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Rotary Foundation receives highest rating from Charity Navigator for 12th consecutive year

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By Rotary International

For the 12th 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. Only one percent of the organizations Charity Navigator evaluates have received 12 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

“Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that The Rotary Foundation exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in your area of work”, says Michael Thatcher, president and chief executive officer of Charity Navigator. “This exceptional designation sets the Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

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

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-foundation-receives-charity-navigator-rating-12th-year

Nigeria reaches crucial polio milestone

By Ryan Hyland

Volunteers vaccinate children in Maiduguri, Nigeria, against polio, marking the houses they’ve visited.

Photo by Andrew Esiebo

It’s been three years since health officials last reported a case of polio caused by the wild poliovirus in Nigeria. The milestone, reached on 21 August, means that it’s possible for the entire World Health Organization (WHO) African region to be certified wild poliovirus-free next year.

Nigeria’s success is the result of several sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of thousands of health workers, and strategies to immunize children who previously couldn’t be reached because of a lack of security in the country’s northern states.

“Rotary, its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, and the Nigerian government have strengthened immunization and disease detection systems,” says Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. He adds: “We are now reaching more children than ever in some of the hardest-to-reach places in Nigeria.”

McGovern says Rotary members in Nigeria play an important role in ridding the country of the disease. “Rotarians have been hard at work raising awareness for polio eradication, advocating with the government, and addressing other basic health needs to complement polio eradication efforts, like providing clean water to vulnerable communities.”

Nigeria is the last country in Africa where polio is endemic. Once Africa is certified as free of the wild poliovirus, five of the WHO’s six regions will be free of wild polio. Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which means transmission of the virus has never been stopped.

Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, acknowledges the milestone but cautions Rotary members about celebrating too soon. He cites the challenge of making certain that routine immunizations reach every child in Nigeria.

“It’s paramount that we ensure all doors are locked to the re-entry of the wild poliovirus into our country,” says Funsho.

Funsho says to achieve this, Rotary needs to maintain strong advocacy efforts, continue to increase awareness of immunization campaigns, and ensure members raise necessary funds. Rotary has contributed $268 million to fight polio in Nigeria.

“As the first organization to dream of a polio-free world, Rotary is committed to fulfilling our promise,” says McGovern. “Our progress in Nigeria is a big step toward that goal, but we need to maintain momentum so that Pakistan and Afghanistan see the same level of progress.”

Join Rotary on World Polio Day, 24 October, to celebrate our progress. Help us reach our goal of a polio-free world by donating today.

https://www.rotary.org/en/nigeria-reaches-crucial-polio-milestone

Shekhar Mehta of India selected to be 2021-22 Rotary International President

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Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2021-22.

Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2021-22. He will be declared the president-nominee on 1 October if no challenging candidates have been suggested.

Mehta acknowledges that current membership trends are a challenge and says that membership development should be Rotary’s highest priority. He believes that focusing on regional plans, successfully transitioning Rotaractors into Rotary clubs, and increasing diversity and female members could yield a 5 percent net growth in membership each year.

“A major brainstorming is needed to find effective solutions suited to different areas of the world,” says Mehta. He adds that regional ethos and culture have to be taken into account to find localized solutions, as “one size does not fit all.” He believes Rotary can extend to new geographical areas and countries.

As a strong proponent of Rotary’s strategic plan, Mehta says he will encourage clubs to use action plans and reinforce the core values of Rotary.

Mehta says Rotary needs to become more contemporary and adaptable by focusing on partnerships with governments and corporations, expanding partnerships with organizations that specialize in Rotary’s areas of focus, and investing in technology.

Mehta, an accountant, is chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.

Mehta has been actively involved in disaster response and is a trustee of ShelterBox, UK. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he helped build nearly 500 homes for families affected by the disaster.

Mehta pioneered a program that has performed more than 1,500 life-changing heart surgeries in South Asia. He is also the architect of the TEACH Program, which promotes literacy throughout India and has reached thousands of schools.

A Rotary member since 1984, Mehta has served Rotary as director, member or chair of several committees, zone coordinator, training leader, member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, and district governor. He is also the chair of Rotary Foundation (India).

Mehta has received Rotary’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards.

He and his wife, Rashi, are Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society.

To learn more about Mehta, read his interview and vision statement outlining his goals for Rotary.

The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2021-22 President of Rotary International are: Mikael Ahlberg, Ölands Södra, Sweden; Bernhard Baumgartner, Kitzbühel, Austria; Gerson Gonçalves, Londrina-Norte, Pr., Brazil; Serge Gouteyron, Valenciennes-Denain aérodrome, Nord, France; Mary Beth Growney Selene, Madison West Towne-Middleton, Wisconsin, USA; Allan O. Jagger, Halifax, W. Yorks., England; Masahiro Kuroda, Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Hsiu-Ming (Frederick) Lin, Taipei Tungteh, Taiwan; Larry A. Lunsford (secretary), Kansas City-Plaza, Missouri, USA; Anne L. Matthews (chair), Columbia East, South Carolina, USA; Ekkehart Pandel, Bückeburg, Germany; P. T. Prabhakar, Madras Central, Tamil Nadu, India; José Antonio Salazar Cruz, Bogotá Occidente, Cund., Colombia; M.K. Panduranga Setty, Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Steven A. Snyder, Auburn, California, USA; Yoshimasa Watanabe, Kojima, Okayama, Japan; and SangKoo Yun, Sae Hanyang, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

https://www.rotary.org/en/shekhar-mehta-india-selected-be-2021-22-rotary-international-president

Fighting poverty on a small scale

A collaboration between Rotary and Heifer continues to produce big results, helping small farms provide healthier, locally-sourced food

By Arnold R. Grahl
Visuals by Miriam Doan

In the fall of 2015, volunteers from Rotary and Heifer International came together to build hoop houses for a few farmers working small lots in Arkansas, USA. The afternoon outing was part of a larger project that is still reaping benefits four years later, supporting small-scale agriculture in the region and increasing access to locally-grown food.

Heifer has been using the small-scale agriculture model for decades to alleviate hunger and fight poverty around the world. The approach has the added benefits of being environmentally friendly and offering healthier food options.

That mission dovetails with Rotary’s mission to grow local economies and improve health. So it’s not surprising the two groups have teamed up on a number of occasions in the past 30 years to improve communities by helping families escape poverty. Several Heifer employees are or have been members of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, the city where Heifer has its headquarters.

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“Our values line up very well,” says Ardyth Neill, a member of the Little Rock club and president of the Heifer Foundation. “With Rotary, it’s Service Above Self and helping to serve others. Heifer has been working with farmers to be accountable, pass on their gifts, train other farmers, and work together in community. It’s learning to share and care, basic things that work well together.”

Sustainability

In the United States and other developed nations, a lot of food production is controlled by large industrial operations, which produce cheaper food by focusing on a single crop and using specialized equipment to cut labor costs.

But according to research into sustainable agriculture, this food model has downsides, including a reliance on commercial fertilizers, heavy pesticides, and other chemicals that can harm the environment.

The trend has also contributed to the failure of smaller family farms, increasing the poverty rates in places like rural Arkansas. 

Nationwide distribution networks have also resulted in food deserts in urban areas, particularly in the U.S., England, and Australia, where poor neighborhoods have little access to fresh produce and instead rely on less nutritious fast foods and packaged products.

Small-scale sustainable agriculture, on the other hand, tends to keep things local. The money you spend on food stays in your community and helps your neighbor. Farmers maximize land use by planting multiple crops that replenish the soil and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

And fruits and vegetables grown closer to home keep more of their nutrients.

Consumers are increasingly aware of these health benefits, fueling the market for local produce.

“There’s a phenomenon going on, really nationwide, about people becoming more and more concerned and thoughtful about where their food comes from,” says Sharon Vogelpohl, a past president of the Little Rock Rotary club and a volunteer on the project.

In Heifer’s back yard

Before teaming up with Rotary on the project, Heifer USA conducted a study that found considerable untapped demand for locally grown produce. The study calculated that Arkansas spends more than $7 billion  a year on food, with about $6.3 billion of that coming from outside Arkansas.

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Heifer set up a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network — a food subscription service in which consumers buy produce in advance at a fixed price, guaranteeing farmers a market for their crop regardless of how weather or other factors may affect their output.

Rotary members used their extensive contacts to find buyers for the CSA shares, and offered business and planning advice to the farmers. Heifer provided training in sustainable practices and taught its philosophy of accountability, sharing, passing on training, and self-reliance.

Through its first five years, the number of shares sold grew from 150 the first year to more than 400 a year.

The New South Produce Cooperative became a largely independent cooperative in 2016, and in 2017 expanded to wholesale markets. Now, Heifer USA is transitioning oversight of the program to one of its funding partners, 275 Food Project, smoothing the path for expansion into the Memphis area.

“We’ve always viewed our role as being an incubator of this project,” says Annie Bergman, Global Communications Director for Heifer. “This will allow growth across the border and provide more support for the farmers. We will still offer training and funds when needed.”

Farming around the world

The tools of small-scale sustainable agriculture look different around the world, but the principles are the same. Noel Mace, Heifer International’s program manager for Africa, explains that cooperatives play a crucial role in bringing together groups of farmers — many with both livestock and crops — and connecting them to markets.

“We are now developing more of a market-driven approach,” says Mace. “Historically, Heifer has spent a lot of time on how to bring poor farmers to a subsistence level where they can feed their families. But our mission is to end hunger and poverty, not to lessen it. Poverty is a big challenge without connecting to markets.”

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, and Heifer built a high tunnel for Joe Carr.

“So the question,” he continues, “is not just how do we make sure you are not hungry, but how do we move you beyond a family-level production to participating with others in a market” that creates income and increases livelihood?

Africa has a strong dairy program, so much of Heifer’s work there flows out of milk. Tight groups of 15 to 20 farmers join with other groups in cooperatives that then have enough scale to access chilling plants and, ultimately, processing plants. The farmers then look to diversify further by using their milk co-op to sell avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, and other produce.

“If I am a consumer, I now can go to the co-op and buy milk, but also buy fresh fruits and greens, and I know it will have the same level of quality,” says Mace. “It’s really about marketing a brand, something I can rely on and know they will have when I go there.”

Spreading success

Back in Arkansas, Ben Wihebrink of Heifer USA says the larger vision is to encourage others to copy their model. In addition to building support for the cooperative in Memphis, pilot efforts have been launched in northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta.

“There is an infinite demand across the (American) South specifically for local foods and organic foods,” says Wihebrink. “And as long as there is consumer interest, there is opportunity to help farmers in many places struggling to make a living.”

Joe Carr, recipient of one of the hoop houses, has been farming since he left his job at Whirlpool in 1987. He started a farmer’s market in 2003 that has grown to more than 60 vendors. The co-op and high tunnel (as it’s also called) have allowed him to increase his income.

“The beauty of the high tunnel is it gives you the quality you need for public demand,” he says. “Choy, kale, broccoli, carrots, and lettuce will all go through the winter. With the proper crop management, you can harvest all winter long.”

Read how Rotary First Harvest connects ‘ugly’ produce and food banks

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-and-heifer-help-farmers

Rotary and ShelterBox celebrate the power of partnership

Evanston Ill., Rotary International announced on 3 June a three-year partnership renewal with its disaster relief project partner, ShelterBox. For almost 20 years, this unique humanitarian alliance has supported families with a place to call home after disaster.

Rotary is a global network whose members take action to make a lasting difference in their communities – and worldwide. ShelterBox provides emergency shelters and other essential items to support families who have lost their homes in disaster.

What began as a local connection with one Cornish Rotary Club has led to an international movement that’s provided 140,000 ShelterBox family tents or 390,000 ShelterKits worldwide to date (a value of over £54 million).

First adopted as a millennium project by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in 2000, the support of Rotary members and clubs around the world saw ShelterBox become Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief in 2012. Since then, the partnership has helped transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognized disaster relief charity, supporting families with emergency shelter after disaster.

The partnership extends far beyond financial support. Around 1,000 Rotary members are involved in ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or response team members. And clubs worldwide offer valuable, practical assistance to help ShelterBox reach more families fleeing disaster or conflict.

This has recently included support for families in Malawi flooded from their homes by Cyclone Idai and communities in Lombok devastated by the 2018 earthquake and tsunami (quotes and details at the end of this release).

“ShelterBox has been Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief since 2012, and we are excited to renew the partnership for another three years,” says Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko.

“Through this project partnership, Rotary members around the globe can collaborate with ShelterBox to support communities in desperate need of emergency temporary shelter and vital supplies following natural disasters,” adds Hewko. “Additionally, Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to expand cooperation efforts through preparedness training and stockpiles of prepositioned aide in disaster-prone regions.”

Caroline White, interim Chief Executive at ShelterBox, said: “Whenever disaster strikes, Rotary is beside us. From the earliest planning stages to final evaluations, Rotary members help ShelterBox make community contacts, organize logistics, and reach disaster-affected families in remote areas who might otherwise go without.

This partnership has helped ShelterBox become who we are today. Our global network of 17 ShelterBox affiliates, who raise funds and awareness worldwide, evolved from Rotary relationships.”

Rotary club presidents around the world have also commented:

Ace Robin, President of the Mataram Rotary Club, Indonesia, was caught up in the deadly earthquakes that hit Lombok in 2018. Her home survived, but many around her were destroyed. Through an agreement with the government-led response, Ace’s club was central to bringing ShelterBox aid to Indonesia.

Thanks to their support, vulnerable members of the community received vital emergency shelter, including families with elderly relatives, pregnant women or new mothers.

Ace said: “Working with ShelterBox taught us a lot – they showed us how to build shelter and select families to help. It also gave us a chance to show what Rotary is to local people.”

After floods triggered by Cyclone Idai left tens of thousands homeless in Malawi this March, Rotary members connected ShelterBox with communities in the Blantyre region, helping them understand local needs and culture. Members helped deliver emergency shelter to almost 2,000 families. And ShelterBox supported the Rotary Club of Limbe to join the wider disaster response, enabling the club to deliver food to communities whose entire crops had been destroyed by the floods.

Rotary Club of Limbe President Eric Chinkanda said: “It was a great experience to work with ShelterBox. We have not only walked a mile in reaching out to the many Malawians who faced hardship, but we restored confidence in the displaced people that all was not lost!”

James Kingston, Club President of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, in Cornwall, said: “The members of Helston-Lizard Rotary are delighted that Rotary International continues to recognize ShelterBox.

I joined the club a few months before the Millennium Project began, and I’m so pleased we’re still involved. It has been wonderful to see the charity grow into an internationally recognized, professional disaster relief organization.”

Facts and figures

  • 90% of ShelterBox responses assisted by Rotary
  • 1,000 Rotary members have roles in ShelterBox, in the UK and internationally
  • £54m+ raised for ShelterBox by Rotary supporters since 2000

About Rotary International

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. See www.rotary.org

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disasters. See www.shelterbox.org

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-and-shelterbox-celebrate-power-partnership

Rotary announces US$100 million to eradicate polio

EVANSTON, Ill. (June 10, 2019) — Rotary is giving US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.

The funding comes as Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) address the final—and most pressing—challenges to ending poliovirus transmission, and as Nigeria approaches three years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, bringing the Africa region closer to polio-free status.

“We have the wild poliovirus cornered in the smallest geographic area in history, and now there are just two countries that continue to report cases of the wild virus,” said Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee. “As we work with our partners to apply innovative new strategies to reach more children, and embrace lessons learned thus far, Rotary is doubling down on our commitment to end polio for good. I’m optimistic that the end of polio is within our grasp, but we must remain vigilant in rallying global political and financial support as we push towards a polio-free world.”

While there were only 33 cases of wild poliovirus reported in 2018, the last mile of eradication has proven to be the most difficult. Barriers to eradication–like weak health systems, insecurity, and mobile and remote populations–must be overcome. As long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for continued funding and commitment to eradication.

To support polio eradication efforts in endemic countries, Rotary is allocating half the funds it announced today to: Afghanistan ($16.3 million), Nigeria ($10.2 million), and Pakistan ($25.2million). Additional funding will support efforts to keep vulnerable countries polio-free:

  • Chad ($102,395)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo ($9.5 million)
  • Ethiopia ($2.6 million)
  • Iraq ($6 million)
  • Kenya ($6.3 million)
  • Mali ($1.2 million)
  • Somalia ($1.4 million)
  • South Sudan ($1.2 million)
  • Syria ($1.7 million)
  • Yemen ($2.1 million)

The World Health Organization (WHO) will receive $1.3 million to conduct research, and will also receive support for surveillance activities in its Africa ($10.9 million) and Eastern Mediterranean ($4 million) Regions.

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year to be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, amounting to $150 million for polio eradication annually. Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to fight the disease, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Gates Foundation later joined. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018.

About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit Rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.

Contact: Audrey Carl, audrey.carl@rotary.org, 847-866-3424

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-announces-us100-million-eradicate-polio

Rotary’s 110th annual convention concludes

Rotary’s 110th annual convention concludes; one of Hamburg’s most multicultural, non-profit gatherings

  • More than 26,000 registrants representing 3,605 Rotary clubs in 170 countries
  • Rotary commits US$102 million this year to end polio
  • Hamburg gains €24 million in tourism revenue
  • First German nominated to serve as Rotary International president in 2020
  • mytaxi donates €70,000 to German Rotary club projects
  • 35 speeches and 98 breakout sessions
  • 334 exhibit booths of which 200 featured Rotary humanitarian projects

HAMBURG, Germany (5 June 2019): As Rotary closes its 110th annual international meeting at the Hamburg Messe und Congress on 5 June, Rotary members will bring home indelible memories and new insights on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world. 

In his keynote address, Rotary International President Barry Rassin said, “Service to others is an integral part of our mission, whether it’s through the plans and actions of individual clubs, Rotary’s six areas of focus, or the transformational support of The Rotary Foundation. And the service that most defines us and our global mission is the ongoing goal to rid the world of polio.”

Alongside partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases since spearheading the initiative more than 30 years ago. Since then, Rotary members have contributed $1.9 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from polio. Today, just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary is committed to raising $50 million per year, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars through a matching agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Including the matching funds, Rotary is committing another US$102 million this year to fund polio eradication efforts in 13 countries. 

Michel Zaffran, director of polio eradication for the World Health Organization (WHO) presented on the progress and global significance of the initiative. “We’re truly on the cusp of eradicating a disease for only the second time in human history,” said Zaffran. “Our responsibility is nothing less than to ensure that no child anywhere will ever again be paralyzed by the poliovirus.” 

German Rotary members have contributed more than US$31 million to end polio, and on 1 July 2020, Holger Knaack, owner of the real estate company Knaack KG, will oversee this effort as the first German to serve as Rotary International president. Knaack of Ratzeburg said, “I’m honored to have the confidence and support of Rotary’s 1.2 million members,” said Knaack. “As president, I plan to highlight the best Rotary has to offer where people of all backgrounds can see themselves reflected in our service and impact.”

During the four-day event, attendees heard from an array of world class speakers, including:

  • Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg
  • Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • On the closing day, Eckart Diepenhorst, CEO of mytaxi presented a check for €70,000, representing 100 percent of the proceeds from all rides to and from the Hamburg Messe from 31 May through 5 June to support the following German Rotary club projects:
    • A bee pasture project developed by the Rotary Club of Ahrensburg to help the dwindling bee and butterfly populations;
    • Emotions Training for Autism, developed by Rotaract Germany, to support those with autism spectrum disorder thrive; and
    • HANWASH, a collaborative initiative by local Rotary members, The Rotary Foundation and DINEPA to bring clean water to Haiti.

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Germany’s 56,000 members and 1,100 clubs are taking action to make the world a better place at home and abroad. 

Contacts:

Philipp Krüger: +49 (0)40 533 08878, P.Krueger@johnwarning.de
Tamira Mühlhausen: +49 (0)40 533 088 87, T.Muehlhausen@johnwarning.de

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotarys-110th-annual-convention-concludes

mytaxi donates proceeds from rides to Rotary

HAMBURG, Germany (31 May 2019) — To multiply the impact of the 25,000 Rotary members expected to attend the service organization’s international convention 1-5 June, mytaxi will donate all proceeds from rides to and from the Hamburg Messe – beginning today until 5 June – to Rotary efforts that improve lives.

“Along with being one of our main event sponsors, we are grateful for mytaxi commitment to support Rotary club efforts to transform lives and communities for the better,” said Barry Rassin, Rotary International president.

Each year, Rotary members invest hundreds of millions of euros and countless volunteer hours to promote health, peace and prosperity in communities across the globe. mytaxi contribution will support:

  • A bee pasture project developed by the Rotary Club of Ahrensburg to help the dwindling bee and butterfly populations to flourish;
  • Emotions Training for Autism, developed by Rotaract Germany, to support those with autism spectrum disorder thrive in their personal and professional lives; and
  • HANWASH, a collaborative initiative led by Rotary clubs in Haiti, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, The British Virgin Islands, The Rotary Foundation, DINEPA and others, to bring clean water to Haiti.

“We take pride in knowing that our donation will go toward improving our environment, economy and wellbeing,” said Eckart Diepenhorst, CEO of mytaxi. “With the leadership of Rotary clubs, we know that our contribution will result in lasting, positive change.”

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Germany’s 56,000 members and 1,100 clubs are taking action to make the world a better place at home and abroad.

About mytaxi: mytaxi was founded in June 2009 and was the world’s first taxi app that established a direct connection between a passenger and a taxi driver. With 14 million passengers and more than 100,000 drivers, mytaxi is the leading taxi e-hailing app in Europe. Since February 2019, mytaxi is part of the FREE NOW group, the ride-hailing joint venture of BMW and Daimler. Within 2019, mytaxi will rebrand to FREE NOW. mytaxi today works with 700 employees in 26 offices and is available in around 100 European cities. Eckart Diepenhorst is the CEO of mytaxi. More information is available at: www.mytaxi.com 

Contacts:

Philipp Krüger: +49 (0)40 533 08878, P.Krueger@johnwarning.de 
Tamira Mühlhausen: +49 (0)40 533 088 87, T.Muehlhausen@johnwarning.de

https://www.rotary.org/en/mytaxi-donates-proceeds-rides-rotary

Value of Rotary volunteering

Cosmos Segbefia, a member of the Rotary Club of Sekondi-Takoradi, and Derrick Ababio Kwarteng, of Global Communities, assist with the construction of a borehole in the Western Region of Ghana in 2018. A report by Johns Hopkins University prepared for Rotary International estimated that Rotary members provide about 47 million hours of volunteer effort a year at an estimated value of $850 million.

That Rotary members log a lot of volunteer hours should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the organization. But a new report just released by Johns Hopkins University provides a powerful look at the impact of all those volunteer hours.

The special report prepared for Rotary International by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies found that Rotary members had volunteered a total of 5.8 million hours within a four-week survey period. Extrapolating those results over an entire year, the report gave a conservative estimate of nearly 47 million hours of volunteer effort generated by Rotary members in a typical year.

The report then analyzed the economic impact of all those hours and estimated the value conservatively at $850 million a year, if communities had to pay for the services that Rotary volunteers provide.

Rotary, with the help of Johns Hopkins University, is the first global service organization to conduct an empirical analysis of its volunteer’s impact using an internationally sanctioned definition of volunteer work. The authors of the report noted in their conclusion that at each stop, the analysis had chosen the most conservative estimates.

“This makes the results reported here all the more remarkable,” the authors noted. “Translated into economic terms, Rotary is annually generating a scale of social and economic problem-solving effort that is worth nearly nine times more than it costs the organization to produce.”

Rotary General Secretary John Hewko said the figure doesn’t even include the in-kind contributions and the money that Rotary clubs and the Rotary Foundation raise every year. In addition, the figure doesn’t include the volunteer work of the many relatives and friends of Rotary that members often involve in a project, or that of members of Rotaract, Interact, or the Community Corps, that would easily double the estimate of Rotary’s economic impact.

https://www.rotary.org/en/economic-impact-rotarys-volunteer-hours-estimated-850-million-year

Holger Knaack selected to be 2020-21 Rotary International president

By Ryan Hyland

Holger Knaack, a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany, has been selected to serve as president of Rotary International in 2020-21.

The Nominating Committee’s decision follows the resignation last month of President-nominee Sushil Gupta due to health reasons. Knaack will officially become president-nominee if no other candidates challenge him by 31 May.

To build a stronger membership, Knaack says Rotary must focus on increasing the number of female members and transitioning Rotaractors into Rotarians.

Knaack believes that the People of Action campaign offers new public awareness possibilities for Rotary. “This campaign conveys our global image while still respecting differences in regions and cultures,” he says.

A Rotary member since 1992, Knaack has served Rotary as treasurer, director, moderator, member and chair of several committees, representative for the Council on Legislation, zone coordinator, training leader, and district governor.

He is an endowment/major gifts adviser and co-chair of the Host Organization Committee for the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg.

Knaack is the CEO of Knaack KG, a real estate company. He was previously a partner and general manager of Knaack Enterprises, a 125-year-old family business.

He is a founding member of the Civic Foundation of the City of Ratzeburg and served as president of the Golf-Club Gut Grambek.Knaack is also the founder and chair of the Karl Adam Foundation.

Knaack and his wife, Susanne, are Major Donors to The Rotary Foundation and members of the Bequest Society.

The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2020-21 President of Rotary International are Kazuhiko Ozawa, Rotary Club of Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan; Manoj D. Desai, Rotary Club of Baroda Metro, Gujarat, India; Shekhar Mehta, Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India; John G. Thorne, Rotary Club of North Hobart, Tasmania, Australia; Guiller E. Tumangan, Rotary Club of Makati West, Makati City, Philippines; Juin Park, Rotary Club of Suncheon, Jeonranam, Korea; Elio Cerini, Rotary Club of Milano Duomo, Italy; Gideon M. Peiper, Rotary Club of Ramat Hasharon, Israel; Per Høyen, Rotary Club of Aarup, Denmark; Paul Knijff, Rotary Club of Weesp (Vechtstreek-Noord), Netherlands; Sam Okudzeto, Rotary Club of Accra, Ghana; José Ubiracy Silva, Rotary Club of Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil; Bradford R. Howard, Rotary Club of Oakland Uptown, California, USA; Michael D. McCullough, Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA; Karen K. Wentz, Rotary Club of Maryville, Tennessee, USA; Michael K. McGovern, Rotary Club of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA; and John C. Smarge, Rotary Club of Naples, Florida, USA.

https://www.rotary.org/en/holger-knaack-selected-be-2020-21-rotary-international-president

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