Month: November 2018

Rotary honors UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Rotary recognizes UK Prime Minister Theresa May with polio champion award

By Ryan Hyland

Rotary honored Theresa May, prime minister of the United Kingdom, with the Polio Eradication Champion Award for her leadership and political support toward ending polio. 

Rotary International President Barry Rassin presented the prestigious award to Alistair Burt, the UK minister of state for international development and minister of state for the Middle East, at a roundtable discussion on polio eradication on 27 November in London, England. 

Rassin told Burt, who accepted the award on May’s behalf, that the UK has repeatedly demonstrated an unwavering commitment toward a polio-free world. 

Alistair Burt, left, the UK minister of state for international development and minister of state for the Middle East, accepts the Polio Eradication Champion Award from RI President Barry Rassin.

“Britain’s leadership in making multiyear commitments in support of global polio eradication has been an example for other countries to follow,” Rassin said. He added that flexible funding from the UK has given the Global Polio Eradication Initiative  more resources to respond quickly to “dynamic needs.”

Under May’s leadership in 2017, the UK pledged about $130 million to the GPEI for 2017-19, bringing the country’s cumulative support for polio eradication to $1.6 billion — second only to the United States. May has also been a strong advocate for other countries in the G-20 and G-7 to maintain their financial and political support for a polio-free world, Rassin said. 

Rotary established the Polio Eradication Champion Award in 1996 to recognize heads of state, health agency leaders, and others who have made significant contributions to ending polio. Past recipients include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Tips for starting Rotaract club on college campus

6 tips for starting a Rotaract club on your campus

By Arnold R. Grahl

When Taylor Huie arrived to start her first year at Duke University in fall 2017, she was surprised to learn that the campus didn’t have a Rotaract club.

After all, Rotary’s program for young leaders started just 120 miles away in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. And Rotaract clubs did exist on many nearby campuses.

Huie grew up attending meetings of the Rotary Club of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA, with her mother, Jackie, a club member and the founder of a student mentoring program that has helped hundreds of teenagers clarify their career aspirations. Huie had already helped the Interact Club of St. Joseph High School grow to more than 140 members and served as its membership chair for three years and president for one year. She also took part in two Interact service trips to the Dominican Republic to install water filters.

Given her background, it was only a matter of time before Huie launched Duke’s first Rotaract club. More than 360 students responded to her Facebook invitation to join. In September, the Rotaract Club of Duke University received its charter.

“Because my family is so involved in Rotary, I feel like Rotary is part of who I am,” Huie says. “The idea of going off to college and not having Rotary was beyond my comprehension.”

The biomedical engineering major offers advice on how to start a university-based Rotaract club and what appeals to college students.

1. Start with Rotary clubs

Rotaract Club of Duke University secretary Ana Martinez and vice president Moses Makangila pass out information about the new club and answer questions during the University’s fall activities fair.

Photo coutesy of Rotaract Club of Duke University

Huie spent her first year at Duke getting to know the campus and the city of Durham, where the university is based, before filing paperwork to charter a club. She also attended meetings of several local Rotary clubs and connected with a member of the Rotary Club of Durham who agreed to serve as the new club’s adviser.

Huie says working with the local Rotary clubs gave her the foundation she needed to approach the university. “It shows you’ve done work behind the scenes; you already have support.”

2. Recruit an executive board

Having talked about Rotaract extensively with friends and classmates, Huie recruited a classmate who expressed interest in being vice president. And she asked friends she knew she could trust to serve as treasurer and secretary.

“I think it would be very difficult — if not impossible — for a person to do this on their own,” she says.

3. Prepare

During the summer between her first and second years at Duke, Huie read the Rotaract Handbook, the standard club constitution, and the recommended bylaws. She had her executive board read them as well. Huie already knew a lot about Rotary after having served as an Interact officer, but she spent time on adding to that knowledge and learning more about Rotaract. 

“You want to present your ideas in the best light possible,” she notes. “If someone has questions, you want to know how to answer them. It also shows you’re invested.”

4. Use social media

“Facebook is a really good resource for connecting people with Rotary,” Huie says. She used Duke’s Facebook pages for first- and second-year students to post her initial invitation to join. Her executive board also used Google Hangouts to spur further interest and answer questions. Huie says it’s important to make it clear what your club will do and how people can join. 

5. Use time wisely 

The Duke Rotaract club’s meetings are working meetings, where members split into groups to discuss projects and club business. 

“It’s important for college students, or young adults in general, to feel like they’re spending their time wisely,” she says. “They want to be actively engaged in doing something to better themselves and their community.”

6. Promote networking and mentoring 

Give members opportunities to network and find mentors. These are two benefits young adults seek, Huie says. The Duke University Rotaract club is working with Rotary and Rotaract clubs in the area to plan a career fair and may even launch a mentoring program like the one Huie’s mother started in St. Joseph.

“It’s not every day you have a club that connects you to 1.2 million people in the world who are all motivated to change the world for the better,” says Huie.

5 reasons to give to Rotary on Giving Tuesday 2018

5 reasons to give to Rotary on Giving Tuesday

By Arnold R. Grahl

You have many choices where you donate this Giving Tuesday, 27 November. Why should Rotary be your charity of choice?

Here are five reasons to give to Rotary.

1. Accountability

Our accountability and transparency have earned The Rotary Foundation 11 straight years of four-star ratings — the highest possible — from independent evaluator Charity Navigator. Ninety-one percent of Foundation funds are spent directly on programs. No high administrative costs dilute your gift. 

2. Impact

We partner with other organizations to increase our impact and make your donations work even harder. When you give to PolioPlus, for example, you have the satisfaction of knowing that every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication is matched by $2 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Thanks to this partnership, all donations to end polio (up to $50 million per year) are tripled, providing critical funding toward creating a polio-free world. 

3. A record of success

Rotary unites leaders who have the skills and resources to tackle some of the world’s most difficult problems and deliver sustainable, long-lasting results. For decades, Rotary has been a leader in the battle against polio and has caused cases to plummet from 350,000 in 1988 to only a handful this year. Rotary members have also achieved notable results in other areas, like eradicating Guinea worm disease in Ghana.

4. Global reach

Our 1.2 million members span the globe, uniting people who have a common desire to serve others. From teaching children to read in Ecuador to a microcredit program in Indonesia, Rotary members identify local problems and use Rotary’s vast network and the resources of The Rotary Foundation to take action in their communities.

5. Bringing about peace

Each year, the Rotary Peace Centers train some of the world’s most dedicated professionals to resolve conflicts and promote national and international cooperation. Rotary Peace Fellows study in a two-year master’s degree program or a three-month professional certificate program at Rotary’s partner universities. Rotary members themselves also address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Honoring ingenuity

Rotary honors 6 who are changing the world

By Ryan Hyland
Photographs by Alyce Henson

Innovation was the theme at Rotary Day at the United Nations on 10 November. Nearly aMore than a thousand Rotary leaders, members, and guests from around the world met in Nairobi, Kenya, to hear about creative solutions to challenging world problems.

The annual event, held at the only UN headquarters in Africa, recognizes Rotary’s long-standing special relationship with the United Nations . UN officials and humanitarian experts inspired participants to find innovative strategies for addressing humanitarian needs both locally and globally.

View Slideshow

Nearly a thousand people attended Rotary Day at the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday, 10 November 2018. The event honored young innovators and their role in creating change.

Six Rotaract and Rotary members age 35 or under were also honored as Rotary People of Action: Young Innovators. All of these leaders spoke about how they used ingenuity to launch efforts that brought about measurable and lasting results.

General sessions and workshops covered the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the technology revolution, and young people’s role in creating change. A special session on the environment emphasized the importance of sustainable development and suggested concrete actions that people of all generations can take to build a clean and healthy future.

For the first time, the event also featured an Innovation Fair where Rotary clubs, businesses, and other organizations exhibited projects and cutting-edge technology designed to address humanitarian challenges.

Keynote speakers included RI President Barry Rassin, who is a member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, and Sushil Kumar Gupta, Rotary International president-nominee and a member of the Rotary Club of Delhi Midwest, Delhi, India.

Rassin said the Innovation Fair inspired him to pair Rotary’s older generations’ resources  and experience with the energy and ideas of young people.

“We want to take you on as equals, as colleagues,” Rassin told the young audience members. “You bring to the table your ideas, your ambitions, your perspective on the world’s problems. We help you to enlarge your horizons, to think big, and to make your innovations practical.” 

He added, “Youth innovators and Rotary can make the impossible possible.”

With more young people in the world today than ever before — more than 50 percent of the population is under age 30   — it’s imperative for them to harness their talents, said Hanna S. Tetteh, director-general of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. 

“For a more peaceful and more sustainable world for all, we need the active participation and leadership of young people,” said Tetteh. “I’m grateful Rotary is representing that here today.”

  1. Albert Kafka, Albert Kafka , of the Rotaract Club of Wien-Stadtpark and Rotary Club of Wien-Oper, Austria, who launched Intarconnect, an online platform for establishing mentorships and encouraging service across generations, including helping to build houses for the poor. He was assisted in the project by Phillip-Sebastian Marchl, Peter Rabensteiner, and Rotary clubs in Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  2. Charlie Ruth Castro, of the Rotary E-Club of Sogamoso Global, Boyacá, Colombia, who leads a program that teaches vocational and business skills to women in prison in Colombia. Castro, who visited prisons across Colombia for her project, said education is the way to empower women, even those who are imprisoned. “In prison, there are seeds of peace and reconciliation. We are teaching these women how to create a new beginning and how to use their skills to create innovation even with very few resources.” 

  3. Christina Hassan, of the Rotary Club of Calgary Fish Creek, Alberta, Canada, who launched the nonprofit FullSoul, which trains midwives and supplies safe, sterile childbirth equipment to hospitals in Uganda. Recounting her experience witnessing a mother die while giving birth in Uganda, Hassan emotionally spoke about how her project, with Rotary’s support, has safely helped 65,000 mothers deliver healthy babies. 

  4. Paul Mushaho, of the Rotaract Club of Nakivale, who organized a Rotaract club in a Ugandan refugee settlement; the club conducts service projects in the camp and fosters a sense of family among the refugees. “Our refugee community realized our local challenges needed local solutions. And that we can solve them ourselves,” said Mushaho. “We are not beggars, we are a generation of change and inspiration.”  

  5. Shadrack Nyawa, of the Rotary Club of Kilifi, Kenya, who traveled to remote areas of the country to supply toilets and handwashing stations to schools most in need.

  6. Ludovic Grosjean, of the Rotaract Club of Melbourne City, Victoria, Australia, whose Ocean CleanX company is developing technology to monitor pollution and remove it from waterways. Calling it a “scary statistic,” Grosjean noted that each year 8.8 million tons of plastic gets into the ocean, causing continual distress to marine life. “I always wanted to save the oceans. We have to stop the pollution at its source,” he said, adding that the effort must start with removing plastic from the land. 

 Watch a video of Rotary UN Day 2018

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Jack Nicklaus to play golf with Rotary donors

Play golf with legend Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus

Twelve generous supporters of Rotary’s polio eradication efforts will have the opportunity to play golf with legend Jack Nicklaus, a Rotary ambassador for polio eradication.

Nicklaus plans to thank the next 12 individuals who make a new donation of $250,000 or more to the PolioPlus Fund by inviting them to play golf with him at the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida, USA, on 12 March 2019. There, donors will be divided into three groups of four, and each group will play 18 holes of golf – six with Nicklaus. Donors who prefer not to golf may allow one friend or family member to golf in their place.

Space is limited to the first 12 donors. To qualify, donors need to complete a gift intent form and make the full donation by 22 January 2019. Contact Harvey Newcomb III, director of principal gifts at The Rotary Foundation, for more information. Please see the gift intent form for details.

If they wish, the donors will also be inducted into the Arch Klumph Society in recognition of their support for Rotary’s polio eradication efforts.

Rotary Foundation receives Charity Navigator rating for 11th year

Rotary Foundation receives highest rating from Charity Navigator for 11th year

By Rotary International

For the 11th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — four stars — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.

The Foundation earned the recognition for demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized,” says Foundation Trustee Chair Ron Burton. “It represents the hard work and dedication of countless Rotarians throughout the world.  They know their gifts will be used for the purpose for which they were given and that they will, indeed, make a real difference.”

The rating reflects Charity Navigator’s assessment of how the Foundation uses donations, sustains its programs and services, and practices good governance and openness.

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