Start a new service project today!

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service staff

Does your club want to try a new type of service project or want to find a project in another region to partner on and are not sure where to start?

The Project Lifecycle Kit tools can help with all your service project needs. These online resources guide your project from inception to implementation while also facilitating connections with other Rotarians around the world. Rotary is unique in that service means more than just helping others. We’re also about forming valuable partnerships that make projects more sustainable and in turn help foster more peaceful communities. So which tools comprise the Project Lifecycle Kit?

Through Discussion Groups, Rotarians have access to a plethora of information from other Rotary members who provide valuable support during the planning phases of a project. Use these groups to pose questions to other members and tap into their expertise, experience, and advice. If you are starting a project in one of our areas of focus, you can take advantage of our Cadre of Technical Advisors moderated groups.

For example, the Water and Sanitation Group gives you the opportunity to receive advice from subject matter experts, as well as members of our Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (Wasrag).

A few recent enhancements to Rotary Ideas makes finding a project partner easier than ever before! A Google Translate option is now available on each project page, expanding the options for partnering beyond the boundaries of language. You can now search for projects by filtering by contribution type (volunteers, partnerships, online contributions, and materials), making it easier to find the types of projects you want to support.

For example, the Water For Life Project in Egypt is looking for global grant partner to help provide safe and clean water to families living in poverty.

Remember to continue to share your success stories on Rotary Showcase, recently updated to allow you to tag Rotarian Action Groups and Rotary Community Corps as project partners. Identifying all of your Rotary project partners ensures that your good work is shared as accurately as possible within our communities and the world.

For example, through a global grant, the Rotary Club of San Pedro South in the Philippines installed a solar powered potable water treatment system at a local elementary school benefiting 1100 students. The project included a deep well with a submersible pump powered by a solar panel. The system can produce up to 2000 liters per hour when the solar panel is at its peak capacity. To manage project operations and maintenance, including how to share the potable water with the surrounding community, the Cuyab Rotary Community Corps (RCC) was formed with officers from the school faculty, the parent teacher association and local government. The RCC will decide how the water will be shared with the nearby community, its price, schedule and mechanics.

As always, if you have any questions regarding these tools, please feel free to contact for assistance.



Talk with area of focus experts in Rotary discussion groups!

By Chelsea Mertz, Rotary Service Connections staff

Rotary discussion groups offer a place for Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Peace Fellows, and alumni to share their experiences and ideas with members of the Rotary family from around the world.

Experts from the Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary projects, are moderating the area of focus-related discussion groups from 15 January until 30 June. Whether you are looking to pursue a global grant or learn how to assess a community, our experts are here to answer your questions and guide discussions on the most pertinent topics.

Meet our moderators and click the links below to join the conversations.

Basic Education and Literacy (BEL)

Ian Geddes | Rotary Club of Tranent, Scotland | District 1020

Ian is an educator specializing in languages. He has evaluated applications for projects involving foreign language learning and has experience conducting advanced site visits in the area of curriculum development with particular emphasis on information technology.

Past Rotary International Director John Thorne | Rotary Club of North Hobart, Australia | District 9830

John is currently the Chair of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group. As a former education administrator, his areas of expertise are in teacher trainings and addressing the needs of children and adults in different environments. John believes his transferable strength is to listen and share insights and seek practical steps forward within BEL. He remains an active learner.

Disease Prevention and Treatment (DPT)

Dennis Addo | Rotary Club of Accra-Ring Road Central, Ghana | District 9102

Dennis directs the tuberculosis control program for the Ghanaian Armed Forces. He is a public health expert and a healthcare administrator.

Indumati Nair | Rotary Club of Bombay Chembur West, India | District 3141

Indumati is a pathologist focusing on health screening and preventative medicine. She serves as a health consultant for the Times of India newspaper. Her research interests include cancer screening for women, HIV screening, tuberculosis, diabetes and anemia. Her focus is on vocational training teams and capacity building.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

Prudence Nelson | Rotary Club of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, USA | District 6360

Prudence is a practicing pediatrician with over 30 years of experience. She holds a Master’s of Public Health in Preventive Medicine as well as a Master’s of Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a frequent volunteer with Medical Teams International traveling to conflict zones and sites of recent disasters to provide emergency medical services to vulnerable populations.

Richard Randolph | Rotary Club of Shawnee, USA | District 5710

Richard is a board certified family physician, who includes obstetrics and pediatrics in his practice. He has served as the Chief of Primary Care for Fort Bragg, NC (US Army Base for 40,000 soldiers and 20,000 dependents) and sits on the Board of Directors for College Park Family Care which has over 90 physicians. He completed a graduate certificate in Public Health in the Developing World through the Institute for International Medicine.

Water and Sanitation (WAS)

Past District Governor Ronald Pickford | Rotary Club of Ballarat, Australia | District 9780

Ronald first joined Rotary in 1985 and has served in many different leadership roles. Professionally, Ronald is an architect who runs a private practice. In recent years, he has moved into teaching and currently serves in the role of Faculty Head Architectural Technologies and Design at Federation University Australia, a position he has held for ten years. As a TRF Cadre member, Ronald has undertaken several assignments in many countries.

Past District Governor Jan Leentvaar | Rotary Club of Lelystad, Netherlands | District 1590

Jan was a managing director for the Netherlands Ministry of Water Management and has considerable experience in change management in government institutions. He completed foreign assignments, some with the United Nations. He is considered an expert in integrated water resources management, water pollution and water quality control, wastewater treatment, and institutional collaboration on water issues.

Economic and Community Development (ECD)

Tristam Johnson | Rotary Club of Brattleboro Sunrise, USA | District 7870

Tristam has over 18 years of experience in Latin America working on community development projects that focus on local governance, education, health, economic development, micro enterprise, and project design. His areas of expertise include microenterprise, community assessment, and project design.

Lynne Duckham | Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise, Australia | District 9710

Lynne has worked in economic and community development for over 30 years in developed, developing and troubled nations. During this time, she has had the unique perspective of representing a government donor, an international NGO, and a beneficiary government. She has worked with people from remote communities to the heads of state across a variety of sectors (including education, health, nutrition, fisheries, agriculture, microcredit, infrastructure and livelihood development, capacity building, and community development during conflict.)

Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution (PCPR)

Simona Pinton | Rotary Club of Pagova Euganea, Italy | District 2060

Simona is a lawyer and former Rotary Peace Scholar. Her professional experience lays in teaching and researching on issues dealing with international and internal conflicts, peace and conflict prevention/solution tools, as well as conceptual defining, thinking, designing and assessing of local and transnational projects on the same issues.

M.D. Kinoti | Rotary Club of Westminster 7:10, USA | District 5450

M.D. has over 25 years’ experience in International Nongovernmental Organizations (INGOs) and university level teaching and leadership. He currently teaches Nonprofit/Nongovernmental Organizations’ (NP/GOs’) Management within the Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM) degree program at Regis University. His research interests include the role of NP/NGOs in facilitating sustainable and transformational community development and peacebuilding. He also has interests in social entrepreneurship and innovation as part of sustainable development.

All discussion groups can be found in My Rotary (must be signed in to access).

Getting the most from Rotary’s social tools

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service Connections staff

Is your club looking to implement a service project, but lacking funds or materials? Are you seeking specific expertise within the areas of focus to assist with planning and applying for a global grant? More than 25,000 Rotary clubs and members are using Rotary’s Project Lifecycle Kit to reach their service goals.

The Project Lifecycle Kit, consisting of – Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase – is your one-stop-shop for digital tools that can help you with planning and supporting your service project and then promoting and sharing its impact. These online tools help the Rotary family build connections, find project resources and partners, and share their successes to help you be more effective, efficient, and ready to take action! These tools represent the many phases of a service project and serve as a set of resources that can ensure success throughout the lifecycle of a project.

While you brainstorm and strategize ideas, connect with others to exchange best practices through Rotary Discussion Groups. By soliciting support on Rotary Ideas, contributions from the Rotary community and beyond can help make your service goal a reality. Then share your project impact to inspire others through Rotary Showcase.

Join us on 14 March for the Getting the most from Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase webinar to learn the Project Lifecycle Kit basics to help you maximize your project’s impact. Space is limited, so sign up today!

› Tuesday, March 14, 10:00 – 10:30 AM Chicago time (UTC-5); convert to your local time.

Learn from area of focus experts in Rotary discussion groups

By Chelsea Mertz, Rotary Service Connections Staff

Rotary discussion groups offer a place for Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Peace Fellows, and alumni to share their experiences and ideas with members of the Rotary family from around the world.

We invited experts from the Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, a group of volunteer Rotarians who provide technical expertise and advice to Rotarians planning and carrying out Rotary projects, to moderate the area of focus discussion groups from 1 July until 30 September. Whether you are looking to pursue a global grant, or learn how to do a community assessment, our experts are here to answer your questions and guide discussions on the most pertinent topics.

Meet our moderators and click the link join the conversation:

Basic Education and Literacy (BEL)

  • PDG Sylvia Byers (Rotary Club of Mosman Park-Cottesloe, Australia) is an educator currently involved in using technology to provide education to struggling students of all ages in isolated areas. She specializes in using a collaborative problem solving approach to involve and provide support to students, their parents and school community.
  • Eugene Medina (Rotary Club of Tucson Sunset, United States) is a former teacher, curriculum specialist, and superintendent. He specializes in instructional program development, implementation and evaluation, and teacher leadership training.

Disease Prevention and Treatment (DPT)

  • DGE Dr. Adewale Ogunbadejo (Rotary Club of Gbagada South, Nigeria) has served as a medical doctor since 1982. He initially worked in the public sector before opening a multi-specialty private practice in Lagos, Nigeria in 1990. He has been involved in disease prevention and treatment projects within his club and district, serving as a project-writer and executor.
  • PDG Dr. Babu Chacko (Rotary Club of Kottayam, India) is a medical doctor with post-graduate qualification in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

  • PDG Dr. Rajindar Singh (Rotary Club of Teluk Intan, Malaysia – District 3300) has worked as a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist since 1985. He has served as the District Rotary Foundation Chair and Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 6B. He is currently the secretary of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Doctors.
  • PDG Dr. Himansu Basu (Rotary Club of Northfleet with Ebbsfleet, United Kingdom) is a retired obstetrician gynecologist with 35 years of experience as a practicing specialist, teacher trainer and examiner.

Water and Sanitation (WAS)

  • Moses Musiitwa (Rotary Club of Kyambogo-Kampala, Uganda) is a chemical engineer who specializes in applied chemistry. His focus is on integrated water resources management. He is an active member of the Society of African Ground Water Specialists and has served as a water and sanitation cadre expert for the last 18 months.
  • Robert Wubbena (Rotary Club of Olympia, United States) is a retired engineer with over 45 years of experience working with water resources, including waste water, long term utility funding, design, construction and operational experience throughout North America. He has traveled to over 50 countries performing WASH work.

Economic and Community Development (ECD)

  • Jean Manirere (Rotary Club of Musanze Murera, Rwanda) is a professor of Agriculture and Sustainable Economic Development with extensive experience with community farming and the current challenges of food security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Cecelia Babkirk (Rotary Club of Cupertino, United States) is a Mortgage Banker with 42 years of experience in mortgage lending, bank formation and accounting.  It is a natural extension that her Rotary specialty is micro finance, though her interests extend to the wider field of economic and community development and the ripple effect that a great ECD project can have.

All discussion groups can be found in My Rotary (must be signed in to access). Join an existing group or start a new one today!



Rotary Ideas connects clubs from across the world

By Chelsea Mertz with Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service Connections Staff

Inspired by the Contribute to a project on Rotary Ideas goal on the 2015-2016 Presidential Citation, Joyce Dove from the Rotary Club of Tallahassee Northside (USA) decided to explore Rotary’s crowdsourcing website, Rotary Ideas. She navigated to the site and paged through active Rotary club projects looking for volunteers, in-kind donations, partners, and funding. She narrowed down her search to projects in the Philippines, where she had lived for a significant period of time during her youth and with which she felt a strong connection. Joyce focused in on a project requesting materials to create a library in an area that she knew to be less fortunate.

20061116_NZ_054The Rotary Club of Pag-Asa Davao in the Philippines had requested books to establish local lending libraries for rural communities in the Southern Philippines.  Most of the targeted areas lack access to lending libraries, even within the schools funded by the government. To meet this need, the Rotary Club of Pag-Asa Davao’s project requested books and a partner club to help them stock libraries in numerous schools throughout the Boyan region.

Upon reading about their project, Joyce clicked the contribute now button and offered to send books. Using Club Finder, Joyce contacted the club president and secretary, sending them a message at 11 pm at night. By 3 am the next morning, she already had her response. Within the next 24 hours, they had at least five more email exchanges and Joyce was already mentally packing her box of books to send.

Since then, Joyce has been exchanging weekly messages with the club. She learned about a US postal program catering to US -Philippine shipping, particularly to the Boyan region. Her club has since sent the requested books along with funds to support the project.

“These are the sort of projects, especially the international ones, that make Rotary special” remarked Joyce. “These types of relationships, built over time, are more meaningful. Rotary Ideas is great because you feel more connected with clubs and people around the world, outside of getting just ordinary emails.” She’d like to see more focus on projects that encourage clubs to connect and serve.

Joyce plans to share her experience on Rotary Ideas with other club officers at an upcoming meeting for her district. She wants to promote the tool and what it represents, as it’s what Rotary as an organization epitomizes: members all over the world assisting each other by connecting on an international level to help communities near and far.




Combining vocational service and fellowship


By Dr. Charles Grant, Rotary Club of North Shore (Houston), Texas, USA, and Chair of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Educators

Last year when I received the June issue of the Rotarian magazine, I noticed the listing of all the Rotary Fellowships.  Before then, I wasn’t that familiar with fellowships, I thought they were just for Rotarians who were interested in the same hobbies like chess, golf, or yachting.  I didn’t know there were vocationally oriented fellowships as well.  I looked at the list and saw a few fellowships for professionals such as doctors, lawyers and police & law enforcement but I thought there were many missing, so I went on to to see if there were more and there weren’t. That’s when I decided I wanted to take action.

The last sentence on that page of The Rotarian encouraged those interested in forming a new fellowship to contact and so I did. Zuhal Sharp, the Service and Networking Programs Specialist at Rotary International, helped start the process of forming a brand new fellowship for educators. To qualify, we had to have at least 25 interested members from three different countries.  We had interested Rotarians from seven countries!  During this time I met Maria Bossa from the Rotary Club of Río Tercero, Argentina,  who is now our Fellowship Secretary.

Maria had been using Rotary Discussion Groups to exchange ideas and had started the Rotarian Educators group which has more than 200 members and is one of the most active groups in My Rotary! She always had the dream of transforming the group into a fellowship. Maria found out about my fellowship idea and contacted me telling me she wanted to get involved. Through our collaborative efforts, we were able to make Maria’s dream a reality.

At the start of the 2015-16 Rotary year in July, I met with Belinda Kaylani from the Rotary E-Club of Houston, USA, on her first day as District 5890’s Fellowship Chair to discuss the idea.  She helped me get all the required signatures and documents for our proposal which was submitted and approved in December 2015!

The International Fellowship of Rotarian Educators was formed to promote quality education (both public and private) as well as training and development initiatives such as continuing education. We also hope to provide access to education, especially for girls, in many developing countries.

Get involved

It is important to note that one does NOT have to an educator by trade to be a part of our fellowship. Anyone who has a passion for or interest in education is encouraged to join.  Frankly, I don’t know of any Rotarians who aren’t interested in education.  We all know that education is the key to a better quality of life!  Contact me for more information.

Throughout the month of June, we’ll be celebrating Rotary Fellowships Month by sharing inspirational services stories from various Rotary Fellowships. We hope these stories inspire you to join or start a Rotary Fellowship.