RI President's Window

9 October–15 OctoberEvanston, IL

Reconnect Week is an opportunity for you to invite Rotary alumni in your community to join you in a celebration or special event that will help strengthen their bond with Rotary. - RI President John Germ in Facebook

RI President in Lebanon

RI President John F Germ - Biography

Whenever John Germ saw a need in his hometown, he engineered a solution. He'll bring the same can-do attitude to the office of RI president.

Champion of Chattanooga

RI Board of Directors

TRF Trustees

What is new

Rotary Staff Members Help Keep India Polio-Free

Reasons to Love Rotary Right Now - The Rotarian staff

Rotary's 31-year struggle to wipe out polio

ShelterBox and Rotary clubs take action following earthquake in Italy

Hall Of Fame Singer Donovan Becomes Rotary Polio Ambassador

Bill Huntley Endowment funds the first Rotary Peace Fellow

Polio resurfaces in Nigeria

First wild poliovirus cases in Nigeria since July 2014

Government of Nigeria reports 2 wild polio cases, first since July 2014

WHO plans mass polio vaccination in West Africa

Fresh polio cases embarrassing – Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima

We will redouble our efforts towards eradication of Polio from Africa - Past RI President Jonathan Majiyagbe

A live Q&A on the Polio response in Nigeria, with Dr Michel Zaffran, Director of Polio Eradication, WHO

Cases in Nigeria: What’s the Outlook? - Interview with Michel Zaffran, Director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative

RI President John Germ and Vice President Jennifer Jones Facebook Live chat.

Raja of Rotary - An account of  55 years Rotary journey of  PRIP Rajendra K Saboo by Rasheeda Bhagat, Editor, Rotary News Online

Rotary Peace Fellows win resources from "10 for 10th Competition"

'Pakistan and Afghanistan, the last frontiers in the 100-year war on polio'

Shifting Strategy: Nigeria Needs to Remain Polio-Free - GPEI

RI President-elect Ian Riseley on the progress in ending polio in Radio National, Australia

PRIP K R Ravindran's Farewell Message

PRIP KR Ravindran's Farewell Remarks

 John Germ is a man of commitment - The Rotarian Q & A Session

To create peace we need to look beyond the causes of conflict

What defines a Rotary club? You choose

Rotary helps women in Honduras to successfully build their businesses and future - John Hewko in Medium

What is ‘global competence’, and is it the key to inclusive growth? - John Hewko

Creating Sustainable Peace - John Hewko, RI Gen. Secretary in Diplomatic Courier 

What’s Love Got to Do With It? - RI Gen Secretary John Hewko's Special Contribution to the Parliament of World's Religions

Rotary Delegation Visits Pakistan, headed by International Chair Polio Plus Committee

Pope greets Rotary members at special Jubilee Audience

Council on Legislation Grants Clubs Greater Flexibility in Meeting, Membership

What should you know about 2016 CoL

The Council on Legislation - First day comes to an end

The Council on Legislation - Second day of action draws to a close

The Council on Legislation – The third day completed

The Council on Legislation – Fourth Day Concluded

The Council on Legislation Comes to an End

Canada & The Polio Story: A Will, A Way, And A Healthier World - Past Rotary Polio Chair Dr. Bob Scott

We’ll see an RI woman President in five years - RI Director Jennifer Jones

2016-17 Theme Address by RIPE John Germ

Download 2016-17 theme logo and materials

Rotary's 2016 International Assembly coverage and resources

TRF Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith and incoming Chair Kalyan Banerjee speakes about the direction and long-term vision of the Foundation

Rotary Recognizes Ireland For Its Support of a Polio-Free World

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Nigeria Reclassified as Polio Endemic

Nigeria reported three cases of wild poliovirus in the northeastern state of Borno in August of this year. Following the World Health Organization's confirmation of these cases, the country returned to the list of polio-endemic countries. The other polio-endemic countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These are the first cases detected in the country since July 2014, and while this news is disappointing for all Rotary members, we are confident that Nigeria can defeat polio. Rotary provided $500,000 to assist immediately with the outbreak response, and an emergency response plan has been put into action in coordination with our partners. Large-scale vaccination campaigns are ongoing across five countries in the Lake Chad basin to counter the outbreak.

Despite these new cases, there has been significant progress toward ending polio in Nigeria, the rest of the African continent, and globally.

As recently as 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases in the world; however, thanks to quality vaccination campaigns and surveillance, as well as political commitment, the country has made significant progress. Furthermore, the new cases were detected due to ongoing efforts to strengthen surveillance, especially in insecure areas.

We have proven strategies to stop new outbreaks quickly, even in insecure regions or areas made vulnerable by conflict, such as South Sudan and Syria. These strategies will also overcome the outbreak in Nigeria.

Rotary is committed to the eradication of polio, and we will continue to support our members, particularly those in Nigeria who have worked so hard to help the country end polio. With your help, we can ensure that there is no remaining home for the virus.

Michael K. McGovern, International PolioPlus Chair

eFlashOnline is now on Facebook

Creating stronger Basic Education and Literacy projects

Each and every day, I am amazed at the work Rotary clubs and districts do in education. From simple book drives to complex reading assessments in classrooms, hundreds—possibly thousands—of Rotary projects are being done each year to help better education for children and adults throughout the world.

As 1.2 million Rotarians, we know we have the ability to significantly impact the lives of children and adults by bringing opportunities to access education. But this alone may not be enough. The education learners receive must also be of high quality. This is done by ensuring teachers are properly trained and have access to additional training opportunities. It is accomplished through working with school directors, teachers, students and parents to understand the challenges their schools face and how we can help them achieve their goals beyond providing equipment. And finally, when possible, it is achieved through working with local government officials to garner their support for our projects and receive their commitment to continuing to work with schools once our projects are completed.

We are proud of the work that Rotarians do and it is my goal, as the Basic Education and Literacy Manager, to assist in project development and implementation. We are continually trying to produce opportunities to help Rotarians start a new project or to scale up existing ones. We have created the Basic Education & Literacy Project Strategies Guide, a document filled with education statistics, considerations before planning a project, project strategies, and tips to ensure extra sustainability. It also includes information about Rotarian-led projects from around the world- great examples to help get creative juices flowing!

We hope you find this guide helpful and we are always excited to hear about your projects.  Highlight your projects on Rotary Showcase. Any Rotarian and Rotaractor can upload their project to Showcase to inspire other clubs and districts and to connect with fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors undertaking similar work.

As we wrap up Basic Education & Literacy month, I would like to extend a big thank you for your tireless work to bring higher quality education and education opportunities to those who otherwise may not have them. I look forward to learning about your impact over the coming year!

-Mary Jo Jean-Francois, Area of Focus Manager for Basic Education and Literacy in Rotary Service Connections

Rotary Announces Us$35 Million to Support a Polio-Free World

EVANSTON, Illinois (20 September 2016) — Rotary today committed an additional $35 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, bringing the humanitarian service organization's contribution to $105 million in 2016.

The announcement follows recent reports of three new cases of wild poliovirus in Nigeria: two cases in July, and one in August. The three cases are the first to be detected in Nigeria since July 2014. With these cases, funding for polio eradication is particularly vital as rapid response plans are now in action in Nigeria and surrounding countries to stop the outbreak quickly and prevent its spread. Rotary and its partners in the are acting to immunize children in Nigeria and countries in the Lake Chad Basin (Chad, northern Cameroon, southern Niger and the Central African Republic). Nearly one-fourth of the funds Rotary announced today ($8.15 million) will support the emergency response campaigns in this at-risk region, and last month Rotary provided $500,000 to immediately assist with the outbreak response.

While significant strides have been made against the paralyzing disease, with just 26 cases reported in 2016, polio remains a threat in hard-to-reach and underserved areas and conflict zones.

"While we are disappointed with the recent news coming out of Nigeria, this situation underscores the extreme importance of widespread immunization campaigns and strong disease surveillance in all countries of the world until polio is fully eradicated," said Michael K. McGovern, chair of Rotary's International PolioPlus Committee. "This funding will help ensure that Rotary and our GPEI partners are doing all that we can to redouble our efforts and protect the progress in polio-free parts of the world, as well as stop transmission in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Nigeria."

To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, experts say $1.5 billion is urgently needed. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to fight polio. Through 2018, every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year.

Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985, and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 26 confirmed to date in 2016.

In addition to supporting the response in the Lake Chad Basin region, funding has been allocated to support polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan ($5.55 million), Pakistan ($12.36 million), India ($875,000), Somalia ($1.77 million), South Sudan ($2.04 million), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($2 million). A final grant in the amount of $2.25 million will support key WHO staff.

- RI Press release

The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care Receives the 2016 Rotary Distrct 7070 Wilf Wilkinson Peace Award

SCARBOROUGH, ON--(Marketwired - September 26, 2016) - The Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care (CCRIHC) volunteer medical team has operated free medical clinics for refugees, migrants and others new to Canada for 17 years. Most are yet without access to Canadian health care.

Trying to re-build lives broken by war, patients and their families sit side by side in our Centre's waiting area. While waiting for care, they care for each other. New to Canada, they are all in the same boat. They need medical help. They talk with each other. They look after each other's children while parents receive care. Their children play together in the playroom. New friendships begin. Hope starts again. Some patients return to our Centre's clinics to help out. They bring food. They drive others to appointments. They translate. They donate when they can.

There are no boundaries or barriers to those we provide with medical care. We respect and treat all world citizens who arrive at the clinic's doors. In Canada our clinics have welcomed and treated waves of refugees, immigrants and the world's forced migrants. To date patients from 122 countries of origin have received care. We are inclusive of all cultures and faiths from around the world. Care is provided unstintingly and without judgment of circumstances.

The numbers seeking our care continues to increase. Thousands have been treated; 40,000 patient visits have been recorded. Half of our patients are children and youth new to Canada and pregnant women without access to care. Our Pediatric Outreach Program clinic, staffed by volunteer residents in pediatrics at The University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children and their supervising pediatricians has treated hundreds of these children.

Since 2005 our volunteer dental partners have operated the Urban Dental Clinic with CCRIHC, providing free urgent oral healthcare for working poor Canadians and those new to Canada unable to afford care.

We exist to ensure health care equity by providing access to medical and dental care for refugees and migrants who have neither. We strive to build bridges from where they came, to Canada. Each refugee and new Canadian deserves a healthy start and a fighting chance to succeed and re- build lives. The immigrant experience is part of each Canadian family. It is our strength and heritage. We are all from different places. It is what defines us, what makes us Canadian.

We are deeply humbled and honoured to receive the 2016 Rotary District 7070 Wilf Wilkinson Peace Award. We gratefully acknowledge our donors and supporters. Without their gifts and generosity our work would not be possible.

Read more in http://www.marketwired.com/

Meet the 2016 'Miles to End Polio' team

On 19 November, a team of Rotary staff and I will join Rotary members from Arizona (District 5500) and around the world to cycle up to 104 miles in El Tour de Tucson to raise funds for polio eradication. - John Hewko

Meet the 2016 Miles to End Polio team

On 19 November, a team of Rotary staff and I will join Rotary members from Arizona (District 5500) and around the world to cycle up to 104 miles in El Tour de Tucson to raise funds for polio eradication.

The event is one of the top cycling events in the U.S., attracting more than 9,000 cyclists each year. We are aiming to raise $3.4 million, which will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of more than $10 million for the fight to end polio.

In August, the World Health Organization confirmed two cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Nigeria, the first cases in the country since July 2014.  While this news is disappointing for all of us, we must remain steadfast and fully committed to fighting polio anywhere children remain at risk, including Nigeria and Africa. Now, more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts to help Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria to retain strong immunization coverage globally. Supporting the Miles To End Polio ride is one way to show these countries that Rotary’s commitment to polio eradication is unwavering, whatever obstacles we face.

Learn more about each team member, follow them as they train, and add your support bydonating to their ride. Team members will be sharing their training experiences here on our blog as the event draws near.

Would you like to join the team? Take part in the Indoor Ride to End Polio! Ride a stationary bike at your local gym or at home any time from 12-19 November. Register today or make a contribution to help Rotary create a polio-free world.

Team members

160923_drewCourtney Drew is an analysis and pre-conventions specialist, focusing on Rotary’s Youth Exchange program. She joined Rotary in 2014 and has worked on two international conventions. Because of her role, she has met hundreds of Rotary and Rotaract members and is impressed by their commitment to Doing Good in the World. As a longtime athlete, she’s no stranger to training programs and is ready for the opportunity to make a direct impact.

160923_duarteRobson Duarte works at Rotary’s Brazil office in Sao Pãulo. Robson says Rotary’s work in local and international communities makes him feel proud to be part of the staff. He can be found cycling on the streets of Sao Pãulo during his daily commute to work or on his way to volunteer at orphanages. Besides cycling, Robson also enjoys hiking and other outdoor sports during his free time. He is eager to ride with the Miles to End Polio team.

160923_peperaChristian Pepera manages The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, a group of volunteer Rotarians who monitor and evaluate Rotary’s grant projects. He has worked at Rotary for nearly a decade and has had the opportunity to visit Rotary-funded projects to see firsthand the incredible results that members have achieved. Christian sees participating in Miles to End Polio as a chance for him to get out of his cubicle and join colleagues and Rotary members who are directly contributing to the eradication of a devastating disease.

160923_stumpfDave Stumpf
 is director of auditing services at Rotary International and president of the Rotary Club of Evanston, Illinois, USA. He has participated in several triathlons and has finished two 140.6-mile Ironman competitions, as well as many other running and cycling events over the years. Dave is looking forward to crossing the finish line at El Tour de Tucson and helping Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio.

160923_zambranoJose Zambrano is a contribution processor for The Rotary Foundation. For as long as he can remember, he has been passionate about outdoor activities and sports. Jose believes that team activities make you push yourself the extra mile, just as he sees Rotary members push themselves to make their communities better. He is excited to improve his abilities, raise funds for polio eradication, and have plenty of fun along the way.

160923_zeiNora Zei has worked at Rotary for nearly 14 years, currently as senior director of programs and member services. She is proud of how far Rotary has come in its efforts toward a polio-free world. Nora has spent hours contributing to polio-eradication fundraising efforts in her various Rotary roles, and she is eager for the chance to participate in a much more personal way — through cycling, her favorite hobby. Nora is excited to challenge herself to complete her first 100-mile ride.

Let’s End Polio Now!

- General Secretary John Hewko in Rotary Voices

How Rotary is providing opportunities for a brighter future - Rotary Voices

Recently, I visited a small government school outside Kampala, Uganda. The school is located on the edge of a growing community, but most of these students live in a small nearby fishing village.

Many of the children were barefoot and dressed in what they could assemble of the school uniform. The school is basic: a concrete floor, block walls and a tin roof- but clean and neat, with all the children wearing broad smiles and clearly happy to be in school with caring and supportive teachers. The first time I visited this school, it was a very different sight. 

Just three years ago, the school was a tiny building of three cramped classrooms – no doors and no windows. Each teacher taught two grades without books and education materials. That day, children weren’t attending classes, but a cow had made itself at home in the school: tipping over benches, knocking down the old blackboard with its horns, and doing what cows do. It was not surprising that parents didn’t enroll their children in school.  It just didn’t seem worthwhile.

Serving as role models

Child with backpack

A child sports his backpack.

Enter the Kajjansi Rotary Club – Rotarians living or working nearby who clearly saw an opportunity. After talking with the teachers and education officials in the area, they made plans to build three new classrooms – basic rooms to provide a classroom for each grade level.

The Rotary members also understood that these children would benefit from role models to encourage regular attendance and commitment to studying. Each Rotarian mentors a student, as do local members of Rotaract. The club gave each child a backpack and some basic school supplies to help them with their studies. It wasn’t a huge monetary investment and all funds were raised locally. But this investment is clearly yielding great dividends.

In return for the Rotarians’ investment, the ministry fulfilled its commitment to provide a teacher for each grade level. The school now has some text books and a few teaching supplies.

School in Kampala

The school Rotarians helped build in Kampala.

And the results?  Enrollment increased from 16 children three years ago to 96 children attending classes today!

My Rotarian colleagues recently took me to visit the school, see the progress, and meet the students.All successful business people dressed in business attire, they commented that this school reminded them of their own childhood: barefoot, walking to school, few resources, but committed teachers. One by one, and totally unplanned, each Rotarian shared their own story with the children. Their message: despite humble beginnings, the opportunity to attend school and receive an education was the key to their success.

Carolyn Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group and member of the Rotary Club of Yarmouth, Maine, USA in Rotary Voices

Surgeons from India bring relief to underserved patients in Rwanda

Hundreds of people gather in an open-air courtyard at University Central Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. Men in suits, women in flowered dresses, even prisoners in pink and orange gowns are waiting to find out if they will receive medical care. Some have no visible signs of injury. Others arrived on crutches, with arms in slings, or with catheters protruding from their clothing. Several have swollen, broken limbs: injuries that should have been mended long ago but were neglected because of the country’s long surgical-ward backlog, or simply poverty.

Emmanuel Mugatyawe, 36, sits on the ground as a friend fills out his yellow admissions form. He has been waiting two months for an operation to repair a broken leg – now infected – that he sustained when a car plowed into his motorbike.

“These are not routine cases; there are very few fresh injuries,” says Shashank Karvekar, an orthopedic surgeon and member of the Rotary Club of Solapur, India, after he and his Rwandan colleague Joel Bikoroti examine several dozen patients, scheduling many for surgery. Over the next eight days, a team of 18 specialized doctors (12 of whom are Rotarians) will perform surgeries on 268 Rwandan patients, including procedures in orthopedics and urology. The trip, initiated by District 3080 (India) and hosted by District 9150 (Central Africa), is funded by The Rotary Foundation with support from the Rwandan government. It’s the fourth medical mission to Rwanda that the two districts have organized since 2012. This time, among the volunteers is K.R. Ravindran, the first sitting RI president to take part in the mission.

A few buildings down on the University Central Hospital’s campus (referred to as CHUK), Rajendra Saboo, 1991-92 Rotary International president, is busy coordinating the last-minute logistics of the mission. The 82-year-old from Chandigarh, India, has done this many times. After finishing a post-presidential term on the Board of Trustees, Saboo and his wife, Usha, began to look for ways to participate in the type of hands-on service they had long encouraged of their fellow Rotarians.

They wanted to help India, a country that often receives outside assistance, make a stronger global contribution. It didn’t take long for Saboo to focus on medicine. He found that many local doctors had trained or worked in limited-resource settings similar to what they would find in Africa. “Our doctors are medically very strong,” Saboo explains. “And because India also does not have infrastructure of the highest level, they’ve learned how to innovate.”

Saboo’s first mission, to Uganda, took place in 1998 and focused on cataract surgeries and corrective operations to help disabled polio survivors. Organized with Rajiv Pradhan, a pathologist and past governor of District 3130, it consisted of doctors from Saboo’s district (3080) and Pradhan’s.

Today, Saboo recalls the mission as a life-altering experience – one so successful that the two soon arranged a trip to Ethiopia. That visit marked the start of an 18-year partnership that has brought more than three dozen surgical missions to 12 African countries, as well as Cambodia and six of India’s least developed states. Over time, the missions have increased in frequency to four per year, while adding specialties such as plastic surgery, urology, and gynecology. Saboo has been on almost every trip. “Raja Saboo is absolutely full of energy,” says Pradhan. “He’s constantly thinking of new ways to support medical missions. Even at this age, he’s working 12 hours a day.”

Rwanda, a compact central African country with mountainous topography that often draws comparisons to Switzerland, is perhaps best-known for its darkest moment: the slaughter of up to a million citizens, mostly members of the Tutsi minority, in the 1994 genocide. Twenty-two years later, it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. Kigali, its capital, is among the tidiest cities on the continent. Since 1994, life expectancy has more than doubled in Rwanda while maternal and child mortality rates have fallen.

Rwanda still faces public health challenges, however. Access to surgery is among them. According to The Lancet, an estimated 5 billion people, including nine out of 10 residents of lower- and middle-income countries, do not have access to “safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed.” In these countries, the British medical journal notes, 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed every year. Although most Rwandans are covered by national health insurance, which gives them access to low-cost care, many people living in rural areas cannot afford to get to a public health facility. Moreover, surgery is only available in five of the country’s public hospitals, and many patients must wait to be referred from local health centers or district-level facilities.

Aside from a minority of patients who can afford private care, complex cases wind up at one of two public hospitals in Kigali: CHUK and Rwanda Military Hospital, which also hosted doctors from the mission. A persistent shortage of surgeons means there’s typically a long waiting list. According to Faustin Ntirenganya, who heads the department of surgery at CHUK, the hospital employs just 10 surgeons and three anesthesiologists – a staffing shortage that, at times, means a backlog of up to 1,000 cases. Despite a growing number of surgical residents at Rwanda’s national university, the lure of better-paying jobs abroad makes holding on to specialists difficult, Ntirenganya says. “Our biggest challenge is numbers,” he says. “Our limited team cannot handle the needs of the whole population.”

The Rotary mission helps meet the high demand. In four trips to Rwanda, Saboo’s teams have conducted nearly 900 surgeries. For some patients, the mission represents a final chance. Michel Bizimungu, who had been out of work since rupturing a patellar tendon playing soccer last October, was told his case could be handled only at Rwanda’s top private hospital, at a price far beyond his means as a cleaner. Then his case was referred to Asit Chidgupkar, an orthopedic surgeon and member of the Rotary Club of Solapur. Although Chidgupkar had never encountered this specific injury, and CHUK lacked some needed equipment, including biodegradable screws and suture anchors, Chidgupkar devised a plan. The next day, in a four-hour procedure involving three separate incisions, he repaired Bizimungu’s knee. Chidgupkar called the procedure an “absolute improvisation.” (He later presented the case at an orthopedic conference in India, and he keeps in touch with Bizimungu, who updates him periodically on his recovery.) “It’s one of my most memorable cases,” he says.

The mission also provides training. Mission doctors teach cutting-edge surgical techniques to local physicians, medical students, and residents. During surgery, the visiting doctors demonstrate techniques and learn from host country doctors. Bosco Mugabo, a fourth-year resident in surgery at the University of Rwanda who assisted Chidgupkar with Bizimungu’s operation, says the opportunity was invaluable. “There are some tricks and hints that you don’t learn from school,” he says. “You learn them from a specific surgeon.”

With this in mind, Saboo worked with local health authorities to slightly modify the Rwanda mission. At a dinner in Kigali, he announced plans to invite 10 Rwandan doctors to India for three-month stints of training there – part of an effort to boost local capacity in a more sustainable manner. The next mission to Rwanda will also be smaller and focus more on teaching two in-demand specialties: reconstructive urology and anesthesiology. In addition, 20 Rwandan children will undergo open-heart surgery in Saboo’s home city of Chandigarh. With travel funds from the Rwandan Ministry of Health, 30 Rwandan children have already received such operations there. According to Emmanuel Rusingiza, one of only two pediatric cardiologists in Rwanda, the country’s high rate of rheumatic heart disease, which generally results from untreated cases of strep throat, means the country has a waiting list of more than 150 children. “A big number of them are passing away,” he says. “It’s a very hard situation.”

As the mission in Kigali winds down, Saboo is already looking forward to the next one. With more Indian districts interested in sending doctors, and African districts interested in hosting them, he expects the number of trips to increase, even if his own attendance becomes less frequent.

Many mission participants, both first-timers and veterans, say they plan to return, though it sometimes entails a significant personal and professional sacrifice. Karvekar, whose own son underwent heart surgery in India just days before he traveled to Kigali, is one of them. “I’d wanted to go on one of these trips for a while,” he says, noting that the mission was his longest absence from his family’s private clinic, where he’s the only orthopedic surgeon on staff. “There were a lot of challenging cases, but fortunately we were able to do them well and, I think, give the patients a good result.”

“It is totally a labor of love,” adds Saboo, speaking for himself as well as the team of doctors. “When they come here, there’s no compensation. They come purely because they want to extend their services to humanity beyond their own borders.”

Jonathan W. Rosen in the October 2016 issue of The Rotarian

Blog Posts

RI President's Message - October 2016

Posted by Sunil K Zachariah on September 29, 2016 at 7:00am

Trustee Chair's Message - October 2016

Posted by Sunil K Zachariah on September 29, 2016 at 6:56am

Taming Water

Posted by Rekha Shetty on September 24, 2016 at 11:13am


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www.eflashonline.org is an initiative of Rotary Club of Kalamassery,  R I District 3201, India. Since 1999, eFlash spreads Rotary news and stories online to members from over 100 countries. 

Founder Editor: PDG Sunil K Zachariah

This community operates in accordance with Rotary International policy, but is not an agency of, nor is it controlled by Rotary International


Sunil's Corner

eFlashOnline is now on Facebook

Why I Am a Rotarian - Sunil

Keynote Address by PDG Sunil K Zachariah on 9 Sept 2012 at the RCGF of District 3190 at Bangalore

Rotary Institute, Cochin - 2009. PDG Sunil K Zachariah welcomes the gathering

Chris Sweeny’s Club Website Template accepted by RI

Rtn.Chris Sweeny’s (Rotary Club of Conwywww.rotary-site.org has been accepted by RI and his 121 Technology is now a licensed vendor to supply websites for the benefit of the Rotary Foundation.

This template allows different clubs to have their own easy-to-use website which makes use of the official 'Rotary branding'. Around 1200 clubs are using the template, raising about £55,000 each year for The RotaryFoundation. Approximately £450,000 has been raised by the scheme (July 2015).

This template site is available to Rotary Clubs (outside RGB & I), Inner Wheel, Rotaract and for 'Rotary-related' sites (for example, Fellowships or projects - including clubs in RGB & I). 

Please see www.rotary-site.org and spread the news around the world! The template is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German

Charity Navigator Upgrades Rotary Foundation’s Rating

The Rotary Foundation has received the highest possible score from , an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.

In the most recent ratings, released on 1 September, The Rotary Foundation earned the maximum 100 points for both financial health and accountability and transparency.

The ratings reflect how efficiently Charity Navigator believes the Foundation will use donations, how well it has sustained programs and services, and its level of commitment to good governance and openness.

In the previous rating, the Foundation had received 97 points.

How to promote your club by not talking about your club

Sometimes the best way to gain a little attention for your club is to not talk about your club, but about other worthy groups and volunteers you are working with.

Rotary members are becoming more aware of the need to tell their Rotary story. But here’s the catch. It may be better to use local blogs or magazines in your community rather than your club or district’s own channels. This is because typically, these external sources will have a much larger readership.

But how do you get local blogs or magazine to use your stories?

Once in a while, you may have a great story to tell about your club that the blog or magazine will accept. However, they are not going to want to repeatedly publish stories on so narrow a topic. This is where talking about other organizations comes into play.

As president of my club this year, I have started to write stories about our nonprofit partners, focusing on their work, but also inserting a few lines about our Rotary club in each story.

The main local blog for my club’s community in Washington, D.C., is “The Hill Is Home.” And the main magazine is Hill Rag, which is published monthly. So I started writing stories for both, again not directly about our club, but about the great work that our nonprofit partners are doing, and how we are working with them. At the bottom of each article or blog post I provide basic information on our club and when we have our regular meetings. So far I have published three articles for Hill Rag and a half dozen blog posts for the Hill Is Home.

It’s all about visibility

This approach seems to be worthwhile not only to get our club slightly better know, but more importantly to give visibility to great nonprofits serving those in need. For example, one of the stories focused on Capitol Hill Group Ministry, which organizes teams of volunteers to check on the welfare of homeless, especially during extreme weather.

Our nonprofit partners are grateful when we write about them. They deserve the spotlight as they are truly at the frontline in helping the poor and those who are vulnerable in our communities. Hopefully, this strategy of writing about our nonprofit partners helps them and promotes volunteering in the community, while also mentioning in passing the role that our club plays in contributing to positive change.


About the author: Quentin Wodon is a lead economist at the World Bank. He holds PhDs in economics and in theology and religious studies, and has taught at universities in Europe and the U.S. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., and is involved in several innovative global grants. He is also author of the Rotarian Economist blog.

- Rotary Voices

How to get more bang out of your bulletin

160926_bulletin_graphicEvery single time you publish your online club bulletin or newsletter and email it to your subscribers, you should be asking yourself, “Have I made it informative AND engaging?”

Basically, your club bulletin could be the best piece of writing ever, but if no one reads it, what is the point? And if they do happen to read it but get absolutely no value out of it, what have you accomplished?

Make sure your club bulletin works for you, and the best way to do that is to make sure you are offering your readers something of real practical value.

Survey says

The original and most common form of engaging your readers is a survey. You could survey your readers about any number of things including how satisfied they are with your club or with a recent event, what they would like to see as future events, or what they think should be a topic for future speaker. You can even get more informal, and ask who they think will win the next big sports championship in your area.

Another way to increase reader interest is a generous use of photos, or even dropping in a video. If you use a photo, add a caption. Image and caption serve as a visual entry point for your readers and break up the monotony of text. As they say “a picture is worth athousand words.” Have you got something funny to share? Maybe you can illustrate it with a few good photos. Or point your readers to a YouTube video. Websites like YouTube make it easy to incorporate multimedia into your online bulletin or newsletter.

Connect it to social media

And make sure whatever you do through your bulletin is integrated with your Facebook page. Ask your bulletin readers if they have anything to share on your club’s Facebook page. This not only involves your readers, but also promotes your social media channels.

Put some life into your next bulletin. Move beyond the monotony of text. Give them a reason to look forward to your next newsletter, and a reason to not only read, but be a part of the discussion. You want your subscribers to be active participants, not just passive occasional readers.

-Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia in Rotary Voices

Experience culture, friendship and service in El Salvador at the 2017 Uniendo America Project Fair

In its 24th edition, the Uniendo America project fair returns to beautiful El Salvador on 26-28 January of 2017. Since 1994, Districts 4240 & 4250 (Central America, Belize & Panamá) have hosted the fair in different countries. This regional event is an excellent opportunity for Central American Rotarians to present projects to fellow Rotarians from the United States, Canada & other countries who are looking for international service projects and partners on behalf of their clubs and districts.

Thanks to Uniendo America, international visitors have learned about more than 2,000 local projects from the region. Meeting face to face at the fair has created lasting relationships and facilitated the implementation of hundreds of proposed projects. This is what Rotary is all about: creating good will and understanding through international partnerships.

Uniendo America 2017 will kick off on the afternoon of 26 January with presentations from District International Service Committees and a special message from an envoy of the Rotary Foundation. The fair itself will be inaugurated that evening with a brief ceremony and cocktail party where attendees will start making new friends and reconnecting with old ones.

Serious work will begin the following day, 27 January at 9:00 AM with the opening of the exhibitor booths, showcasing excellent opportunities to form partnerships for global and district grants and club projects. That evening, participants will make dinner reservations at any of the fine dining restaurants within the hotel and continue discussions with potential partners met during the fair. Meanwhile, spouses and guests will be offered a tourism tour where they will have an opportunity to explore the rich culture and wonderful sites of El Salvador. We will end that evening with fun disco dancing at the hotel´s night club.

The Organizing Committee will offer free shuttle transportation from/to the airport on main arrival and departure dates and we can assist attendees with any special arrangements.

Come and enjoy Rotary at its best amidst spectacular sunsets, warm weather, great friends and plenty of international service opportunities. Event information and registration is available online.

Hector D. Castro, District 4240; Advisor to the Uniendo America Organizing Committee in Rotary Service Connections

5 Reasons to apply for a Rotary Peace Fellowship

As I reached the end of my Professional Certificate Fellowship Program at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, I found myself dealing with a lot of feelings and thoughts about this experience. I am very thankful for the three months, all the sharing and learning I received from others, the daily routine, the field trips, and more.

To express my gratitude, I decided to come up with 5 reasons to apply for this program, based on my own experience and the lessons I learned.

  • Sharpen your motives:  Through the application process, you have a chance to reflect on your experiences, review your life story, recap your achievement to date, and affirm your interest in the peace field. This process was my first great learning experience.
  • Embrace diversity: Having the opportunity to study, learn and make friends with people from different backgrounds and life experience encourages you to examine your attitudes and values, and in turn broaden your perspective of the world. It also helps raise self-awareness and an awareness of others.
  • Learn to face conflict: Yes, we don’t have to be afraid of conflicts! The program is a great learning exercise in accepting and practicing peaceful resolutions of conflicts. Understanding conflicts is the first step. They are inevitable, but what the program teaches is finding creative solutions to conflicts through communication, cooperation, and critical thinking. It’s important to study conflicts and understand why they occurred and what can be done to bring a peaceful resolution.
  • Grow your knowledge of peace and conflict: The program provides access to great resources on conflict resolution, including books, references, classes, field study trips, great professors, and amazing colleagues. Peace fellows have their views broadened, as they gain care, courage, and wisdom to face future interventions.
  • Be inspired. The program is intense, and will strengthen you to continue working for a more just and peaceful world. You will be inspired by stories and experiences from other Peace Fellows and your teachers, as they share wisdom and challenge you to rethink our views about conflict and peace. The great staff at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University will take care of all the details, leaving you ready to learn how to change the world.

Learn how to apply to be a Rotary Peace Fellow

- Barbara Servulo Herthel, a Rotary Peace Fellow from Brazil in Rotary Voices

Rotary Convention 2017

Seoul Convention Digest

Join Fellow Rotarians in Atlanta for the 2017 Rotary Convention and the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. 

Important deadlines

6 June 2016: Last day for special centennial discount ($265 Rotarians/$70 Rotaractors)
15 December 2016: Last day for early-registration discount ($340 Rotarians/$70 Rotaractors)
31 March 2017: Last day for preregistration discount ($415 Rotarians/$100 Rotaractors)
14 June 2017: Last day for online registration ($490 Rotarians/$130 Rotaractors)


2016-17 RI President John F. Germ invites you to Atlanta

Future Rotary International Conventions

2018: 24-27June, Toronto, Canada

2019: 1-5 June, Hamburg, Germany

2020: 7-10 June,Honolulu, USA

2021: 13-16 June, Taipei, Taiwan

2022: 5-8 June, Texas, USA.

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