Project Fairs foster international partnerships and lifelong friendships

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

Rotarian Julie Leverenz, president of the Rotary Club of Hannibal, Missouri, USA, District 6060, attended the ninth annual West Africa Project Fair 16-23 October 2013 in Lomé, Togo. With support from the Reach Out to Africa Committee, Rotarians from West African nations host this annual event to foster international partnerships, promote local service projects that need assistance, and build lifelong friendships among Rotary family members around the world. In addition to building project partnerships, fair attendees also attended workshops and panel discussions and had the opportunity to volunteer with local service projects and administer polio vaccinations. Take a look at Julie’s Rotary experience in Togo:

Photographs courtesy of Julie Leverenz.

Using Rotary’s principles to address moral issues


By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

Imagine you’re a professor and have a highly motivated student who must hold down a job in order to afford college. Lately, the job has begun to interfere with the student’s performance: He hasn’t submitted several assignments and is now failing your course. If he doesn’t pass, he will lose his scholarship, which he must have in order to remain in school. What do you do?

Post a comment or add your response to the discussion in our official Rotary International LinkedIn Group.

Happy holidays from Rotary Service Connections

By: the Rotary Service Connections team, RI Programs staff

The holiday season reminds us to take time and enjoy our loved ones while extending a warm smile and helping hand to neighbors with fewer resources. In addition to undertaking countless projects throughout the year, many clubs and districts organize special activities to help spread holiday cheer. From hosting food drives to serving hot meals to purchasing presents off a wish list, our Rotary family brightens this season:

  • PackagesonWheelsThe Rotary Club of Amman Petra, Jordan, and the Rotaract Club of Amman West, Jordan, worked together on Packages on Wheels, a service project through which 360 packages of food were distributed to low-income families throughout the month of Ramadan (July to August 2013).
  • SantaPhilippinesSince 2007, the Rotary Club of Metro Roxas, Philippines, partners annually with Smiles, a local non-profit organization, to send Santa Claus on visits to local hospitals, malls, schools, and public events and distribute books, toys, and school materials to families experiencing financial hardships. Read more about this project.

If your club is still looking for a project to support this holiday season, visit, our crowdsourcing tool created to help clubs find partners for their projects. More than 35 projects are currently posted and seeking support. Here are a few examples:

  • The Rotary Club of Bali Lovina, Indonesia, is raising funds to rebuild a kindergarten school in a permanent location.
  • Two South African clubs, the Rotary Club of Johannesburg New Dawn and the Rotary Club of Morningside, are jointly hosting the annual ultra-cycle tour in April 2014. The nine day tour aims to spread awareness about Rotary’s humanitarian work while raising funds to build multipurpose sports fields at various schools around South Africa.

With heartfelt gratitude for all your contributions towards improving communities near and far, happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy, happy, and successful new year.

Vocational training team uses collaborative approach for medical training

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

ImageA group of six obstetricians from England traveled to Sikkim, India, in April as part of the Collaborative Action in Lowering Maternity Encountered Deaths vocational training team. Known as CALMED, the joint initiative between Districts1120 (England) and 3240 (parts of northeast India) brought together professionals and community members to train medical staff in emergency care for pregnant women and newborns. The team developed curriculums and resources and used simulators to train local medical professionals involved with childbirth. Afterward, the newly trained medical staff trained rural medical workers — all part of the effort to reduce the risk of complications and death during pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period. Watch a video of the exchange and read more.

Lifecycle of a Service Project (Part 3): Acquiring Resources

By Ellina Kushnir, RI Programs staff

serviceproject_webinargraphic_EN-03Rotary International is pleased to present this five-part webinar series to support the Rotary family in producing sustainable service projects.

The series will highlight different strategies, best practices, and Rotary resources available to help clubs and districts undertake successful, sustainable service initiatives, using real-life examples from Rotarians.

In this webinar (part 3 in the series):

  • Learn about resources to help you find partners to collaborate with other clubs or organizations and increase the impact of your project
  • Find out how to secure funding, volunteers, and needed resources for your service project
  • Understand the Rotary resources available to you to help make your service project a success

Space is limited to 500 attendees, so register today!  Please note these times are in US Central (Chicago) time.  To see what time this will be in your area, please use the time zone converter.

Click on the blue hyperlinks below to register:

English 1: Tuesday, 28 January 2014, 10:00 – 11:00
English 2: Tuesday, 28 January 2014, 18:00 – 19:00
Japanese: Thursday, 13 February 2014, 18:00 – 19:00
French: Thursday, 13 February 2014, 09:00 – 10:00
Portuguese:Thursday, 13 February 2014, 12:00 – 13:00
Spanish: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 10:00 – 11:00

Did you miss the first two webinars in this series? Select the webinar of your choice below to listen to a recording:

Support international development at an upcoming project fair

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

Is your club ready to make a global impact? Attend a project fair to gain a better understanding of local communities’ most pressing needs, to establish international service partnerships, and to build lasting relationships around the world.

The 21st Central America Project Fair will be held 30 January-1 February in Antigua, Guatemala. Rotarians are invited to share friendship and fellowship while exploring opportunities to support local projects. Read the brochure and register online.

Rotary reaffirms commitment to fighting hunger around the world

By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

On 16 October 2013, the Rotary family joined partners, international organizations, and supporters from around the world in celebration of World Food Day. Rotarians around the world undertake projects by working with local and international partners to help struggling families access nutritious food. Listen to a webinar on working with Rotary’s partners to alleviate hunger and read GS Hewko’s message about Rotary’s commitment to the fight on hunger and malnutrition.