My return to Minneapolis after 7 years

By Rotary International

Rotary Scholar Anna Ueda with Rotarians in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

By Anna Ueda, 2010-11 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar

On Thanksgiving week in November 2017, I visited Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, where I was accredited as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar seven years ago. This short trip brought me so many precious moments in reconnecting with amazing people that I had met through Rotary, that I had to share them.

After being nominated by the Rotary Club of Ashiya, I was sent to the Rotary Club of Minneapolis City of Lakes, Minnesota, as an ambassadorial scholar in 2010. Studying public policies for immigrants, refugees, and homeless people at the University of Minnesota, I took part in a variety of Rotary activities; presentations in and out of the state, volunteering for communities, and taking part in fundraising events including jumping into a frozen lake. The entire year was full of excitement, surprises, and learning.

One of the main purposes of my return trip to Minneapolis was to visit all the people and friends who I had met through Rotary and Rotaract. Starting with Jim Eaton, my counselor, and Tom Tamura, the only Japanese Rotarian in the club, many familiar faces and …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

Incoming district governors prepared to Be the Inspiration

By Rotary International

By Hank Sartin, Rotary editorial staff

District governors-elect got their first look at the 2018-19 presidential theme Be the Inspiration Sunday at the International Assembly, an annual training event for incoming district leaders. RI President-elect Barry Rassin urged the audience to build a stronger organization by inspiring a younger generation and by getting the word out to the community at large about the work Rotary does. “I will ask you to inspire with your words and with your deeds: doing what we need to do today, to build a Rotary that will be stronger tomorrow; stronger when we leave it, than it was when we came.”

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts on being the inspiration.

Charles Tondeur, Rotary Club of Hazebrouck-Merville, France (District 1520): “I think Rotary needs to be open to new ideas, and this theme encourages us to think about ideas that will inspire our members. Inspiring is about bringing new energy.”

Yoko Hattori, Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo, Japan (District 2750): “This theme is clear and direct, which is going to be useful and powerful for the leadership in districts. He’s asking us to think about how we …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

Teaspoons of peace that will last a lifetime

By Rotary International

With peace makers from around the world at the International Institute on Peace Education conference in Innsbruck, Austria

By d’Arcy Lunn, 2016-18 Rotary Peace Fellow, International Christian University, Tokyo

Take visiting 15 countries over five months, then add in any number of training events, an internship, research, attending conferences and events, and meeting two Nobel Peace Laureates, and you get an amazing formula for gaining skills in peace building. The final and most important result of this equation, though, will be what I eventually do with it all. I have some ideas about that.

d’Arcy, left, with Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee and former Rotary Peace Fellow Wisdom Addo at a PeaceJam event in Liberia.

The Rotary Peace Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to earn a Master’s in Peace Studies at an esteemed university. With it comes an Applied Field Experience (AFE) where Fellows spend time almost anywhere in the world learning about peace with practitioners, academics, and others associated with peace in various ways.

The variety of Peace Fellows is as diverse as the applied field experience opportunities. In my class there was a Fellow from Bangladesh pursuing his field experience in Geneva, a Fellow from Sierra Leone and Gambia in …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

Are you Proudly Rotarian?

By Rotary International

Members of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana, hold a polio day rally.

By Frank Kofi Owusu Debrah, Foundation Chair and Past President of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana

It is certainly true that the reasons for a person joining Rotary are varied and many. For some, it’s the personal and business networking that motivates them. For others, it’s fellowship and a sense of belonging to a world-wide organization of people. Still for others, it’s a status symbol. Whatever the reasons, everyone has one. Sadly, some of the reasons don’t fit Rotary’s primary purpose; a network of problem solvers living the mantra of Service Above Self.

Networking for professional and personal development is laudable, so is the quest for social recognition through association with entities that have an impact, and so is an opportunity to travel around the world to Rotary events. My fear is that the essence and core responsibility of being a Rotarian is being lost on many around the world, at least from my club.

Many of us travel on expensive budgets to Rotary events, yet we have not contributed a single cent to The Rotary Foundation where our investment into communities …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

Father, son team up to make a difference

By Rotary International

Anil and Tulsi Maharjan on a project site in Nepal.

By Tulsi R. Maharjan, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Branchburg, New Jersey, USA

For this father and son combination, Rotary is about much more than belonging to a humanitarian organization. It’s about making a difference in the world.

When you’re a part of Rotary, you’re really making a difference, both locally and internationally. When you think about all the wonderful things Rotary has accomplished, who wouldn’t want to be part of one of the most successful humanitarian organizations in history.

I recently took the helm as president of the Branchburg Rotary Club for the sixth time. I am a charter member of the club, which started in 1988. This time around, I am honored to have my son serving in the same Rotary club.

Previously, Anil has been a member of an E-Club in our district, but this year he decided to join my club. He is a CPA and graduate of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and works for MarketSmith as Director of Innovation. He believes in Rotary’s service projects and all the impact they are making around the world with various Rotary Foundation grants.

Father and son …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

5 reasons to use Rotary Global Rewards in 2018

By Rotary International

By Rotary staff

Who doesn’t enjoy saving money, especially when you can give back to a great cause? As many of you know, Rotary Global Rewards is our member benefits program that helps Rotarians spend less while giving back to Rotary. It’s a great perk many Rotarians use on a daily basis for both personal and professional purchases.

Check out these reasons why you should take advantage of Rotary Global Rewards in the new year:

Save money. Discover discounts on the products and services you value most. Looking to book your next flight or longing for a new dining experience? Global Rewards offers a surplus of deals for all types of products and services, such as discounts on travel, hotels, and vehicle rentals, as well as shopping, gifts, movie and entertainment tickets — and more!
Effortlessly give back to Rotary. It doesn’t take much to give back to Rotary; literally. By using Rotary Global Rewards, you’re constantly saving money or giving back to Rotary. Already planning on making a purchase for something? Check for offers that give a percentage of your purchase to Rotary.
Support fellow Rotarian businesses. Support the success of fellow Rotarians and their businesses by using the offers they post. You can …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

Whirlwind tour of alumni in Japan

By Rotary International

Bill Rintz, second from left, in the radio studio with alumni in District 2650.

By Bill Rintz, Rotary alumni relations specialist

A visit to Japan last month took me on a week-long, whirlwind tour. My visits to multiple Rotary districts gave me the chance to meet members of the Rotary family, including classically-trained musicians, development workers, school teachers, architects, university professors, business leaders, and young professionals. Despite their varied backgrounds, those I met have something in common: they proudly call themselves Rotary alumni.

Who are alumni?

Alumni include former recipients of Rotary scholarships, Rotary Peace Fellowships, and past participants of Group Study Exchange, Youth Exchange, Rotaract, and other programs. Japan’s Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation awards over 700 scholarships annually, adding considerably to the Rotary alumni family. Through these programs, Rotary has helped foster in alumni a desire to give back to their communities. Within Japan, there is a strong network of alumni associations which help them do just that while maintaining their connection to Rotary and each other.

Alumni associations around Japan

A lesson I quickly learned, however, was that no two alumni associations are exactly alike!

My first stop was in Kobe, where the Japan Rotary Alumni Association held their 7th annual meeting. …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog