Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds
Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds

 For Jasper County Schools.

Golf
Golf

Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds for Jasper County Schools.

Golf Tournament
Golf Tournament

To Raise Scholarship Funds for Jasper County Schools.

Sponsored by Coastal Carolina - Medical Staff
Sponsored by Coastal Carolina - Medical Staff

Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds for Jasper County Schools.

STEM presentation
STEM presentation

Director, Richard Guisti, thanking our guest speaker, Barb Ready on her STEM presentation. 

Dr. Brian Shaw Speaks to Rotary
Dr. Brian Shaw Speaks to Rotary

Dr. Brian Shaw Speaks to Rotary

Dr. Brian Shaw Speaks to Rotary
Dr. Brian Shaw Speaks to Rotary

Dr. Brian Shaw Speaks to Rotary

Barbara Johnson LCOG
Barbara Johnson LCOG

Barbara Johnson LCOG

Jasper Rotary Club
Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club
Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club
Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club
Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club
Jasper Rotary Club

Jasper Rotary Club

Opportunity for service
Opportunity for service

The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.

United in the ideal of service
United in the ideal of service

The advanace of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Business, and community life
Business, and community life

The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarians's persona, business, and community life.

To encourage and foster
To encourage and foster

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster

1.2 million rotarians
1.2 million rotarians

Today, 1.2 million rotarians belong to over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more that 200 countries.

 Rotary clubs were formed or reestablished througout central and Eastern Europe.
Rotary clubs were formed or reestablished througout central and Eastern Europe.

Over 32000 rotary clubs and more.

Members serving communities in need
Members serving communities in need

Rotary began to expand over the years

 The organization underwent a growth spurt for the next several years.
The organization underwent a growth spurt for the next several years.

Which enventually led to the international organisation of service.

Rotary was formed in 1905 headed by Paul P. Harris.
Rotary was formed in 1905 headed by Paul P. Harris.

Whose desire among comaraderie among business associates enventually lead to the international organisation of service and fellowship

Rotary's efforts to address pressing issues such as environmental degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk.
Rotary's efforts to address pressing issues such as environmental degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk.

Therefore Rotary begun to expand with over 32,000 in more than 200 countries

In 1988 the organization voted to admit women into clubs world wide.
In 1988 the organization voted to admit women into clubs world wide.

Today women are an integral part of Rotary's membership

Visitors are welcome!
Visitors are welcome!

An integral part in Rotary's development

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, rotary clubs were formed or reestablished througout central and Eastern Europe.
After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, rotary clubs were formed or reestablished througout central and Eastern Europe.

Today 1.2 millions rotarians belong to over 32000 clubs.

Rotary clubs were formed or reestablished throughout central and Eastern Europe.
Rotary clubs were formed or reestablished throughout central and Eastern Europe.

The fist Russian rotary was chartered in 1990

As rotary approached the 21st Century, Rotary worked to meet society's changing needs.
As rotary approached the 21st Century, Rotary worked to meet society's changing needs.

Rotary is expanding its service efforts to address such pressing issues

Rotary was formed in 1905 headed by Paul P. Harris
Rotary was formed in 1905 headed by Paul P. Harris

Rotary begun to expand over the years and its mission also expanded

Our Motto!
Our Motto!

"Service Above Self"

Boys and Girls Clubs
Boys and Girls Clubs

Great futures start everyday at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry. The organization operates five (5) clubs in Beaufort and Jasper Counties. The two clubs in Beaufort are the Beaufort...

Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

KFC
KFC

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

Harvey's
Harvey's

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over
26Oct13 Yard Make over

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over (14)
26Oct13 Yard Make over (14)

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over (13)
26Oct13 Yard Make over (13)

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over (11)
26Oct13 Yard Make over (11)

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over (10)
26Oct13 Yard Make over (10)

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over (6)
26Oct13 Yard Make over (6)

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

26Oct13 Yard Make over (1)
26Oct13 Yard Make over (1)

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their...

District Governor, Lou Mello and Asst. District Governor Bob Gross presents Past President, Jeanine Bostick with the Rotary Four-Way Test Award.
District Governor, Lou Mello and Asst. District Governor Bob Gross presents Past President, Jeanine Bostick with the Rotary Four-Way Test Award.

District Governor, Lou Mello and Asst. District Governor Bob Gross presents Past President, Jeanine Bostick with the Rotary Four-Way Test Award.

Past District Governor, Ed Duryea presents New President with the Rotary District 7770 Presidential Citation Badges.
Past District Governor, Ed Duryea presents New President with the Rotary District 7770 Presidential Citation Badges.

Past District Governor, Ed Duryea presents New President with the Rotary District 7770 Presidential Citation Badges.

Past District Governor, Ed Duryea addresses the Jasper Rotary Club at the Jasper Boys & Girls Club during the 2013 Installation Ceremony of Incoming President Darryl Owens.
Past District Governor, Ed Duryea addresses the Jasper Rotary Club at the Jasper Boys & Girls Club during the 2013 Installation Ceremony of Incoming President Darryl Owens.

Past District Governor, Ed Duryea addresses the Jasper Rotary Club at the Jasper Boys & Girls Club during the 2013 Installation Ceremony of Incoming President Darryl Owens.

 

Past District Governor, Ed Duryea addresses the Jasper Rotary Club at the Jasper Boys & Girls Club during the 2013 Installation Ceremony of Incoming President Darryl Owens.
Past District Governor, Ed Duryea addresses the Jasper Rotary Club at the Jasper Boys & Girls Club during the 2013 Installation Ceremony of Incoming President Darryl Owens.

Past District Governor, Ed Duryea addresses the Jasper Rotary Club at the Jasper Boys & Girls Club during the 2013 Installation Ceremony of Incoming President Darryl Owens.

 

District Governor, Lou Mello presents Past Jasper Rotary President Jeanine Bostick with the Rotary Four-Way Test Award.
District Governor, Lou Mello presents Past Jasper Rotary President Jeanine Bostick with the Rotary Four-Way Test Award.

District Governor, Lou Mello presents Past Jasper Rotary President Jeanine Bostick with the Rotary Four-Way Test Award.

Rotary District 7770 District Governor
Rotary District 7770 District Governor

Rotary District 7770 District Governor, Lou Mello visits the Jasper Rotary Club on Tuesday, August 20th

Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet 2010 001
Rotary Banquet 2010 001
Rotary Banquet
Rotary Banquet
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Jesper Rotary
Yard Makeover Crew
Yard Makeover Crew

Jasper Boys and Girls Club.

Rotary Meeting
Rotary Meeting

 Relay for Life Cancer Program.

Carolyn and Dan
Carolyn and Dan

Cooking at Yard Makeover

Darryl
Darryl

at Yard Makeover.

Rotary Meeting
Rotary Meeting
Rotary Yard Makeover
Rotary Yard Makeover

Latest News


Detective Morris speaking to the Rotary

Detective Morris speaking to the Rotary.

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Dr. Robert L. Frantz PhD to Rotary

Dr. Robert L. Frantz PhD inducted into Rotary.

read more

Candice in the finals for American Idol

American Idol 2013 Top 2 finalists Candice Glover and Kree Harrison sang three songs each Wednesday night on FOX. Glover's 'Favorite Performance' pick, "I (Who Have Nothing)... read more


26 Oct13 Yard Make over

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their... read more


Harvey's

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their... read more


KFC

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their... read more


Pizza Hut

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their... read more


Robert L Frantz, 26th, Oct, 2013 Yard Make over

Joint community extreme yard make over sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Jasper County and the Jasper Rotary Club. 
Special thanks to Home Depot, William Pinckney for their... read more


Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry

P.O.Box 21909

151 Gumtree Road

Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

 

Great Futures Start Here

read more

STEM presentation

Director, Richard Guisti, thanking our guest speaker, Barb Ready on her STEM presentation. 

read more

Dr. Robert L. Frantz PhD

Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds for Jasper County Schools.

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Sponsored by Coastal Carolina - Medical Staff

Golf Tournament to Raise Scholarship Funds for Jasper County Schools.

read more

Golf Tournament

To Raise Scholarship Funds for Jasper County Schools.

read more

Member Login

Rotary was formed in 1905 headed by Paul P. Harris whose desire for comaraderie among business associates eventually lead to the international organization of service and fellowship.

Rotary began to expand over the years and its mission also expanded from serving club members to serving communities in need and hence the motto: "Service Above Self".
As rotary approached the 21st Century, Rotary worked to meet society's changing needs, expanding its service efforts to address such pressing issues as environmental degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk.
In 1988 the organization voted to admit women into clubs world wide. Today, women are an integral part of Rotary's membership.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, rotary clubs were formed or reestablished througout central and Eastern Europe. The first Russian rotary club was charterd in 1990, and the organization underwent a growth spurt for the next several years.

Today, 1.2 million rotarians belong to over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more that 200 countries.
Jasper Rotary meets every Tuesday morning at 8:00. Jaspers Porch. Visitors are welcome!

Local Businesses and Organizations Support Jasper Rotary Service to our Community

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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).

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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 "...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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)

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...

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...

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. "...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

2014 Rotary Convention photo gallery

See our daily photo gallery from Sydney

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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....

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,"...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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)

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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!

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

'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...

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.

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.