, Taiwan Zone 12 Elio Cerini, Rotary Club of Milano Duomo, Italy Zone 14 Ekkehart Pandel,...

05/07/2016 02:00 PM
Apply to serve on an RI committee
Would you like to contribute to Rotary by serving on a committee? The 10 committees listed below are searching for qualified candidates for openings in 2017-18. Each of these committees works with Rotary leaders to increase efficiency and promote the goals and priorities of our strategic plan. Apply for a committee appointment by 14 August. Learn more about the committees and the application process. Get answers to frequently asked questions. Committees with openings for 2017-18 Audit Communications Constitution and Bylaws Election Review Finance Global Networking Groups Joint Young Leaders...

01/07/2016 02:45 PM
John Germ: Champion of Chattanooga
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian Just before John Germ dropped by, Rick Youngblood took a deep breath. “You want to match his energy,” he says, “but he makes it hard to keep up.” Youngblood is the president and CEO of Blood Assurance, a regional blood bank in Chattanooga, Tenn., that Germ helped found in 1972. After his visit with Youngblood, Germ strode between mountains of empty bottles and cans at Chattanooga’s John F. Germ Recycling Center at Orange Grove, which he designed, before he drove to a construction site and popped a cork to dedicate a Miracle League field where special...

23/06/2016 04:30 PM
Member Spotlight: The book on Brad Rubini
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian When Brad Rubini was reading a bedtime story to his seven-year-old daughter, Claire, she asked him why he was reading the words wrong. “I’m dyslexic, so I thought I was reading the words right,” recalls Rubini, a past president of the Rotary Club of Toledo, Ohio. After he explained his problem, she began to read to him on most nights instead. “She was a voracious reader and storyteller. She was always telling stories, even when she was a toddler,” he says. Three years later, while Claire was away at summer camp, she died unexpectedly as a result of a...

23/06/2016 04:00 PM
Health: Survival of the Fitbittest
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian In the seven days from 7 through 13 March, I took precisely 84,250 steps. This amounted to 39.85 miles. I also climbed 288 floors and burned 22,055 calories. I’m fairly certain that you, gentle readers, could not care less about those statistics. Unless, of course, you’re one of the millions of gentle readers who have joined America’s fitness self-surveillance movement by strapping a tracking device to your wrist. In which case, you are probably pretty darned impressed by my stats. I should therefore add a few crucial caveats. Caveat No. 1: That week...

23/06/2016 03:45 PM
Convention: Car-free Atlanta
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian With a sprawling metro area, Atlanta gets a bad rap for its traffic. But the city’s downtown is home to a variety of pedestrian-friendly attractions, so when you’re in town from 10 to 14 June for the 2017 Rotary International Convention, a little curiosity is all the fuel you’ll need. Walk out front of the Georgia World Congress Center, the convention’s home base, and you’ll practically stumble into CNN Center, the birthplace of 24-hour TV news. CNN studio tours last about 50 minutes and offer a behind-the-scenes look into broadcasting. Across the...

23/06/2016 02:30 PM
Cynthia Salim: Former Rotary Scholar makes clothing with a conscience
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian The way Cynthia Salim sees it, the fashion industry doesn't have much to offer a young, socially conscious woman like her when it comes to work clothes. "The fashion industry often does 'sexy' or 'fun' or 'hip,' and things that encourage frequent purchases," the 29-year-old says. "It's very rare that the design community will design something that will make a young woman look credible and influential as well as timeless." Add "and is ethically made" to that list, and it becomes a tall order that Salim became increasingly frustrated trying to fill when...

23/06/2016 02:00 PM
Rotary Peace Fellows win competition to spread peace
Twelve Rotary Peace Fellows are about to get even more guidance in their area of focus. They are not just peace fellows but also a select group of Global Peace Index Ambassadors who were recognized for their innovative ideas on working with Rotary clubs in spreading the messages of peace. Through the program, a collaboration between Rotary and the Institute for Economics and Peace, over 100 former and current peace fellows spent two months receiving training on the methodology the institute uses to create the Global Peace Index, the world’s leading tool for quantifying peace. Ambassadors...

23/06/2016 01:45 PM
Culture: Open to interpretation
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian Whenever I arrive in a new country, one of the first places I go is a bookstore. I do this for several reasons. Having spent much of my life and income in them, I always find them to be comforting spaces. And they often stock more specific maps and guides than you can get outside the country. But the real reason I love these places is that by scanning the titles for sale – just gazing down the spines – I can get a glimpse of how people in that country see themselves. What stories do they tell? What stories do they read? What books do they print? And...

23/06/2016 01:45 PM
Member Interview: Susan Davis uses social entrepreneurship to fight poverty
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian Susan Davis has devoted the past three decades to using social entrepreneurship and microfinance to address extreme poverty, particularly in Bangladesh. A Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship in the early 1980s allowed her to study international relations at the University of Oxford. A decade ago, she co-founded BRAC USA (previously the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee) to help the world’s poor through self-empowerment. She is co-author, with journalist David Bornstein, of the book Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to...

22/06/2016 09:45 PM
Rotary changes travel company
Rotary International has selected Raptim Humanitarian Travel as its official travel management company. The connection between Raptim and Rotary will allow them to offer more services and support to those traveling on Rotary business. "In selecting Raptim, we found an agency that shared our DNA and understood how best to meet the needs of our volunteers and staff," says Robert Mintz, Rotary's global travel manager. Rotarians will work with Raptim to arrange Rotary-related travel through Rotary International Travel Service, known as RITS, beginning 24 June. "We are honored to collaborate with...

20/06/2016 05:30 PM
Changes to the Official Directory
The CD and full-length print version of the Official Directory will no longer be available starting for the 2016-17 Rotary year. A full-length PDF version will be made available and is only accessible with a My Rotary account. The front portion of the directory will be printed in a smaller, spiral bound edition. This version may be purchased for US$10 by contacting our Rotary staff or calling 847-866-4600.

16/06/2016 07:00 PM
What you don’t know about the campaign to end polio
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian When was the last time there was polio in Europe? If you guessed 2002, the year the region was certified polio-free, you were wrong. The last time polio affected a child in Europe was last summer. In 2015, two Ukrainian children were diagnosed with paralytic polio, and, given the way the disease manifests itself, that means many more were likely infected and didn’t show symptoms. At least one Western news outlet deemed the outbreak “crazy” – but the reality is that no place on earth is safe from polio until the disease is eradicated everywhere. Ukraine...

08/06/2016 08:15 PM
Contribution forms now available in additional languages
Forms in additional languages are now available to help you record individual donations to The Rotary Foundation or single donations that combine gifts from several club members. You can get blank or personalized versions of the forms in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish by signing in to My Rotary and visiting the Manage My Club section of the Club and District Administration page. You can also contribute at www.rotary.org/give.

01/06/2016 09:45 PM
Altruism: Individual serving
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian The sun rises on a new school day. In rural Ganguli, India, 450 students climb aboard school buses. Five years ago they couldn’t have gone to school because the distance from their village was too far to walk. In San Agustín, Ecuador, students used to attend classes in the town morgue when it rained, because their school had no roof. Since 2012, hundreds of children there have learned to read and write in a real classroom. Quietly orchestrating these and other projects was Vasanth Prabhu, a member of the Rotary Club of Central Chester County (Lionville...

01/06/2016 09:45 PM
Q&A: Reframe the conversation
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian Before Keith Jenkins made a name for himself as the guy you hire to shake up your organization’s digital strategy, he decided to shake up his own life. “Near the end of my first year of law school,” he recalls, “I started to rethink what I wanted to do.” He kept coming back to what he had loved since childhood: photography. “I had some rudimentary skills taking pictures and could develop my own photographs,” Jenkins says, and he wanted to improve those skills. “One friend was concerned that I was losing interest in becoming a lawyer, and she didn’t...

01/06/2016 09:15 PM
Family: The new parent trap
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian When my wife, Erin, first got pregnant, we did what almost every newly expectant couple does: We enrolled in a childbirth class. Every Thursday night, we wandered down to the musty basement of a nearby hospital, where a cheerful woman named Susan offered us first-time parents a graphic account of all the joyous terrors to come. At 39, I expected to be the senior member of the group. In fact, at least five dads appeared older than me. One guy in particular, mostly bald and hobbled by a balky knee, looked to be in his 50s. He never wanted to sit on the...

01/06/2016 08:00 PM
Rotary Fellowship aces first tennis championship held in the U.S.
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian Eugene McNease had competed in world championship tournaments of the International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians in such illustrious cities as Vienna; Barcelona, Spain; and Salerno, Italy. So he felt a bit brash when he proposed that the first one in the United States be held in Thomasville, Ga., population 18,700. But the retired Social Security Administration executive and self-appointed ambassador for Rotary loves the charm of his historic hometown, and he was convinced the friends he had made in the fellowship would appreciate the city as he does...

01/06/2016 07:45 PM
Convention: There's an app for that
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian Get the most out of this year’s Rotary International Convention, 28 May-1 June in Korea, with the Rotary Events app. The free app lets you plan activities, learn about speakers and entertainment, download resources, share photos, and connect with friends. It can help you navigate the convention venue and House of Friendship and provide feedback to convention organizers. You don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use the app. Once you’ve downloaded it, most of the information is available offline. Download the Rotary Events app through the Apple...

01/06/2016 07:30 PM
Member interview: Deirdre Maloney on losing balance to find bliss
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian Deirdre Maloney is in demand for her expertise in motivation and leadership. As the president of her own company, Momentum LLC, the author of three books, and a columnist for the Huffington Post, Maloney employs a personal brand that she calls “mild audacity,” to challenge conventional assumptions and definitions of success. She joined the Rotary Club of San Diego in 2010 after being invited to a meeting by a Rotarian who read an op-ed column that she wrote in the local newspaper. THE ROTARIAN: In your latest book, Bogus Balance: Your Journey to Real...

01/06/2016 07:00 PM
Member spotlight: Ben Thwaits is a natural healer
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian When Ben Thwaits took a job teaching at a residential treatment center for troubled teens called Northwest Passage, the nature photographer and biologist wondered if the students might get as much out of taking photos as he did. So he applied for a small grant and got a few cameras. Within a few weeks he knew he was on to something. “It wasn’t just the quality of the photos they were producing, which was astonishing,” says Thwaits, a member of the Rotary Club of Siren/Webster, Wis. “But I started to see that spark emerge in them where they would be...

01/06/2016 05:30 PM
Ravindran moves audience with personal story
RI President K.R. Ravindran closed the convention in Korea on Wednesday, 1 June, with a poignant story about his mother's fight to survive polio at age 30. When Ravindran was 11 years old in his native Sri Lanka, his mother awoke one day feeling weak and short of breath. Sitting down to rest, she found herself unable to move. The polio virus had quickly invaded her nervous system, resulting in paralysis. She was placed in an iron lung at the hospital to enable her to breathe, and was told that her chances of walking, or even surviving without a ventilator, were slim. But most Sri Lankan...

01/06/2016 05:15 PM
Photo contest winners: How to frame a winning photo
From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian As a digital strategist for National Geographic, Keith Jenkins encourages organizations to embrace change, even when it means taking a leap of faith. In that spirit, we made some changes of our own to The Rotarian's photo contest this year. We held it on Facebook and expanded it to three categories: people, places, and projects. We received an overwhelming response, with photographers from Jamaica, Bangladesh, Germany, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Czech Republic, the United States, and Canada, among other places, sending nearly 500 shots. Along with the...

31/05/2016 10:00 PM
Rotary founder makes surprise appearance at Korea convention
Convention attendees were treated to a surprise visit from Paul Harris during the opening session of the Korea convention on Sunday, 29 May. An animated hologram of Rotary's founder joined RI President K.R. Ravindran on stage, and proceeded to talk about Rotary's growth from a small club in Chicago to an international organization that is changing the world. "Rotary has been a gift to the world," said Harris. "This Rotary program of friendship and service certainly has succeeded way beyond the dreams of us back in Chicago." Harris also noted that the basis of Rotary and the convention remains...

31/05/2016 09:30 PM
Foundation’s achievements and future spotlighted at Korea convention
In his address to convention attendees on Tuesday, 31 May, Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith proclaimed that The Rotary Foundation has never been stronger than it is today. Bolstered by generous contributions from members and robust programs like PolioPlus and the Rotary Peace Centers, the Foundation's good work is drawing public notice, Klinginsmith said: CNBC, a leading consumer and business news outlet in the U.S., ranked Rotary No. 5 among the top 10 charities changing the world in 2015. "Isn't it clear that our Foundation is truly better than ever before?" said Klinginsmith, who reported...

29/05/2016 04:15 PM
UN chief Ban Ki-moon opens Korea convention
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was among the first to welcome Rotary members and friends to the 107th Rotary Convention, heralded as one of the largest-ever gatherings of Rotarians and the most multicultural assembly of nonprofit leaders in Korea. He offered a message of gratitude: “Rotarians do remarkable work around the world,” Ban told the thousands of attendees gathered at KINTEX, the Korea International Exhibition and Convention Center in Goyang city, on the outskirts of Seoul. “You help the United Nations reach our goals, and you help the world understand the United...

27/05/2016 06:00 PM
Global movement needed to reverse water crisis
This year's World Water Summit on 27 May in Seoul highlighted the progress being made: Over the last 25 years, more than 2.5 billion people gained access to improved drinking water, and 2 billion who didn't have adequate sanitation now do. Child deaths from water-related diseases dropped from 1.5 million to just over 600,000. The UN Millennium Development Goals' target for clean drinking water was met five years ahead of schedule. But for the 1.8 billion people whose drinking water remains contaminated and the 2.4 billion without access to proper sanitation, progress is still too slow, said...

24/05/2016 02:30 PM
Advancing peace brings Rotary, U.S. Olympic athletes together
On an evening in April, more than 50 representatives from the Rotary Peace Centers and members of the U.S. Olympic Committee who had gathered for an event in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, were treated to a surprise: a pre-dinner performance by the U.S. men's Olympic gymnastics team. "They showcased their prowess in tumbling, the high bar, and the pommel horse. It was stunning!" says Rotary International Director Jennifer Jones, who served as the emcee for the April event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Sponsored by The Rotary Foundation, 1972 Olympic decathlon competitor Barry King,...

20/05/2016 07:45 PM
Follow our full convention coverage
Korea is playing host to Rotary's largest event of the year, its annual convention. More than 42,000 Rotary members from over 100 countries will come together this month to celebrate service, exchange ideas, and relax among friends at unforgettable concerts and social events. The convention runs from 28 May to 1 June. Attendees will hear from renowned experts in areas of peace, global health, and human rights. Our full coverage will include photos, videos, a live blog, and social media pages World Water Summit Immediately before the convention, the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group...

13/05/2016 06:30 PM
Rotaract Outstanding Project Award recognizes innovative programs
Though they were a long way from home, members of the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi, Uganda, felt confident they could tackle problems in rural Kanabulemu during their annual 1000 Smiles project. Their original plan focused on curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS. It's in the Rakai District, where the first case of AIDS in Uganda was uncovered in 1982 and about 12 percent of the population has been infected with HIV in recent years. But the Rotaractors discovered that problems in the village extended far beyond the disease. "The community lacked water, the school was in a sorry state, and the...

02/05/2016 08:15 PM
Pope welcomes Rotary to Jubilee audience
Thousands of Rotary members, motivated by a special invitation from Pope Francis, gathered at the Vatican in Rome on Saturday to celebrate a message of compassion, inclusiveness, and service to humanity. At midmorning, the group -- numbering some 9,000 members from 80 countries -- made its way through the congested streets of Rome, past the tight security surrounding St. Peter's Square, and settled into the area reserved for Rotary in front of St. Peter's Basilica for the Jubilee audience. Francis, a 79-year-old Argentine, urged the crowd of more than 100,000, which included members of the...

01/05/2016 07:45 PM
What millennials love about Rotary
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian If there is one absolute truth about millennials, it is this: Anyone who says there is an absolute truth about millennials risks being subjected to their collective eye roll. Millennials are individuals, and fiercely so. According to the Pew Research Center, most of them don’t even like being called “millennials,” let alone hearing generalizations about their shared attitudes and behaviors. Case in point: Christa Papavasiliou, 31, recoils at the notion that older folks see her generation as a bunch of selfie-snapping smartphone addicts. “I’m the...

01/05/2016 07:45 PM
The Rotarian Conversation with The Edge and Garvin Evans
Editor's note: After the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian went to press, we were saddened to learn of the death of Garvin Evans, who along with his son, U2 guitarist The Edge, appeared on the cover of that issue. Evans was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Dublin North. We are grateful that we were able to share his remarkable story with our readers. The boys of U2 are home. It’s Friday, 27 November, two weeks after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. had been in Paris that terrible evening, rehearsing at the venue where they were scheduled...

01/05/2016 07:30 PM
Crisis at the doorstep
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian More than a million refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan streamed into the European Union last year. Most entered via Greece after a harrowing raft trip across the Aegean Sea from Turkey. Once there, they made their way north, often on foot, traveling more than 1,000 miles through the rugged mountains of the Balkan countries toward Germany. That was the uncertain odyssey facing Muhammad Mallah Hamza, a 26-year-old ethnic Kurd, in late 2014 when he decided to leave his native Syria. The trip would lead the recent college graduate to a picturesque...

01/05/2016 07:30 PM
What's next for Rotary?
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian Demographic change is a drama in slow motion. It unfolds incrementally, tick by tock, but it transforms societies in fundamental ways – and the America of the early 21st century is undergoing two such dramas at the same time. Our population is en route to becoming majority nonwhite at the same time a record share of us (like me) is going gray. Either trend by itself would be the dominant demographic story of its era. The fact that they’re unfolding simultaneously has created giant generation gaps. The United States is at a moment in its history when...

01/05/2016 07:15 PM
Culture: Consuming passions
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian A friend recently said something to me that was shocking, maybe even a little subversive. She could afford to retire now, she said, because of this amazing reality: “I don’t need to buy anything more. I have everything I need.” Was this America, home of the free parking with purchase and the brave doorbuster shoppers? The land whose fruited plains are dotted with storage lockers and Container Stores for all our excess stuff? My friend maintained her love of country but held firm. She has enough clothes; her house is fully furnished. She is done. And, at...

01/05/2016 07:15 PM
Travel: Strange trips
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian Over the years, I have regurgitated my share of dodgy dishes eaten on the road. I have had my appendix removed in a Tanzanian hospital. I have watched helplessly, imagining the discovery of my shriveled corpse, as my blood pooled on the floor of a guesthouse room in Borneo after I pulled a leech off my ankle. I know that the last place you want to end up while traveling is in the hospital. Yet, apart from the usual bodily afflictions that come with travel, even stranger maladies prey on our minds when we are abroad. Less well understood than their...

01/05/2016 07:00 PM
Member interview: David Fisher keeps the Ferris wheel turning
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian For more than half a century, one of the first Ferris wheels ever made has been spinning in Jacksonville, Ill. Owned by the city but operated and maintained by the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, the 12-seat, 45-foot wheel has undergone several renovations in recent years, thanks to private donations and funds from The Rotary Foundation. Rotarians such as David Fisher keep the fun rolling every Sunday afternoon from Memorial Day well into October. THE ROTARIAN: How did your club come to run a Ferris wheel? FISHER: The wheel was made here in Jacksonville by...

01/05/2016 07:00 PM
Convention: Sustainability matters
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian In 2014-15, The Rotary Foundation provided $20 million in global grants supporting water and sanitation, more than any other area of focus. If your club or district was involved, or if you would like to become involved, check out the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group’s World Water Summit, which will be held 27 May before the Rotary International Convention in Korea from 28 May to 1 June. This year’s theme is “Sustainable Strategies – Sustainable Solutions: Bringing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene to a Changing World.” Six major speakers will...

01/05/2016 07:00 PM
Global grant project is growing tall in Korea
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian Every Tuesday at 1 p.m., students at Andong Yeongmyeong School wait for their Rotarian friends to arrive. Occasionally, they play sports or go on field trips such as attending a baseball game. But the real reason they get together is to work in a greenhouse, planting seeds and harvesting lettuce leaves. Later, they take the tenderly plucked leaves to a restaurant owned by another Rotarian. With the money they earn, the students invest in more seeds and equipment. The Rotarians from clubs in Andong, 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul, are mentors at the...

01/05/2016 06:45 PM
Member spotlight: Lachezar Tsotsorkov breaks the ice
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian In the summer of 2012, Lachezar Tsotsorkov boarded a ship at the Russian port of Murmansk and began a long, difficult journey to the top of the Earth. The ship was an icebreaker, and for a week the entire vessel shook as it cut through the Arctic ice. “If our glasses stopped vibrating,” Tsotsorkov says, “there was a slight confusion among people on board. Why was the ship not shaking? Was there any problem?” They passed islands of Franz Josef Land, abandoned polar stations, polar bears, whales, walruses, and seals, until they reached the ice-covered...

20/04/2016 03:45 PM
Rotary shop on new platform
As of 1 May, the Rotary shop will be available on a new platform. We may experience some downtime during the transition and apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us at shop.rotary@rotary.org or at 847-866-4600.

19/04/2016 05:00 PM
Rotary districts mobilize to support survivors of Ecuador, Japan quakes
After a series of three earthquakes -- two in Japan and one in Ecuador -- killed hundreds of people, injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars in damage late last week, Rotary members in those regions have created disaster relief funds to help survivors. In Ecuador, the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Saturday night has killed more than 400 people, with 2,500 injured. Those figures are expected to rise. Rotary District 4400 established a service fund to raise money for relief efforts. Contact District Governor Manuel A. Nieto Jijon for information on how to donate. In Japan,...

18/04/2016 09:00 PM
Council grants clubs greater flexibility in meeting, membership
The 2016 Council on Legislation may well be remembered as one of the most progressive in Rotary history. Not only did this Council grant clubs more freedom in determining their meeting schedule and membership, it also approved an increase in per capita dues of $4 a year for three years. The increase will be used to enhance Rotary’s website, improve online tools, and add programs and services to help clubs increase membership. The Council is an essential element of Rotary’s governance. Every three years, members from around the world gather in Chicago to consider proposed changes to the...

04/04/2016 08:15 PM
Council on Legislation to meet in Chicago 10-15 April
Representatives from Rotary clubs worldwide will gather in Chicago 10-15 April to consider changes to the policies that guide Rotary International and its member clubs. The Council on Legislation meets every three years and is an essential part of Rotary's governance. The representatives -- one from each Rotary district -- review and vote on proposals that seek to change Rotary's constitutional documents and on resolutions that express an opinion or make a recommendation to the Rotary International Board of Directors. Get live updates and daily vote totals on My Rotary beginning 11 April....

01/04/2016 09:00 PM
Culture: Dinner for one
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian There is a new ritual in American life. It goes like this: Whenever you invite someone to dinner, you must inquire about any special dietary needs. Because today, it seems that nearly everyone has drawn a line around foods that cannot pass their lips. This could be because of allergies, moral qualms, lifestyle choices, health issues, or simple preference. The person might be a vegetarian who eats fish, a carnivore who hates carbs, a glutton who avoids gluten, or a time bomb waiting to be set off by a nut. (Asking ahead makes for a more pleasant...

01/04/2016 08:45 PM
Convention: Cultural insights
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian Do you need some context for all you’re experiencing while you’re in Korea for the Rotary International Convention from 28 May to 1 June? Check out one or more of these museums: 1. National Museum of Korea: If you have time for only one, this museum, the sixth largest in the world, has something for everyone: relics from prehistoric times, calligraphy, paintings, sculpture, and even a children’s museum, all housed in a six-story building in the wooded Yongsan Family Park. 2. Korea Furniture Museum: To see how Koreans of the past lived, walk through...

01/04/2016 08:45 PM
Blazing a trail to a national park in the Smokies
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian America’s most-visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, is a half-million acres of temperate forest bristling with biodiversity – as 30 species of salamanders and some 1,500 black bears attest. Yet the contours of the park, in Tennessee and North Carolina in nearly equal measures, might have been drawn differently if not for several members of the Rotary Club of Knoxville, Tenn., a role the club marked during its centennial celebration last August. In 1915, David C. Chapman, the owner of a wholesale drug company and a veteran of the Spanish-...

01/04/2016 08:45 PM
Clubs: The body politic
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian Rotary clubs are catnip to people running for public office: Rotarians are involved in their communities, civic-minded, and engaged in public improvement. Especially in an election year, clubs are likely to receive calls from candidates in search of a receptive audience. How a club responds to these requests is completely up to the club itself. For many, it depends on experience with politicians and the preferences of the club officers. Rotary International requires only that clubs not endorse candidates or take sides on public issues. But the role of...

01/04/2016 08:30 PM
Member spotlight: Stephen Mwanje promotes health care for all in Uganda
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian “This was a gift from God.” Stephen Mwanje remembers those words, spoken by a sick man who had just received free treatment from a doctor at a Rotary-led Family Health Day in Uganda last fall. “He never thought he would get the medical attention he needed,” explains Mwanje, a member of the Rotary Club of Mukono, Uganda, who made that man’s care possible. In 2010-11, Mwanje was governor of District 9200, which then included Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. As he was researching options to address Uganda’s lack of health care, he crossed...

01/04/2016 08:30 PM
Member interview: Retired fire captain helps colleagues fight cancer
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian What’s the most common work-related injury that firefighters endure? “It’s not falling through a roof, falling from a house, or burns,” explains Homero Ponce-Lόpez, 57, a retired Houston fire captain and member of the Rotary Club of University Area of Houston. “It’s cancer.” A 2015 study found that firefighters have a greater chance of developing cancer than the general population, including double the risk of testicular cancer and a 50 percent increase in multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. When cancer strikes, firefighters often end up at the...

01/04/2016 04:00 PM
Hiding out
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian He should have been thrilled. Carl Sanders had joined Rotary to be of service, and now, even though he was a relatively new member of the Rotary Club of Kenosha, Wis., he had an opportunity. A well-respected member called to ask Sanders to take over as sergeant-at-arms. He explained that the position involved preparing meetings, introducing guest speakers, and reading announcements. “So you’ll do it?” he asked. “I, uh, um … ” Sanders panicked. “Let me think about it,” he said, hanging up quickly. Sanders had built a prosperous painting business. He...

01/04/2016 03:45 PM
A wave of compassion
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian What Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart remembers is the silence. No birds chirping, no dogs barking, no car engines revving. Nothing. “I’ve never heard such a silence before, and never since,” she says. “I knew something must have happened.” It was 9:35 the morning after Christmas 2004, and in Sri Lanka, it was a Poya Day, a Buddhist public holiday held every full moon. Jeska-Thorwart, a lawyer from Germany, was on vacation in Hikkaduwa, on the island’s southwestern coast. Any other morning of her holiday she and her husband would have been on the beach, but...

01/04/2016 03:15 PM
On board
From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian They came from Denmark and Spain, Thailand, the U.S., and other points around the globe. Last fall, the Rotary International Board of Directors gathered again in Evanston, Ill., not far from the office where Paul Harris hosted the first Rotary club meeting. One hundred eleven years later, Rotary’s Board spent three days addressing dozens of issues that boiled down to one: How will the organization Harris founded thrive in its second century? They met on the top floor of Rotary’s world headquarters, an 18-story tower with commanding views of broad-...

24/03/2016 04:15 PM
Get live updates from the Council on Legislation
Get live updates and vote totals from the Council on Legislation on Rotary.org beginning on 11 April. Representatives from Rotary clubs worldwide will gather in Chicago 10-15 April to consider changes to the policies that guide Rotary International and its member clubs.  Many of this year’s proposed changes are designed to increase membership by giving clubs greater flexibility in the timing and the nature of their meetings. Other proposals would amend membership requirements.

22/03/2016 03:45 PM
Grant brings clean water to thousands in Ghana
Worldwide, more than 748 million people live without access to clean water and at least 3,000 children die each day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water. Rotary is working to change that. For example, members used a Rotary grant to drill more than 20 clean-water wells and to repair another 30 in villages across Ghana. The project also included education about and treatment of Buruli ulcer, a debilitating infection that if untreated can lead to disability and death. Nearly 70,000 people will benefit from this initiative. Support a water and sanitation projectGive now to the clean...

16/03/2016 02:30 PM
Institute equips regional leaders to advance Rotary’s story
Regional leaders from around the globe gathered at Rotary World Headquarters in Evanston in early March for training they will use to inspire members in their respective areas. Several participants - most of whom will begin their term on 1 July - noted that the true measure of the institute's success will be how well the information they learned is transmitted to Rotary members. "We have to realize that training doesn't stop at the district level," said Michael Boyer, a Rotary public image coordinator from Pismo Beach, California, USA. "We train people really well to be governors and club...

14/03/2016 05:45 PM
UNESCO-IHE scholarship applications now available
The Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education are offering up to 10 scholarships for graduate study at UNESCO-IHE's Delft campus in the Netherlands. The aim is to increase the number of trained professionals who can devise, plan, and implement water and sanitation solutions in developing areas. The scholarships also are designed to promote long-term relationships between Rotary members and skilled water and sanitation professionals. Scholars will receive a Master of Science degree in urban water and sanitation, water management, or water science and engineering. The...

08/03/2016 06:00 PM
Successful women mentor youth through Rotary
When Clara Montanez was a student, she never heard the word mentoring. The idea of having a role model help you pursue your ambitions was unfamiliar to her. "You basically chose your career based on personal interest and hoped you could find a job," says Montanez, senior director of investment for Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. "I went the route of getting married and having children first, and started my career later in life. I had no model for how to do that." That changed for Montanez the day a friend invited her to join Rotary. "Frankly, I was dragged into Rotary. I didn't see a connection...

01/03/2016 10:45 PM
Best in a supporting role
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian I believe I am safe in assuming that most of you are not regular readers of the Journal of Leadership Studies. Nor that you had the pleasure of perusing the article in that magazine’s Winter 2014 issue titled “Followership in Leadership Studies: A Case of Leader-Follower Trade Approach.” To save you the trouble, let me summarize the argument put forward by the author, Petros G. Malakyan: While an abundance of research is devoted to leaders – an entire literature, in fact –almost nothing is written about followers. The reason for this is not...

01/03/2016 10:45 PM
Doctor treats the poorest of the poor
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the 11th-largest city on earth. Nearly a third of its 15 million residents live in trash-strewn slums, subsisting on less than $2 a day. Women have it worst: Second-class citizens, often married off in their midteens, many struggle to raise children in conditions most Westerners would find medieval. A recent study found that “65 percent of slum women share one toilet with more than seven families.” Into this “difficulty” steps Hashrat Ara. “Difficulty” is her understatement of the challenges a physician faces in...

01/03/2016 10:30 PM
Q&A: John Germ is a man of commitment
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian When John Germ takes office as Rotary International’s president in July, it will mark his 40th year in Rotary. In that time, he’s likely best-known for leading Rotary’s $200 Million Challenge, a fundraising effort sparked by a challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotarians surpassed that goal in 2011, raising $228.7 million toward polio immunization activities. “I never questioned that we would raise the funds,” he says. “Rotarians have been so generous.” In fact, raising money for polio was one of Germ’s first leadership...

01/03/2016 10:00 PM
Rotarian Action Groups: Breaking the invisible chains of slavery
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian Anne Marie called her home “the abandominium” – an abandoned building without heat or lights – to make it sound more posh. She told me that the man who said he loved her turned out to be a pimp and forced her to stand on Philadelphia street corners. After a while, she couldn’t remember how many times she was beaten or raped. Anne Marie taught me what it really means to be a victim of human trafficking – to live in captivity by the invisible chains of fear and psychological control, and to endure terrible violence. For years, she did not make her own...

01/03/2016 09:45 PM
Sports: Baseball gives back
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian One day last summer, the New York Mets hosted the San Francisco Giants, but that wasn’t the main event. Not to the softball players tearing around the field before the baseball game. To Marine Sgt. Marco Velarde, Coast Guard specialist Kayla Hartley, and a couple dozen other soldiers, the annual Mets Military Softball Classic was the contest that counted. They were here to settle an interservice softball rivalry, but also to meet Mets players, introduce their kids to the baseball-headed mascot Mr. Met, enjoy a family meal, stay for the home team’s 5-4...

01/03/2016 09:30 PM
Convention: Seoul food
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian There is much more to Korean food than kimchee. If you are heading to Korea for the Rotary International Convention from 28 May to 1 June, it’s not too early to start planning your dining itinerary. If you want to try samgyetang, a fragrant stew of young chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, garlic, chestnuts, and dates, Tosokchon is the place to eat it. The restaurant’s location close to Gyeongbok Palace makes it a convenient lunch stop for tourists. If you prefer your chicken fried, try the Korean version. You can partake in the tradition of chimaek...

01/03/2016 09:30 PM
Q&A: Champion speaker answers some rhetorical questions
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian One of the keynote speakers at this year’s Rotary International Convention in Korea will be Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, the founder and CEO of a human resources development and communications firm in Sri Lanka. In addition to being a much-sought-after motivational speaker, trainer, and executive coach, Hettiarachchi holds claim to a title that many seek but few attain: world champion of public speaking. In 2014, Hettiarachchi bested some 33,000 competitors from around the world to become the first Asian-born winner of the Toastmasters International World...

01/03/2016 09:15 PM
Member interview: Creating a way out of homelessness
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian When Liz Powers went to Harvard University, she saw the huge homeless population in the Boston area and volunteered to help. “Lots of them said to me, ‘Liz, I’m incredibly lonely.’ Bringing them together didn’t seem like rocket science,” says Powers, 28. An artist, she received a post-graduation fellowship from Harvard to create art groups in women’s shelters, giving people a creative outlet and a way to socialize. Today the former global grant scholar is co-founder and “chief happiness spreader” of ArtLifting, a corporation that gives homeless and...

01/03/2016 05:30 PM
Member spotlight: Youth Exchange taught Joel Jackson responsibility
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian Actor Joel Jackson grew up amid the red dirt and 100-degree-plus temperatures of sparsely populated Western Australia, a talented kid in a harsh land. Head of his class at school, soccer star, promising musician – it was all nice, but at age 17, he felt no particular pull in any direction. Until Rotary came along. A conversation with a Rotarian during a break in a performance at a birthday party launched him to Brazil through Rotary Youth Exchange, where he stayed in the southern city of Londrina hosted by Rotary District 4710 (Brazil, part of Parana...

01/03/2016 06:00 AM
Spin doctors
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian In Cuernavaca, Mexico, cobblestone streets and sidewalks can wreak havoc on wheels and bearings. For people who get around using a wheelchair, a mechanical breakdown only exacerbates the social isolation they often face. But an enterprising group is training people with disabilities to fix wheelchairs – and even bringing the concept of roadside assistance to wheelchair users in other cities. Erik Friend, a member of the Rotary Club of Cuernavaca-Juárez, Mexico, had been volunteering with a group called Autonomy, Liberation Through Movement (ALEM)...

25/02/2016 10:00 PM
Goodwill games
From the March 2016 issue of The Rotarian The fierce July sun beat down on us as we approached the field where the match was to take place. It wasn’t much of a soccer pitch, with its uneven terrain and rusty poles for goalposts, but the local teens we had met came ready to play. They guided us over the piles of bricks and broken tiles that separate their neighborhood community center from the field behind it and took their positions. Much like any schoolyard competitors, incursions from grazing cows notwithstanding, players stretched and warmed up, took turns retrieving out-of-bounds balls,...

24/02/2016 03:00 PM
Ensure recognition for your Interact clubs
Interact clubs are making a positive difference in schools and communities around the world. Leaders of sponsor Rotary clubs and districts should make sure their Interact clubs get the recognition they deserve by verifying that they qualify for a Presidential Citation. First, ensure that the Interact club status is active in Rotary's database by checking the Listing of Club-Sponsored Organizations report in Rotary Club Central. If a sponsored club is not listed, submit the Interact Club Certification Form by 1 March. Then, verify by 15 April that your Interact clubs have qualified for the...

18/02/2016 08:45 PM
Register for a special Jubilee of Rotarians celebrated by Pope Francis
Rotary members worldwide are invited to join President K.R. Ravindran in Rome on 30 April to celebrate the Jubilee of Rotarians, a special event hosted by District 2080 and the Vatican. His Holiness Pope Francis will celebrate a Jubilee mass in St. Peter's Square, where 8,000 seats will be reserved for Rotary members, friends, and family. This Jubilee, as established by Pope Francis, is a commitment to serve with joy and in peace across the world. More information is available on the Jubilee of Rotarians website. Seats are still available. Register now!

15/02/2016 09:30 PM
Celebrate Rotary’s 111th anniversary
Are you seeking inspiration for ways to mark Rotary’s 111th anniversary on 23 February? Here are some thought-starter ideas: Host a celebration party at your next club meeting. Inform your social media followers on 23 February that it’s Rotary’s anniversary by changing your Facebook cover photo to a birthday cake.  Encourage club members to bring a friend to your next meeting or to hear your next guest speaker. Plan a project and invite community members to volunteer their help. Sponsor a local event and use the opportunity to tell people about Rotary and about the work your club is doing in...

09/02/2016 04:00 PM
Beware of new email scam claiming to be from Foundation Chair Klinginsmith
A new email purporting to be from Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith is targeting Rotary members. The email falsely claims that members can become End Polio Now ambassadors if they email club information to a Gmail address within 48 hours. The fraudulent email has the subject line “BECOME AN END POLIO AMBASSADOR” and is sent from a fake email address. This is a scam. Rotary staff is working to resolve the issue. Avoid being the victim of scams by deleting any email that appears suspicious.

05/02/2016 07:15 PM
What it's like to go to jail for your beliefs ... and forgive your captors
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian. In this issue, we kick off 2016 with first-person accounts of Rotary members' most harrowing and heartfelt personal experiences. Pick up the issue to explore more stories. Naing Ko Ko Rotary Peace Fellow University of Queensland, Australia, 2012-13 In 1988, when I was 16, I began to protest with other students for democracy, human rights, and social justice in my home country of Burma, now called Myanmar. Four years later, I was arrested and tortured for two months in an interrogation camp. I was shackled and beaten. I was not allowed to sleep....

02/02/2016 02:30 PM
Find resources for planning your centennial celebration
We're kicking off The Rotary Foundation's centennial celebration at the Korea convention, 28 May-1 June. But you can get started now planning your club's centennial activities with the resources available in our promotion kit: Ideas and activities for clubs Doing Good in the World promotional flier Doing Good in the World bookmark Sample press release Centennial letterhead Centennial PowerPoint template Centennial postcard History of The Rotary Foundation PowerPoint Find more ideas in "Rotary's Foundation Is Turning 100," in the January issue of Rotary Leader Watch and download A Century of...

01/02/2016 09:15 PM
Cultivating peace: Rabia Raja
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Rabia Raja thought she knew exactly how the residents of her home village of Dandot, Pakistan, should improve their schools. "I remember saying to them, 'You don't do this; you don't do that,' and they answered me, 'What have you done for this place?'" Raja remembers. "That's when I realized I could do something." Rabia Raja Area of focus: Supporting education Age: 39 Occupation: Entrepreneur Location: Lahore, Pakistan Peace Center: Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 2011 That something turned out to be the Sunshine Consulting Welfare Organization...

01/02/2016 09:00 PM
Cultivating peace: Sachin Rane
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Growing up in India, Sachin Rane dreamed of being a police officer like his father and grandfather. "Our walls were decorated with uniformed pictures of my ancestors," he says. But he never imagined how far police work would take him. Sachin Rane Area of focus: Promoting peace Age: 49 Occupation: Detective inspector Location: Mumbai Peace Center: Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 2013 Rane became a Mumbai police officer in 1991. He investigated bombings, kidnappings, and murders while working for a variety of law enforcement branches, including...

01/02/2016 09:00 PM
Cultivating peace: Summer Lewis
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian In 2007, Summer Lewis was eager to return to school. She had graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in Spanish, sociology, and women's studies and spent several years traveling and working with organizations focused on economic development at the grassroots level. Summer Lewis Area of focus: Growing local economies Age: 35 Occupation: Consultant Location: Oaxaca, Mexico Peace Center: University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 2011-12 “The problem was that I had too many areas of interest,” recalls Lewis...

01/02/2016 09:00 PM
Cultivating peace: Muyatwa Sitali
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Growing up on his family's farm in Lusaka, Zambia, Muyatwa Sitali understood the power of water in his own life. His father grew corn, cabbage, and other crops, all of which depended on rainfall and irrigation. But it wasn't until Sitali began his Rotary Peace Fellowship that he came to realize the profound and far-reaching need for clean water globally. Muyatwa Sitali Area of focus: Providing clean water Age: 33 Occupation: Consultant Location: New York City Peace Center: Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012-14...

01/02/2016 08:45 PM
A radical approach
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian There is a particular sound a gun makes when it’s being shot at you. First you hear the bullet break the sound barrier with a crack. Then you hear the bang of the gun being fired. That is the sound Rotary Peace Fellow Will Plowright heard while in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in 2013. At the time, the city was divided among the Syrian government, the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic State, the Nusra Front, and a few al-Qaida members. Plowright was in Aleppo to conduct interviews for his Ph.D. on armed groups and their motives. He found some...

01/02/2016 08:45 PM
Cultivating peace: Adrien Lokangaka
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Adrien Lokangaka grew up in a small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He lacked many things – but when he needed it, he had medicine. Adrien Lokangaka Areas of focus: Saving mothers and children, fighting disease Age: 40 Occupation: Physician Location: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo Peace Center: Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012-14 “As a child, I suffered from amebic dysentery, a disease that could have taken my life,” he says. “Fortunately for me, a Catholic brother gave my uncle the proper...

01/02/2016 08:30 PM
Power up
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian “The world sees Germany as a country of hope and chances,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared last September, as refugees fleeing war and conflict in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere were streaming into her country in unprecedented numbers. As of November, 792,000 people had made the journey to Europe by boat since the beginning of 2015, with the majority ending up in Germany. There, they receive food, clothing, medical attention, and shelter while they wait for their claims to be evaluated and the government to decide if they can stay...

01/02/2016 08:15 PM
'All I can do is tell their stories'
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian She sends me her alias in a Skype message. Who she is, what she does, and where she does it make it too dangerous to use her real name. She is in Kurdish Iraq, in the northern part of the country, which is in the middle of so many battles, wars, and conflicts that it’s hard for outsiders – and sometimes even for local people – to keep track. But she has a focus amid the chaos: She works with Syrian and Yazidi refugees who have been targeted, tortured, and driven out of their homes by the Islamic State. The name she has chosen to use is Evin. She is...

01/02/2016 08:15 PM
Q&A: In exile
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Melhem Mansour lives in London now. But for nearly a year, he didn’t have anywhere to call home. “After my fellowship ended, I was just traveling around. I was in 12 countries,” he says. “I didn’t know where to go.” It was the spring of 2012, and he had just finished the three-month program at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. In his native Syria, violence was escalating. Before he left for Thailand, he had been detained and questioned for criticizing the government. If he returned, he risked being jailed. Though he’s...

01/02/2016 08:00 PM
Work: Office interruptus
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Two decades ago, I got into a terrible fight with my best friend, a guy I’ll call Craig. The proximate cause was a diatribe Craig directed at me during a meeting of our newspaper staff. His attack was not unprovoked. I felt the meeting was running long and began to grumble about it. But the harsh tone of his response was completely out of character. Craig was not only a gentle guy. He was also my editor and mentor. For years, we had worked late on stories, then snuck off to play cards together. I couldn’t fathom why he was humiliating me in such a...

01/02/2016 08:00 PM
Philanthrophy: Think before you give
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian The idea of trying to get the best value for our money should not strike anyone as strange. Would you be happy to learn that the high-priced dishwasher you purchased does not clean dishes as well as another brand that sells for half the price? To avoid such aggravating mistakes, people check online ratings and read Consumer Reports before making large purchases. Yet when donating to charity, most people do no research at all. The variation in value for money that can be found among charitable programs is far greater than that among dishwashers....

01/02/2016 07:45 PM
Convention: Souvenir shopping
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian If you’re heading to Seoul for the 2016 RI Convention on 28 May-1 June, you’ll probably want to pick up some souvenirs for the folks back home. You would do well to start at Namdaemun Market. This is an old-fashioned market in the city center with vendors who pound on tables to get your attention. You’ll find souvenirs galore, along with Psy masks, Obama socks, and dog sweaters. If you’re willing to trade sleep for shopping, head to Dongdaemun Market, where stores stay open until 5 a.m. Dongdaemun is made up of several large shopping malls, as well...

01/02/2016 07:45 PM
Keeping a lid on cancer in Sri Lanka
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian When the Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka, launched the National Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Center in 2004, the clinic operated in a small, rented house staffed by a volunteer doctor and two nurses. Services were basic but effective – physical exams and ultrasound to detect breast cancer and Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. All services were free, and word spread fast among the lower-income patients the center hoped to attract. Run in partnership with the National Cancer Control Programme of the government’s Ministry of Health,...

01/02/2016 07:30 PM
Member interview: Giving and receiving through Rotary
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian Carolina Gonzales Rivas first encountered Rotary as a child, when club members from the United States who were visiting her town of Chacala, Mexico, for service projects dined in her parents’ restaurant. She didn’t know anything about the organization then, but today Rotary plays an important role in her life. She received a scholarship to attend high school through Changing Lives, a program founded by Mariana Day of the Rotary Club of Bahía de Jaltemba-La Peñita (a neighboring community of Chacala); she is studying for a master’s degree in finance...

01/02/2016 07:15 PM
Member spotlight: Silvina Munilla on children's health
From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian At 40, Silvina Munilla is a successful attorney, law professor, and 16-year member of the Rotary Club of Catedral al Sur in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She’s also a driving force behind a project that brought 34 clubs across six countries together to help children with cancer. Through a Rotary Foundation global grant, her club, along with District 1640 (France), provided $45,100 worth of equipment to the Hospital de Niños Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires. Munilla says her goal was to help families who have received the worst possible news by...

01/02/2016 05:45 PM
Presidential conference explores routes to peace
On 2 December, a terrorist attack killed 14 people and wounded more than 20 others in San Bernardino, California. Less than two months later, an event nearby focused on peace: the Rotary World Peace Conference. The two-day meeting on 15-16 January brought together experts from around the world to explore ideas and solutions to violence and conflict. The conference was the first of five Rotary presidential conferences planned for this year. San Bernardino County official Janice Rutherford, a member of the Rotary Club of Fontana, California, told attendees at the opening general session that...

22/01/2016 07:00 PM
District leaders set to celebrate Foundation’s centennial
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith asked district governors in training at the International Assembly to lead the celebration of the Foundation's centennial year, 2016-17. "You are the primary contacts between the Foundation and our 34,000 Rotary clubs in the world. The success of the centennial celebration is largely in your hands," said Klinginsmith at a 19 January general session. "Catch the spirit and spread the word about the importance of celebrating our success." Since the Foundation was established in 1917, it has spent more than $3 billion on programs and projects to...

22/01/2016 07:00 AM
Rotary's 2016 International Assembly coverage and resources
Rotary's annual training meeting gives incoming district governors from around the world the chance to share ideas for strengthening clubs and improving communities. Learn more about the new presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, and find photos, videos, and speeches from the event. Download resources to use with your club and district. News coverage Germ reveals 'Rotary Serving Humanity' as 2016-17 presidential theme Rotary Voices Read reactions from the assembly Photos 2016 Rotary International Assembly photo gallery Videos 2016-17 presidential theme announcement Find more videos...

19/01/2016 09:30 PM
2016 Rotary International Assembly Photo Gallery

19/01/2016 06:30 PM
Michele Berg named deputy general secretary
Michele Berg has been selected to help lead Rotary’s operations as deputy general secretary. In this role, she will work alongside General Secretary John Hewko to ensure effective internal operating policies and implement strategies and programs.  In her previous role as Rotary’s chief programs and member services officer, Berg led a team of more than 150 staff members who support membership development, learning and development, and programs. She has worked for Rotary since 2001.  “Michele is an outstanding leader who has been instrumental in ensuring that we provide high-quality services to...

18/01/2016 08:45 PM
Germ reveals ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’ as 2016-17 presidential theme
Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, believed that serving humanity is “the most worthwhile thing a person can do,” RI President-elect John F. Germ said, and that being a part of Rotary is a “great opportunity” to make that happen. Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA. “I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better,...

13/01/2016 07:00 PM
Rotary condemns deadly attack on polio security personnel in Pakistan
Rotary members and our partners in the fight to eradicate polio offer our heartfelt condolences and express a deep sadness in the wake of a horrific bomb attack in Quetta, Pakistan, that took the lives of at least 15 security personnel on 13 January. This tragic attack outside a polio immunization center is a stark reminder of the dangers faced by Rotary, our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and the brave women and men on the front lines of our effort to protect all children from the paralyzing effects of polio. While the bombing will be investigated, one thing is clear:...

13/01/2016 06:30 PM
Rotary gives $35 million boost to polio eradication
Rotary is releasing $35 million in grants to support polio immunization activities and research in nine countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. The funds will build on last year’s historic achievement of stopping the transmission of the wild poliovirus in Nigeria and all of Africa. “We are closer than ever to achieving a polio-free world,” says Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. “To ensure that no child ever again suffers the devastating effects of this disease, we must all ensure that the necessary funds and political will are firmly in place in...

08/01/2016 04:15 PM
Alumna honoree creates opportunities for the poor
For her work to mitigate extreme poverty around the world, Susan Davis has received many honors. But the 2015-16 Rotary Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award has special significance. “It feels like a circle of completion,” says Davis, who was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar in 1980-81, doing graduate studies in international relations at Oxford University in England. “Rotary invested in me when I was young, and now is celebrating the harvest.” A decade ago, Davis co-founded BRAC USA to advance the mission of BRAC -- Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee -- the world's...

01/01/2016 07:30 PM
What it's like to tell your club your secret
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian. In this issue, we kick off 2016 with first-person accounts of Rotary members' most harrowing and heartfelt personal experiences. Pick up the issue to explore more stories. Dushan “Dude” Angius Rotary Club of Los Altos, Calif. On Christmas Eve 1988, I picked up my son Steve at the airport. He always kept himself in good shape, but he was so skinny it was really beyond the pale. I didn’t say anything, but Christmas morning I asked him, “Are you right?” He said, “No, actually, I’m not well at all.” At first, he said he had Kaposi sarcoma, which is a...

01/01/2016 06:45 PM
Sports: A winning goal
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian Anyone who spends a weekend morning or weekday evening as a casual observer of a youth sporting event is likely to come away thinking that too many adults take kids’ sports far too seriously. Whether it’s parents who harbor illusions that their children are destined to make the pros or coaches who entertain delusions of Vince Lombardi grandeur, there always seems to be someone on the sidelines or in the bleachers with no apparent misgivings about barking dubious advice at a player or beefing at a referee. In my experience as a baseball coach in a...

01/01/2016 06:45 PM
What it's like to survive the London Blitz
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian. In this issue, we kick off 2016 with first-person accounts of Rotary members' most harrowing and heartfelt personal experiences. Pick up the issue to explore more stories. Linda Le Vine Rotary Club of Westlake Village, Calif. When I was a child, my mother and I lived in an apartment near the center of London. This was during World War II, and our neighborhood was constantly under assault by the Luftwaffe. Most nights and many days, monstrous bombs, sometimes from hundreds of bombers at a time, attempted to destroy our city and demoralize or murder...

01/01/2016 06:30 PM
Rochester club camps it up for kids with disabilities
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian Peter Sarratori couldn’t sleep. He had treehouses on his mind. After watching a television documentary about Paul Newman that featured the late actor-entrepreneur’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with cancer and other serious illnesses, he spent an entire night in August 2012 thinking about the camp’s 30-foot-high hideaway amid the branches. Sarratori pondered the thought of 2,500 children with special needs served by his Rotary club experiencing the feeling of being “up in the trees.” For two decades, Sarratori has been deeply involved in...

01/01/2016 06:30 PM
Culture: Catch my meaning?
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian I don’t remember exactly when the menu at Starbucks started bothering me, but it must have been almost the first time I stepped into one. It wasn’t the range of products or the drinks themselves – which I enjoyed. It was the names of three coffee sizes: tall, grande, and venti, otherwise known as “small, medium, and large.” For years I engaged in a kind of guerrilla campaign of not using them. “I’ll take a large, please.” “Venti?” “Yes, large, thank you.” This was petty and annoying, I know, but I couldn’t help myself. I wasn’t even sure why it...

01/01/2016 06:15 PM
Member interview: Michael Scannell on wheelchairs and word choice
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian Michael Scannell, a small-business consultant and past president of the Rotary Club of North Reading, Mass., is a lifelong wheelchair user, and he’s tired of hearing well-meaning people describe someone with a disability as “crippled,” “deformed,” or worse. A proud supporter of Rotary’s fight to end polio, Scannell, who has cerebral palsy, works to raise awareness around language that hurts instead of heals. THE ROTARIAN: What was it like growing up using a wheelchair in the ’60s and ’70s? MICHAEL SCANNELL: The word “cripple” came into my world as a...

01/01/2016 06:15 PM
Convention: Seoul natural
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian With more than 25 million people living in and around Seoul, you might think it will be difficult to find green space when you’re visiting for the 2016 Rotary International Convention from 28 May to 1 June. But Koreans are a nature-loving people and they have created numerous escapes from the pavement jungle to hike, bike, swim, and sail. The broad Han River, which runs through Seoul, provides an easily accessible respite. Ride a bike along the wide trails that hug the river, or hop on a ferry or rent a boat for a leisurely cruise. The parks along...

01/01/2016 06:00 PM
Member spotlight: Kenton Lee's health project starts on the right foot
From the January 2016 issue of The Rotarian In 2008, Kenton Lee was a new college graduate volunteering at an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, when he noticed how many children were barefoot or wearing shoes that were too small and had been cut open to let their toes stick out. He remembers thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a shoe that could adjust and expand so that kids always had a pair of shoes that fit?” Six years later, that idea led to “The Shoe That Grows.” Since 2014, charity groups have distributed 8,000 pairs of the sturdy leather and rubber sandals that can be adjusted to...

22/12/2015 05:00 PM
Clubs battle hunger in Missouri with ‘food fight’
Though the media tends to focus on underdeveloped countries when the subject is hunger, food scarcity is also a problem in the United States. Consider parts of Missouri, where one of every six people goes hungry, according to the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri. Rotary member Steve Dulle wanted to change that. For his induction as this year’s governor of District 6080, he eschewed a traditional installation featuring fine food and formal wear. Instead, he asked members throughout the district to collect nonperishable provisions and volunteer at local food banks and pantries on...

15/12/2015 08:15 PM
Bringing social change and mobility through wheelchair project
The common perception of the physically disabled throughout Mexico was that they are incapable of being productive members of society. Unable to work or provide for their families, they face discrimination, must be taken care of, and are kept at home. But an organization called Autonomy, Liberation Through Movement (ALEM) is working to change all that. Founded in 2007, ALEM provides vocational training, encouraging and empowering people with motor disabilities to find meaningful employment. In addition, the group is providing a service that was sorely needed throughout central Mexico:...

08/12/2015 06:00 AM
Indian hospital project is eye-opening
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian When Camilla McGill planned her first visit to India about 10 years ago, she couldn’t have known how quickly – nor how painfully – she’d learn one of the trip’s most important lessons. “I was alone in a hotel, and I had a nightmare,” she says. “I jumped out of bed, caught my foot in the sheet, fell to the floor, and hit my head.” In the morning, she found herself dizzy and disoriented, with a blossoming black eye, but she was determined to keep her first appointment: assisting with a National Immunization Day event with Rotarians at a nearby...

07/12/2015 09:15 PM
New online process makes it easy to follow up on prospective members
Tracking your membership leads is easier than ever. District leaders and club officers can now review inquiries from prospective, referred, and relocating or returning members -- all in one place. Sign in to My Rotary and visit the Club and District Administration pages to discover how easy it is to manage your online membership leads and review reports. You’ll also find guides to help walk you through the new process. To refer a member or begin the process of changing clubs, visit the Member Center. If you’re not a Rotary member but are interested in joining us, you can learn more about club...

03/12/2015 06:00 PM
CNBC ranks Rotary Foundation in top 10 charities worldwide
On Giving Tuesday, CNBC, one of the leading consumer and business news media outlets in the U.S., named its top 10 charities in the world, ranking The Rotary Foundation No. 5. Charities were chosen for changing the world while maintaining excellent financial standards. The article highlighted Rotary’s tremendous work in eradicating polio. Read the article

01/12/2015 05:30 PM
AIDS training brings life to Liberian communities
The impact of an HIV/AIDS vocational training project in Liberia can be assessed by the ultimate measure: life itself. “There are children of HIV mothers living today who would not have seen their first birthdays [without the training],” says Elizabeth Mulbah, a member of the Rotary Club of Sinkor, Montserrado County, Monrovia, who delivered a lecture for health care providers about HIV/AIDS during the vocational training team’s five-day workshop in 2012. The goal of the team -- comprised of individuals from the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project in California, USA; the Rotary Club of Sinkor; St....

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Family: Wedded blitz
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian Let us begin with the argument concerning the gourmet yogurt. The scene is a small suburban kitchen. My wife, Erin, has just returned from the supermarket. We’ve been married less than a year, and Erin is pregnant. While “helping” her unpack the groceries, I happen upon a space-age container with a small pod of fruit that you mix into a larger pod of yogurt. These combined pods cost nearly $2 – for a single serving. “What’s this?” I say, holding up the offending item. “Do we really need to spend this kind of money on one yogurt?” My wife’s posture...

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Culture: Off the cuff
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian When I was in high school, public speaking was not considered glamorous. It was a required course relished only by people who also approached debate as a sport or who were thrilled by the prospect of student government. The rest of us dutifully stood at the front of the class, reading rushed words off index cards, trying to picture our classmates in their underwear, but feeling naked instead. When it was over, we were glad we would never have to do that again. Life, however, has a funny way of making you regret much of what you did – and didn’t do...

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Great expectations
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian The rainy season in Nigeria varies depending on what part of the country you’re in. In the south, the rains begin in March and end by November, with a short respite known as “the August break.” In the north, the rains arrive in June and continue through September. If you’re a pregnant woman living in a rural area – which most of the country is – you hope your due date falls during the dry season. That way, if you need to get to a hospital, the roads won’t be washed out. Nigeria’s maternal and newborn mortality rates are among the world’s highest,...

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Member spotlight: Doreen Hock-DiPolito builds confidence
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian Before she took over a family construction firm in 2001, Doreen Hock-DiPolito was a manager at Honeywell Aerospace, working on navigation systems for fighter jets. Commanding a construction company, she assumed, couldn’t be as difficult as rocket science, but she didn’t consider the rigors of clashing with the old-boys’ network of contractors. (Only 7 percent of American construction firms are owned by women.) Under her leadership, D-Mar General Contracting and Development has overseen the construction of a $7 million school, a 34,000-square-foot...

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Convention: Korean hospitality
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian It would be easy simply to describe Koreans as friendly and gracious, or to highlight their earnest desire to make visitors feel welcome. What’s more difficult is to define the driving force behind their warmth. Jeong is a feeling of devotion, of caring and kinship. It signifies a genuine connection, a fondness for another. It can be a feeling between old friends, or with someone you just met. If you’re confused, don’t worry: You’ll know it when you experience it at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul, 28 May-1 June. Korean jeong will...

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Member interview: Brenda Cressey on how to ask for money
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian Brenda Cressey is a superstar in the fundraising arena. As the endowment/major gifts adviser for The Rotary Foundation in Zone 26, Cressey helped lead an ambitious fundraising campaign in District 5340 (California) called Millions for HOPE (Health, Overcoming Poverty, Education), which had netted a staggering $15 million in pledges at press time. Launched in January, the first phase of the campaign culminated in October in a gala dinner in San Diego with Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran scheduled as the keynote speaker, and will...

01/12/2015 06:00 AM
Convention: Let Korean Rotarians show you their country
From the December 2015 issue of The Rotarian The summer before I got married, my parents suggested taking a bus tour of Korea as a last family hurrah. My sisters and I agreed, reluctantly. The thought of spending seven days on a bus in close quarters with not only our parents but also a bunch of strangers was not our idea of a vacation. But after hundreds of miles, hours of bus karaoke, and many bowls of steaming bibimbap, those strangers had turned into friends, and we walked away with a newfound appreciation for our parents’ homeland. Korea is a small country, but whether you travel by bus...

24/11/2015 03:45 PM
New Rotary flag and banner materials available in Brand Center
Give your Rotary flag or banner a new and professional look with our updated materials, available in the Brand Center. With eight options of colors and backgrounds to choose from, you can find the design that will best strengthen your club or district brand. The Brand Center also offers everything you need to create communications with the Rotary look and tone. You can download Rotary’s logo -- or create your own club or district logo. And you’ll find editable templates for brochures, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, fliers, and more. (Sign-in required.)

23/11/2015 06:15 PM
Cyclists raise over $4 million in Miles to End Polio ride
The fight to eradicate polio got a major financial boost from the annual Miles to End Polio bike ride that took place 21 November in Arizona, USA. Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and a team of eight RI staff members helped raise $4.4 million. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match the funds 2-to-1, bringing the total contribution to PolioPlus to more than $13.5 million. This is the fourth year in a row that Hewko has biked in the 104-mile (167 km) El Tour de Tucson ride, one of the country’s top cycling events. More than 100 Rotary members from Arizona and around the world hit...

17/11/2015 08:45 PM
Foundation moves up on expert list of top nonprofits
The Rotary Foundation has continued its steady growth, moving up one spot to 93rd in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual ranking of the top 400 nonprofit organizations in the United States. The ranking is based on monetary contributions from private sources and reflects the increasing generosity of those who support Rotary’s mission. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Foundation received $259,594,884 in 2014, an 8.3 percent increase from the previous year. The Foundation recently earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most prestigious independent...

17/11/2015 04:15 PM
Chulalongkorn celebrates 10 years of equipping leaders to build peace
Bobby Anderson was helping former freedom fighters in Aceh, Indonesia, adjust to life after combat when he heard about the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Anderson, who became part of the 2010 class of Rotary Peace Fellows, says the program allowed him to reflect upon the work he had already done and gain a larger perspective beyond day to day practicalities.  “To be able to meet other people that had done similar work in other places and to be exposed [during field study] to the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration situation in Nepal was fascinating and...

12/11/2015 06:00 PM
Attend one of five presidential conferences
Find new and innovative ways to improve your community by attending one of five presidential conferences this year, hosted by RI President K.R. Ravindran and Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith. The conferences, to be held around the world between January and March, will highlight Rotary’s areas of focus. Use these links to learn about each of the programs and to register to attend: Disease Prevention and Treatment, 19-20 February in Cannes, France Economic Development, 27 February in Cape Town, South Africa Literacy and WASH in Schools, 11-13 March in Kolkata, India WASH in Schools, 18...

11/11/2015 06:15 PM
Six women recognized at United Nations for leadership, humanitarian service
The six Rotary Global Women of Action for 2015 were recognized during Rotary Day at the United Nations on 7 November in New York City for their dedication and service, which have improved the lives of thousands around the world. “The women we are honoring here today are leaders in Rotary,” said Rotary President K.R. Ravindran. “They are pushing the boundaries of Rotary service, pushing us all to do more, be more, and achieve more.” Lakshmi Puri, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of UN Women, praised Rotary for its acknowledgment of the crucial...

05/11/2015 06:00 PM
Enter the 2015 Interact Video Awards for a chance to earn $500
Show us how your Interact club is having fun while making a difference in your school or community and you could earn $500 for your club’s next project. For our seventh annual Interact Video Awards, we’re asking Interact clubs to create a short video (30 seconds to three minutes) showing one of the following: The Magic of Interact: When your club works together, magic happens. Show us the outstanding projects your members are involved in. Leadership: What does leadership mean to you? Reveal how your club takes leadership action in your school and community. Entries are due by 1 December. All...

04/11/2015 05:45 PM
Get on stage at the Seoul convention with Miles to End Polio
Your district could earn an appearance on the Rotary International Convention stage in Seoul. The five districts that contribute the most district designated funds (DDFs) to support the Miles to End Polio fundraising goal will have a representative from their district recognized in front of thousands of fellow Rotary members. In addition to the top five districts earning recognition at the 2016 convention, President-elect John Germ will visit the district that donates the most DDFs to Miles to End Polio, the Rotary fundraiser linked to the annual El Tour de Tucson bicycle race in Arizona, USA...

02/11/2015 03:30 PM
Watch the 2015 Rotary-UN Day live
You can take part in Rotary Day at the United Nations on 7 November by watching the event live. This annual event at UN Headquarters in New York City offers Rotary members and others a unique opportunity to learn how we work with the United Nations to advance peace and improve the lives of those most in need. This year’s meeting highlights the UN’s 70th anniversary and Rotary’s longstanding relationship with the organization. The program will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and recognize Rotary women of action from around the world. The six Global Women of Action will also be...

26/10/2015 07:45 PM
See schedule highlights for the Seoul convention
Prepare to be entertained, inspired, and energized at the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, 28 May-1 June. View the schedule highlights, including dates and times for opening and closing ceremonies, evening activities, and the House of Friendship.

23/10/2015 09:45 PM
Celebrities, health officials come together to hail progress toward polio’s end
After a historic year during which transmission of the wild poliovirus vanished from Nigeria and the continent of Africa, the crippling disease is closer than ever to being eradicated worldwide, said top health experts at Rotary’s third annual World Polio Day event on 23 October in New York City. More than 150 people attended the special Livestream program co-sponsored by UNICEF, and thousands more around the world watched online. Jeffrey Kluger, Time magazine’s editor at large, moderated the event. Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, lauded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s...

19/10/2015 04:45 PM
Rotary honors six women for leadership and humanitarian service
Rotary President K.R. Ravindran has named six Rotary Global Women of Action for 2015. The honorees were chosen for their dedication and service, which has improved the lives of thousands around the world. “Every day at Rotary I see firsthand how our members work to change lives and make a significant impact,” said Ravindran. “Rotary’s Global Women of Action embody Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self.” The women will be honored at Rotary Day at the United Nations in New York City on 7 November. They will address attendees and lead discussions on various topics related to their work. The six...

19/10/2015 03:45 PM
Rotary's representative network puts books into the hands of children in Ecuador
Schoolchildren in Ecuador are improving their reading, and their teachers are receiving additional professional development through a collaboration between Rotary and the Organization of American States (OAS). The effort began three years ago when Richard Carson, RI representative to the OAS, and other Rotary members met with staff at the agency to discuss a set of literacy requirements for schools. They briefed the ministers of education of Central and South American countries on an approach to improve reading skills. Ecuador adopted the plan. “We flew to Ecuador and met with the vice...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Culture: Is self-publishing wishful inking?
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian Several years ago, I got an idea for a book, one so strange that I naturally became obsessed with it. The manuscript would consist of 30 one-page essays on the craft of writing, and 30 one-page stories. I had a title all picked out: This Won’t Take But a Minute, Honey. I was terribly excited about Minute, Honey, which I fancied as a kind of Strunk and White for the post-modern set. And thus I set about pitching it to editors at various New York publishing houses. To call their reaction negative would be overstating the case. They were simply...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Member spotlight: A shed of one's own
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian Left with a deep emotional void after the loss of his wife four years ago, Ron Bowden discovered the perfect respite, a place filled with the whirring of buzz saws, the clanking of wrenches, and the listening ears of a band of brothers: his local men’s shed. An Australian phenomenon, the sheds are communal buildings equipped for light carpentry and other woodworking, bicycle repairs, or leatherwork, where men (women are welcome too) gather to tinker and socialize. Bowden, now a member of the Rotary Club of Toowoomba East, Australia, initially...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Convention: Seoul’s artistic side
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian The neighborhoods of Seoul pulse with distinct personalities. Myeong-dong is for shopping. Hongdae is for partying. Gangnam is for people watching. And the charming neighborhood of Insa-dong will be a great place to delight over handmade crafts and antiques while you’re in Seoul for the 2016 Rotary International Convention from 28 May to 1 June. Insa-dong’s reputation as a tourist destination began after the Korean War, but its roots as an artist’s haven go back more than 500 years, when it was home to a government painting school. The neighborhood...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Member interview: Colombian club's support for hospital spans decades
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian The Rotary Club of Cartagena, Colombia, has worked to bring health care to poor children for almost seven decades. Most recently, with support from a Rotary Foundation Global Grant and Rotarians around the world, the club has obtained more than $200,000 to provide pediatric cardiac care. Past club president German Spicker rounded up funds from Switzerland to Japan to help make it all happen. THE ROTARIAN: Tell us about your city. SPICKER: Cartagena is a city of contrasts. You find beautiful places that look like Miami Beach. But much of our...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
California’s drought may not be your drought, but it will be soon enough
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian In June, in the middle of the worst drought in California’s settled history, San Francisco did something bold that got almost no attention. The city passed an ordinance requiring all new developments of a certain size – commercial or residential – to install water recycling systems right on-site. Any new development of 250,000 square feet or larger will have to collect rainwater and gray water, clean it, and reuse it in the building or development for toilets, washing machines, and landscaping irrigation. New buildings with the recycling systems...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Polio: The Rotarian Conversation with Tunji Funsho
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian In the summer of 2014, Tunji Funsho met a little girl with polio. In his more than 40 years as a physician, he had never had a patient who had just been diagnosed with the virus. The girl turned out to be one of Nigeria’s last children to contract the disease, and the encounter made a powerful impression on Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee. Nigeria marked one year without a case of wild poliovirus in July 2015. The next month, Africa as a whole followed suit. This remarkable achievement means that soon there may be only two...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Saying thanks
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian When I was 20 years old, I flew to Israel for a semester abroad. The moment we landed, all the passengers onboard burst into applause. I’d never seen such a thing. The man next to me, an elderly Hasid, sensed my bewilderment. “This is to say thanks,” he murmured. “For what?” “For the miracle of safe passage to the promised land.” He looked at me for a long moment. “It is a miracle, don’t you think?” I don’t remember much about that semester. But this exchange has haunted me for nearly three decades. I’m still taken aback by the towering ignorance...

15/10/2015 05:00 AM
Clubs: Mentor new members
From the November 2015 issue of The Rotarian When Anna Harry relocated to Evergreen, Colo., she knew no one. But her father, George Harry, a member of the Rotary Club of Cary-Page, N.C., had a plan. While he was in town to help her move, he took her along to a make-up meeting at the Rotary Club of Evergreen. Three weeks later, she was a member. But after her father had gone back home to North Carolina, Harry was nervous about attending a meeting on her own. Would people talk to her? Would she be able to make friends and get involved? What she didn’t know was that the Evergreen club has had an...

14/10/2015 04:00 PM
Weakness in global economy lowers Rotary’s investment returns
At the October meeting of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, the Investment Committee advised of weaker-than-expected returns on Rotary’s investments, primarily due to negative returns in commodities and emerging-market assets. During fiscal year 2015, which ended 30 June, the Annual Fund, excluding the operating reserve, recorded a loss of 0.2 percent; the RI General Fund was down 2.8 percent. Both the PolioPlus Fund and the Endowment Fund were up, but had minimal gains of 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. For the most recent quarter, Rotary anticipates negative returns for the...

12/10/2015 02:30 PM
Help propel Miles to End Polio across finish line with district funds
Your district could earn a visit from Rotary International President-elect John Germ by contributing district designated funds (DDFs) to support the Miles to End Polio fundraising goal. On 21 November, Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and eight Rotary staff members will ride in El Tour de Tucson, an annual bicycle race in Arizona, USA, to raise funds for PolioPlus. The team’s goal is $3.4 million, which will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for a total of more than $10 million. Last year’s team raised over $9 million, and DDF contributions from districts were a big...

05/10/2015 06:00 PM
Rotary and ShelterBox support Syrian refugees
In Syria, where a civil war has been raging since 2011, more than 6,000 people flee the country every day. As of September, more than 4.1 million people have become refugees, and 7.6 million more have been internally displaced. “The plight of Syria’s refugees is a litmus test for the world's compassion,” says Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko. “Rotary members worldwide are profoundly disheartened by the refugee crisis now unfolding in Syria and other parts of the world,” which the United Nations has described as the worst in decades. “Rotary is following the situation closely...

05/10/2015 04:45 PM
Ravindran declares Riseley president-nominee
RI President K.R. Ravindran officially declared Ian H.S. Riseley Rotary International’s president-nominee on 1 October. The nominating Committee for President of RI selected Riseley, of the Rotary club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, in August. He will be formally elected at the 2016 RI Convention in Seoul, Korea, and will become president on 1 July 2017.  Read more about Riseley

29/09/2015 09:00 PM
Under One Sky lights the way to a better world
Rotary and ONE, an international advocacy organization, joined other event partners in downtown Chicago on 24 September to demonstrate a commitment to ending extreme poverty and inequality and to promoting action on climate change on the eve of the United Nations launch of its Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 ambitious goals constitute a road map for finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, and dovetail with Rotary members’ work to create positive change in their communities and around the world. As dusk fell over Chicago, participants in the Under One Sky event held up...

25/09/2015 05:30 PM
Nigeria declared polio-free, removed from endemic list
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on 25 September that Nigeria is now polio-free and has been officially removed from the list of countries where polio is endemic. It’s been 14 months since any cases of polio caused by the wild virus have been detected there. With Nigeria’s historic achievement, polio remains endemic in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. That means transmission of the virus has never been stopped there. Nigeria was the last country in Africa where polio was endemic. The continent celebrated its own first full year without the disease on 11 August. Once...

23/09/2015 08:00 PM
Save the date: 23 October, Rotary’s World Polio Day event
Celebrate our remarkable progress toward a polio-free world with the Rotary World Polio Day event, streamed live from New York City on 23 October. Co-hosted by UNICEF, the event will highlight recent milestones: In July, Nigeria marked one year without a case of polio caused by the wild poliovirus, and in August, the entire African continent celebrated one year without a case. Jeffrey Kluger, health and science editor at Time magazine, will serve as moderator, joining other health experts, including UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and polio ambassadors. The event, which drew 23,000...

21/09/2015 04:30 PM
What peace means to me
People and nations worldwide will observe the International Day of Peace on 21 September, the date designated by the United Nations in 2001 “to be observed as a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence.” That commitment to peace is directly linked to goals pursued by Rotary members since The Rotary Foundation’s mission to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace was proclaimed in 1917. To fulfill that mission, Rotary conducts global forums, hosts international peace symposiums, continues its decades-long collaboration with the UN, and promotes initiatives such as the Rotarian Action...

17/09/2015 05:00 PM
Member interview: Jim and Roberta Graham on heroism in Afghanistan
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian Eleven years ago, Jim and Roberta Graham developed a personal connection to Afghanistan after their son Rick, who was stationed there with the Indiana National Guard, learned of an infant in a refugee camp who needed heart surgery. In a story that tugged at the heartstrings of Hoosiers and was recounted in The Rotarian (January 2011), the Grahams worked with Rotary clubs in District 6560 (Indiana) and others to bring the infant, Qudrat, to Indianapolis for surgery. Tragically, Qudrat died shortly after returning to Afghanistan, but in his memory,...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Legacy of PolioPlus lives on in India
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian India reported its last case of polio in 2011. Since then, the toddler behind that statistic has grown into a child who laughs, plays, and runs, albeit with a limp. Past RI President Rajendra K. Saboo is gratified that no other children will be afflicted with the disease in his native country. “But you still see a few, above ages 12 and 13, and one starts feeling, ‘We came too late for them,’” he says. This inspires everyone to remain committed to keeping the poliovirus at bay, Saboo notes, especially with the risk of the disease’s return just a...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Health: Considerations for travel
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian In 1938, British travel writer Freya Stark observed: “To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure.” In many ways, travel is even more pleasant today than when Stark trekked across the Middle East almost a century ago. And when we plan a trip, we often focus solely on the most enchanting aspects – where we’ll go, what we’ll see. The person planning a safari to Africa or an elephant ride in Asia might stop to consider health precautions only a few weeks before departure,...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Sports: Family matters in baseball
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian In 30 years of covering baseball, I’ve seen my share of runs, hits, and errors. Back in 1985, players went on strike in hopes of boosting their pay past a minimum of $40,000. Fans watched highlights on a six-year-old cable network called ESPN. The Red Sox and Cubs always lost. Sportswriters roamed locker rooms at will, interviewing players and managers, sometimes making friends with them. Then salaries boomed, on their way to today’s big-league average of $4 million a year. Iron-pumping, drug-abusing players ballooned until they looked like parade...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Polio eradication campaign soars from new heights
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian Ken Hutt is running toward the edge of a cliff, pounding across the snow in thin freezing air, a full pack of gear strapped to his back. As if attached to an invisible string, he rises a few feet off the ground and drops back down. A few more strides and he is aloft again. Then he flies off the face of the world’s sixth-highest mountain. Hutt, a member of the Rotary Club of Berry, Australia, has just paraglided off Cho Oyu, 12 miles west of Mount Everest. The flight was both the fulfillment of his longtime dream to climb an “eight-thousander” – what...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Convention: Korean spas
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian When you travel to Seoul for the 2016 Rotary International Convention, 28 May to 1 June, few experiences will bring you closer to the local culture than a visit to a Korean spa, called a jjimjilbang. But don’t expect plush bathrobes and dim rooms filled with candles. This is an entirely different kind of relaxation. You will be required to undress completely and shower before you enter the gender-segregated baths, where you’ll find a number of pools for taking calming dips. You can get a massage, which here means an intense scrubbing over every inch...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Member spotlight: Meet the newlyweds
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian Kristine Howell admits there was wine involved the night she decided to hold her wedding at the annual Spring Zing fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Mt. Clemens. But in vino veritas – so she must have meant it when she threw her hands up in frustration during a meeting to pick the fundraiser’s theme and said, “You guys could always throw me a wedding!” “I was kidding, but they ran with it,” laughs Kristine, who took office as president of the Mt. Clemens club in July. “They knew we’d been trying to get married, so they were thrilled.” Personal...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Convention: Seoul searching
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian As the world hurtles down the path of modernization, many cultures resist the speed of change. Korea embraces it, yet retains a balance many of us worry we’re losing. In Seoul, business-suited fathers patiently escort their children to school. Multigenerational families pause by ponds and brilliant bursts of wild azalea. Each day before dawn, Buddhist monks throughout the land sound fish- and cloud-shaped drums to wake all creatures, from sea to sky. It is a ritual thousands of years old, and in Korea, this rhythm of tradition infuses everything....

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
Why mentors matter
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian We Americans like to think of ourselves as “rugged individualists” – in the image of the lone cowboy riding toward the setting sun, opening the frontier. But at least as accurate a symbol of our national story is the wagon train, with its mutual aid among a community of pioneers. Throughout our history, a pendulum has slowly swung between the poles of individualism and community, both in our public philosophy and in our daily lives. In the past half century we have witnessed, for better or worse, a giant swing toward the individualist pole in our...

17/09/2015 05:00 AM
The Rotarian Conversation with Isabeli Fontana
From the October 2015 issue of The Rotarian From the runways of Paris to the catwalks of Milan, from the pages of Sports Illustrated to the cover of Vogue, Brazil’s Isabeli Fontana is one of the most recognizable figures in the world of high fashion. Two years ago, the supermodel became a super role model for the eradication of polio when she accepted Rotary’s invitation to become a polio ambassador. Since then, two other Brazilian celebrities – soccer player Alexandre Pato and singer Ivete Sangalo – have joined Rotary’s roster of ambassadors. Fontana, a mother of two, began to take a special...

14/09/2015 05:00 AM
Heroin’s comeback
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian One Friday evening four years ago, Elizabeth Solomonson was at home. Her husband, John, was away on a fishing trip. An ice storm had swept through her small Michigan, USA, town, and the phones and power were out. It was about 6 p.m., and she wasn’t expecting a knock on the door. She opened up to find a police officer, who asked if she had a daughter named Raven. “I was always worried I’d get that knock on my door,” Solomonson says. “But you’re never prepared for it. Raven battled heroin for three years until I lost her.” Raven’s overdose in 2011,...

08/09/2015 02:45 PM
Road trip revs up interest in Rotary
Members of the news media had gathered, along with the mayor of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and a group of Rotary members, on the bank of the murky Detroit River. It was early August and the members were about to amaze the reporters on hand. Jason Browne and Adam Barth, members of Rollin’ With Rotary, a four-person team of Rotary members who visited a dozen cities this summer, dipped a bucket into the polluted water. The reporters watched as they poured the brownish water into a filter, part of a $1,000 survival kit that Rotary and its project partner ShelterBox distribute to disaster victims...

04/09/2015 04:15 PM
The Rotary Foundation earns eighth straight 4-star rating
The Rotary Foundation earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most prestigious independent evaluator of nonprofits in the United States. This year’s top distinction is the Foundation’s eighth in a row, which places the Foundation in the top 2 percent of U.S.-based charities. In a letter to the Foundation, Charity Navigator President and CEO Michael Thatcher wrote, “Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that your organization adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its...

01/09/2015 04:30 PM
Call for 2016 convention breakout proposals
Do you have an idea or project that you want to share with the Rotary world? Consider leading a breakout session at the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul. Submit your proposal by 15 October to share your successes with projects, efforts to strengthen membership, partnerships, leadership development, and more. The proposal form is available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin.

01/09/2015 03:30 PM
Making a difference through Rotary Youth Exchange
When Gabriela Vessani was 12 years old, her mother took her to stay with friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, for the summer. “I loved it, so when I heard about Rotary Youth Exchange, I knew that was something I wanted to do,” says Vessani, who is an Interactor from São Paulo. This year, Vessani participated in the program. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada, she stayed with four families, one of which included adopted children from different parts of the world.    “They had seven children, and it was crazy for me. But I loved it,” she says. “It was such a unique...

26/08/2015 05:00 PM
Bringing education to rural Mexican area, one school at a time
When Mariana Day moved in 1989 to the small beach town of Chacala, in Nayarit, Mexico, she noticed that the surrounding rural areas struggled to maintain schools. And most children weren’t able to go beyond an eighth-grade education. Day, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Bahía de Jaltemba-La Peñita, in Nayarit, had started a local scholarship program before she joined Rotary. Called Changing Lives, the program provided students with high school tuition, uniforms, school supplies, and transportation. In addition, Rotary clubs from the United States and Mexico have been investing in the...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Member interview: Jay Cook helps young people through Rotary Youth Exchange
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian A Rotarian for nearly three decades, Jay Cook has helped hundreds of young people broaden their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. Recently, while working for the nonprofit Water Missions International, he’s turned his attention to bringing safe water and sanitation solutions to developing countries and disaster-stricken areas. Cook is a member of the Rotary Club of Charleston Breakfast and the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group. THE ROTARIAN: How did you become involved with Rotary Youth Exchange? COOK: My club was hosting a young...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Technology: To please in a pod(cast)
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian When I was a college student in Wisconsin in the 1970s, those of us who worked at the 10-watt radio station hoped our signal would reach not only the 1,500 students on the Beloit College campus and the 35,000 residents of the town of Beloit but also the people in the cars and trucks passing by on the interstate 3 miles to the east – and possibly, late at night, the 150,000 who lived in the bustling metropolis of Rockford, Ill., 20 miles to the south. Some of us hoped to get jobs in radio after we graduated, and there was even talk about starting...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Polio: The Rotarian Conversation with Aseefa Bhutto Zardari
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian Before her family was forced into exile, before her mother was assassinated, before her father became president, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari was known for something simpler, but in some ways equally powerful: In 1994, she became the first child in Pakistan to receive the oral polio vaccine, as part of the country’s first National Immunization Day. Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister, gave the drops to her daughter herself, a compelling endorsement of the nascent campaign. “I was a baby at the time, so I don’t remember it,” says Bhutto Zardari, now 22. “...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Pakistan's progress: Snapshots from the polio campaign
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian Nearly 90 percent of the world’s polio cases last year occurred in Pakistan. But the country is making dramatic progress in its quest to eradicate the disease: Cases are down by almost 70 percent to date compared with 2014, owing partly to military interventions that year in Taliban-controlled North Waziristan, which have allowed vaccinators to reach hundreds of thousands of children who were previously inaccessible. Improved government leadership, the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine in high-risk districts, and vaccinations at transit...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Meet our polio partners
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian Eradicating polio is a complex job. Since 1988, we’ve collaborated with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF to tackle the disease through our Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Here’s how our roles break down. The Strategist: WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates the management and administration of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and provides technical and operational support to ministries of health in countries around the world. WHO is responsible for monitoring...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Member spotlight: Peak performer scales Kilimanjaro
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian When Carole Kimutai was growing up in Nairobi, family members were always coming for long stays – a grandparent one month, a cousin the next. "Anyone who needed school fees would come to Nairobi, and my parents would assist," she says. "Or if my grandmother was sick, she would come to live with us until she was better. It was natural to help others." Years later, Kimutai was invited to a meeting of the Rotary Club of Nairobi-East, where she instantly felt at home. "I grew up seeing my parents help relatives, and now I am seeing people help quote-...

20/08/2015 05:00 AM
Convention: Hear the music
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian Chances are, you’ve heard of Psy and his signature song, “Gangnam Style.” He’s the Korean pop star with dark sunglasses and a distinctive galloping horse dance who was everywhere a few years ago, including on a This Close ad for End Polio Now. But what you might not know is that Psy is merely the tip of the colossal iceberg known as K-pop, short for Korean pop. If you plan to attend the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul from 28 May to 1 June, you won’t have to search for K-pop – you’ll hear it in the streets, in cafes, in taxis, and on...

17/08/2015 03:30 PM
Why did you join Rotary?
Jennifer Jacobson, a police constable in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada, took part in a Rotary-sponsored Group Study Exchange (GSE) to Japan in 2009 after reading a post by a colleague and former participant.  “It was a life-changing experience, absolutely fantastic,” says Jacobson, who joined a physical therapist, a music therapist, and a retail manager on the trip. “Because they had limited translators, we went everywhere together and learned about each other’s professions. Our Japanese hosts made sure we experienced everything. “What really hooked me on Rotary, though, was the experience I...

14/08/2015 08:30 PM
Member interview: How peace makes a Rotarian
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian Patricia Shafer founded the nonprofit Mothering Across Continents, based in Charlotte, N.C., after a trip to Uganda with Save the Children. “I wrote an opinion piece in the Charlotte Observer and pointed out that if we took all the Ugandan children who were orphaned by AIDS and put them in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, we could fill it twice,” she says. “People came out of the woodwork and proposed that I do something to help the children of the world.” Later, a Rotary Peace Fellowship inspired her to create a program that would deliver peace-...

14/08/2015 07:15 PM
Culture: The fun in dysfunction
From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian Last month, as virtually anyone with a television knows, Jon Stewart retired after 16 years as host of “The Daily Show.” Stewart was technically a comedian. But he was also, in the judgment of the New York Times and about half the country, “the most trusted man in America.” I spent many years watching Stewart and his evil twin Stephen Colbert, who played a conservative pundit so convincingly that it was hard to believe he wouldn’t have had a shot at the GOP presidential nomination. Like many Americans distressed by the corruption of our political...

11/08/2015 05:00 PM
Africa reaches important polio milestone
Today marks a significant milestone for Africa in its effort to eradicate polio from the continent. A full year has passed since Africa’s last reported case caused by the wild poliovirus. Somalia was the last country to identify a new case, which occurred on 11 August 2014. While Africa has achieved an important public health milestone, the job is not yet finished. To end polio forever, all countries – both endemic and non-endemic – must strengthen routine immunization, address gaps in disease surveillance and do more to reach children who are still being missed by vaccinators. “We cannot...

03/08/2015 10:00 PM
Ian Riseley is selected as 2017-18 Rotary president
Ian H.S. Riseley, of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International in 2017-18. He will become the president-nominee on 1 October if no other candidates challenge him. Riseley says that meaningful partnerships with corporations and other organizations are crucial to Rotary’s future. “We have the programs and personnel and others have available resources,” says Riseley. “Doing good in the world is everyone’s goal. We must learn from the experience of the polio eradication program to maximize our public...

01/08/2015 04:00 PM
The lost girls of South Sudan
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian The girls were alone. Their families were dead, or gone, or lost in the broken landscape of southern Sudan. They had nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to. Some lived in the market, others in the cemetery. When Cathy Groenendijk saw them, she couldn’t help herself. She offered them tea, then some food, then a place to sleep in her guesthouse. “In the morning, we would sit together and talk about what had happened the night before,” Groenendijk remembers. “And what I heard I could not believe. I could not believe it.” One girl’s father had died, and...

31/07/2015 03:30 PM
A dozen ways to make a difference
August is Membership and New Club Development Month, which means it's time to celebrate your Rotary club, your members, and the good you do in your community and around the world. Make the most of your membership. Here's how. Learn more about Rotary Global Rewards, a new member benefit program that offers discounts on products and services – travel, hotels, car rentals, dining, and entertainment. Visit the Member Center. Identify a need in your community and work with your club to design a hands-on project that addresses it. Learn how to apply for a grant to implement a project. Know a young...

30/07/2015 06:45 PM
New delegation tool launches
As part of several recent updates to My Rotary, we've launched Delegation, a new tool that will help you carry out your responsibilities more efficiently. If you have a club, district, or regional role, you can now delegate your role-based access in Rotary.org with fellow Rotary members so that you can share tasks and responsibilities to better serve your club. See an example of the Delegation landing page. Go to My Rotary to learn how it works. If you have questions, contact us at rotarysupportcenter@rotary.org.

24/07/2015 05:30 PM
Nigeria sees no wild polio cases for one year
Today marks one year since Nigeria last reported a polio case caused by wild poliovirus, putting the country on the brink of eradicating the paralyzing disease. The last case was reported on 24 July 2014 in the northern state of Kano. If no cases are reported in the coming weeks, the World Health Organization is expected to remove Nigeria from the list of countries where polio is endemic, leaving just two: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nigeria is the last polio-endemic country in Africa. The continent is poised to reach its own first full year without any illness from the virus on 11 August. “...

22/07/2015 07:45 PM
Out of tragedy, some people create something good
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian What's the worst that could happen? For most of us, that's a simple question. We might be late for a train. We might miss out on a promotion, or even lose a job. But for some, the worst is unimaginably worse. An unfortunate few endure what Ani Kalayjian calls "true trauma." War. Fire. Flood. A daughter disappears. A son contracts Ebola. When faced with such disasters, "people feel anger, guilt, sadness, frustration – feelings that can poison the body and spirit," says Kalayjian, a trauma specialist at Columbia University. "Trauma survivors may think...

22/07/2015 07:30 PM
San Diego students tackle vaccine controversy
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian A group of teenage journalism students in suburban San Diego were in the early stages of a new project – an educational film funded by a Rotary grant – when their teacher's phone rang. A prominent blogger had caught wind of what they were doing from a local news story, and wasn't pleased. The fledgling film came under fire almost overnight as ripples of protest spread through the blogosphere. With calls pouring in before shooting had even begun, the advisers considered halting the project, questioning whether it would be worth the controversy...

22/07/2015 07:30 PM
What happens when what you know turns out to be wrong?
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian One evening, sitting in the back seat of the car, our two girls, ages six and eight, were discussing the show we were on our way to attend. Called The Illusionists, it featured seven of the world's top magicians. The debate consisted of whether there would be real magic involved, or just tricks. "When they cut the man in half," our younger daughter asked, "how do they keep the blood in?" She was convinced there was true magic. Her older sister, a little wiser, wasn't buying it. "Easy," she said. "R-o-b-o-t." She rolled her eyes at how obvious this...

22/07/2015 07:15 PM
A conversation with Caryl Stern
From the August 2015 issue of The Rotarian The six-day-old baby shuddered with convulsions. Her mother, Memunatu, had given birth at home and cut her daughter's umbilical cord with what she could find – a sharp piece of metal. When the newborn contracted tetanus, Memunatu walked miles to reach a clinic. That's where Caryl Stern encountered the pair. Stern was on a field visit with UNICEF in Sierra Leone and stayed with Memunatu, trying to comfort her, until the child died. The image of the baby in pain, hypersensitive to light and sound, stayed with Stern as she got off the plane in New York...

21/07/2015 07:15 PM
Committee members named to nominate 2017-18 RI president
The following Rotarians will serve on the 2015-16 Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International in 2017-18. The committee is scheduled to meet on 3 August. Zone 1 Masahiro Kuroda, Rotary Club of Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan Zone 3Yoshimasa Watanabe, Rotary Club of Kojima, Okayama, Japan Zone 5P.C. Thomas, Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, Tamil Nadu, India Zone 7Stuart B. Heal, Rotary Club of Cromwell, New Zealand Zone 9Hee-Byung Chae, Rotary Club of Seoul West, Seoul, Korea Zone 11Serge Gouteyron, Rotary Club of Valenciennes-Denain aerodrome, Nord, France Zone 13Paul Knyff, Rotary...

17/07/2015 02:15 PM
Australian students take opportunity by the horns
The rules of the Shaftesbury Rodeo Academy are simple: no school, no rodeo. It’s a message that teenagers who attend school at Bisley Farm, most of whom have never attended any school regularly, take seriously. Because come Friday night, these aspiring rodeo heroes want to join their friends to ride bulls for a heart-stopping eight seconds, if they last that long. The school in rural Queensland, Australia, also teaches the boys, who are of the Wakka Wakka Aboriginal people, basic academics and farming skills, including how to care for crops and livestock. It’s a fairly common form of...

09/07/2015 05:45 PM
Illiteracy traps adults, and their families, in poverty
Around the world, millions of adults are unable to read or write, and therefore struggle to earn a living for themselves and their families. Even in the United States, with its considerable resources, there are 36 million adults who can’t read better than the average third-grader, according to the international nonprofit ProLiteracy. In Detroit, Michigan, a widely cited 2003 survey conducted by the National Institute for Literacy found that almost half of residents over age 16 were functionally illiterate -- unable to use reading, speaking, writing, and computer skills in everyday life....

07/07/2015 04:30 PM
Accolades for End Polio Now campaign and The Rotarian magazine
Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign was recently recognized for improving society through public relations by the Publicity Club of Chicago, the largest independent PR membership organization in the United States. End Polio Now won the 2015 Edwin J. Shaughnessy Quality of Life Award and the Golden Trumpet Award in the category of international public relations. Separately, The Rotarian Magazine collected five Excel Awards from Association Media and Publishing, the leading group of association publishers and communications professionals in the U.S. An article by basketball great and activist...

01/07/2015 09:30 PM
Meet Rotary’s new president
This excerpt from the July issue of The Rotarian magazine profiles the 2015-16 RI president. Before he gives a speech, K.R. Ravindran doesn’t like flowery, adulatory introductions. They make him uncomfortable. The 2015-16 Rotary president would rather keep a low profile and share the credit. If it were up to him, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this article. Negotiating Days of Tranquility during the Sri Lankan civil war so that health workers could administer drops of polio vaccine? Although it was on his desk that the agreement landed, he says, a lot of people worked to make that...

01/07/2015 07:00 PM
Start saving with Rotary Global Rewards
Rotary members can enjoy discounts on travel, hotels, dining, entertainment, and more through Rotary Global Rewards, a new member benefit program that begins 1 July. Anyone can view the offers, but only Rotary members who sign in to their My Rotary accounts can redeem the discounts. Check back often as more products and services from companies around the world will be added throughout the year. Explore offers in Rotary Global Rewards Watch RI President K.R. Ravindran introduce the new program Find answers to frequently asked questions 

01/07/2015 04:15 PM
Apply to serve on an RI committee
If you would you like to contribute to Rotary by serving on a committee, this is your opportunity. The nine committees listed below are searching for qualified candidates for openings in 2016-17. Each of these committee works with Rotary leaders to increase efficiency and promote the goals and priorities of our strategic plan. To be considered for a committee appointment, go to www.tinyurl.com/ri-committee-application for an application form. The application deadline is 20 August. Learn more about the committees and the application process. Get answers to frequently asked questions....

22/06/2015 08:30 PM
Early cancer detection is saving lives in Sri Lanka
More than 20,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year in Sri Lanka, and many of them prove fatal. The Rotary Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka, set out 10 years ago to save some of those lives by establishing the Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Centre.  In partnership with the National Cancer Control Programme and the Ministry of Health, the center in Colombo has screened more than 35,000 patients, mostly low-income, and detected more than 7,500 cases of abnormalities that required further investigation. The Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA, donated a mammography and ultrasound...

17/06/2015 03:30 PM
Visit our new Member Center
As a member of Rotary, you’re part of a global network of community volunteers who are making a positive difference. Visit the new Member Center to access the many benefits and resources available to you, including: Rotary Global Rewards, our brand-new member benefits program featuring discounts on travel, hotels, dining, and entertainment Rotary publications and products, licensed vendors, mobile apps, and online tools Awards and donor recognition opportunities Rotary International Convention, our biggest event of the year The Rotarian, the official magazine of Rotary Share the benefits of...

16/06/2015 08:15 PM
Rotary releases $40.3 million for polio immunization activities
Rotary is releasing $40.3 million in grants to support polio immunization activities in 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, three countries where the disease has never been stopped. The funds will help build on gains Rotary and its partners have been making in the fight to eradicate polio. Nigeria hasn’t seen a polio case since 24 July 2014 and the World Health Organization could remove it from the list of polio-endemic countries as soon as September if no cases are reported. Nigeria would have to go another two years without a case to be certified polio-free. But the...

15/06/2015 07:15 PM
Knocking down language barriers
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russian was the predominant second language offered in Polish schools, leaving tens of thousands of Polish emigrants without the English skills they needed.   That has changed over the last 25 years. English proficiency drastically improved after the government reformed its education system in 1991. The country overhauled its teaching curriculum and materials and introduced English as the primary foreign language. As of 2013, Poland ranks 8th in the world in English proficiency. However, one segment of the population isn’t reaping...

09/06/2015 08:15 PM
Member benefits program unveiled as convention draws to a close
RI President-elect K.R. Ravindran introduced a member benefits program at the 9 June closing session of the 2015 Rotary International Convention, saying that many more hands are needed to continue Rotary’s work around the world. The program, Rotary Global Rewards, aims to boost membership and enhance member satisfaction. It will debut on 1 July. “This innovative new program will allow Rotary members to connect with hundreds of businesses and service providers from around the world -- and that number is growing,” said Ravindran. “These establishments will offer Rotarians discounts and...

09/06/2015 03:30 PM
General secretary and treasurer reports now available
The reports given to the 2015 Rotary International Convention in São Paulo by General Secretary John Hewko and Rotary International Treasurer Holger Knaack are now available. Hewko addressed the convention during today's business session, which also included the election of President-nominee John Germ. Download the general secretary's reportDownload the treasurer's reportFind more convention resources and news

08/06/2015 09:15 PM
Africa on brink of polio eradication
Nigeria and the whole continent of Africa is on the cusp of being polio free, Dr. Hamid Jafari told audience members at the Rotary Convention on 8 June in São Paulo, Brazil. Between 2013 and 2014, the reported cases of polio dropped from 53 to just six in Nigeria. Even more encouraging, said Jafari, is that the last case of polio in Nigeria was reported in July of last year and the last case in all of Africa was reported in Somalia in August. “With a year of no polio cases in Nigeria tantalizingly close, and no cases in Somalia since August, the tireless work of so many people across the...

08/06/2015 07:00 PM
Alumni Award Winner Helps Others Overcome Mental Illness, Speaks at Rotary Convention
Dr. Geetha Jayaram has dedicated her life to helping people in her native India and the United States overcome the torment of severe depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and other mental illnesses. Jayaram is a psychiatrist and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Her work expanding access to mental health services is much needed. Depression affects at least 350 million people and is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. "In India, there is no mental...

07/06/2015 08:00 PM
Water summit urges Rotary members to invest in youth
Almost 200 million days of school attendance are lost every year because of the lack of proper sanitation. Many  diarrhea cases in children result from transmission of disease in schools rather than at home. “A school is a place where children should feel safe, not a place where they are susceptible to infection,” says Lizette Burgers, senior adviser of UNICEF’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools program. But the message at the World Water Summit on 4 June in São Paulo was positive: Rotary members and their clubs can make schools healthier places through programs that provide...

07/06/2015 06:00 PM
2015 Rotary Convention photo gallery
See our photo gallery from São Paulo. 

06/06/2015 09:00 PM
President Huang kicks off São Paulo convention
RI President Gary C.K. Huang called the 106th Rotary International Convention to order on 6 June at Anhembi Parque in São Paulo, Brazil. More than 14,000 attendees from all over the world have assembled for the four-day festival. Huang called the convention a "festival of ideas" and the highlight of his year as president. "It provides the stage to showcase our achievements and inspire each other with stories and new ideas," he said. Huang began his keynote speech by celebrating the year's gains in membership, a top priority of his presidency. "Rotary clubs around the globe have engaged in...

05/06/2015 05:45 PM
Peace Symposium speaker wants world to spend more on education, less on war
When former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias was eight years old, his country abolished its military and turned its focus instead to human rights and peace. Now, the Nobel Peace laureate believes the world can gain just as much by following his country’s example. Speaking at the Rotary Peace Symposium on 4 June in São Paulo, Brazil, Arias recounted how his country traded in its tanks and heavy artillery to invest instead in economic reform and social justice. “My country promised me, and all its children, that it would invest not in the weapons of our past, but in the tools of our future;...

04/06/2015 06:45 PM
Rotaract clubs receive awards for their innovative initiatives
A project launched by members of Rotaract in Uttar Pradesh, India, is liberating women who emptied dry toilets with their hands by teaching them skills that enable them to earn a living for their families. Although the practice of manual scavenging was banned in India in 1993, it persists in many parts of the country. The women who engage in it, many of them the sole wage earners for their families, make a meager income for their efforts. Through Project Azmat, members of the Rotaract Club of SRCC Panchshila Park, partnered with the international nonprofit Enactus to organize these women into...

03/06/2015 09:00 PM
Renowned experts set to headline São Paulo convention
South America's largest city, São Paulo, Brazil, is playing host to Rotary's largest event of the year, the annual convention. More than 14,000 Rotary members from over 100 countries have come together to celebrate service, exchange ideas, and relax among friends at unforgettable concerts and social events. Attendees are hearing from renowned experts in the areas of peace, education, economic development, and health. Rotary Peace Symposium At the fourth Rotary Peace Symposium, Partnering for Peace: Today's Challenges -- Tomorrow's Successes, 4-5 June, distinguished speakers are sharing their...

29/05/2015 02:15 PM
How to increase the number of Paul Harris Society members in your club
As president of the Rotary Club of High Point, North Carolina, USA, Joel Gentry wanted to lead by example. He and his executive board set a goal for 2014-15 of having five more members join the Paul Harris Society. The society recognizes Rotarians and friends of The Rotary Foundation who contribute $1,000 or more annually to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or approved global grants. “I felt that for me to ask people to do that, I had to set the pace,” says Gentry about his decision to contribute at that level. “My wife and I re-evaluated all the places we were giving to and felt convinced we...

21/05/2015 04:15 PM
Watch this year’s most popular Rotary membership videos
Your votes are in. With 585 votes, the video from the Rotary Club of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is this year’s most popular Share Your Story membership video. The three-minute clip shows how club members from Atlanta worked with clubs in Honduras to improve the lives of children in a small Honduran village. These clubs made the top four Rotary Choice videos: Rotary Club of Petion-Ville, Haiti Rotary Club of Panaji Mid-Town, Goa, India Rotary Club of Anchorage, Alaska, USA Rotary Club of Alpharetta, Georgia, USA Thanks to all who participated and voted. Rotary News

19/05/2015 04:30 PM
Nigerian donor promotes Rotary’s role as a player for peace
For Nigerian philanthropist Michael Olawale-Cole, understanding Rotary's positive influence in the world requires imagining the world without Rotary. "How many millions of people's lives would not have been affected by Rotary's good work?" says Olawale-Cole, who joined Rotary as a member of the Rotary Club of Isolo, Lagos State, in 1980. "If Rotary did not take on the challenge of eradicating polio, how many more millions of children around the world would have died or been crippled by this disease? Who could have done that if not Rotary?" Imagining what the world would be like without Rotary...

15/05/2015 07:15 PM
Rotary, USAID collaboration improves sanitation facilities in Ghana
According to a 2012 report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, Ghana has made great strides in providing its people with clean drinking water. But access to better sanitation has lagged. Only about 14 percent of Ghanaians have access to improved facilities, compared with the 54 percent target set for 2015 by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Addressing the issue isn't simple, as pit latrines need emptying, toilets need maintenance, and promoting hygiene requires education. The H2O Collaboration, a partnership between Rotary and the U.S. Agency for International...

11/05/2015 04:00 PM
Sydney convention wins major marketing awards
Headed to the Rotary Convention in São Paulo this June? Get excited. Your upcoming experience is being organized by an award-winning meetings and events team from Rotary International. Last year's convention in Sydney was recognized recently with several industry awards at the Meeting and Events Australia's prestigious annual NSW Awards Night. Rotary and Business Events Sydney won the headlining award -- Association or Government Meeting of the Year -- as well as two Specialist Awards for Best Corporate Social Responsibility and Best Educational Component. As winner of the major NSW award,...

08/05/2015 07:15 PM
Global grant partnership turns good idea into bigger, sustainable project
In the Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador, Rotary members have teamed up with a microfinance organization to provide small loans to poor women, teaching them to sew and bake so they can start or expand businesses. The Rotary Club of Marin Evening, in California, USA, reached out to 64 Rotary clubs in seven districts including Ecuador's, to raise money, find support from partners, and mobilize local community members for a global grant project. Keith Axtell, a member of the Marin Evening club, says the effort began in 2005-06, when his wife, Holly, was district governor and was looking for an...

01/05/2015 10:30 PM
Council on Legislation dues increase begins in July
An increase to the Council on Legislation dues goes into effect in July, and it will be reflected on the July club invoice. The Rotary International Board of Directors approved the increase from $1 to $1.50 in October 2014. The Council, which meets every three years, will meet 10-15 April in Chicago. The Council considers proposals to change RI's constitutional documents and resolutions that express an opinion or make a recommendation to the Board. RI's Bylaws, which govern the relationship between Rotary International and Rotary clubs, can be changed only by legislation by the Council. The...

30/04/2015 05:45 PM
The talent around the table: Mitty Chang
When it comes to Rotary, Mitty Chang is practically a lifer – and he's only 26. Chang joined Interact 10 years ago in Fremont, Calif., where almost a quarter of the 2,000 students at his high school were Interactors. He went on to organize two Rotaract clubs. Now an entrepreneur who works with small businesses and nonprofits to build their online identity and brand, he plans to become a Rotarian within the next few years. "I expect to have a long life in Rotary," he says. We caught up with Chang at the 2014 Rotary convention in Sydney, Australia, to find out what being a member of the Rotary...

27/04/2015 09:45 PM
Rotary, Shelterbox organizing aid for quake victims in Nepal
Rescue missions and emergency aid continue to arrive in Nepal after a massive earthquake hit the country on 25 April, killing at least 7,500 people and injuring thousands more. The 7.8-magnitude quake, the worst to hit Nepal in more than 80 years, has affected 8 million people in the country's 39 districts, including 1.4 million needing food assistance, according to government officials. "Rotarians worldwide stand together in expressing a profound sadness at the devastation resulting from this weekend's deadly earthquake in Nepal," says RI President Gary C.K. Huang. "As we mourn the thousands...

27/04/2015 05:15 PM
Launch Pads
On the third-largest island in Fiji, 17-year-old Asenaca Sepa dreams of becoming a nurse. Her classmate, Laisenia Kidia, wants to study marine biology. The teens are students at Bucalevu Secondary School on Taveuni Island. Its rich soil and abundant flora have earned it the nickname "the garden island." Waterfalls and breathtaking sunsets make Taveuni a travel destination, yet besides encounters with tourists, the islanders live in relative isolation. The government is the main employer; most other jobs involve unskilled agricultural labor. Only about 30 percent of students graduate from high...

24/04/2015 09:45 PM
World Immunization Week: Protecting children through lifesaving vaccines
This year's observance of World Immunization Week, 24-30 April, signals a renewed effort to prevent an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths worldwide from vaccine-preventable diseases, including polio, by closing immunization gaps. The extensive polio-eradication infrastructure created by Rotary, its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), and governments and health ministries provides a model for this effort. Rotary, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) joined together in 1988 to form GPEI with the goal of...

22/04/2015 03:45 PM
Spirit of Earth Day: Tree planting project stems from surviving a tsunami
As a child, Gowri Rajan was scared of trees because of the reptiles and insects lurking in their roots, branches, and leaves. "I wouldn't go near trees," says Rajan. "It's ironic that, later in life, a tree would be the reason I'm still alive." On the morning of 26 December 2004, a tsunami slammed into Rajan's vacation house on the Indian Ocean in Sri Lanka, where her family and a few friends were staying for the holidays. The water violently crashed through the house, destroying everything inside. "I said my last prayers. I thought this was the end," she recalls. When the water receded, it...

20/04/2015 04:45 PM
Simplified billing process gets positive reviews from club leaders
The single-page invoice that Rotary clubs received in January, which replaces a complex document they'd previously had to complete, is being cheered by many club officers. In the past, club secretaries had to fill out an eight-part semiannual report to calculate the amount their club owed Rotary International for membership dues, subscriptions, and outstanding balances. New members were written in, old members were crossed out, and many calculations were required before the club treasurer could pay the invoice. "Nobody wanted to do the semiannual report; it was confusing," says Gail...

17/04/2015 06:45 PM
Ecuadorean heart surgeon donates his professional skills to children in need
Pediatric heart surgeon Gerardo Davalos has treated scores of young heart patients, but one made a particular impression on him. The day before 11-year-old Josue Ochoa died in 2013, Dr. Davalos, a member of the Rotary Club of Quito, Ecuador, walked into the boy's hospital room to say goodbye. The atmosphere in the room, where family members were gathered, was somber. But one person was smiling and comforting everyone else. It was Josue. Says Davalos: "I'll never forget how strong Josue was in that moment. He wasn't concerned about himself. He was more worried about his mom and dad. He kept...

10/04/2015 08:00 PM
Polio vaccine celebrates 60th anniversary
Sunday, 12 April, marks 60 years since the Salk polio vaccine was declared safe, effective, and potent. In that time, the number of polio cases has dropped by 99 percent worldwide. With just three countries remaining polio-endemic, we are closer than ever to eradicating this crippling disease. Jonas Salk’s inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) has been crucial in helping us reach our goal of a polio-free world. Before the vaccine was widely available, in the United States alone, polio crippled more than 35,000 people each year. By 1957 -- two years after the introduction of Salk’s vaccine -- cases...

10/04/2015 03:45 PM
How a simple school project in India became a global grant
Two years ago, U.S. Rotary members in Maine set out to improve the education system in Bikaner, Rajasthan, an Indian city near the border of Pakistan. The Rotary Club of Kennebunk Portside chose Bikaner because club member Rohit Mehta was originally from the area and had connections there. Mehta put the club in contact with Rotarians in India to provide desks for four government-run schools. But when community leaders returned with a request for more desks, the Maine Rotarians decided they had to think bigger. The Rotary Foundation had rolled out its new grant model, which required that the...

07/04/2015 05:15 PM
Why these Rotary members can’t stop attending conventions
Phyllis Jane Nusz, a past district governor from California, USA, attended her first Rotary International convention in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1997 as an incoming club president. "I have never stopped going since," she says. "It was amazing to see people for the first time from all over the world -- the different languages, dress, and food. But we all had the same dedication to Rotary. "I ran into so many people I never knew before but who today are still my friends, and I share Christmas cards with them, take part in club projects with them, join together for family activities, and so much...

02/04/2015 04:00 PM
Nursing school helps indigenous community survive in Uganda
For thousands of years, the Batwa Pygmies lived among the silverback mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of southwest Uganda. But in 1992, the forest was declared a World Heritage Site to protect the endangered silverback, and the Batwa lost their home. Forced to transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers, they did not adapt well, and their very survival was threatened. Over the years, Rotary members in the United States, Uganda, and other parts of the world helped with efforts to aid the Batwa. Most recently, those efforts have focused on the creation of a nursing school to...

30/03/2015 08:00 PM
Every day is World Water Day with Rotary
At least 3,000 children die each day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water, a grim reminder for Rotary members who make providing clean water and sanitation an organizational priority. While very few people die of thirst, millions die from preventable waterborne diseases, providing the impetus for our members to provide toilets and latrines and other clean water initiatives in underdeveloped countries. Members also teach these communities to maintain new infrastructure, and organize educational projects to promote hand-washing and other good hygiene habits. Though 22 March is...

26/03/2015 05:30 PM
New program logos available in Brand Center
Rotaract and Interact have a new look. We’ve refreshed the logos and graphics to reflect Rotary’s visual identity and to help you deliver a compelling message in your promotional materials. In addition, we’ve created guidelines for applying the new look to RYLA and Rotary Youth Exchange communications. In coming months, you will find more resources in the Brand Center, including templates for using our new look in your brochures, slideshows, and promotional materials. Visit the Brand Center to download new logos. Download the Visual Identity Guide: Young Leaders Questions? Email us at...

26/03/2015 03:15 PM
Korean sailor makes waves for End Polio Now
Enjoying calm winds and peaceful Pacific waters, Seung Jin Kim dove off his 43-foot sailboat, the Arapani, to swim with some dolphins nearby. The serenity that day near the equator was a stark contrast to the 60 mph winds and 23-foot waves he had to fight around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America. But Kim, a veteran sailor and member of the Rotary Club of Seokmun, in Chungcheongnam, Korea, expected such challenges when he set out in mid-October on a 25,600-mile journey around the world. In addition to fulfilling a lifelong dream, Kim is using the trip to raise awareness and funds...

23/03/2015 06:15 PM
Bond with the United Nations enhances Rotary’s visibility and resources
Ask almost anyone at the United Nations and they will know that Rotary, having helped to spearhead the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, has contributed to the 99 percent worldwide reduction in polio cases since the initiative began. That recognition is no accident. For the last three decades, a network of Rotary representatives has been strengthening ties with the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and other international organizations like the League of Arab States and the European Union. These connections have enhanced Rotary's global visibility and resource network. For example...

20/03/2015 06:00 PM
Determined to deliver clean water amid bloody civil war in South Sudan
Despite almost impassable terrain and the outbreak of a violent civil war, Rotary clubs in South Sudan and Wisconsin, USA, are determined to bring clean water to one of the most remote areas of the East African country. The Rotary Clubs of Wausau, Wisconsin, USA, and Juba, South Sudan, are developing a sustainable source of water for 10 rural mountainous villages in Tennet Boma, Eastern Equatoria. The two clubs secured a $47,000 Rotary Foundation global grant to drill a deep borehole and install solar-powered water pumps, a 5,000-gallon reservoir, and six to 10 spigots. The water source will...

18/03/2015 02:45 PM
Club invoices, grant applications unavailable 21-23 March
We'll be making some system upgrades this weekend, 21-23 March. Some areas of the site will be unavailable. • Club invoices and grant applications will be unavailable from 3:00 P.M. Central Time (UTC -5) on Saturday, 21 March, until 5:00 P.M. Central Time (UTC -5) on Monday, 23 March. • Club and district administration, Rotary Club Central, convention registration, Foundation reports, and online giving may be unavailable from 5:00 PM to 7:00 P.M. Central Time (UTC-5) on Saturday, 21 March, and from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. Central Time (UTC-5) on Sunday, 22 March. These outages may affect PETS...

18/03/2015 02:45 PM
World Water Day: Tap into Lake Michigan
Join local and national experts for a panel discussion on the global water crisis, on Tuesday, 31 March from 17:00 to 20:00 at One Rotary Center in Evanston, Illinois. The event, titled Tap into Lake Michigan, is cast as a "local perspective on the global water crisis." The event, which organizers hope will start a broader local conversation, will enable Rotary members and the general public to mingle with influencers and representatives of local water organizations. Panel speakers are: Cameron Davis, a senior adviser to the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyIan Hughes...

16/03/2015 08:00 PM
Share your Rotary story with us!
Every Rotarian has a unique story about Rotary, and how it makes a difference in communities throughout the world. Help spread the good word about our organization. Create a video illustrating how you have grown personally and professionally through your club, made lifelong friendships, improved your community, and made connections with others from around the world. How to enter Visit our Facebook page to submit your entry. All videos must be at least 30 seconds, but no longer than three minutes. Video must be in English or have English subtitles. Post your video on your own social media...

16/03/2015 05:30 PM
Rotary wins prestigious Silver Telly for AIDS documentary
A documentary film produced by Rotary's broadcast media department that features Rotary member Marion Bunch and her work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in underprivileged African communities won two 2015 Telly Awards. The prestigious awards are given annually to the finest film and video productions. Rotary's documentary, "Rotary Family Health Days" received a Silver Telly, the highest honor, in the online video-documentary category, and a Bronze Telly in the online video-branded content and entertainment category. The documentary was shown by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and...

12/03/2015 10:15 PM
Rotary Peace Fellows are helping refugees start over
Every 10 minutes, a baby is born without a state – without citizenship in any country. The crisis in Syria and conflicts in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and many other nations are producing new generations of refugees, internally displaced persons, and asylum seekers. Increasingly, they are long-term exiles who are spending years, even decades, in makeshift refugee cities with their families, unable to return home. The number of people forced from their homes by war and conflict has surpassed 50 million for the first time since the end of World War II, when the Office of the...

09/03/2015 09:45 PM
Monrovia club’s Ebola fight not finished
After the first cases of Ebola reached Liberia's capital, Monrovia, last June, local Rotary members feared that the city's limited health care system wouldn't be able to contain the highly infectious, often-deadly disease. Those fears were realized when infections quickly multiplied, underscoring the speed with which Ebola can spread in an urban center. It was the first time the hemorrhagic fever had threatened a major city since it erupted in West Africa last March. Now, after months of crisis-level response, and with the number of new cases declining, club members are looking to the long...

06/03/2015 03:30 PM
2017 fundraising goal set for Rotary Peace Centers
The Rotary Foundation Trustees have set a goal for the Rotary Peace Centers Major Gifts Initiative: raising $150 million in gifts and commitments by June 2017. The funds will be used to build an endowment to ensure the program’s continuation for future generations as well as meet its immediate expenses. Each year, up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows are selected to participate in a master’s degree or certificate program at one of our partner universities. Fellows study subjects related to the root causes of conflict and explore innovative solutions that address real-world needs. Today, almost 900...

02/03/2015 04:00 PM
Highlighting outstanding members this International Women’s Day
Thousands of women across Rotary deserve recognition on International Women's Day, March 8, and while it isn't possible to highlight them all, we chose to profile several of them. These are women who work tirelessly on behalf of others, and whose efforts touch lives across the world, often in remote and inhospitable places. With projects focused on child and maternal health, economic development, and other humanitarian concerns, these women are proof of Rotary's diversity and global reach. Ola Al-Awamleh AlmasriAmman, JordanRotary Club of Amman Capital Almasri helped build a water-catchment...

26/02/2015 08:30 PM
Interact club’s winning video highlights scope of youth service in Rotary
For the second time in three years, the Interact Club of Hugh Boyd Secondary School in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, took the $500 grand prize in the annual Interact video contest, beating 88 entries from 33 countries. The secret to the club's success isn't just the professional quality of the videos but the stories behind them, says club member Kyle Gomes, who was the director, cinematographer, and editor for this year's three-minute entry, "Our Best Day in Interact." The video, narrated by several Interact members, shows the students decorating Christmas trees at Richmond's City Hall...

23/02/2015 07:45 PM
Historic Moments: PolioPlus turns 30
This year marks 30 years since Rotary launched PolioPlus, its campaign to rid the world of polio. Beginning on Rotary's anniversary, 23 February, Rotary members worldwide will be holding events to celebrate three decades of polio eradication progress. Since 1985 Rotary and its partners have helped reduce the number of cases from 350,000 annually to fewer than 400 in 2014, and they remain committed until the disease is eradicated. Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2 billion children worldwide. In addition, Rotary's advocacy efforts...

20/02/2015 10:45 PM
Event at Indian racetrack nets $350,000 for service projects
Rotary members in India selected a popular racecourse in Mumbai to promote Rotary to the tens of thousands of racing aficionados who gather there daily, raising more than $350,000 for club service projects in the process. And between races, spectators at the Mahalaxmi Race Course were also treated to the Rotary members' attempt at a Guinness World Record as 650 members, 75 of them dressed in white and 575 in black, formed the shape of a horse -- with the Rotary wheel as its eye -- on the lawn of the members' area. District leaders in western India chose the Mahalaxmi Race Course for their...

16/02/2015 07:30 PM
Rotary member takes fundraising to new heights -- the summit of Mount Everest
Despite his longstanding interest in polio eradication, polio was not on Joe Pratt's mind as he prepared for a mid-April 2012 climb of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth. But that changed in late 2011, when the resident of Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA, participated in a polio immunization project in Pakistan with fellow Rotary member Steve Puderbaugh. Moved by the efforts of the Pakistanis to battle the crippling disease, and by the vulnerability of the young victims, Pratt reset the focus of his climbing adventure. Pakistan is one of three countries where polio has never been...

16/02/2015 05:30 PM
Bryn Styles elected new Rotary Foundation trustee
The RI Board of Directors elected Bryn Styles to serve the remaining term of Rotary Foundation Trustee Monty Audenart, who passed away on 21 January. Styles, a member of the Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia in Ontario, Canada, will serve through 30 June 2017. His previous Rotary International positions include director, Council on Legislation representative, RI president's representative, and regional Rotary Foundation coordinator. Audenart joined Rotary in 1987 and was a member of the Rotary Club of Red Deer East in Alberta, Canada. Before taking on the trustee role, Audenart served Rotary as...

13/02/2015 07:15 PM
San Francisco club reveals formula for growth and retention of members
Members of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Evening meet at a wine bar after work, share a social outing, and promote all their activities on social media like Meetup and Facebook. As the first evening club in the city, it has attracted many young professionals from Silicon Valley tech firms whose work schedules keep them from joining a more traditional club that meets for breakfast or lunch. But more than that, the evening format has helped the club grow by 30 percent since it received its charter in mid-2013. Danielle Lallement, who was its charter president, says the club has been...

09/02/2015 06:00 PM
Enhance your leadership skills in the Rotary Learning Center
Professional development is right at your fingertips with the Rotary Learning Center, which offers members a range of interactive courses on navigating Rotary's online tools and developing leadership skills to prepare for new Rotary roles. Anyone with a My Rotary account can take a free course in the Learning Center. Among the many courses available are How to Run a Webinar, How to Propose Legislation, Rotary Club Central Resources, and role-specific selections. Get started by finding the Learning Center under the LEARNING & REFERENCE tab on Rotary.org. If you are already registered on...

03/02/2015 04:45 PM
Colorado joins Kosovo club to restore sanitation in blighted local schools
Blighted schools in the mountain city of Peja in western Kosovo are a reminder of the ethnic strife and war that ravaged this area in the 1990s. To restore ruined sanitation facilities in some of those schools, local Rotary members recently partnered with their counterparts from Colorado, USA. Though residents have been slowly rebuilding the city's infrastructure after years of neglect under earlier governments, most resources are going to improve roads, rebuild homes, and create new businesses. Little money remains to restore the schools. As a result, students have fallen ill, stayed home...

01/02/2015 10:30 PM
You've been fighting Ebola all along
From the February 2015 issue of The Rotarian Among the loved ones Elizabeth Mulbah has lost to Ebola: her foster daughter, Isatu Bayon, a nurse who caught the virus while caring for an Ebola-positive mother and infant; Bayon's 20-year-old daughter, who was named after Mulbah and nicknamed "Diamond"; Mulbah's sister-in-law, Jenneh Siabu; several nieces; and a heartbreaking number of colleagues. Mulbah is a former dean of a nursing school in Liberia, and as of November, 170 of the country's health workers had died. Her brother, Molley Sowoi, contracted the virus but survived. "There are so many...

29/01/2015 10:00 PM
Applications now being accepted: Pilot allows innovative and flexible approaches to running a club
Is your club interested in trying new ways to find and keep members? Then it may be a good fit for the Innovative and Flexible Rotary Club pilot to experiment with variations on the traditional Rotary club structure. Applications are due 31 March. The RI Board of Directors invites up to 850 more clubs to take part in the pilot. Your club could try out ideas not currently allowed under the Standard Rotary Club Constitution, such as shared attendance with spouses, alternating between online and in-person meetings, or new leadership structures. For example, the Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise, N....

29/01/2015 06:30 PM
Rotary’s 2015 International Assembly coverage and resources
Rotary's annual training meeting gives incoming district governors from around the world the chance to share ideas for strengthening clubs and improving communities. Learn more about the program from our Rotary News coverage below. You can also view photos of the event, videos on the new presidential theme, Be a Gift to the World, and download resources to share with your club and district. News coverage President-elect urges Rotary members to 'Be a Gift to the World'Promoting membership with new ideas, even some that challenge traditionNew priorities, measurable goals to build Foundation's...

27/01/2015 04:45 PM
Intense summer program gives Israeli and Palestinian teens new perspectives
Students from Israel and Palestine sat together at a local art studio in Encinitas, California, USA, one day last summer, drawing portraits of one another and learning how to live in peace. Kelly Mellos, an organizer of the project from the Rotary Club of Encinitas Coastal, says that drawing someone who is sitting so close helps break down social barriers between the young people. "They see how many similarities there are between them," she says. "And they begin to understand we are all just people. There is a respect and trust that builds." The students were participating in a program run by...

26/01/2015 05:30 PM
Watch for new club invoice coming to your mailbox
The new club invoice is on its way to clubs around the world. Your invoice is based on your club's membership as of 1 January; no adjustments to this invoice should be necessary. Payment is due upon receipt but no later than 120 days. We hope you find the invoice easier to understand and more manageable than the old eight-part semiannual report. You can send questions or comments to clubfinance@rotary.org or contact your RI regional office. Find more information about the new invoice: How-to guidesFAQMembership dues

23/01/2015 11:30 PM
Rotary releases $34.8 million for polio immunization activities worldwide
Rotary International released an additional $34.8 million in grants to support polio immunization activities in 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, the three countries where the disease has never been stopped. The funds, whose release was announced 20 January, will be used by the World Health Organization and UNICEF for polio immunization and surveillance activities in the 10 countries, as well as to provide technical assistance in several other countries in Africa. The grants include $8.1 million for Nigeria to support its final push to eradicate the disease. Nigeria...

23/01/2015 10:45 PM
Future leaders ready to become gifts to the world
Incoming district governors said they'll leave this year's International Assembly with a deeper understanding of Rotary's top priorities, including eradicating polio, enhancing Rotary's brand, strengthening the Rotary Foundation, and building a strong and more diverse membership. For Mohamed Adel Hafez, governor-elect of District 2451 (Egypt), the assembly's varied workshops were invaluable. The workshops offered practical information and skills to help district governors-elect perform their duties. "I can speak to my clubs with more authority and knowledge about what needs to be done in the...

21/01/2015 05:30 PM
Promoting membership with new ideas, even some that challenge tradition
Strengthening Rotary's membership is not just important for incoming district governors, it's critical. That's the message they received from several key speakers at their training event, the 2015 International Assembly in San Diego. For membership to grow, leaders must be willing, for example, to ease stringent club meeting protocols and make other efforts to accommodate a younger, digitally oriented demographic. Seventy percent of Rotary members are 50 years or older, while half of the world's population is under 30, according to Rotary leaders. The contrast shouldn't be something to fear,...

20/01/2015 03:00 AM
Despite global success for Rotary’s brand, still work to do in the community
On a global scale Rotary's brand is strong, said Rotary leaders speaking at the International Assembly on Monday in San Diego. From governments to worldwide NGOs to large corporations, Rotary is trusted to create positive change around the world. But Rotary's image needs strengthening in local communities, said RI Director-elect Jennifer E. Jones. "We are the greatest story never told," Jones said. "Quite simply, strengthening our brand is essential to Rotary's future." "For so long we did our good work quietly and not for recognition," added Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-...

19/01/2015 04:45 PM
2015 Rotary International Assembly Photo Gallery
See our daily photo gallery from San Diego

18/01/2015 04:15 PM
President-elect urges Rotary members to ‘Be a Gift to the World’
Using their talents, expertise, and leadership, Rotary members worldwide are asked to be gifts to the world this upcoming 2015-16 Rotary year. Rotary International President-elect K.R. Ravindran called Sunday's address to incoming district governors the "most significant moment of my life." "All of you have been given so many gifts. And you have now been given this great gift: one year to take all your talents, all your gifts, everything that you are and can become -- and Be a Gift to the World," said Ravindran, revealing his presidential theme at the annual five-day training meeting in San...

16/01/2015 09:30 PM
New priorities, measurable goals to build Foundation’s success
The Rotary Foundation's continued success in changing lives will be buoyed by four new priorities aimed at expanding Rotary's work and enhancing the image and awareness of the Foundation's achievements. The four priorities are: ending polio – now and forever; strengthening Rotary members' knowledge, engagement, and financial support to the Foundation; increasing the quality and impact of humanitarian services through Rotary grants and the areas of focus; and enhancing the image and awareness of the Foundation's record of achievements, particularly the success of PolioPlus and its 100-year...

15/01/2015 06:00 PM
Man in iron lung discovers Rotary
One might think a man living with polio in an iron lung would know about Rotary. But it wasn't until Paul Alexander had a business meeting with a member in Duncanville, Texas, earlier this year that he learned Rotary fights to eradicate the very disease that left him almost completely paralyzed. "I was completely blown away by the idea. For all these years, I didn't know the work they were doing," says Alexander, a practicing attorney in Dallas. "It's such a perfect fit for me." Alexander contracted polio during a major U.S. outbreak of the disease in the late 1950s when he was six years old...

09/01/2015 10:30 PM
The 2013-14 Annual Report is now available
Rotary's 2013-14 Annual Report is now available online. See how Rotary members across the globe tackled some of the world's toughest challenges last year. Learn about our generous donors and dedicated partners, who strengthen our impact. And explore our financial reports to see why Rotary is an organization you can support with confidence. View Rotary's 2013-14 Annual ReportDownload the reportReview our financials

08/01/2015 06:45 PM
Rotary’s innovative tribute to polio eradication in India breaks Guinness world record
To eradicate polio in India, Rotary members displayed impressive coordination and commitment. So it should come as no surprise that Rotary members in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, were able to mobilize more than 40,000 people to create the world's largest human national flag. The tribute to the polio eradication effort qualified as a Guinness World Records-breaking achievement. "What impressed me most was that all of Rotary was represented: Rotaractors, Interactors, and Rotarians," says RI President Gary C.K. Huang, who participated in the event along with his wife, Corinna, and other Rotary senior...

06/01/2015 08:00 PM
Leaders talk about The Rotary Foundation’s funding model
To ensure our Foundation's long-term financial sustainability, the Trustees have approved a funding model, effective 1 July 2015. The Foundation needs a more predictable level of financial support of revenue to pay its annual operating expenses and provide an operating reserve. Questions or comments? Please contact fundingmodel@rotary.org

26/12/2014 10:45 PM
NTV interviews Rotary General Secretary John Hewko
RI General Secretary John Hewko met with NTV Kenya for a wide-ranging interview about what makes Rotary unique and why it's one of the world's most respected service organizations. "Rotary in many ways is a great example of how countries could operate," Hewko said. "We are overtly nonpolitical, nonreligious. There's a culture within Rotary of everybody being equal. And when you join Rotary, you buy into the philosophy of peace and understanding." Watch the video above (English only).

23/12/2014 05:45 PM
Kids in Kenya are ending violent mistrust between tribes
For decades, the small, pastoral communities in northern Kenya have been caught in a cycle of violence. Tribes have shed blood over distrust, scarce resources, and the theft of livestock. Rotary Scholar Monica Kinyua founded the Children Peace Initiative (CPI) Kenya with her twin sister, Jane Wanjiru, to end the fighting by building friendships between children from different tribes. Earlier this year, the sisters used a global grant sponsored by Rotary members in San Diego, California, and the Rotary Club of Nairobi to conduct a peace camp for children in Baragoi, Samburu County, one of the...

22/12/2014 05:30 PM
Five reports now available in more languages
Beginning 22 December, the following reports will be available in all languages (you may be asked to sign in):  • Donor History• Club Recognition Summary (for club and district leaders)• Membership Viability and Growth (for district leaders)• Monthly Contribution (for district leaders) The Top 30 Giving Countries report is available to regional leaders in Rotary Club Central. Contact us if you have any questions.

17/12/2014 10:00 PM
Rotary AIDS day event turns spotlight on world’s deadliest infectious disease
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the worst ever, has claimed several thousand lives and generated worldwide concern. But its impact pales in comparison to that of AIDS, which, despite advances in treatment, still kills more than a million people a year, the majority of them in Africa. "Even with the Ebola outbreak at its worst expected levels, it's never going to reach what we've seen with the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Dr. Timothy B. Erickson, director of the Center for Global Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaking at Rotary's World AIDS Day event in Evanston on 1...

17/12/2014 05:45 PM
Statement by Rotary International on the deadly school attack in Pakistan
Rotary International condemns the horrific attack that killed more than 130 schoolchildren and wounded over 100 of their classmates in Peshawar, Pakistan. We believe that children everywhere have the basic right to receive an education in an environment unthreatened by violence or fear. Rotary extends our heartfelt sympathy to all of the families in Pakistan, including those of seven Rotary members, who have lost children as a result of this unfathomable tragedy. We stand with them in mourning their loss. Gary C.K. Huang, PresidentRotary International

12/12/2014 05:30 PM
Indoor air pollution linked to millions of deaths
After decades dreaming about the Himalayas, Rotary member George Basch went on his first trek through the mountains in 2001, when he was 64. A member of the Rotary Club of Taos-Melagro in New Mexico, USA, Basch found that the experience was even more than he had hoped. "My expectations were high, and dramatically exceeded," he remembers. But a less-than-pleasant aspect of the experience was the indoor smoke pollution he encountered in the guest houses and private homes he visited. Many families in the Himalayas use rudimentary cookstoves or, in some cases, an open fire pit inside the home to...

10/12/2014 06:45 PM
Rotary staff members bond over Miles to End Polio bike ride
For six staff members from Rotary headquarters in Evanston, the fight to eradicate polio has become personal. Together, they biked the physically grueling 104-mile (167-kilometer) Tour de Tucson in Arizona, USA, collectively raising more than $20,000 for polio eradication while putting their bodies and minds through a feat of endurance. For the tightknit group, the experience was about more than just raising money and crossing the finish line. It was about learning about each other and what Rotary members are doing to rid the world of this crippling disease. They advocated together, trained...

01/12/2014 04:15 PM
Business camps prepare students to become entrepreneurs
Before college, business school, or their first jobs, more than 2,000 U.S. high school students are learning what it takes to become tomorrow's brightest business leaders. Each year, nearly 25 Rotary clubs and districts conduct three-day educational retreats in a program known as Camp Enterprise. At each retreat, seasoned business professionals and entrepreneurs teach 100 or so area high school juniors how to develop, launch, and operate a successful business in a free enterprise economic system. The intensive weekend camps, funded entirely by the clubs and offered at no cost to participants...

26/11/2014 07:00 PM
The Rotary Foundation rises on expert list of top nonprofits
The Rotary Foundation has continued its steady growth, moving up 35 spots to 85th in The Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual ranking of the top 400 nonprofit organizations in the United States. The ranking is based on monetary contributions from private sources and reflects the increasing generosity of those who support Rotary's mission. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Rotary Foundation received $239,576,000 in 2013, a 32.4 percent increase from the previous year. "This clearly shows our members recognize the unparalleled value of giving to their Foundation," says John Hewko,...

23/11/2014 03:15 PM
Miles to end polio: $6 million crosses the finish line for polio eradication
Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and six RI staff members bicycled 104 miles in Tucson Arizona, USA, on Saturday, for the Miles to End Polio event, raising more than $6 million for polio eradication. The money raised by Rotary will receive a two-to-one match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to the team from Evanston, 100 Rotary member riders took part in the ride. The fundraising ride is part of the annual El Tour de Tucson bike event in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The race attracts more than 9,000 cyclists a year, making it one of the top cycling events in the U.S. The...

21/11/2014 06:30 PM
Rotary Day at the United Nations highlights the strength of partnerships
To strengthen their 69-year-old partnership, leaders from Rotary and the United Nations met this month in New York City for Rotary Day at the United Nations. The two organizations began working together with the aim of maintaining peace after World War II. Today, the relationship has evolved to include humanitarian work in areas like gender equality, child and maternal health, and disease treatment and prevention. While the UN's Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015, its leaders are preparing for an even more ambitious humanitarian agenda of eradicating extreme poverty by...

21/11/2014 06:00 PM
A major breakthrough against polio
Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are approaching a significant milestone: the eradication of type 3 wild poliovirus. The last case of polio caused by the type 3 virus was reported in Yobe, Nigeria, on 10 November 2012. "We may have eradicated a second of three; that's a major milestone," said Dr. Stephen Cochi, a senior adviser at the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking to the BBC. Rotary has played an important role in bringing type 3 polio close to extinction. PolioPlus grants have provided key...

20/11/2014 09:45 PM
Participate in #GivingTuesday on 2 December
This year, Rotary is participating in #GivingTuesday on 2 December, a global day of giving supported by 10,000 organizations worldwide. Invite your club to get involved by giving online. Online giving is the easiest and most efficient way to give to the Foundation and the causes you care about most. As an added incentive, President Gary C.K. Huang will send special video messages to the club and district that make the most individual online gifts to The Rotary Foundation on #GivingTuesday. Share why you support the Foundation on Twitter and Facebook by using the tags #GiveTheGift and #...

18/11/2014 09:45 PM
TAM, a oneworld alliance partner, selected as official airline of the São Paulo convention
Fly TAM Airlines nonstop to São Paulo for the Rotary International Convention to enjoy special discounts, effective for travel from 1-17 June 2015. Find discounts and promotional codes for your area. Convention attendees can also find discounted flights to São Paulo using oneworld's convenient online booking tool, customized with Rotary convention information. oneworld®, the premier global airline alliance, brings together 15 leading airlines from around the world. (You can also visit www.oneworld.com/events and enter event code OW56B14 to log in as an attendee.) Register for the convention...

17/11/2014 11:00 PM
How Rotary can keep and recruit members
For more than a decade, Rotary's membership has lingered around 1.2 million. That means that for every person who joined during that period, another person left. Last year, membership hit a 10-year low, at 1,185,000, though we've since rebounded, raising the figure this year to 1,207,102. For RI President Gary C.K. Huang, that's not good enough. He hopes to increase membership to 1.3 million by the end of his term. "It's simple: The more members we have, the more people we can help," Huang says. "A stronger membership base will result in strong communities." How can we reach his goal? And how...

14/11/2014 11:15 PM
Rotary’s World Polio Day live-streamed event is a huge success
More than 23,000 viewers in 24 countries tuned in to Rotary's World Polio Day event, streamed live on 24 October. Health officials including James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave an update on the polio eradication campaign and praised Rotary's achievements to date. Rotary has contributed more than $1.2 billion to polio eradication since 1979. For World Polio Day, Rotary released $44.7 million in grants to fight the disease in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition to the update, the event included entertainment by...

14/11/2014 07:15 PM
Indian district sets up fund for cyclone victims
Rotary District 3020 (Andhra Pradesh, India) has created a disaster relief fund to help victims along the east coast of India after Cyclone Hudhud hammered the region on 13 October. The storm, packing wind speeds of 120 miles per hour, killed more than 40 people, displaced tens of thousands, and caused billions of dollars in damage. "Almost all Rotarians, numbering around 2,000, of the 30 clubs in the most affected area experienced great hardship and property loss," says District Governor Gude Venkat Mohan Prasad. "Clubs around the country have started making inquiries on ways they can help...

13/11/2014 06:45 PM
Malala Yousafzai wins the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for speaking out against the Taliban in support of girls' education, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. Yousafzai, whose father is a Rotarian, shares the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, a native of India who has worked to combat the exploitation of children for financial gain, according to an announcement in October from the Norwegian Nobel Committee. In announcing the award, the committee praised Yousafzai for demonstrating that "children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations." It noted...

12/11/2014 08:15 PM
Rotary’s world headquarters hosts Evanston Rotary Day
Business owners and community leaders in Evanston, Illinois, USA, joined Rotary staff and family members in a celebration of the organization's cultural diversity at an open-house Rotary Day event at Rotary's world headquarters on 25 October. Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang is urging clubs and districts to hold these informal events to showcase Rotary's good work. The open house was held immediately after Evanston's Day of Caring, during which volunteers planted trees, fixed up buildings, performed yard work, painted, and participated in other community projects throughout the city. Visit...

12/11/2014 03:30 PM
Young Rotary leaders exchange ideas at two-day summit
A two-day Young Professionals Summit, held in Chicago in September, gave 32 Rotary leaders ages 25 to 40 the opportunity to share their thoughts about their Rotary experiences, reflect on their stories, and exchange ideas. Although there are many young leaders within Rotary's global community, there are few opportunities for them to connect with other young professionals and to add their voices to the discussion. The aim of the Young Professionals Summit was to engage participants in open and candid discussions about what's working now in Rotary, ideas for improvements, and ways to extend...

10/11/2014 04:30 PM
Roots of Rotary's polio efforts
On 29 September 1979, Rotarians and delegates of the Philippine Ministry of Health looked on as volunteers administered drops of the lifesaving Sabin polio vaccine to children in the Manila barrio of Guadalupe Viejo. When James L. Bomar Jr., then RI president, put the first drops of vaccine into a child's mouth, he ceremonially launched the Philippine poliomyelitis immunization effort, and Rotary's first Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant project was underway. Bomar joined Enrique M. Garcia, the country's minister of health, in signing the contract committing Rotary International and the...

04/11/2014 08:00 PM
Five must-do’s to get your event noticed on social media
Susanne Rea saw how social media propelled an event to raise money for polio eradication, and figured she could use the same tools to encourage Rotary clubs around the world to hold similar fundraising meals. To date, clubs and districts have raised over $1 million for Rotary's polio eradication campaign through more than 600 dining events. "At the peak of our registrations, it became an almost around-the-clock commitment," says Rea, a member of the Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise in Queensland, Australia. "Social media really gave our project momentum." In early January, Rea consulted her...

29/10/2014 06:00 PM
Restoring vision to hundreds in China
Seeing an elderly Tibetan woman weep with joy when cataract surgery restored her vision after 10 years is the kind of moment Dave Razo will never tire of. For several summers Razo, a member of the Rotary Club of Warner Robins, Georgia, USA, traveled to rural northwest China with a team from Georgia-based nonprofit Gansu Inc., to provide free sight-restoring cataract surgery to some of the country's poorest residents. In 2012, after 22 years and 6,000 successful procedures, Gansu's founder, ophthalmologist William Conrad, retired and discontinued the organization's operations. But Razo didn't...

29/10/2014 05:00 PM
Rotary’s response to the Ebola outbreak
Rotary continues to closely monitor the latest developments surrounding the Ebola outbreak, and work with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other partners to respond to both polio and Ebola. Fighting disease is a priority of our members, who have organized countless projects around the world aimed at educating and mobilizing communities to prevent the spread of major diseases such as polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. While our response to Ebola continues to evolve, much has already been accomplished: • Through our investments in the...

27/10/2014 06:00 PM
The Rotary Foundation earns coveted 4-star rating
The Rotary Foundation earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most prestigious independent evaluator of nonprofits in the United States. "Our foundation continues to operate at the highest ethical standard," said Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair John Kenny. "We are proud that Charity Navigator has recognized our commitment to accountability and transparency for the seventh straight year." The 4-star rating, the highest that Charity Navigator awards, recognizes sound fiscal management, accountability, and transparency. Charity Navigator evaluates thousands of nonprofits...

25/10/2014 02:00 AM
World Polio Day: Health officials laud polio eradication achievements, point to disease’s endgame
After a year of shrinking polio cases worldwide, the crippling disease is now on the cusp of being eradicated, said top health officials at Rotary's second annual World Polio Day event on 24 October. At a special Livestream program -- World Polio Day: Make History Today -- Rotary leaders joined global health experts and celebrity singers to hail the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. After nearly 30 years, the GPEI, which includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is on...

22/10/2014 08:15 PM
Dynamic young club uses social media to grow
Erin Mills had just finished teaching for the day in Montevideo, Uruguay, when her smartphone buzzed with a message. An impromptu gathering to watch Uruguay's World Cup soccer match was being organized. Through the power of a mobile messaging app, a majority of the Rotary Club of Plaza Matriz had soon assembled at a member's home to munch on baked goods and chips while rooting for their national team. That enthusiasm and ability to draw a crowd has made the club, which just received its charter in July, a success in the country's capital city. Made up almost entirely of young professionals,...

20/10/2014 08:00 PM
Previewing the World Polio Day Livestream event
Rotary celebrates World Polio Day on 24 October with a Livestream event featuring expert speakers and celebrity performers. Hosted by Time magazine science and technology editor Jeffrey Kluger, the Chicago event also includes a global status update on the fight to end polio and the challenges that remain, as well as information about joining Rotary's historic campaign. The program, being held before a live audience at 18:30 Chicago time (UTC-5), includes a performance from Tessanne Chin, 2013 winner of the TV show "The Voice," an introductory message and videotaped performance by reggae star...

17/10/2014 10:15 PM
Creating works of art helps refugee children repair their lives
When asked to describe his future, a refugee child from Iraq draws a picture of himself as a doctor. Another child uses colorful paints to depict happy memories of his former life in Iraq. Both children are among the 200,000 displaced Iraqis who now live in Jordan, a country that has become a safe haven for those fleeing oppression and war in neighboring Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. Alexandra Dawley, a former volunteer with the Collateral Repair Project in Jordan, emphasizes how something as simple as an art project can help young refugees adjust to their new lives in a foreign country. With...

13/10/2014 08:00 PM
Chat with food experts on Twitter about alleviating hunger
Hunger affects more than 800 million people worldwide, according to the United Nations' World Food Programme, and one-third of all the food grown every year goes to waste. Together, we can change that. On World Food Day, Thursday, 16 October, join a conversation on Twitter from 12:00 to 13:00 Chicago time (UTC-5), using the hashtag #RotaryHunger. During the chat, food experts will talk about ways to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in your community and around the world. Rotary (@Rotary) will moderate the chat, and experts from organizations including Rotary First Harvest (@RFHarvest), the...

13/10/2014 06:15 PM
Photo Essay: Rotary’s 2014 Women of Action
This year's Women of Action honorees were selected by Rotary senior leaders and endorsed by the White House. All members of clubs in the U.S., the women were recognized for their humanitarian service projects, which affect the lives of millions of people around the world. Watch the women of action event held at the White HouseRead more about the women and why they were honoredRead more about the event at the White HouseRead RI Director Julia Phelps' take on the honored women

10/10/2014 09:15 PM
Partners build community center and health clinic in impoverished Mexico neighborhood
Four years ago, Rotary member Moonyeen King decided to take action to help residents of the impoverished neighborhood of Tepehua, located in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico, who faced daily struggles with crime, malnutrition, and limited access to health care. King, together with Susan Netherton and Gin Pelzl, fellow members of the Rotary Club of Ajijic, turned an abandoned building into the Tepehua Community Center. For its first year, the center provided a soup kitchen every Friday to feed over 200 women and children. That enabled King and her fellow Rotary members to gain the trust of the...

08/10/2014 04:30 PM
The White House honors Rotary women for their humanitarian service
Senior Rotary leaders gathered Tuesday at the White House to honor 10 women for their service projects, an event attended by members of U.S. President Barack Obama's senior staff. The Rotary members presented their projects, in the hopes of creating new inroads for government partnerships and support. "This is recognition of the great work that they do but also serves as a great vehicle to inspire others to do similar kinds of things," said Rotary General Secretary John Hewko. "One of the things we're doing a better job of is sharing our story to the non-Rotary world." The honorees were...

06/10/2014 08:30 PM
Business partnerships pay big dividends in the fight against polio
Are you aiming to enlist a corporation or business to support Rotary's drive to end polio? Whether you're targeting the local, regional, or national level, the best way to begin is to identify a key contact and simply ask. Aziz Memon, chair of the Pakistan PolioPlus Committee, did just that. In 2010, he approached Zohair Mehmood, director of external affairs at Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan, asking that the company consider sponsoring billboards across the country to promote polio eradication during National Immunization Days. The company agreed to the request as part of its corporate social...

02/10/2014 06:45 PM
Mending the lingering effects of Japan’s triple disaster
More than three years after an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster triggered widespread devastation in Japan, the physical scars are beginning to mend. Debris has been removed. Coastal communities are being rebuilt. Farming and fishing have resumed, and thousands of people have moved in to new housing. But the Rotary Clubs of Koriyama West, Japan, and Englewood, New Jersey, USA, are concerned with the emotional and psychological impact caused by the triple disaster, known in Japan as 3/11, which claimed more than 19,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. In a country...

02/10/2014 04:30 PM
Huang declares Germ president-nominee
RI President Gary C.K. Huang officially declared John F. Germ Rotary International's president-nominee on 1 October. The Nominating Committee for President of RI selected Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, in August. He will be formally elected at the 2015 RI Convention in São Paulo, Brazil and will become president on 1 July 2016. Read more about Germ

26/09/2014 10:15 PM
Propose changes to Rotary’s constitutional documents by 31 December
Every three years, Rotary International's Council on Legislation meets to debate and vote on policies and ideas submitted by clubs, districts, and the RI Board. This process gives your club and district a voice in how our organization is governed. The Council has the authority to amend RI's constitutional documents, as well as adopt resolutions. Each district sends a representative to the meeting, and every club and district may propose legislation. The scope of legislation covers everything from club attendance requirements to the qualifications of the RI president. Clubs and districts...

25/09/2014 05:30 PM
Photo essay: Rotary past and present
This Membership Month, in celebration of over 100 years of service, we dug into the archives and found any number of parallels between today's Rotary and yesterday's. Though our world is constantly changing, this gallery reminds us how Rotary's core values have remained intact through the decades.

19/09/2014 04:30 PM
Rotary Peace Centers shape hundreds of careers in peace and conflict resolution
With bloody conflicts raging in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and parts of Central Africa, the message of nonviolence and reconciliation that nations worldwide will observe on 21 September demands more urgent and collective attention. In 2001 the United Nations designated the September date as an annual International Day of World Peace "to be observed as a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence" according to a General Assembly resolution. The day's devotion to peace connects closely with what Rotary members have been fostering since The Rotary Foundation's mission to advance world...

18/09/2014 07:15 PM
Illness leads former Navy code breaker to form world’s first Facebook-based Rotary club
When a serious illness stripped away many of her professional ambitions, Amanda Wirtz, a former U.S. Navy code breaker and professional violinist, turned to humanitarian service and Facebook to give her life new purpose. Wirtz was in her twenties and pursuing a career as a fitness trainer when a sharp pain in her abdomen sent her to the emergency room. Expecting something manageable like appendicitis, she instead found herself facing a rare tumor disorder that required her to undergo 30 surgeries over the next several years. Forced to rethink her life plans, Wirtz began focusing on how to...

17/09/2014 04:30 PM
Minutes of latest Board, Trustees meetings now available
Highlights of the May 2014 and "July" 2014 Board of Directors meetings include: Alumni and current participants of Rotary and Foundation programs are now eligible to join Rotarian Action Groups. Regional membership plans, approved in 2011 and set to expire on 30 June 2015, will continue as part of Rotary's ongoing membership efforts. The 2014-15 budgets for Rotary International and for Rotary Foundation programs are approved. Read more highlights Read the May and "July" minutes (English only) Highlights of the June 2014 Rotary Foundation Trustees meeting include: The worldwide Annual Fund...

15/09/2014 04:00 PM
Tips to help your club find and nurture a Youth Exchange host family
With 12 children -- six girls and six boys -- the Labordes hardly needed to add another member to their family. But they did: Over 40 years ago, Julia Mullikin, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from the United States, became like another daughter to this large family in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. "She's been a blessing for us," says Maria Victoria Hallal de Laborde who was 18 when Mullikin arrived in 1973. Like many exchange students, Mullikin remains close to her host family. So close that when one of Laborde's sisters was diagnosed with a rare, fatal disease, Mullikin arranged to send the...

12/09/2014 05:30 PM
Free vegetable gardens sprouting up around France
Imagine a community where the residents are all free to plant, grow, harvest, and eat healthy food whenever they want without having to pay for it. Sound too good to be true? That's exactly what residents of more than 20 cities and towns in France are doing through a project called Potalib. Launched by the Rotaract Club of Versailles, Potalib was inspired by the Incredible Edible project, an international food-sharing movement founded by Nick Green in England. The Rotaract members obtained Green's permission to apply the concept in France, changing the name to "Potalib," a contraction of "...

12/09/2014 04:00 PM
Title chosen for Foundation history, lottery winners announced
More than 3,400 people helped choose the winning title for The Rotary Foundation's history -- Doing Good in the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation's First 100 Years. Publication of the book is slated in early 2016. Participants voted for one of four possible book titles or submitted their own. Asked about the title, the book's author, David Forward, said: "When Arch Klumph was Rotary's president, he announced his vision for an endowment fund to "do good in the world." No one could have imagined just how much good would come from Klumph's idea. This title perfectly reflects...

12/09/2014 03:45 PM
Anti-vaccine movement may have global repercussions
Supporters of the anti-vaccine movement question the safety, efficacy and necessity of the very medicines that have so greatly reduced our children's risk of catching a host of once-common but potentially very serious infectious diseases, such as mumps, measles and whooping cough. And then there's polio, the disabling, sometimes fatal virus that was every American parent's worst nightmare until effective vaccines were developed in the 1950s — and which still infects children in the developing world. Some who oppose vaccines are well-meaning parents who have come to believe — wrongly in the...

11/09/2014 04:15 PM
Rotary’s response to Ebola outbreak
Rotary continues to follow the developments surrounding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and advice of the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our partners in international public health. Strengthening the health infrastructure and supporting and sustaining the deployment of government health workers throughout these outbreak areas are greatly needed. Although Rotary has limited opportunities to respond at a corporate level, our strength as an organization is firmly rooted in the grassroots response of Rotary clubs and Rotarians. Clubs around the...

10/09/2014 06:45 PM
What you need to know about the new club invoice
The way membership dues and subscription costs are billed is changing. Clubs will no longer receive an eight-page semiannual report to calculate their fees. Instead, beginning in January, Rotary will send clubs a new, one-page invoice that clearly states the payment due. The number of active members in Rotary's database for your club on 1 January and 1 July will be used to calculate your club invoice. All membership and subscription updates should be made by 1 January for the January invoice. Incoming officers should be reported by 1 February. You can make sure your club is ready for the new...

09/09/2014 07:15 PM
Since Boys' Week, Rotary has been empowering young leaders
The history of Rotary's work with youth dates back to the 1920s, when many clubs took part in an international event known as Boys' Week. The first Boys' Week was held in New York City in May 1920 by the Rotary Club of New York and other local organizations. The event was part of an effort to promote youth development in the areas of education, citizenship, health and hygiene, and vocation. New York club members reported on the success of Boys' Week at the 1920 Rotary convention, hoping that it would become part of the Boys' Work program, which Rotary had established several years earlier...

04/09/2014 03:00 PM
Giving voice to children who might otherwise live in a silent world
Misheelt Batjargal and her fellow club members are giving a voice to infants and toddlers in Mongolia who would otherwise live in a silent world. As part of a large-scale community project, the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar Peace Avenue, Mongolia, is equipping hospitals with screening devices to test newborns’ hearing. Batjargal, an ear, nose, and throat physician, says screening to detect hearing loss is not routine nationwide in Mongolia. She estimates that more than 200 hundred children in the country lose their hearing each year. But Batjargal believes this is preventable. Early screenings...

01/09/2014 05:00 AM
Business class: Microloan project boosts entrepreneurs in bankruptcy-era Detroit
From the September 2014 issue of The Rotarian Levi Johnson Jr. makes a mean barbecue sauce. Born in western Tennessee and raised in Detroit, he developed a taste for Southern cooking during childhood vacations in his mother’s hometown. She was the first in her family to pack up and head north in search of work, so he was the odd one out on those trips as the only city boy. But he felt at home in the kitchen, where he would watch his grandfather cook and savor the distinctive twang of his signature sauce. Johnson has lived in Detroit ever since. He raised a family of his own here and worked...

28/08/2014 07:15 PM
Polio's Retreat
As photojournalist Allison Kwesell walks through the narrow streets of an Indian village, familiarity sets in. She visited here four years ago, when she first met Samir and his family. He was two years old then and had recently contracted polio. Kwesell approaches the front porch of a home when she hears an older woman yelling “Samir! Samir!” She runs toward the voice, wondering if she’ll recognize the boy. She sees six children playing chase on the dry earth, the dirt forming clouds around their feet. From afar she notices a young boy, not unlike the other barefoot children in the backyard...

18/08/2014 09:30 PM
Rotaract award winners celebrated for their life-changing projects
The village of Kumbharwadi is one of many in a drought-prone region near Mumbai, India. Until recently, its residents had access to only one well with drinkable water. During the summer months, the well runs dry, and the women and girls of the village travel three to four hours a day to search for water. Enter Project Boond, undertaken by a Rotaract club, a Rotary club, and the Watershed Organization Trust to provide clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in Kumbharwadi. Nikunj Pherwani, 2013-14 president of the Rotaract Club of Hassaram Rijhumal College of Commerce and Economics in...

15/08/2014 05:30 PM
Young writers get published with the help of Rotary
In Jamaica, 11-year-old Jordan Allwood reads his classmates a story about a lonely puppy who finds a new family. The puppy grows into a big dog, enjoys walks along the beach, and survives a frightening autumn day when he is caught in a trap before being rescued by his family. Jordan's story is one of hundreds that were written by children ages 7-11 for a writing contest organized by the Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean 7020 and supported by clubs in 10 Caribbean nations. The best stories, including Jordan's, were published in "The Butterfly StoryBook," produced by the club and sold through...

12/08/2014 05:30 PM
Clubs breaking down barriers to clean water in Ghana
When Marty Hatala, a member of the Rotary Club of Boaz, Alabama, first traveled to Ghana in 2010 to volunteer at a local orphanage, she saw how local communities struggled to find clean water. Though at least 80 percent of the country's population has access to improved water sources, according to UNICEF, 5 million Ghanaians still use water from unsafe sources. That leaves a significant part of the country's population susceptible to a range of diseases. Worldwide, one out of every five deaths among those under the age of five is caused by water-related diseases. Hatala's experiences in Ghana...

07/08/2014 03:30 PM
Secrets of a successful crowdsourcing campaign
In case you haven't heard, a man raised nearly $60,000 to make potato salad as a spoof on a popular fundraising site. If he can do that, a campaign to raise money for feeding hungry children or building a school in a war-torn country should be a snap, right? Wrong. The Internet is littered with humanitarians struggling to raise the money and gather the resources for projects that could make a positive impact in the world. So, what is the secret to a successful crowdsourcing campaign? It's simple, really: make it easy to give. Here are some ways you can make it easy for supporters to back your...

05/08/2014 08:45 PM
Rotary supports WHO director-general’s public health emergency for polio
In May, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international spread of polio a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and issued a set of recommendations to all polio-impacted countries. On 31 July, the situation was reassessed and the Director-General has declared polio remains a public health emergency. Several factors played into this decision, including: Both Pakistan and Equatorial Guinea have exported the virus internationally since May. Polio thrives in areas compromised by conflict. The unfortunate reality is that there are...

05/08/2014 06:30 PM
John Germ selected as 2016-17 Rotary president
John F. Germ, a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, and chair of the International PolioPlus Committee, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of RI in 2016-17. He will become the president-nominee on 1 October if there are no challenging candidates. For Rotary to thrive, Germ says, members must face current and future challenges and opportunities with "passion, enthusiasm, perseverance, and above all, integrity." "I envision Rotary boldly and creatively engaging the success of polio eradication, membership and identity issues, strengthening clubs,...

01/08/2014 05:00 PM
Celebrate Membership Month
August is Membership Month, which means it’s time to celebrate your Rotary club, your members, and the good you do in your community and around the world. There are many ways to join in the celebration, but here are a few activities to get you started: Say it loud, say it proud! Let everyone in your social network know that you are a proud member by changing your Twitter and Facebook profile to the I’m a Proud Member, I’m a Proud Rotaractor, or I’m a Proud Interactor graphic. Copy and save the graphic as your profile picture for August. Watch and share. Download RI President Gary C.K. Huang’s...

01/08/2014 04:15 PM
President Gary C.K. Huang’s ambitious 1.3 million membership goal
Gary C.K. Huang never imagined he would become Rotary International's president when he joined in 1976, but now that he is in office, he hopes to increase membership to 1.3 million by the end of his term. "It's simple. The more members we have, the more people we can help. A stronger membership base will result in stronger communities," says Huang, who on 1 July became Rotary's first Chinese president. Huang also hopes his presidential theme, Light Up Rotary, will encourage members to brighten Rotary's image to the public, which he believes in return will improve member recruitment and...

30/07/2014 03:30 PM
Political strife, protecting U.S. diplomats are part of the job for former Rotary Peace Fellow
As an agent for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, Justin Peele applies the education he received in conflict resolution as a Rotary Peace Fellow to a job that puts him in some dicey situations – including one in 2013 in which his actions won him State Department recognition for his courage and decisiveness. Peele is one of 2,000 DS agents who protect U.S. diplomats and embassies around the world. The Diplomatic Security Service, the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. State Department, is the most extensive global security agency in the government, operating in more than 160...

29/07/2014 03:00 PM
Why and how to host a Rotary Day
In an effort to increase membership by 100,000 this year, RI President Gary C.K. Huang is urging clubs and districts to organize fun, informal community events called Rotary Days. "We need to showcase our good work to everyone in the community," says Huang. "Rotary Days need to be fun and all-inclusive... Let's give people the opportunity to experience what it's like to make a difference." Any club, big or small, can host a Rotary Day. Neighboring clubs can pool their resources and co-host an event, and entire districts can come together for a large-scale Rotary Day. In fact, several clubs...

25/07/2014 09:00 PM
Polio vaccinators make significant headway in Nigeria
Nigeria is closer than ever to eradicating polio, riding a successful effort to reach children in seven northern states at highest risk for the disease. "Rotarians have [gone] into remote areas of the country by car, canoe, motorbike, and even on foot to ensure every child gets the vaccine," says Rotary's Nigeria PolioPlus Committee Chair Tunji Funsho. In Katsina state, members of the Nigeria PolioPlus Committee (NPPC) recently met with leaders of two communities notoriously opposed to immunization, mainly on religious grounds and in protest of the lack of basic health care. They persuaded...

22/07/2014 06:00 PM
Committee members named to nominate 2016-17 RI president
The following Rotarians will serve on the 2014-15 Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International in 2016-17. The committee is scheduled to meet on 4 August. Zone 2Kazuhiko Ozawa, Rotary Club of Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan Zone 4Yash Pal Das, Rotary Club of Ambala, Haryana, India Zone 6Shekhar Mehta, Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India Zone 8Barry E. Thompson, Rotary Club of Padstow, New South Wales, Australia Zone 10Juin Park, Rotary Club of Suncheon, Jeonranam, Korea Zone 12Carlo Monticelli, Rotary Club of Milano Net, Italy Zone 14Ekkehart Pandel, Rotary Club of...

22/07/2014 05:45 PM
Rotary Scholar’s unique ability in bringing clubs together
In a municipal hospital in Cubatão, Brazil, a new mammography machine funded by a Rotary global grant provides breast cancer screening to women who previously had to wait for weeks before they could get in for a checkup with a doctor. A Rotary global grant also funded training for medical staff and cancer awareness education for people in the community. Isis Mejias Carpio of Houston, studying at the University of São Paulo on a Rotary scholarship, played an instrumental role in bringing together Rotary clubs in two countries to make the grant possible. Members of the Rotary Club of Cubatão,...

17/07/2014 04:00 PM
Rick Burns’ thoughtful approach to Iraq and Afghanistan
Humanitarian Rick Burns, a retired civil affairs officer in the U.S. Army, has been helping people in the war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003. He's seen a lot of good, but he's also seen what happens when good intentions go awry. Take the fertile grounds of Arghandab River Valley in Afghanistan, for example. Burns recalls an initiative to help fruit exporters become profitable again after the war. Cold storage facilities were built, but because no one considered the country's spotty electricity, the facilities ended up being too expensive to maintain. "We really want to make...

14/07/2014 10:00 PM
Pedaling coast-to-coast for a purpose
Keith Harris is pedaling for a purpose. At the tender age of 50, he's set out on an eight-week, 4,400-mile bike ride across the U.S. to raise $25,000 for The Rotary Foundation. He's also hoping to raise an additional $2,500 for Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where a few years ago he was treated for a life-threatening heart condition. "The trip is sort of my midlife crisis," he admits but it's not the first time he's pedaled across the country. He made the trek about 20 years ago, before he married his wife, Christina. Harris has been a Rotary member for 18 years. He's...

09/07/2014 03:45 PM
2015 São Paulo convention dates changed
Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang and the RI Board have changed the dates for the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil, to Saturday, 6 June, through Tuesday, 9 June – starting and ending one day earlier than previously scheduled. The dates were changed because the original opening day (Sunday, 7 June) coincided with one of the city's most popular parades. The new start date will dramatically reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for Rotary members to attend the opening plenary sessions. It will also make it convenient to attend our very own Rotary Carnival, a Host...

08/07/2014 09:45 PM
Blown away by the realities of human trafficking
At the age of 17, Jennifer was sleeping on the streets of Atlanta. She'd felt abandoned most of her life, unprotected from her brothers and her mother's boyfriends, who physically and sexually abused her since she was five. And now, kicked out of her house, Jennifer - whose last name is withheld for privacy - was alone and vulnerable. She was soon lured into sex trafficking and was unable to escape for two years. Then she found Covenant House. "Studies have shown that if a young person ends up on the street, within 48 hours someone is going to approach them with the intention of exploiting...

02/07/2014 07:30 PM
Access to online reports extended for 2013-14 district governors
District governors for 2013-14 will continue to have access to reports and information about their year in the District Administration section of Rotary's website until 30 June 2015. If you're an immediate past district governor, you have access to reports on club officers, membership, contributions, and semiannual dues. And you'll also be able to see the names of 2013-14 assistant governors, club groups, and district chairs. This extension does not include access to the grant application tool. If you do not see the menus under District Administration, sign out and sign back in. If you have...

02/07/2014 05:30 PM
Drug wars, financial setbacks no match for Mexico clinic
About 300 miles south of Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico's most dangerous cities, is the small town of Guerrero in central Chihuahua. The community is home to the Guerrero Clinic, which has weathered neighboring drug wars and financial setbacks to treat the poor since 1980. Walter Branson, a member of the Rotary Club of Brazosport, Texas, in the United States, has been involved with the clinic since 1983. Branson says the governor of Chihuahua credits the clinic with providing 60 percent of indigent care in the state. The drug wars in Mexico, which began in 2006, initially scared away U.S....

30/06/2014 04:45 PM
President Burton reflects on his call to ‘Engage Rotary, Change Lives’
Ron Burton has made the world his office. Over the past year, the Rotary International president has traveled more than half-a-million miles across 50 countries, to inspire and motivate Rotary's 1.2 million members. Although many encouraged him to use cheaper, virtual alternatives, he believes it takes face-to-face engagement. "I was the first president to have a Google Hangout and have done Facebook chats," Burton says, reflecting on his term, which ends at midnight 30 June. "But I asked Rotarians this year to Engage Rotary, Change Lives, so I needed to live that as well, by sitting at...

25/06/2014 03:30 PM
Why the Rotary year begins 1 July
Ever wonder why the Rotary year begins 1 July? The international convention initially played a key role in determining the start date of our fiscal and administrative year. Rotary's first fiscal year began the day after the first convention ended, on 18 August 1910. The 1911-12 fiscal year also related to the convention, beginning with the first day of the 1911 convention on 21 August. At its August 1912 meeting, the Board of Directors ordered an audit of the International Association of Rotary Clubs' finances. The auditors recommended that the organization end its fiscal year on 30 June to...

23/06/2014 06:30 PM
Polio detected in sewage sample near São Paulo
This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was detected in a sewage sample collected in March 2014 near São Paulo, home of this year's World Cup. Brazilian authorities are conducting further investigations to rule out any local spread, but at this time no cases of polio have been reported in Brazil, which has been polio-free since 1989. Genetic sequencing found the positive sample to be most closely related to a virus found in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in March. The risk of further exportation of polio from Equatorial Guinea remains high as...

19/06/2014 09:15 PM
Rise of the female Honduran entrepreneur
Marta Lopez bakes up to 100 items a day in a small clay oven. Higinia Reyes owns a corn mill. Remigia Dominguez is the head of a weaving co-op. All of these women live in rural Honduras and run their own businesses with the support of loans provided by the Adelante Foundation and Rotary International. The rural villages of the Lenca Corridor in the western highlands of Honduras are home to some of the poorest indigenous people in the country. This is where the Adelante Foundation, a microlender, finds poor women who want to become self-sufficient business owners. Adelante collaborates,...

19/06/2014 03:15 PM
Ten things to know about the new Rotary Foundation funding model
I've been very involved in the development of our Foundation's new funding model and have closely followed the questions being raised about it in social media and elsewhere. The new funding model for The Rotary Foundation was developed because our ability to continue "doing good in the world" depends heavily on the Foundation having long-term financial stability. In the interests of improved communication and understanding of the changes, here are 10 important things to know about the new model, which becomes effective on 1 July 2015. 1. Rotarians and clubs will benefit Rotary's strength lies...

18/06/2014 03:00 PM
Rotary in the News
A busy May for Rotary International didn't go unnoticed by the rest of the world. It's not all the time that Rotary's work is written about in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and Bloomberg News, just to name a few. But that's exactly what happened last month. From our record-breaking bridge climb across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the polio emergency in Pakistan, Rotary-related stories in global news outlets touched audiences around the world. This kind of attention wouldn't be possible without the dedication of Rotary members. So to commemorate these achievements, we used...

17/06/2014 09:45 PM
Literacy project forges virtual friendships for young students
A group of elementary school students smile and laugh, asking each other questions and sharing stories. Their conversations turn to recess, their pets, favorite sports, and what they like to eat. It may sound like a typical classroom setting, but half of the students in the room are in Durham, North Carolina, in the U.S. and the other half are on the opposite side of the globe in Ahmedabad, India. Eight sixth grade students from YE Smith Elementary, all involved in the Rotary Club of Durham's literacy program, Rotary Reading Rangers, participate in the international video conference. After...

13/06/2014 04:00 PM
8 tips for getting young people interested in your club
Nathaniel Smith and Kristin Post met on a walking tour of Dupont Circle, a lively neighborhood in Washington, D.C. That's where things got a little creepy -- in a ghoulish sort of way. The Halloween-inspired walk featured ghost stories and neighborhood history. It also replaced a regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Dupont Circle Washington. It's just the kind of activity that can attract young people -- or the young at heart -- to Rotary. "This type of club meeting not only shakes up the tradition-bound notions of Rotary, it also creates an event to show off our club to younger prospects,"...

11/06/2014 02:30 PM
Choose the winning book title and you could win a trip to the convention
The Rotary Foundation will celebrate 100 years of Doing Good in the World in 2016-17. To commemorate this momentous occasion, we commissioned Rotary member and author David Forward to write the definitive history of our Foundation. Every great book deserves an equally great name, so we're asking your help to choose one. From now through 15 June, you can vote for one of four selected titles or submit your own. To enter the lottery for a free copy of the book, please provide your name and email address on the survey. Ten winners will receive a book signed by the author, and one lucky winner...

06/06/2014 07:15 PM
Donate to PolioPlus by 30 June and earn recognition for your district or club
Districts that give 20 percent or more in District Designated Funds to PolioPlus will receive a special certificate each year they achieve this goal. To qualify for 2013-14, DDF contributions must be received by 30 June. If your annual contribution continues at this rate through the eradication of polio, your district will also be recognized on a PolioPlus plaque to be displayed at Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston. Only districts that began allocating DDF during the 2013-14 Rotary year -- and each year thereafter -- qualify for this recognition. Additionally, clubs that give $1,...

04/06/2014 07:30 PM
Rotary breaks records, puts polio on notice at Sydney convention
Polio took a hit at this year's Rotary convention in Sydney, Australia. First there was the record-breaking climb across the Sydney Harbour Bridge that raised enough money to protect 240,000 kids from polio. On 30 May, two days before the official opening of the convention, 340 participants ascended the bridge, eclipsing the record previously held by Oprah Winfrey for most climbers on the bridge. Waving 278 flags, they also broke the Guinness World Record for most flags flown on a bridge. Then it was announced that the World's Biggest Commercial, Rotary's public awareness campaign for polio...

04/06/2014 04:15 PM
2014 Rotary Convention ends with the passing of the torch
RI President Ron Burton put the final touches on the 2014 Rotary Convention in Sydney by reminding a packed Allphones Arena why they joined Rotary. "Being a Rotarian isn't about our own achievements, it isn't about our own careers, it really isn't about us at all. It's about the people we help," said Burton. "At the end of the day, the only thing that matters in Rotary is how much better the world becomes because Rotary is in it." The four-day event, which drew to a close on 4 June, attracted more than 18,000 attendees from 153 countries. Burton encouraged convention goers to return to their...

04/06/2014 03:45 PM
Rotary’s future takes center stage on last day of Sydney convention
Gertrude Adzo Akpalu walked out of the Allphones Arena in Sydney more inspired than ever to do her part to inject youth and energy into Rotary, helping to secure its future. "This was by far the best plenary session of the convention," said Akpalu, who is the director of youth activities for the Rotary Club of Accra East, Ghana. "All the speakers on New Generations gave us a clear message that engaging young minds will keep Rotary alive. I'm young myself, so this was the perfect message to take home," she added. The fourth plenary session, held 4 June, focused on what's ahead for Rotary and...

03/06/2014 03:30 PM
Sir Emeka announces $1M gift for polio at Sydney convention
Nigerian business leader and philanthropist Sir Emeka Offor announced a $1 million gift to The Rotary Foundation for polio eradication efforts at the Rotary Convention in Sydney. Sir Emeka, who is executive vice chair of the Chrome Group, has made contributions to Rotary's campaign to rid the world of this deadly disease totaling more than $3.1 million, including a $1 million gift he announced at the 2013 convention. He told the attendees at the third plenary session on Tuesday that his commitment to ending polio is a personal one. "Scores of my friends and classmates fell victim to this...

02/06/2014 04:15 PM
Leadership stories highlight day two of convention
Leadership turned into the central theme of day two at the Rotary Convention as a slew of speakers from large service organizations and projects shared their stories of sacrifice and triumph. Plenary session speakers included Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization; Professor Martin Silink, president of the International Diabetes Federation; Tommy Spaulding, a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and world-renowned leadership expert; and Brett Lee, Australian cricket star. "Each speaker did something for me in terms of understanding the expansion of what Rotary does," said Betty...

02/06/2014 04:00 PM
Minutes of April Trustees meeting now available
The minutes from the April 2014 Rotary Foundation Trustees meeting are now available. Highlights include: Packaged grants will no longer be offered. Current packaged grant agreements will expire at the end of their terms, and Rotary will not renew service partner agreements. District grants can now include funding for construction. The Trustees received with appreciation a gift totaling $3.6 million from the estate of Vera Bozzola of Novara, Italy. Read more highlights Read the minutes (English only)

01/06/2014 03:30 PM
Australian prime minister opens convention with $100M polio pledge
As Rotary members from around the world filed into Allphones Arena for the opening ceremony of the 2014 International Convention in Sydney, they were greeted by news that the Australian government will commit $100 million over five years to help eradicate polio. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and New South Wales Premier Mike Baird were on hand to address the convention and assure Rotary members of Australia's commitment to their cause. Abbott has been at the center of attacks in recent days for his proposed federal budget, but he walked out to a standing ovation. "I don't normally get...

30/05/2014 07:30 PM
General secretary and treasurer reports now available
The reports given to the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney by General Secretary John Hewko and Rotary International Treasurer Andy Smallwood are now available. Hewko and Smallwood addressed the convention during today's business session, which also included the election of President-nominee K.R. Ravindran, 2015-17 RI directors, and 2015-16 district governors. Hewko gave a promising update on our fight to eradicate polio and highlighted our new digital resources for members — Rotary Brand Center and Rotary.org. In the treasurer's report, Smallwood predicted that fiscal 2014 will...

30/05/2014 05:00 PM
Water summit urges collaboration to quench world’s thirst
The statistics are staggering. Worldwide, 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation facilities. More than 783 million people lack access to clean drinking water. But the message at the World Water Summit held Friday in Sydney was encouraging: Rotary members and their clubs can bring down those numbers through collaborations and partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and governments. "These are scary numbers," said Jenny Da Rin, assistant secretary for the Health and Environmental Safeguards branch of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "...

30/05/2014 03:45 PM
Rotary’s historic climb in Sydney
During Friday's world record-breaking Sydney Harbour bridge climb, Rotary members raised enough money to protect 240,000 kids from polio. Despite the physically grueling four-hour trek up and down the bridge's storied steel arches, the 340 participants kept their good spirits and stood side-by-side waving 278 flags. "When the helicopters were going around, you just felt like one great big nation," says Graeme Davies, district governor of the Rotary Club of Kincumber in Australia. The massive turnout eclipsed Oprah Winfrey's world-record climb in 2011 when she summited the bridge alongside 315...

29/05/2014 04:30 PM
Rotary brings the world to Sydney
It may be the start of winter in Sydney, Australia, but things are heating up down under as more than 18,000 Rotary members from over 150 countries arrive for their biggest international event of the year, the Rotary Convention. The four-day event, held 1-4 June, offers the perfect venue for our members, their families, and friends to experience the global reach of Rotary. Through workshops, special events, and social activities, attendees have the chance to discover and celebrate our members' diverse backgrounds and exchange ideas for making the world a better place. "At a convention, for a...

28/05/2014 04:45 PM
Rotary's work commemorated in stamps
For more than 80 years, countries around the world have honored the work of Rotary with commemorative stamps. The first appeared in 1931, when Austria created an overprint -- a later printing over an officially issued stamp -- in honor of the RI Convention in Vienna. Other RI conventions have been commemorated with stamps, including those held in 1940, in Havana, Cuba; 1961 and 1978, in Tokyo; 1981, in São Paulo, Brazil; and 1987, in Munich, Germany. For Rotary's 50th anniversary in 1955, 27 nations issued commemorative stamps. Many featured familiar Rotary imagery such as the gearwheel,...

27/05/2014 04:00 PM
Training nurses to save mothers and babies in East Africa
Josephine Awor doesn't need statistics to know Uganda struggles to provide adequate health care to expectant mothers and babies. As a nurse who has worked with vulnerable populations in areas affected by conflict in South Sudan, she's seen firsthand what happens when mothers are forced to deliver and care for newborns without medical assistance. Still, the numbers don't lie. According to the World Bank, 310 women die in Uganda for every 100,000 live births, compared with just 21 in the United States and 12 in the United Kingdom. Infants fare even worse. In Uganda, 45 out of 1,000 infants...

21/05/2014 08:30 PM
Beware of new email scam claiming to be from RI President Burton
A new email falsely claiming to be from RI President Ron Burton is targeting Rotary members.  A letter attached to the email asks the recipient to send $1,500 to rescue missing children in China and claims that the sender will be rewarded with $3,000. The fraudulent email has the subject line “RI President Ron Burton” and is sent from a fake email address. The letter attached to the email includes the Rotary logo, Rotary digital letterhead, and Burton’s electronic signature. The email is a scam. Rotary staff is working to resolve the issue. Avoid being the victim of scams by deleting any...

20/05/2014 10:00 PM
New Ugandan club takes on challenges of a growing economy
Despite three years of strong economic growth and a burgeoning middle class, the central Ugandan city of Entebbe is still mired in high poverty rates, inadequate health care, and water insecurity. In 2010 the United Nations established the Regional Service Centre Entebbe, which is a logistical launch pad for UN missions in Central Africa. The permanent UN hub brought tens of thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families to the area. While the economic boost created a growing consumer class, it's failed to trickle down to the poorest citizens. When Michael Muriithi moved...

16/05/2014 05:45 PM
Rotary project creates cookbook for the visually impaired
A woman with a black apron is stirring tomatoes into a pan of vegetables in Bursa, Turkey. Visually impaired, she is being helped by an assistant, who is a spouse of a Turkish Rotary member. Elsewhere in the kitchen, other cooks and Rotary spouses are preparing meatballs, slicing and peeling eggplants, and measuring out cookie dough. At a table in an adjacent dining area, a man is reading a recipe from a Braille cookbook. The cookbook, "Good Smells From the Kitchen," has enabled many members of the Library of Turkey for the Visually Disabled to enter the kitchen with new confidence. "For the...

14/05/2014 06:30 PM
A global thirst for water
Growing up in northern Ghana, a particularly arid region of a parched land, Braimah Apambire saw how a lack of access to water can sap a community's vitality – and how something as simple as a catchment or pump can transform lives. Apambire, director of the Center for International Water and Sustainability at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev., USA, will be a featured speaker at the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) World Water Summit on 30 May in Sydney, Australia. THE ROTARIAN: How did you get involved in water issues? APAMBIRE: In my village, Zuarungu, we do not...

12/05/2014 06:00 PM
Convention blog helps Rotary members keep pace, connect
As new friendships and collaborations form at Rotary's International Convention each year, we're reminded of the unwavering commitment Rotary members have to service. With these guiding principles in mind, we created the Convention Insider blog to facilitate and to strengthen your connections. Every Rotarian has a unique story to tell, and by telling those stories, we are fostering new dialogues that we hope result in innovative partnerships. In addition to storytelling, the Convention Insider will serve as a hub for Rotarians to learn about the events, the booths, and the conversations...

12/05/2014 05:30 PM
2014 Rotary Convention photo gallery
See our daily photo gallery from Sydney

09/05/2014 05:00 PM
How Rotary Ideas is changing the landscape of crowdsourcing
Lina Aurelio and Peter Audino had something the other one wanted. Rotary Ideas helped them find each other. Aurelio’s club was looking for $3,000 to buy eyeglasses for needy children in the Philippines. Audino’s club, located in the United States, had exactly that much money earmarked for an international service project. “We searched Rotary Ideas for a project that fit our budget, one we thought would be effective if supported,” says Audino, international projects committee chair for the Rotary Club of Hyannis in Massachusetts. The eye project in the Philippines met their criteria so they...

08/05/2014 03:30 PM
Howard Buffett wants to end hunger by 2046
Howard Buffett is on deadline. In 2006, his father, U.S. investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett, challenged him to do something great in the world – and gave him $1 billion to do it. So he gave himself 40 years to spend every penny in a bold attempt to end global hunger. After a second stock gift in 2012 and favorable returns, he has about $3 billion now. An Illinois farmer, Buffett spends part of the year in the cab of his tractor and the rest of his time leading the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. He's barreled headfirst into his task, visiting more than 100 countries to research the...

06/05/2014 08:15 PM
Peace Corps and Rotary kickoff historic collaboration
In an effort to promote global development and volunteer service, Rotary and Peace Corps have agreed to participate in a one-year pilot program in the Philippines, Thailand, and Togo. Under the agreement, Rotary clubs and Peace Corps volunteers are encouraged to share their resources and knowledge to boost the impact of development projects in these three countries. Opportunities for collaboration include supporting community projects, training, networking, and community education. Through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, Rotary clubs can continue to provide small grants to support...

06/05/2014 02:30 PM
Rotary supports WHO’s recommendations on recent polio transmission
Rotary supports the World Health Organization director-general's statement that polio is a public health emergency of international concern. Additionally, Rotary echoes WHO's recommendations for residents and long-term visitors in Pakistan, Cameroon, and Syria and in polio-endemic countries to receive immunizations against the disease before they travel. This action is a positive step needed to safeguard the remarkable progress the world has made toward ending polio. With our partners, as well as health ministries, governments, and others, Rotary remains committed to a polio-free world.

05/05/2014 06:45 PM
Rotary special to a father in failing health
Dave Mars owned a commercial printing company in Los Angeles. He was the one who asked my father to join the Wilshire Rotary club in 1982. "How did you know Dave Mars?" I ask. My father mulls over this for a while but doesn't come up with anything. My stepmother, Jerri, goes back to the filing cabinets in the office off their bedroom and miraculously returns with a handful of small Rotary pamphlets, actual facebooks, each one containing about 30 pages of black and white photographs of the men in the club, along with their names and their jobs. We look through 1982 and, sure enough, there's...

30/04/2014 10:15 PM
Rotary safe from Heartbleed Bug
Working with our security partners, the Rotary IT staff has concluded our website to be safe and secure from the Heartbleed Bug. Based on our analysis there is no sign that we were breached by cyber criminals. The Heartbleed bug, a major Internet security vulnerability, was discovered Monday, 7 April. To learn more about the bug and what it means to you, read Heartbleed Bug: What Can You Do? on the Krebs on Security blog. Whenever a security vulnerability of this magnitude is uncovered, it’s always recommended that you change your passwords. We are still encouraging users to change their...

30/04/2014 03:15 PM
Trustees approve new Foundation funding model
The Rotary Foundation Trustees have approved a new model for funding the Foundation's operating costs. Effective 1 July 2015, the Foundation will direct 5 percent of Annual Fund donations to help pay administrative and fund development expenses and to build a strong operating reserve. The Foundation will also draw on other funding sources, including 5 percent of cash contributions for global grants and up to 10 percent of select corporate gifts. Our current method of using investment earnings to fund these costs is no longer financially sustainable in today's unpredictable markets....

29/04/2014 04:00 PM
Find digital guidelines for your club website in Rotary’s Brand Center
The Quick Start Guide for Club Websites makes it easy for you to quickly update your club and district websites to reflect Rotary’s voice and visual identity. Find recommendations for organizing your site, displaying the logo and club name, selecting colors and fonts, and more. Reach out to your website provider to see if they have a new web template for your site. Find this guide and more in the Rotary Brand Center.

25/04/2014 03:45 PM
Interact students feared dead in South Korean ferry tragedy, six rescued
Fourteen Interactors are among the 350 passengers who are dead or missing and presumed dead after a ferry capsized and sank on 16 April during a routine trip off the coast of South Korea. Six fellow Interact club members were rescued. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board the 7,000 ton ferry, 339 were high school students and teachers from the Ansan Danwon High School, where the 30-member Interact club is based. The students were on an outing to the southern island of Jeju. Rotary Districts 3750 and 3610 in South Korea are working with local Rotary clubs to provide volunteer services and...

23/04/2014 08:30 PM
Rotary member sacrifices record deal for disaster relief
On September 11, 2001, Todd Shea found himself running toward ground zero. He had no business being there. A singer-songwriter with a record deal, Shea should have been prepping for a gig at CBGB, one of New York City's most iconic venues. Instead he was using his band's van to bring food, water, and supplies to first responders. After five grueling days amid the rubble of the Twin Towers, Shea decided to sacrifice his musical career, and dedicate his life to disaster relief. "Seeing the suffering in New York opened my eyes to what other people around the world are going through every day,"...

21/04/2014 04:00 PM
Friendship Trees
Rotarians have planted trees in the name of fellowship, friendship, and community service since the early 20th century. These trees, which can be found worldwide, have grown into enduring monuments of Rotary’s ideals.  As president emeritus, Harris traveled extensively during the 1920s and 1930s, often accompanied by his wife Jean. During these trips, the nature-loving Harris planted trees to symbolize goodwill and friendship.  In the fall of 1932, Harris embarked on a five-week tour of European Rotary clubs and planted trees along the way.  “Wednesday forenoon I planted my first tree of...

18/04/2014 04:15 PM
Alumni award winners turn heads with unique accomplishments
Maya Ajmera founded the Global Fund for Children in 1993 to provide seed money to community-based organizations that help at-risk children across the world. Since then, GFC has awarded more than $32 million in grants to over 600 organizations in 80 countries, improving the lives of millions of children – from educating AIDS orphans in Uganda to conducting so-called curbside classrooms for waste pickers in Cambodia. "Education is the key to getting human beings out of poverty," says Ajmera, whose studies at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai were sponsored by the Rotary Club of China Lake in...

14/04/2014 04:00 PM
Paralympian Dennis Ogbe defying paralysis
Dennis Ogbe grips the discus in his right hand. He swings his arm and twists at the waist as far to the right as he can. With one move he snaps back, letting the saucer fly. Upper-body strength is important for any discus thrower, but for Ogbe, a Paralympian, it’s everything. At age three, Ogbe contracted malaria, and while receiving treatment at a clinic near his home in rural Nigeria, he became infected with the poliovirus. Paralyzed from the waist down, he was sent home in the arms of his mother. He credits his physical rehabilitation to a harsh form of therapy – the taunts of the other...

11/04/2014 03:15 PM
Moving doctor’s office rescues women from breast cancer
In Tamil Nadu, India, two doctors, both members of the Rotary Club of Srirangam, discovered an alarming trend in the remote city outskirts of Trichy, women dying of breast cancer. Drs. K. Govindaraj and K.N. Srinivasan knew that much of the death and suffering could be avoided, and both were motivated by their personal experiences with the disease. Govindaraj watched his mother die of breast cancer a decade earlier, and helped found the Dr. K. Shantha Breast Cancer Foundation in her memory.  Srinivasan, an oncologist, witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of younger patients coming to...

08/04/2014 07:45 PM
Watch General Secretary John Hewko talk polio with Forbes
India – once considered the global epicenter for polio – celebrated three years in January since its last case of the crippling disease. As a result, the World Health Organization declared its 11-country Southeast Asia region polio-free, a momentous achievement signaling we are closer than ever to eliminating polio once and for all. General Secretary John Hewko joined Rotary member Devin Thorpe last week in a live Forbes.com interview to discuss how we will eradicate polio in the three countries where it still exists: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Watch the interview to learn how polio...

08/04/2014 06:00 PM
Writer and war widow Artis Henderson finds peace through Rotary
In the first month of my stay in Dakar, Senegal, as a Rotary Scholar, a friend gave me a piece of helpful advice. “Buy a wedding ring,” she said. I had already learned that as a young American woman in a Muslim country, I attracted a certain kind of attention. But a ring? My friend nodded. “That way everyone will leave you alone.” With my thumb I felt for the empty space on my left ring finger -- a place that, even now, I sometimes touch and worry where my ring has gone. I removed my wedding band on the one-year anniversary of my marriage, eight months after my husband, Miles, was killed in...

03/04/2014 07:45 PM
Peace fellow Ali Reza Eshraghi on today’s Iran
Iranian-born journalist Ali Reza Eshraghi, 35, is the Iran project manager at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and a teaching fellow in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After working as an editor at several Tehran newspapers – all of which were eventually banned or shut down by the government – he became a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and met Pate Thomson and Mary Alice Rathbun, of the Rotary Club of Berkeley. In 2012, he completed his studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow at the Duke-UNC Rotary...

01/04/2014 09:45 PM
Check out The Rotarian’s new website
Celebrate Magazine Month by checking out The Rotarian's new website, TheRotarianMagazine.com. You'll find highlights from each issue, along with selected stories from the archives. Each feature story appears in full, accompanied by photos and videos. Share articles with your social networks to spread the word about Rotary's good work, and join in conversations about them on Facebook and Twitter.

31/03/2014 05:15 PM
Water project unites Lebanon clubs across all divides
A project to provide clean water to all of Lebanon’s schools is uniting leaders from many of the country’s diverse religious, cultural, and political divisions. In 2011, Rotary members in northern Lebanon decided to install new tanks and water filters in a few nearby schools with the help of a Rotary Foundation grant. The idea caught on and a few other clubs followed suit. Two years later, District 2452 Governor Jamil Mouawad and other district leaders saw the potential of creating one giant water project that could reach every school and involve all 24 of the country’s Rotary clubs. They...

28/03/2014 08:00 PM
History of Women in Rotary
The 1989 Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide remains a watershed moment in the history of Rotary. "My fellow delegates, I would like to remind you that the world of 1989 is very different to the world of 1905. I sincerely believe that Rotary has to adapt itself to a changing world," said Frank J. Devlyn, who would go on to become RI president in 2000-01.  The vote followed the decades-long efforts of men and women from all over the Rotary world to allow for the admission of women into Rotary clubs, and several close votes at previous Council meetings. The...

28/03/2014 06:30 PM
Southeast Asia declared polio free
The World Health Organization certified on 27 March its 11-country Southeast Asia region has eradicated polio, a long-awaited declaration given that five years ago India represented nearly half of all polio cases worldwide. The region’s last wild polio case was reported in West Bengal, India, on 13 January 2011. “This achievement is an important milestone for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative [GPEI],” said Rotary Foundation Trustee chair Dong Kurn Lee at the WHO’s South-East Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication meeting in New Delhi, India, on 27 March. “We have...

27/03/2014 09:30 PM
Alaskan Rotarians see membership hike while uniting to build park
The Rotary Club of Eagle River Area in Alaska experienced a 50 percent increase in membership after building a playground designed for children with disabilities to play alongside their classmates. Former club president Tonya Gamble says the club is always looking for ways to increase membership, but it wasn't until they took on the park project that the club saw its membership rise from 29 to 43 members. Rotary members helped raise funds and assemble the park equipment. "When children get together and play, they realize they have more in common than differences," Gamble says. "That concept...

27/03/2014 01:15 PM
Problems running reports on Internet Explorer 11
We are experiencing an issue with the Internet Explorer 11 browser that makes it difficult to run reports on Rotary.org. Users with IE 11 cannot select the prompts on their reports. SAP, our business reporting software provider, is aware of the problem and working on a solution. In the meantime, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 9 or 10 to run reports. We apologize for the inconvenience. For more information about improvements to the site and known issues we are working to resolve, visit Rotary.org Updates. Check Rotary.org Resources for answers to frequently asked...

25/03/2014 08:30 PM
Join Rotary’s End Polio Now Thunderclap
On 27 March, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) will declare the South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organization polio-free, an important milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The 11 countries in the region -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste -- are home to 1.8 billion people and represent the fourth of six regions worldwide to be officially certified polio-free. We need your help to spread the news of this historic accomplishment. Share your voice by...

25/03/2014 07:15 PM
Small clubs band together for big results in Ghana villages
A primary school without desks, a secondary school in need of floors and windows, and a health clinic that lacked beds. These are some of the challenges that have faced three villages in eastern Ghana — and that Danish Rotary members have taken on over the last four years. The Rotarians learned about the communities from Danish artist Hans Kjær, who teaches in the village of Nnudu. They quickly realized they could have a great impact on residents' daily lives, says Kaj Knudsen, a past president of the Rotary Club of Rudkøbing. "Even a small amount of money can make a huge difference," he...

25/03/2014 02:30 PM
Register by 31 March to save on convention fees
Register by 31 March for the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney for your last chance to save on registration fees. After 31 March, the basic fee of $360 increases to $410, and you'll only be able to register online or on-site. From 1 to 4 June, you'll have the chance to hear from our lineup of inspiring speakers, including: Ade Adepitan, British TV presenter and polio survivor; Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general for Polio, Emergencies, and Country Collaboration at the World Health Organization; Gemma Sisia, founder of the School of St. Jude in Tanzania; and Tommy...

24/03/2014 09:45 PM
Do-it-yourself libraries
When the editors at Reader's Digest made a list of the "50 Surprising Reasons We Love America" for their July 2013 cover story, they placed Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi at No. 50, Bill Gates at No. 25, and at No. 11, sandwiched between sliced bread and tumbleweeds, was Little Free Library, a homespun-tribute-turned-international-phenomenon started by Rotary member Todd Bol. People in 55 countries have installed more than 16,000 Lilliputian lending libraries, run on the premise of "take a book, return a book," since Bol built his first in 2009 in memory of his mother, a teacher who loved...

24/03/2014 05:00 PM
Minutes of January Board meeting now available
The minutes of the January 2014 Board of Directors meeting are now available. Highlights include: Clubs in District 2230 (Belarus, Poland, Ukraine) will be reorganized into District 2231 (Poland) and District 2232 (Belarus and Ukraine), effective 1 July 2016. Effective 1 January 2015, clubs must report new and terminated members within 30 days. The Board affirmed its support of RI's participation at Expo Milano 2015. Read more highlights Read the minutes (English only)

20/03/2014 06:45 PM
Rotary announces New Member Sponsor Recognition program
Sponsor a new member and you'll not only strengthen your club, you'll also get recognized for your efforts. Through the New Member Sponsor Recognition program, sponsors will now receive a specially designed Rotary pin and recognition on Rotary's website. Simply enter new members into your club's records and identify the sponsor. Each week, Rotary will send clubs a packet containing the names of newly identified sponsors along with Rotary pins and as many as four different-colored pin backers. The color of the backer depends on the number of new members sponsored, ranging from blue for one...

19/03/2014 08:45 PM
Young leaders from India, Uganda organize successful presidential conferences
Ramkumar Raju of India and Winfred Karungi of Uganda have never met, but they have a great deal in common. They're both Rotaract club members and district Rotaract representatives. They're also promising young community leaders who helped plan successful Presidential New Generations Conferences in their countries. Rotary International President Ron Burton hosted the conferences, which were held in Chennai in October and Kampala in November. (A third conference took place in Rosario, Argentina, in March.) The goal of these international conferences was to bring together young community leaders...

19/03/2014 03:30 PM
Enter Instagram contest for a chance to win international airline tickets
Rotary is giving away international round-trip tickets to three lucky winners whose Rotary hero photograph receives the most likes on Instagram. The tickets will be awarded using miles from Rotary's United Charity Miles account for travel to a Rotary event, program, or service project. Simply follow @rotaryinternational on Instagram. Then share a photograph you've taken of your Rotary hero. Upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #rotaryhero and start collecting likes. The three images that receive the most likes by 21 April win! One grand prize winner will receive two international tickets...

14/03/2014 05:45 PM
Rotary helps Ghana surpass clean water goals
For over 20 years, Michael Anyekase has crisscrossed Ghana drilling boreholes and installing hand pumps on wells to provide clean water. Water for drinking, washing, and flushing toilets. "There is nothing more satisfying than when fresh water comes out of the well and the children shout, 'Hey, water! Water!'" says Anyekase, who works for Water in Africa, a nongovernmental organization (NGO). In partnership with Rotary members from across the globe, Anyekase's dedication has helped eradicate Guinea worm disease and lessen the cases of dysentery, diarrhea, and other common diseases associated...

13/03/2014 10:30 PM
Minutes of January Trustees meeting now available
The minutes from the January 2014 Rotary Foundation Trustees meeting are now available. Highlights include: Rotary Foundation Vice Chair Michael K. McGovern was elected to serve a second term as vice chair in 2014–15. The Trustees approved a new logo for The Rotary Foundation. Forty-five Rotarians were selected to receive The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award, the Foundation's highest service recognition. Read more highlights Read the minutes (English only)

12/03/2014 09:45 PM
Smartphone forges cross-cultural connection
When media strategist Kevin Hersh led a Group Study Exchange trip from District 7470 (New Jersey, USA) to India in late 2012, he relied on his smartphone’s camera to document the journey through Uttar Pradesh, a northern state that borders Nepal. Hersh, a member of the Rotary Club of The Caldwells, snapped photos of the Taj Majal and the Ganges River, banana vendors and stray dogs, as the group traveled more than 1,000 miles and met with 48 Rotary clubs across India’s most populous region. Among the projects they visited was a residential facility for tribal girls. Supported by members of the...

11/03/2014 07:30 PM
Register for part 4 of Lifecycle of a Service Project webinar series
Our webinar series Lifecycle of a Service Project continues with part 4 on project implementation. In this session you'll learn best practices for implementing your project and leading volunteers, managing your budget, and defining and coordinating project team roles and responsibilities. The lifecycle series highlights strategies, best practices, and Rotary resources available to help clubs and districts undertake successful, sustainable service initiatives, using real-life examples from Rotarians. The webinar is offered in two sessions on 25 March. Register today!

07/03/2014 03:15 PM
Partners for climate change research in Tanzania
Littered with old National Geographic magazines, a model volcano, and a solar cooker, Bartholomew Meena’s crammed science room in Machame, Tanzania, captured Amy Kaspar’s heart at first glance. “He created all the science projects we had from our childhood in one room,” recalls Kaspar, a former Rotary Scholar who’s now a member of the Rotary Club of Capital Square in Ohio. Within those projects, she saw Meena’s passion for his environment and a wealth of unexplored opportunities, particularly the chance to collaborate and study the environmental impact of Mount Kilimanjaro’s melting glaciers...

06/03/2014 08:00 PM
Sign-in improvements make site easier to use
We are always working to improve your experience at Rotary.org. Users have told us that they’re asked to sign in too often, so we’ve simplified our approach. You will now remain signed in to all of the site for 28 days, as long as you select “Remember me” when you enter your password. This improvement will drastically reduce the number of times you’re required to sign in, making the website easier to use. You may find inconsistencies in the site experience if your role or permissions have changed, or if you enter the site via older bookmarked pages. If this happens, try signing out and...

04/03/2014 09:45 PM
Global star Angélique Kidjo champions Rotary’s efforts in new song
In her new album, “Eve,” Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo honors the women in Africa, and pays tribute to Rotary’s work to end polio worldwide. The singer and activist from Benin chose to include Rotary in the soon-to-be-released video of the album’s signature song, “Eva.” Rotary’s presence in the video is no coincidence. The relationship between the singer dates back to 2011, when she joined about two dozen celebrities, including Jackie Chan, Jack Nicklaus, and Jane Goodall, in Rotary’s “This Close” polio awareness campaign. “I am the cherry on top of the cake,” says Kidjo in an exclusive...

27/02/2014 04:30 PM
7 things to know about your membership dues
How much does it cost to be a member of your club? You can probably answer that question. What do your membership dues cover? That may not be as clear. Many Rotarians know that a portion of their dues funds club and district expenses, as well as Rotary International operations worldwide. Few know exactly how that all breaks down. Dues are extremely important, as they are the single biggest source of revenue providing the services you enjoy as a Rotarian. As a companion to Rotary's annual report , and on the heels of a $1 dues increase approved by the 2013 Council on Legislation, we answer...

26/02/2014 06:45 PM
Royce Abbey, former RI president and war hero, dies at 91
A.H. Royce Abbey, a former RI president and World War II hero who championed the inclusion of women members in Rotary clubs, died on 20 February. He was 91. In addition to his term as RI president in 1988-89, he served as RI vice president and director, Foundation trustee chair, committee member and chair, International Assembly moderator, and district governor. Abbey, who joined Rotary in 1954, was a member of the Rotary Club of Essendon, Victoria, Australia. “I will always remember Royce for his enthusiasm, his relentless energy, and ‘can do’ attitude,” says Clem Renouf, a fellow Australian...

26/02/2014 06:30 PM
In Pakistan, polio vaccinators earn community trust in spite of danger
No polio vaccinator had ever set foot in Killi Baksho, near Pakistan's rugged northwest border with Afghanistan. Most people there have long opposed immunization, believing the polio vaccine causes infertility or AIDS. The combination of that public mistrust and intimidation from militant groups has been nothing short of deadly. In 2013, 20 polio vaccinators and nine police officers assigned to guard them were killed in Pakistan. With that memory fresh in their minds, a team from a Rotary-supported polio resource center went to the village to promote acceptance of the vaccine. They expected...

25/02/2014 08:30 PM
Finding safe haven
For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen. After serving her time, Bianca sought help from a local homeless organization, A Safe Haven, and moved to its shelter in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Bianca followed the program closely -- she attended all the required meetings, passed drug...

20/02/2014 11:00 PM
Helping people with disabilities make their own music
Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school. After their son Mateusz was born with underdeveloped eyes, Mariusz and Joanna Kania looked for...

19/02/2014 08:45 PM
Brand Center access issues being resolved
More than 12,000 people have visited the Brand Center since the site launched in January, successfully downloading logos, brochures, and other materials. We have identified technical issues that are making access difficult for a small set of users. We are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to access the Brand Center: The Brand Center is open to anyone with a My Rotary account. You don’t have to be a Rotary member to access and use the site. You may be asked to sign in to Brand Center again if more than four hours have...

18/02/2014 10:00 PM
Getting to the root of dental problems in Kenya
Fewer than 1,000 dentists serve the 44 million people of Kenya, from the far reaches of the bush to Nairobi's vast Kibera slum. Dental hygiene is a rarity outside privileged urban regions.    "In most rural areas, people have to travel long distances to see a dentist," says Stephen Irungu, chief dental officer at Kenya's Ministry of Health and past president of the Rotary Club of Murang'a. "Most of the patients will go to the dental clinic only because they have pain.”  Cultural norms suggest that “it’s OK if your teeth fall out, if your teeth are broken. They think people are not going to...

14/02/2014 09:30 PM
The first four Rotarians
On 23 February 1905, Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting. Harris’s desire for camaraderie among business associates brought together these four men and eventually led to an international organization of service and fellowship. Read about each of the first four Rotarians below, and about Harry L. Ruggles, who is often called the "fifth Rotarian." Rotary’s founder, Harris, was born in Wisconsin, USA, on 19 April 1868. He was raised by his paternal grandparents in Vermont...

11/02/2014 04:00 PM
Embrace spontaneity to spark ideas for your club
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that creativity is the result of spontaneous meetings and random discussions. "You run into someone, you ask what they're doing, you say 'wow,' and soon you're cooking up all sorts of ideas." Rotary club meetings tend to be structured for efficiency. A certain amount of casual dialogue happens as members trickle in, but it often ends when the official meeting begins. With a bit of effort, though, we can create opportunities for the sort of interactions that may inspire the next great idea. In your meetings Your club's physical...

07/02/2014 04:45 PM
Nepalese students pool lunch money to help classmates
Using ingenuity, lunch money, and herb seeds, members of the Interact Club of Kathmandu Mid-Town in Nepal organized a community project to provide hygiene products to underprivileged students at their school. The 35-member club cultivated a garden of mustard, cilantro, and other herbs. The Interactors then sold their produce to teachers, parents, and neighbors, earning $60, enough to purchase hygiene kits for 50 classmates. Each kit included a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and hand wipes. Maintaining proper hygiene is often a challenge for underprivileged children in Nepal, according...

05/02/2014 06:00 PM
Rotary earns 3.3 million charity miles in United giveaway
Rotary will receive 3.3 million miles from United's 10 Million Charity Miles giveaway, which took place in December. Thanks to your votes, we finished in a close second to Shriners Hospital and received 800,000 more miles than the previous year. The miles will provide 33 international airline tickets for humanitarian programs. For the past several years, United has given at least 25,000 miles to each of its nonprofit partners participating in the promotion. The remaining portion of the 10 million miles is distributed to participating charities based on the percentage of total votes received....

04/02/2014 09:15 PM
Meet Luke Pytlik: tattoo artist, ex-Marine, Rotarian
The man lying facedown on the table has no business laughing. At the moment, a tool is firing ink-filled needles into his left calf, combining the concussive force of a miniature jackhammer with the power of a pneumatic drill. “Imagine a thousand moving bee stings,” says Dane Wunderlich, describing the needle sensation with a smile. “Or maybe tiny razor cuts.” “Or being stabbed with a miniature X-Acto knife over and over,” offers Luke Pytlik, the tattoo artist wielding the humming ink injector, as he creates the Rotary wheel that Wunderlich expects to display with pride for the rest of his...

31/01/2014 05:15 PM
Five reasons you should use the Rotary Brand Center
It’s now easier than ever to strengthen Rotary’s image in your community with the materials and resources available in the Rotary Brand Center. Launched earlier this month, the Brand Center offers a simple and intuitive way to customize your club logo, create a marketing brochure, or give your newsletter a fresh look. You’ll also find guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions as well as information about why telling our story is important. “The Brand Center enables everybody to play an active role in promoting Rotary to the world,” says Alan Buddendeck, general manager and chief...

31/01/2014 03:00 PM
U.S. commits $205 million to polio eradication
President Barack Obama signed an omnibus appropriations bill in January that provides $205 million to support polio eradication in 2014, through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U. S. Agency for International Development. The largest government donor to polio eradication, the U.S. has contributed more than $2.3 billion since the mid-1980s, when 125 countries were polio endemic and the disease afflicted 350,000 people annually. Today, only Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria are endemic, and in 2013, the combined incidence of polio in those countries fell to a record-low...

30/01/2014 07:30 PM
A voice for polio eradication in Nigeria
Sir Emeka Offor likes to describe himself simply: He is the son of a policeman, born in the small town of Kafanchan, Nigeria. It is a way of reminding himself of his humble origins. Sir Emeka – who worked his way up to become executive vice chair of the Chrome Group, a multibillion-dollar oil and gas conglomerate, and who founded the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, whose mission is to create economic opportunities in Nigeria’s poor communities – prefers to let his work and philanthropy speak for him. And with his most recent gift of $1 million to PolioPlus, Sir Emeka adds another achievement to...

24/01/2014 10:00 PM
New sites released for 2014
Rotary launched three new sites this month that can help you strengthen Rotary’s image, advocate for a polio-free world, and celebrate the successes of Rotary’s 2012-13 fiscal year: Brand Center -- Find everything you need to create club and district communications that reflect Rotary’s new look and feel at www.rotary.org/brandcenter. The site is home to Rotary logos, templates, ads, images, videos, and more. Sign in to your My Rotary account and start exploring today. End Polio Now -- It’s easier than ever to add your name to a petition, sign up for polio eradication updates, and join the...

24/01/2014 08:45 PM
Taking ethical debates from the ivory tower to the town pub
Consider this situation: You are caring for a hungry girl whom you can’t afford to feed. What do you do? Do you steal food, or do you let her starve in the name of law and order? For many people, thorny ethical questions can be difficult to swallow. For one nonprofit in Michigan, USA, and the Rotarians who support it, moral ambiguity is a dish best served with a cold beer. In February, A2Ethics.org hosted the third annual Big Ethical Question Slam at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub in Ann Arbor, drawing a diverse crowd of students, retirees, professionals, and academics to weigh life’s dilemmas...

23/01/2014 11:15 PM
'Light Up Rotary' with 2014 International Assembly resources
Get inspired for the 2014-15 Rotary year by downloading theme materials and using speeches and videos from this year’s International Assembly, the annual training meeting for the incoming class of district governors held 12-18 January in San Diego, California, USA. Light Up Rotary, 2014-15 presidential theme Download theme graphics Order theme-related materials for your club from shop.rotary.org Download the 2014-15 theme brochure (PDF) Download the 2014-15 Presidential Citation (PDF) Download the Rotary Days brochure (PDF) Experience the assembly Watch an excerpt of RI President-elect Gary C...

22/01/2014 09:00 PM
The history of Paul Harris Fellow recognition
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships.  The first Paul Harris Fellows include 1937-38 RI Director Allison G. Brush and longtime RI Treasurer Rufus F. Chapin, both for donations made in 1946. Mrs. Adan Vargas was the...

22/01/2014 05:30 PM
District leaders weigh in on Rotary’s updated visual identity
The success of an organization relies as much on the recognition of its brand as it does on the quality of its product. Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola, and LG Electronics all know it. And we know them the instant we see Mercedes-Benz’s three-pointed star, Coca-Cola’s red and white script, and LG’s smiling face. It’s the same idea behind our Strengthening Rotary initiative. By refreshing our logo and creating a contemporary, clear, and consistent message about who we are and what we do, we’re enhancing our legacy as one of the most widely recognized and respected humanitarian organizations in the...

20/01/2014 07:00 PM
Register for upcoming webinar in Lifecycle of a Service Project series
Our webinar series Lifecycle of a Service Project continues with part 3 on acquiring resources. In this session you'll learn about finding partners for your project, securing funding and volunteers, and more. The series highlights strategies, best practices, and Rotary resources available to help clubs and districts undertake successful, sustainable service initiatives, using real-life examples from Rotarians. The webinar is offered in two sessions on 28 January. Register today!

14/01/2014 11:15 PM
Couple’s $1.1 million gift boosts push to eradicate polio
Rotary member Terry Caster and his wife, Barbara, announced a $1.1 million gift to Rotary to help eradicate polio. What’s more, their gift will be matched two-for-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, resulting in $3.3 million in new funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.  The Casters' gift is one of the largest-ever individual contributions to Rotary for polio eradication. In addition to supporting our No. 1 goal of a polio-free world, the couple gave $750,000 to the Rotary Peace Centers to fund a peace fellow’s studies every other year. Both gifts were made to The...

14/01/2014 10:30 PM
Malala is one of us
The Swat Valley of northern Pakistan, in the highlands between Kashmir and the Khyber Pass, was once a lush, peaceful place. It was ruled by Miangul Abdul Haq Jahanzeb — the Wali, or absolute monarch, of Swat. A modernizer, the Wali built schools for his subjects — girls as well as boys — and toured remote regions where no one had ever seen an automobile. "A beautiful, pristine place where mountains climbed to the clouds," Zebu Jilani calls the land of her childhood. "People called it the real Shangri-La." The Wali was her grandfather. Princess Zebu, as Swatis still refer to her, recalls...

13/01/2014 07:15 PM
Huang encourages club members to ‘Light Up Rotary’
RI President-elect Gary C.K. Huang chose Light Up Rotary as his theme for 2014-15. Huang was inspired by the teachings of Chinese philosopher Confucius who said: "It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness." "There are so many problems in the world, so many people who need help. Many people say, 'There's nothing I can do.' So they sit there doing nothing. Meanwhile everything stays dark," Huang told the 537 district governors and their spouses and partners who are attending the 2014 International Assembly in San Diego, California. "The Rotary way is the...

13/01/2014 05:00 PM
India celebrates three years without polio
Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph -- reached after a decades-long battle against polio -- Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free." The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The...

06/01/2014 06:00 PM
Deadline for applying for a booth in the House of Friendship
Apply for a booth in the Billabong House of Friendship by 10 January to reach the thousands of Rotary members and guests who will be attending the Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, 1-4 June. Billabong is an Aboriginal word that means “meeting place,” and that’s just what the House of Friendship will be. With a booth, you have a unique opportunity to showcase your service project, celebrate your Rotary accomplishments, or share information about your Rotary Action Group. Rotary project booths provide a powerful opportunity to find partners for your project or inspire others...

30/12/2013 09:15 PM
A dangerous idea offers hope for girls in Afghanistan
In 2005, Razia Jan came up with a dangerous idea: to start a free private school for girls in her native Afghanistan. The Taliban were using extreme violence to keep girls from learning. In 2008, the year she opened the school, terrorists in the country -- armed with bombs, poison gas, guns, grenades, and acid -- killed 149 teachers, students, and employees in Afghan schools. But Jan did not intend to let terrorists stop her. She approached Afghan Ministry of Education officials and persuaded them to donate a piece of land in a village 30 miles outside Kabul. Today, the Zabuli Education...

23/12/2013 10:30 PM
Rotary and ShelterBox help restore a sense of normalcy after disaster
Months of heavy rains in the heart of the Peruvian rain forest had caused devastating flooding. It was April 2012, and the Amazon River and other waterways had submerged entire villages, forcing families to leave their belongings on the roofs of their homes and find higher ground. Many had to live on wooden planks or under tarps. The Rotary Club of Iquitos called on Rotary’s partner ShelterBox, which provides tents and other nonfood items in containers to people left homeless by disaster. Malcolm Shead, a volunteer from Llandeilo, Wales, was a member of the first ShelterBox response team to...

20/12/2013 10:15 PM
Discounted early registration extended for the 2014 Rotary International Convention
RI President Ron D. Burton is extending the early registration deadline.  Rotarians now have until 15 January to complete discounted early registration for the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, saving $100 off the onsite registration fee.  The 15 January deadline will remain firm, so act soon to take advantage of the discount.  You can take advantage of special travel discounts to make it easier to get to – and enjoy – Sydney, which is packed with family-friendly activities.  Save on international and domestic travel to Sydney offered by our official airlines,...

18/12/2013 08:15 PM
Voice lessons: strengthening Rotary’s image through words
For years, we described Rotary by the numbers: 1,220,115 members in 34,558 clubs in 200 countries and regions. Impressive figures, for sure, but they only tell part of our story. What numbers can't convey is the essence of Rotary –- what sets us apart and inspires people to get involved. So we interviewed members around the world to discover why they're passionate about Rotary. What we found was a new way of talking about Rotary that focuses on three core ideas. Through Rotary, you can: Join leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations Exchange ideas, bringing our expertise and...

16/12/2013 09:15 PM
Use Rotary Club Central and earn recognition for your club
Set at least 15 club goals in Rotary Club Central by 15 March and earn a new recognition award from RI President Ron Burton. You must be a 2013-14 club president, setting goals for your year, to qualify. Burton wants members to discover the benefits of Rotary Club Central, an online tool that helps club leaders set and track their annual goals for membership, service, and Foundation giving.  Award certificates for qualifying clubs will be sent to district governors in May. No additional action is needed to qualify for the recognition.  Set your club goals in Rotary Club Central Learn more...

16/12/2013 07:00 PM
Rotary helps close out the year with gains against polio
When Julia Yank and a team of Rotary members and health workers entered Kaduna, Nigeria, to immunize children against polio they expected to encounter some tough situations. They found one in a mother of three who stubbornly refused to have her children vaccinated. "She argued with us for over 15 minutes," says Yank, a member of the Rotary Club of St. Clair County Sunset in O'Fallon, Illinois, USA. After the team explained to her the importance of what they were doing, she finally agreed to allow her children to be immunized. "We were told later that she only consented because of the presence...

13/12/2013 10:30 PM
Nelson Mandela remembered as an ally for peace, polio eradication
In 1996, routine polio immunizations in Nigeria and other African countries were anything but routine. Competing health priorities and lack of funding hampered many governments from putting polio eradication high on their agenda. The drive for a polio-free Africa needed a playmaker. Enter Nelson Mandela. Herb Brown, Rotary's president in 1995-96, recalls seeking the South African leader's support. "President Mandela was so gracious and listened as we described the problem," Brown says. "I told him only he had the influence to persuade the countries to resume immunization." Mandela agreed to...

13/12/2013 06:15 PM
Emergency funds aim to quell polio outbreak in Syria, Middle East
Rotary will provide a $500,000 emergency response grant to support efforts to stem the recent polio outbreak in Syria. The funds are the first to the World Health Organization in direct support of a Global Polio Eradication Initiative plan to conduct large-scale immunization campaigns in the Middle East. “It is imperative that we stop this outbreak quickly to protect children in Syria and throughout the region,” says Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert S. Scott. “Rotary and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are working together with local health...

12/12/2013 09:00 PM
The Lives of Mothers
Mothers play a fundamental role in every culture. But depending on where a mom and baby live, they have a different chance of living or dying, suffering or thriving. In sub-Saharan Africa, one in 39 women will die of pregnancy-related complications, and one in nine children will die before age five. (In developed countries, the likelihood of dying drops to one in 4,700 women and one in 167 children.) Globally, 19,000 children die every day. The Rotary Foundation is working to improve maternal and child health around the world. Our photo essay explores the Rotary projects that are saving new...

11/12/2013 10:30 PM
Emergency funds aim to quell polio outbreak in Syria, Middle East
Rotary will provide a $500,000 emergency response grant to support efforts to stem the recent polio outbreak in Syria. The funds are the first to the World Health Organization in direct support of a Global Polio Eradication Initiative plan to conduct large-scale immunization campaigns in the Middle East. “It is imperative that we stop this outbreak quickly to protect children in Syria and throughout the region,” says Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee Chair Robert S. Scott. “Rotary and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are working together with local health...

09/12/2013 04:00 PM
The history of Rotary's mottoes
Rotary’s official mottoes, Service Above Self and One Profits Most Who Serves Best, trace back to the early days of the organization. In 1911, He Profits Most Who Serves Best was approved as the Rotary motto at the second convention of the National Association of Rotary Clubs of America, in Portland, Oregon. It was adapted from a speech made by Rotarian Arthur Frederick Sheldon to the first convention, held in Chicago the previous year. Sheldon declared that "only the science of right conduct toward others pays. Business is the science of human services. He profits most who serves his fellows...

06/12/2013 10:30 PM
President Burton on the death of Nelson Mandela
Rotary members worldwide are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela, a man who overcame unimaginable hardships to emerge as one of the greatest leaders of our time -- and one of our greatest humanitarians. Mr. Mandela shared Rotary’s commitment to humanitarian service and world peace, and twice as President of South Africa accepted Rotary recognition for his commitment to helping those in need, especially the children of southern Africa. In 1995, President Mandela received the Rotary International Award of Honor. Two years later, he accepted Rotary’s highest award, the Rotary...

06/12/2013 04:30 PM
Relief aid pours into typhoon-struck communities
For more than three hours, Typhoon Haiyan violently shook the roof, walls, and windows of Edgar Chiongbian’s house. The heavy winds and flying debris threatened to collapse his home to its foundation at any moment. After the winds subsided and the rain stopped, he emerged from where he and his family had taken cover and inspected the damage. “We were one of the lucky families,” says Chiongbian, governor of Rotary District 3860 in the Philippines. “There was no major damage to our house.” The outcome was very different for communities and towns in central Philippines closer to the sea. One of...

04/12/2013 07:00 PM
Ride to End Polio raises $730,000
For the past five years, Rotary members around Tucson, Arizona, USA, have bicycled as many as 111 miles in a day to raise money for polio eradication. This year’s team of 70 cyclists and their supporters raised $730,000 in the Ride to End Polio, which, after matched two-to-one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will make $2.1 million available for polio eradication.  “With every penny going to end polio, we’ve immunized an awful lot of kids against this horrible disease,” says Gary Hirsch, a member of the Rotary Club of Tucson and a ride organizer. The Ride to End Polio is part of the...

03/12/2013 08:45 PM
Be wary of email scam targeting Rotary members
A new email falsely claiming to be from Rotary International President Ron D. Burton has been targeting members of Rotary. The email has the subject line “Final Reminder” and claims that the recipient has been approved for $2 million in unclaimed funds from the Rotary Club of London District Office. The email is a scam. Rotary staff is working to resolve the issue. Avoid being the victim of scams by deleting any email that appears suspicious. For more information on how to protect yourself against Internet fraud: Review tips from the FBI Learn more about Facebook scams

02/12/2013 09:45 PM
Family health days help 250,000 in Africa
In 1994, Marion Bunch lost her son to AIDS. It was early on in the U.S. AIDS epidemic, and the stigma surrounding the disease kept her from talking about her son’s illness with anyone but family members. “I never thought I’d do anything about it until one day, three years after his death, I felt a tap on the shoulder, and a voice in my ear said, ‘Mom, get up and get going; you haven’t done anything, and it’s been three years,’” she recalls. Within a year, Bunch, a member of the Rotary Club of Dunwoody, Georgia, USA, proposed an idea to her club, and through Rotary began connecting community...

25/11/2013 09:30 PM
A lesson in the power of clean water
Early each morning, the students of Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta in El Tunino, Guatemala, trek down the mountainside on their way to school. They carry the essentials for the day: books, backpacks, and class projects. But one other item they used to haul from home is thankfully absent: a bucket of clean water. The community of El Tunino is part of Sumpango, a rural region where access to clean running water is limited. Schools in the area offered the basics in education, but students learned quickly that drinking water and working toilets were not part of the curriculum. Today, that lesson is...

25/11/2013 06:30 PM
Redirects from pages on old website not available
Due to suspicious web traffic on Rotary.org we have disabled redirects from specific level pages on the old site. This will impact bookmarks your club or district website may have for the old site. This restriction will be in place indefinitely. If you are looking for specific web content, please use our search function or Contact Us. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience. 

22/11/2013 07:15 PM
Membership is her message
It’s not hard to find Kristi Govertsen in the restaurant. She’s wearing a royal blue T-shirt reading RIOTT. It stands for Rotarians in Our Twenties and Thirties, but of course there’s more to it than that. “You should always,” Govertsen explains, “name yourself something that’s both a noun and a verb.” Just as she puts a new twist on the rules of the English language, Govertsen bursts beyond the usual lines of Rotary – and she did it about 30 times last year, traveling to districts around the western United States and suggesting, among other things, that there’s a way for Rotary to bring in...

19/11/2013 08:30 PM
Update your club information by 1 December
Make sure every member of your club counts by using My Rotary to update your membership information by 1 December. Up-to-date club rosters and contact information make it possible for us to provide your club with a more accurate bill. They also enable your members to register for the Rotary International Convention; your club officers to qualify to apply for grants; and all of your members to count toward club, district, and zone membership tallies. The information you provide by 1 December is used to produce January’s semiannual reports. We will email the report to clubs that have provided...

19/11/2013 06:00 PM
Jack Sim wants you to talk about toilets
By age 40, Jack Sim was a successful entrepreneur running 16 businesses. He had enough money to retire, so he started searching for a neglected cause to which he could devote his time and effort. Realizing that people don’t want to talk about toilets, he set about making the humble commode into a media darling, founding the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and holding a special day every year to draw attention to sanitation. This year, the United Nations voted to make World Toilet Day, 19 November, an official UN observance. Sim credits Rotary with helping him break the taboo around the...

19/11/2013 04:00 PM
End Polio Now campaign earns top public relations award
Rotary's End Polio Now campaign has won a top award in global public relations from PR News, a public relations resource serving the communications and marketing community. The highly regarded Platinum Awards presented by PR News salute the year's most outstanding communications initiatives and organizations, and honor corporations, agencies, and nonprofits that take chances, make significant strides, and understand the power of public relations. In announcing the awards, PR News noted that Rotary's End Polio Now campaign has "worked to keep polio eradication squarely in the public eye,...

15/11/2013 06:00 PM
Rotary clubs take action for typhoon-ravaged Philippines
Rotary clubs around the world are pledging emergency aid to communities in central Philippines after last week’s massive typhoon flattened entire coastal towns and villages, killed thousands of people, and displaced nearly 600,000 more. The situation remains dire as widespread destruction has made food, water, and medicine scarce in remote areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to make landfall on record. Rotary President Ron Burton is urging our 34,000 clubs worldwide to continue to assist storm victims. "I know we all want to help. I am urging our clubs to take action to...

13/11/2013 11:15 PM
Rotary, ShelterBox organize aid for typhoon victims
On 9 November, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines killing thousands of people and leaving millions struggling in its aftermath. Rotary extends its sympathy to those affected by the storm and stands ready to come to the aid of the more than 21,000 Philippine Rotarians and the communities they serve. We have reached out to district governors in the affected areas to determine what type of support will be most effective. Updates will be made available as information is received. Rotary partner ShelterBox has committed aid for 4,000 families in the Philippines in the form of emergency shelter...

11/11/2013 05:45 PM
Rotary, UN bring industry leaders together to exchange ideas on critical issues
United Nations diplomats and officials gathered with 1,300 Rotary members on 2 November to discuss ways to engage youth activists, prevent disease, promote peace, and resolve conflict around the world. Held annually at United Nations headquarters in New York City, Rotary-UN Day celebrates the enduring partnership between Rotary and the UN and their common goal of peace. RI President Ron Burton opened the daylong event by heralding the two organizations’ worldwide impact. “The collective efforts of Rotarians around the globe could have an impact at a real level on what happens here at the...

11/11/2013 03:00 PM
A handyman’s tale of Rotary connections
Cecil “Pancho” Padilla’s emotions hover so close to the surface that at times they engulf him. As he recalls his involvement in setting up a dental clinic in Mulege, Mexico, his voice wavers: “There was a polio-stricken girl we’d helped on an earlier visit, and on this visit we were able to find her a golf cart so she wouldn’t have to crawl through the dirt any longer.” After a lengthy pause, he continues in a halting voice, barely audible. He talks about spotting the girl’s father standing alone, apart from a group gathered to celebrate the arrival of his daughter’s golf cart. “I went over...

07/11/2013 08:45 PM
New York Times profiles Rotary First Harvest
Read about the work Rotary First Harvest is doing to feed hungry families in The New York Times’ annual “Giving” section. Rotary First Harvest, a charity based in Seattle, Washington, USA, collects surplus produce from local growers to distribute to area food banks. The feature story follows Rotary volunteers to the fields to glean (collect) fresh vegetables missed during the regular harvest. The article not only recognizes Rotary First Harvest, a longtime project of District 5030, but it also draws attention to Rotary’s humanitarian mission and the good work Rotary clubs carry out worldwide...

06/11/2013 07:30 PM
Celebrate Interact!
In 1962 Rotary created Interact, a program for young people 12-18 years old. Since then, Interact has grown to more than 15,000 clubs in 142 countries. Interact members volunteer in their communities, make international connections, and develop leadership skills while making new friends. See how Interact is giving young people the chance to make a real difference.  

05/11/2013 10:00 PM
Immunization campaigns target polio outbreak in Syria
Lab results have confirmed several cases of polio in Syria, a country that has been free of the crippling and potentially fatal disease since 1999. Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are working with local health authorities to activate an outbreak response, including  urgent, large-scale, multicountry immunization campaigns to ensure that every child receives the polio vaccine as quickly as possible. Read a statement from Bob Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee.

04/11/2013 03:15 PM
Scholarship recipient reflects on his journey to Rotary
My father moved us from Vietnam when I was a child to provide us with more than what we’d had under the communist regime. We ended up in a ghetto in Oakland, California, USA. I went to Fremont High School, one of the worst schools in a neighborhood plagued by violence, poverty, and high dropout rates. Our house was on a busy street, and every night we heard gunshots. The spring of my junior year, a group of Rotarians visited my class. They told us about the Rotary Club of Oakland’s Enterprise Institute, a three-day camp that allows students to develop and test their business skills. Spending...

01/11/2013 02:30 PM
Rotary Foundation major donors join Arch C. Klumph Society
Major donors from Nigeria, Taiwan, and the United States were inducted into the Arch C. Klumph Society during ceremonies held at RI World Headquarters in late October. The society recognizes donors who give at least $250,000 to The Rotary Foundation in support of Rotary’s life-changing work around the world. Through generous contributions to the Foundation, Rotary members are improving communities by promoting peace, preventing disease, bolstering economic development, and providing clean water and sanitation. Arch C. Klumph Society inductees October 2013 From Nigeria Adebisi Clementi and...

31/10/2013 03:45 PM
The Rotary Foundation receives Guatemala’s highest honor
The government of Guatemala awarded the Order of the Quetzal, the country's highest honor, to The Rotary Foundation last month, in recognition of Rotary's humanitarian work in Guatemala and its contributions to the campaign to eradicate polio. During a ceremony on 2 September held in Guatemala, Minister of Foreign Affairs Luis Fernando Carrera Castro presented the award to Rotary International President-elect Gary C.K. Huang. The Order of the Quetzal, established in 1936, recognizes officials and organizations from Guatemala and elsewhere for their work in the arts, sciences, politics, and...

30/10/2013 06:45 PM
Diving In to Social Media
Paul didn’t know much about social media, but when it came time to publicize his club’s global “swimarathon,” he dove right in. Using a combination of social media tools, Paul got over 200 Rotary clubs on six continents to join the marathon, raised more than $100,000 for polio eradication, and attracted 16 new members.

28/10/2013 02:00 PM
Partnering with Mercy Ships to fight disease in Guinea
A team of health professionals is touring Donka hospital in Conakry, Guinea, in March when they spot more than a dozen large, greenish masses covering the ground. To the U.S. team members, they look like an art installation; in fact, they are hospital gowns and surgical drapes, laundered and spread out to dry. They are a vivid example of the group’s objective: to lower deadly infection rates caused by unsterile procedures. This Rotary Foundation vocational training team is the first to serve under Rotary’s partnership with the nonprofit Mercy Ships. Rotary District 7690 in North Carolina, USA...

25/10/2013 07:15 PM
On World Polio Day, Rotary spotlights the fight to end the disease
Rotary helped put polio eradication on center stage on the day best known for rallying support to finish the job – World Polio Day, 24 October. A special Livestream presentation  –  World Polio Day: Making History – showcased the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Co-hosted by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health, the 60-minute program took place before a live audience at the John Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern’s Chicago campus and streamed online to viewers worldwide. RI President Ron Burton kicked off the event by noting that Rotary began...

25/10/2013 03:00 PM
Hewko to be honored at this year’s El Tour de Tucson
RI General Secretary John Hewko will be honored at this year’s El Tour de Tucson, an annual cycling event in Arizona, USA, in recognition of last year’s successful Ride to End Polio and the good work Rotary does around the world. Every year, the ride’s organizers select an individual who has had a significant impact on cycling or on El Tour. Hewko raised more than $240,000 in pledges for polio eradication through the 2012 Ride to End Polio, completing the 111-mile ride with his wife, Marga, and other Rotary members. The effort set an El Tour fundraising record. Hewko is again taking part in...

24/10/2013 02:00 PM
Actor Archie Panjabi is putting her soul into Rotary’s polio campaign
Emmy Award-winning actor Archie Panjabi is a celebrity ambassador in Rotary's This Close public awareness campaign to end polio, and this year she visited New Delhi to immunize children with the oral polio vaccine. Panjabi, who co-stars on the U.S. television series "The Good Wife" and has acted in films including "Bend It Like Beckham," "A Mighty Heart," and "The Constant Gardener," shared her story with Rotary members during the 2013 RI Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. That's where we caught up with her. The Rotarian: How do you choose the causes you support? Archie Panjabi: It has to...

21/10/2013 03:15 PM
Watch the ‘World Polio Day: Making History’ Livestream event
Emmy award-winning actor Archie Panjabi, one of Rotary’s ambassadors for polio eradication, will join a panel of experts on World Polio Day, 24 October, at a special Livestream presentation by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health on the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The 90-minute event, World Polio Day: Making History, will be held before a live audience at 17:30 Chicago time (UTC-5) at the John Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern’s Chicago campus. The event will bring together experts including Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant director-...

18/10/2013 02:15 PM
Putting our new look to work
Rotary’s new visual identity has everyone talking. Some Rotarians like it and are already using it, as you can see in the examples above. Others aren’t so sure. Even RI President Ron Burton admits to being skeptical during the early stages of the Strengthening Rotary initiative. But after asking many tough questions, he’s become a believer. “At the end of the day, we’re going to be way ahead on our public image and what people think and know about Rotary,” says Burton. As you begin incorporating the new guidelines into your communications, keep the following in mind: Clubs do not need to...

16/10/2013 02:30 PM
Rotary: No child should ever go to bed hungry
Hunger touches every community, nation, and region of the world. It is a problem without a simple solution. At Rotary, we are committed to using the vast resources of our diverse membership and our partnership with organizations like the Global FoodBanking Network to seek fresh insights and pursue innovative answers. In the following letter for the official World Food Day website, Rotary's General Secretary John Hewko explains why Rotary is so motivated to help: Hunger. Famine. Starvation. Malnutrition. Indeed, as World Food Day (16 October) reminds us, there is no easy way to describe the...

15/10/2013 07:45 PM
Cleaning up on Global Handwashing Day
The most effective and least expensive way to reduce disease and save lives is easier than you think. Simply washing your hands with soap and water can do more to prevent diarrhea, death by malnutrition, and dehydration than any single vaccine or medical intervention, according to scientific studies. On 15 October, Global Handwashing Day, millions of people in more than 100 countries will take part in activities promoting this practice. Rotary brings its own expertise and diverse perspectives to such efforts by providing access to clean water and sanitation. Rotary members in Argentina and...

09/10/2013 08:00 PM
Opening the door to polio eradication
It’s been more than two years since the last polio case was reported in Côte d’lvoire. Time enough for people to become complacent about immunizations. But that would be a mistake – a potentially deadly mistake. “The public sometimes doesn’t understand why, after so many rounds of polio immunization, they are still being asked to bring their children to the immunization post,” says Marie-Irène Richmond-Ahoua, chair of Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee in Côte d’lvoire. As a long-time advocate for polio eradication, Richmond-Ahoua knows you can’t let up against this tenacious and crippling...

09/10/2013 02:00 PM
Register for 2013 Rotary-UN Day
Register online to take part in Rotary-UN Day on 2 November. The daylong event offers a unique opportunity to learn how Rotary works with the United Nations to advance peace and improve the lives of those most in need. This year’s event at UN Headquarters in New York City will feature presentations from senior UN staff and Rotary leaders as well as panel discussions on health, water, literacy, and youth. Speakers will include Peter Kyle, Rotary’srepresentative to the World Bank; Jan Eliasson, UN deputy secretary-general; and Andrei Abramov, chief of the nongovernmental organizations branch of...

03/10/2013 05:15 PM
Burton declares Ravindran president-nominee
RI President Ron Burton officially declared K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran Rotary International’s president-nominee on 1 October. There were no challenging candidates. The Nominating Committee for President of RI in 2015-16 selected Ravindran, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, in August. He will be formally elected at the 2014 RI Convention in Sydney, Australia, and will become president on 1 July 2015. Read more about Ravindran

01/10/2013 03:15 PM
Rotarian Sir Nicholas Winton honored at Holocaust Museum
It's been nearly 75 years, but Renata Laxova remembers with heartbreaking clarity the night her mother put her on the kindertransport train to England with 100 other children. "My mother said, 'We love you and we want you to be happy and go to school and play,' " says Laxova, who was just eight years old at the time. "She said 'You know' -- and I did -- 'everything that is going on.' " That "everything" was the advance of Hitler's armies. They would invade Laxova's homeland, Czechoslovakia, in 1939. Laxova was one of nearly 700 children -- most of them Jewish -- who fled Prague between 13...

19/09/2013 06:00 PM
Indian philanthropist boosts Rotary’s push to end polio with new US$1 million gift
Indian philanthropist and businesswoman Rajashree Birla has announced a new gift of US$1 million to Rotary to help eradicate polio. The gift brings her total contributions to the Rotary effort to more than $7.2 million. What’s more, this gift will be matched two-for-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, resulting in $3 million in new funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Rotary is a leading partner in the GPEI, especially in advocating government and donor support, fundraising, and building public awareness. Through the End Polio Now: Make History Today...

16/09/2013 09:00 PM
Watch a live webcast of Mediators Beyond Borders event
Watch a live webcast of the Mediators Beyond Borders International annual congress in Istanbul, Turkey, 26-28 September, as volunteers describe their work in the field to promote conflict resolution and build peace. Past RI President Luis Giay and RI Director-elect Safak Alpay will join other speakers and more than 200 mediators and peace-builders from 52 countries at the event. Rotary works with Mediators Beyond Borders to enhance the impact of our peace efforts. Founded in 2006, Mediators Beyond Borders provides training, coaching, and third-party conflict resolution. Live-streaming of the...

13/09/2013 08:45 PM
Young professionals bring their vision of Rotary to the table
How will you make room for the next generation of young professionals and volunteers in your clubs? We asked Rotaractors and young Rotarians to weigh in on how it should work and what it will take to turn today’s young leaders into tomorrow’s Rotary members. Here’s an excerpt from the roundtable discussion. What should older Rotary members understand about young people? Alyssa Gapske, 22, Rotaract Club of Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA: A major difference is the way we connect. The greatest advantage of social media is that it allows us not only to share meeting and project details but also to...

13/09/2013 07:15 PM
The Rotary Foundation receives coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
The Rotary Foundation earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most prestigious independent evaluator of nonprofits in the United States. The 4-star rating, the highest that Charity Navigator awards, recognizes sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Charity Navigator evaluates thousands of nonprofits each year, and only one of four earns 4 stars. This year’s top distinction marks the Foundation’s sixth straight, placing it in the top 3 percent of U.S.-based charities. In a letter to the Foundation, Ken Berger, the president of Charity...

11/09/2013 09:15 PM
Solutions for your website issues
Since the website launched at the end of August, more than 27,000 people created an account on My Rotary. We have been working to correct several issues you may have encountered while using the new website. If you still have problems, please send us an email. And as always, thank you for your patience and support. Member access denied To access the tools and applications previously available through the Member Access Portal (MAP), you'll be asked to sign in again if it has been four hours since you last signed in. If after signing in a second time, you still receive an "Access Denied" error...

06/09/2013 04:30 PM
September classes on My Rotary
Webinars Lifecycle of a Service Project (Part 1): Overview and Introduction Plan a successful, sustainable service project with the resources and information you’ll gain from our new five-part series. The first session will help you understand the lifecycle of a service project, from planning and locating resources to promoting the project and evaluating its impact. Plus we’ll share real-life examples of Rotary service projects and the lessons learned from them. How you can help eradicate polio Discover how you can help make history! Get an update on the status of our eradication efforts and...

05/09/2013 08:30 PM
Tanaka joins leaders in celebrating 100th anniversary of Peace Palace
Past RI President Sakuji Tanaka joined global leaders 2-3 September in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Peace Palace in The Hague, an international symbol of peace and justice. The two-day symposium, Celebrating Peace Philanthropy and Furthering Peace Education – In the Footsteps of Andrew Carnegie, is part of a month-long centennial celebration. The palace, completed in 1913 and financed mostly by a gift from Andrew Carnegie, is home to a number of international judicial institutions, including the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, and the Permanent Court...

03/09/2013 08:15 PM
Engineering sustainable water solutions in Latin America
Perched in the rugged mountains of central Ecuador, the village of Tingo Pucará seems an unlikely place for artistic inspiration to strike. But Tony Riggio never leaves his camera behind—and his photos of Tingo Pucará illustrate what can happen when Rotary members and young people team up on a water project. Riggio has been leading youth expeditions to Central and South America since 2001, when his daughter participated in a program of Builders Beyond Borders (B3), a nonprofit based in Connecticut, USA. Construction projects have included hurricane shelters in the Dominican Republic, bridges...

22/08/2013 08:45 PM
What’s new about the Rotary website? Everything!
Welcome to your new Rotary website. We’ve heard from many corners that Rotary needs a faster, improved website that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for and helps you get your Rotary business done.  We listened – and we hope you’re as excited as we are about its clean, modern look and state-of-the-art features. The site reflects valuable input from Rotary members like you–plus some new ideas we’ve developed to help you get more out of the site. The result is a website that’s organized around what you need to connect with leaders, exchange ideas, and take action in your community and...

21/08/2013 02:45 PM
Witnesses to history
The first Rotary club in Ukraine was chartered in 1992, mere months after the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union. Twenty years later, young people have embraced Rotary through 24 Rotaract clubs across the country. While many of them focus on the challenges facing Ukraine today, members of the Rotaract Club of Kyiv Multinational – one of four in the capital city – take time to honor their elders. For nearly three years, they’ve been visiting a nursing home in Peremoha, about 40 miles from Kyiv. The village’s elderly residents have lived through a tumultuous century: the brutal German...

20/08/2013 04:30 PM
Why Rotary?
You’ll find Rotary clubs in small towns and big cities across the globe. It’s where like-minded professionals and community leaders come together to exchange ideas, take action, and make new friends. See why Rotary is their choice–and why you should make it yours–for creating positive change at home and around the world. 

09/08/2013 03:45 PM
Register early for Sydney convention and save
Register early for the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, 1-4 June, and pay US$100 less than the on-site registration fee. Rotary’s annual convention is a wonderful way to experience the true internationality of Rotary, as you connect with leaders, exchange ideas, and get inspired to take action to benefit communities worldwide. By planning ahead and reserving your room now, you’ll increase your chances of staying at your first-choice hotel. You’ll also have a better chance of securing tickets for host events like an Australian rules football match or a concert at the...

06/08/2013 07:45 PM
Couple venture outside comfort zone to bring aid
Seated in a circle of men, women, and children at the base of a sprawling fig tree in the remote Ugandan village of Oduworo, Rotary members Steve and Vicky Wallace ask the villagers about their needs. At least a thousand people have come together at this “meeting tree,” and agree that everyone wants clean water, better food, medical care, and vocational training, especially for the young. The journey that led Steve and Vicky to Oduworo began with a polio immunization trip to northern Nigeria in 2005. The Wallaces–members of the Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore, California, and Rotary Foundation...

06/08/2013 07:15 PM
Rotarian Action Group helps countries grow indigenous crops
Australian Bruce French has been eating locally for 35 years– long before it became a culinary trend. Now he’s working with Rotary members to help countries struggling with food security do the same. French founded the not-for-profit Food Plants International, which maintains a database of 25,000 edible plants that includes descriptions, lists of countries and climates where they grow, photos and drawings, and cooking methods. “There are thousands of nutritious plants, but people don’t have any information about them,” says Buz Green, an agriculturalist and member of the Rotary Club of...

06/08/2013 07:15 PM
Ravindran is choice for 2015-16 RI president
K.R. Ravindran, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka, has been selected by the Nominating Committee for President of RI in 2015-16. Ravindran will become the president-nominee on 1 October if there are no challenging candidates. Ravindran said his top priority for Rotary will be to increase membership, which he called the bedrock of any organization. “The emphasis on membership has to continue with focus on the younger generation,” Ravindran said. “Additionally, we must seek to attract the just retired and experienced people into Rotary.” Creating regional...

06/08/2013 05:00 PM
Empowering mothers by preventing injuries
Robert Zinser understands numbers. The economist and retired president for Asia at chemical giant BASF has spent his life analyzing and predicting future trends. So when he initiated a five-year, $3 million pilot project to reduce infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria – a country with the second highest mortality rate in the world – he was doing more than just betting it would make a difference. He knew it would. “In Nigeria, 70 percent of births are home deliveries. If the labor goes on too long, a woman can suffer a fistula,” an injury that often results in a stillborn baby, causes...

06/08/2013 03:00 PM
On a mission to repair lives
Ask most 14-year-old boys about their favorite sports, and they’ll be quick to name a particular team or player, recall a memorable game, or describe the position they’d like to play when they grow up. Samalla Halidu, a young polio survivor, had a different response for Past RI President Rajendra K. Saboo when the two met at a hospital outside Abuja, Nigeria: “Will I be able to stand?” In December, Saboo led a 10-day medical mission from India to Nigeria to help hundreds of children like Samalla. Funded partly by a $50,000 Rotary Foundation grant, the team of 19 doctors and six nonmedical...

03/08/2013 08:15 PM
Rotary members team up with students for clean water
Growing up in an affluent suburb of Chicago near Lake Michigan, Connor Kenehan never had to worry about a lack of clean water. But when a class assignment opened his eyes to global disparities in water access, he decided to help those who do. Kenehan founded an organization called Well Being after researching water and sanitation issues for an eighth-grade project at Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest, Illinois. Four years later, he has turned the assignment into a platform to raise funds for clean water efforts. “Living in an area with great access to fresh water, we take it for granted...

23/07/2013 04:15 PM
Help strengthen Rotary’s image
What is Rotary? Have you ever struggled with an answer to that question? You’re not alone. How do you describe an organization that is so many things to so many different people? It turns out that we had the answer all along. In research conducted over the past two years, we heard the same message from our members: Rotary brings together friends, family, and community leaders to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. To help carry that message into the 21st century, a fresh, modern look and inspiring and inviting voice was created. You can see these changes...

11/07/2013 07:15 PM
Nominating Committee for RI president in 2015-16 appointed
The following Rotarians will serve on the 2013-14 Nominating Committee for President of RI. The committee is scheduled to meet on 5 August 2013. Zone 1 -- Masahiro Kuroda, Rotary Club of Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan Zone 3 -- Teruo Inoue, Rotary Club of Senri, Osaka, Japan Zone 5 -- MEMBER: M.K. Panduranga Setty, Rotary Club of Bangalore, Karnataka, IndiaALTERNATE: P.C. Thomas, Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, Tamil Nadu, India Zone 7 -- Robert K. Crabtree, Rotary Club of Howick, Auckland, New Zealand Zone 9 -- Kyu-Hang Lee, Rotary Club of Anyang East, Gyeonggi, Korea Zone 11 -- Catherine...

03/07/2013 07:15 PM
Indian district creates relief fund for flood victims
Rotary District 3080 has created a disaster relief fund to help victims of the recent devastating floods throughout the northern state of Uttarakhand, India. Thousands of local residents have been displaced and local Rotarians are working with the ministry of health to provide funding and relief supplies. The district has established a service fund to raise money for relief efforts. If you are interested in donating, contact Past District Governor Chetan Aggarwal (chetanaggarwal@yahoo.com) or Assistant Governor Prabhjit Singh (singh_prabhjit@yahoo.com). If you are interested in sending relief...

01/07/2013 03:45 PM
The new Rotary year: 2013-14 leaders take office, grant model under way
For three years, 100 districts have been testing Future Vision, a pilot of The Rotary Foundation's new grant system, which was designed to increase Rotary's effectiveness during the next century of service. As the new Rotary year dawns, the future has begun. All districts begin using the simplified grant structure 1 July. Districts have already been completing the qualification process and qualifying their clubs. A number of clubs and districts have begun preparing and submitting grant applications. There will be three types of grants: global, district, and packaged. You can learn about all...

01/07/2013 03:00 PM
New traditions bring in younger Rotary members
At 29, Katie Ehlis knows first-hand the challenges of trying to fit the lifestyle of a young professional into a traditional club structure. After moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for work, this former Rotaractor visited several Rotary clubs to find the right connection. “The people were fantastic, but the club structures weren’t a good fit,” Ehlis says. “I was getting started in my career, so showing up late to work once a week or taking two hours for lunch wasn’t going to fly. And the dues were high for someone with a starting salary.” So she started a new club and became its president....

26/06/2013 07:00 PM
Rotary International recognizes unique peace efforts at 2013 convention
As was fitting for a meeting that has been all about peace, the 2013 Rotary International Convention in Lisbon drew to a close Wednesday with RI President Sakuji Tanaka recognizing a Rotary club that has spread Rotary's message of peace in "a very unique and effective way." "This year I challenged every Rotary club to conduct activities to enhance peace in their community," Tanaka said, in introducing the presentation. "Their response has exceeded my wildest expectations, and I offer my sincere thanks to all of the Rotarians who promoted Peace Through Service every day in ways big and small...

25/06/2013 07:00 PM
Gates Foundation joins with Rotary to boost polio endgame support
An announcement at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, set the stage for a bold new chapter in the partnership between Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the campaign for polio eradication. "Going forward, the Gates Foundation will match two-to-one, up to US$35 million per year, every dollar Rotary commits to reduce the funding shortfall for polio eradication through 2018," said Jeff Raikes, the foundation's chief executive officer, in a prerecorded video address shown during the convention's plenary session on 25 June. "If fully realized, the value of...

23/06/2013 05:00 PM
The Rotary world comes to Lisbon for the opening of the 2013 convention
Several centuries ago, Portuguese explorers set sail from Lisbon to explore the world over the seas. On Sunday, the world, or at least representative parts of it, came to Lisbon, as Rotarians from more than 225 countries and geographic areas gathered for the opening plenary session of the 2013 Rotary International Convention, Lisbon: A Harbor for Peace. Peace took center stage all day. During his opening remarks, RI President Sakuji Tanaka, who selected Peace Through Service as this year's RI theme, shared how he came to make a connection between peace and service. He recalled that he was...

22/06/2013 05:00 PM
Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards winners recognized
Rotaractors in Mumbai, India, most of them medical doctors, are providing vision screenings and comprehensive eye care to thousands of schoolchildren in poor neighborhoods of the city, through a series of medical camps aimed at improving the children's performance in school. Vision Six by Six, a project of the Rotaract Club of the Caduceus, Mumbai, raised US$15,500 through a variety of creative fundraisers, including a stand-up comedy event, to fund the medical camps. Club members bought supplies in bulk to cut the cost of the screenings to $1 per child, and worked with three nonprofit...

12/06/2013 04:15 PM
Stopping polio transmission by end of 2014 realistic, says Independent Monitoring Board
The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) reports that "stopping polio transmission by the end of 2014 is a realistic prospect." The IMB, which met 7-9 May, independently verifies progress toward the achievement of a polio-free world. In its report, the IMB commended the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for changes that have helped reduce polio to the lowest levels ever. "All of those who work towards polio eradication should be proud of what they have achieved over the last two years," the report stated. "The prospects of achieving interruption of polio transmission globally have been...

06/06/2013 07:00 PM
Australia commits AU$80 million for polio endgame plan, cites Rotary’s role
The Australian government is providing AU$80 million over four years in support of the 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan. The commitment is from 2015 to 2018. The contribution follows a $50 million commitment to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) from 2011 to 2014. Australian Rotarians have been instrumental in advocating their government's support for polio eradication. Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Bob Carr applauded the leadership shown by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Rotary International...

01/06/2013 07:45 PM
Download 2013 Convention speeches, reports, and resources
Download reports and proceedings from the convention General Secretary's Report to the RI Convention Treasurer's Report to the RI Convention Download speeches from the convention 2012-13 RI President Sakuji Tanaka's welcome address General Secretary John Hewko's secretariat update 2012-13 Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Wilfrid J. Wilkinson's keynote address 2013-14 Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Dong Kurn Lee: "Foundation Goals" 2013-14 RI President Ron D. Burton's address 2014-15 RI President Gary C.K. Huang's acceptance remarks Tanaka's closing remarks Download convention resources Order...

20/05/2013 05:00 PM
Hiroshima peace forum stresses world peace is achievable goal
In a ceremony heavy with symbolism, RI President Sakuji Tanaka joined other Rotary and community leaders 17 May in laying a wreath in Hiroshima Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on the city during World War II. The subject of peace has been at the heart of Tanaka's year as Rotary's president. A member of the Rotary Club of Yashio, Japan, Tanaka selected Peace Through Service as RI's theme for his year, and he organized three global peace forums to motivate Rotarians and others, particularly youth, to work for peace in their daily lives. The wreath-laying event...

13/05/2013 07:00 PM
Wild poliovirus reported in Somalia
A case of type 1 polio has been reported in the Banadir region of Somalia, the country's first case since March 2007. In response to the outbreak, an immunization campaign is scheduled to take place 14-16 May, aimed at reaching more than 350,000 children in the Banadir region. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a surveillance alert for Somalia and bordering areas of northern Kenya and eastern Ethiopia, highlighting the need for urgent searches for additional cases of acute flaccid paralysis and suspected polio in all health facilities. WHO has also advised all countries in Africa...

30/04/2013 04:45 PM
Council approves dues increase, unlimited e-clubs
Representatives from Rotary's 532 districts met in downtown Chicago 21-26 April, approving a number of measures designed to strengthen Rotary, increase membership, and enhance the organization's capacity to serve. The Council on Legislation meets every three years to consider changes to the policies that govern Rotary International and its member clubs. This year's Council accepted an increase of US$1 per year in per capita dues, removed limits on e-clubs, permitted satellite clubs, and changed the name of the fifth Avenue of Service to "Youth Service." The dues increase means Rotary clubs...

27/04/2013 06:00 PM
Rotary receives top honors for Future Vision
Rotary has received a silver Edison Award in recognition of the Future Vision Plan, the new grant model that enhances the scope, impact, and sustainability of humanitarian and educational projects funded by The Rotary Foundation. Since 1987, the Edison Awards have recognized innovative new products, services and business leaders in the United States. The awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Edison. Winners represent active contributors to the cause of innovation in the world. RI President Sakuji Tanaka accepted the award during the annual Edison Awards gala...

25/04/2013 04:45 PM
Global Vaccine Summit yields US$4 billion in funding commitments to polio endgame plan
The 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan and about US$4 billion in funding commitments took center stage at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi 24-25 April. Developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the plan is designed to interrupt transmission of the wild poliovirus by the end of 2014, strengthen routine immunization, lay the groundwork for securing a lasting polio-free world, and transfer the eradication initiative's assets to other public health efforts. The GPEI estimates the new plan will cost about US$5.5 billion. Governments, nongovernmental...

05/04/2013 07:00 PM
Rotarians honored as Champions of Change at White House
Twelve U.S. Rotarians were honored at the White House on 5 April as Champions of Change for their efforts to improve communities locally and around the world. As part of the daylong event, more than 160 Rotarians attended a morning round of briefings by government officials on topics including polio eradication, health, violence prevention, and the environment. "It is a great honor to see these dedicated Rotary members recognized by the U.S. White House as Champions of Change for their work to improve the lives of people around the world," said RI President Sakuji Tanaka. Tanaka said the...

21/02/2013 08:00 PM
Rotary celebrates 108th anniversary, highlights gains against polio
Rotary's 108th anniversary on 23 February marks a year of both achievements in the fight to eradicate polio and a stepped-up commitment to finish the job. Worldwide, 222 polio cases were reported in 2012, a little more than one-third of the 650 cases reported in 2011. India marked its second year without polio on 13 January. Overall, the annual incidence of polio has decreased more than 99 percent since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988. Then polio infected about 350,000 children per year. Although the wild poliovirus is now endemic only in Afghanistan, Pakistan,...

06/02/2013 08:30 PM
New Rotarian Action Groups target child slavery and peace
At its January meeting, the RI Board of Directors recognized two new Rotarian Action Groups. The Rotarian Action Group Against Child Slavery seeks to create awareness among Rotarians and the general public about the millions of children that are held captive for commercial gain and to help Rotarians take action to protect children through programs, campaigns, and projects. The Rotarians for Hearing Rotarian Action Group serves as a resource for clubs and districts interested in participating in humanitarian projects to help the hearing impaired. In November, the Board recognized the Rotarian...

14/01/2013 09:00 PM
'Engage Rotary, Change Lives' is 2013-14 presidential theme
RI President-elect Ron Burton will ask Rotarians to Engage Rotary, Change Lives in 2013-14. He unveiled his theme during the opening plenary session of the 2013 International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA, the annual training event for incoming district governors. “If we really want to take Rotary service forward, then we must make sure that every single Rotarian has the same feeling about Rotary that each one of us here has today,” Burton said. “We need to make sure that every Rotarian has a meaningful role to play, that they’re all making a contribution, and that their contribution...

10/09/2012 04:30 PM
Rotary's Fight to End Polio Now
Since 1985 Rotary has led the battle against polio, and kept the pressure on as worldwide cases plummeted from 350,000 per year to several hundred. When India went off the list of endemic countries in 2012, we took one more step toward eradicating a human disease from the earth for only the second time in history. Now, Rotary and its partners are This Close to making that dream a reality.

27/08/2012 06:15 PM
Doing Good in the World
Donations to The Rotary Foundation make it possible for Rotary clubs to tackle some of the world’s most pressing needs. See how your gift to the Foundation provided clean water to a village in Peru, promoted peace to displaced young people in Australia, brought prenatal care to a remote area of Haiti, helped exploited workers in India, rebuilt a flood-ravaged school in the United States, and nurtured a family of orphans in Uganda.