It's wonderful to see so many Rotary clubs participating in my tree planting challenge. Be sure to share your club's story with #pledgetoplant.
- Ian Riseley in facebook
RI Director Board 2017 - 18
The Board of Trustees of the Rotary Foundation 2017 - 18
RI President Ian Risley's 1.2 Million Tree Planting Challenge
Dear fellow Rotarians:
For many years, one idea remained at the heart of our service is sustainability . Sustainable service means that our work will continue to have a positive impact long after Rotary's direct involvement ends. We did not dig wells and then we left; But we ensure that communities are able to maintain and repair them. If we build a health center, we make sure that it has the necessary resources to continue working with...out our continued support.
My tree planting initiative is one way you can contribute to our quest for sustainability. To that end, I urge you to plant a tree for each member of the club, starting today until April 22, 2018, when we celebrate the Earth Day. The Rotary Action Group for Environmental Sustainability is a great resource to kick-start this initiative. Share your progress online using the #pledgetoplant hashtag.
I hope that the result of this effort will outweigh the environmental benefit that the 1.2 million new trees will bring, a meritorious cause in itself. I think the maximum result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility, not only to those who inhabit the planet, but to the planet itself, in which we live and on which we depend.
This year, during my six presidential conferences, environmental sustainability will be one of the many issues we will address. Each conference will focus on how peace relates to one of five other areas of Rotary's interest. My wish is that attendees feel inspired, take action and develop new initiatives after participating in the conferences. For more information on conferences and how to register here .
We have a lot of work ahead of us to do; So we must combine our efforts to embody our motto. Rotary makes a difference.
President of Rotary International 2017-2018
(Translated from French by Google)
Rotary International President Ian Riseley was named today by the Government of Guatemala as Ambassador of the Peace of the Central American country, in recognition of the charitable works that the organization has deployed in the nation.
"It is a real and effective work that they carry out in Guatemala, for the construction of a culture of Peace," said Lourdes Xitumul, head of the Secretariat of Peace of the Presidency of the Republic.
"Thank you friends of Rotary International for your outstanding work in the country," she said, inviting Riseley to make the symbolic Change of the Rose of Peace at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The purpose of the act is to recognize Rotary International's support to Guatemalan children and youth through quality education with sustainable projects for the country's development.
In this context, the Seminar on "Promotion of Peace and Conflict Resolution" of the Official Mixed Rural School No. 86 Green Jewel and Official Men's School No. 10 Pedro de Betancourt was closed.
The main table was chaired by Secretary Xitumul; The Deputy Minister of Education, José Inocente Moreno; The Deputy Minister of Education, María Eugenia Barrios, and the president of Rotary International, Ian Riseley.
Guatemala suffered a 36-year armed conflict between 1960 and 1996 that left more than 200,000 people dead and 45,000 missing, according to figures from the UN Commission on Historical Clarification (CEH).
Today, Guatemala honors institutions and individuals who have demonstrated their support for Guatemalans and the cause of peace, with the symbolic act of Changing the Rose of Peace on a monument symbolizing the signing of the ceasefire on December 29 Of 1996.
We’re lost. My phone battery is low, so I don’t risk draining it to consult Google Maps. Instead, we duck inside a coffee shop and I pull out a paper map while my nine-year-old daughter orders a hot chocolate. The clerk smiles and asks where we are trying to go. On a small sheet of paper, she begins drawing a map of the area – complete with landmarks – so that I will know how to get to Kensington Market. It reminds me of the hand-drawn maps in a Rick Steves guidebook. I thank her, and as we leave, my daughter says, “Wow, they are so nice in Canada.”
It’s true. The people of Toronto gave us a warm reception on our visit to the city that will host the 2018 Rotary International Convention. Toronto has been shaped by immigrants, who have added new languages, customs, and foods while boosting the economy. Condo buildings are going up rapidly, and beyond downtown’s skyscrapers, Toronto is a sprawling network of neighborhoods: from ethnic enclaves such as Little Italy and Little India to Kensington Market with its bohemian cafés and Yorkville with its postcard-perfect Victorian houses. But despite its size, Toronto is safe and easy to navigate. The streets are clean. And the city’s 2.8 million residents – half of whom were born in other countries – speak more than 140 languages. The result is a cultural convergence that makes Toronto feel like home no matter where you’re from.
Once you touch down at Pearson International Airport, you can grab a taxi to the city for about $55, an Uber for $35, or the Union Pearson Express for $12 directly to Union Station near the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). The ride is 25 minutes; trains run every 15 minutes and offer free WiFi. If you fly Porter Air, you’ll land on the Toronto Islands, which are a short ferry ride from downtown (unless you opt to reach the city via the new pedestrian tunnel, which is full of moving walkways and escalators, making the total trip about six minutes).
Hotels are abundant near the two convention venues: the MTCC and Air Canada Centre, which are within a 10-minute walk of each other. Just be sure to book early: Toronto is a convention magnet, and rooms fill up quickly in the warmer months. The MTCC and Air Canada Centre are close to Toronto’s Lake Ontario shore, where the Waterfront Trail is popular with cyclists and a boardwalk draws those who would rather stroll along the water’s edge. Boat tours offering views of the skyline or a cruise to the Toronto Islands leave from the Harbourfront Centre. But the main attraction is the CN Tower: Like the Space Needle in Seattle, it defines Toronto’s skyline.
The views from the Bishop Airport ferry of the CN Tower (left) and from the tower itself (right) are spectacular.
Opened in 1976, the tower was a product of necessity: New skyscrapers made it difficult for TV stations to broadcast their signals across the growing city. The tower was built to solve that problem, but it symbolized much more – it projected the strength of Canadian industry as the world’s tallest tower, a title it held for more than 30 years.
As a tourist attraction, the CN was the first tower in North America to add a glass floor experience – a spine-tingling look straight down to the street 113 stories below. Signs reassure visitors that the glass is strong enough to hold “14 hippopotamuses,” yet I still had a hard time venturing onto it. But this is a spot that kids love. They skip, jump, and lie down to take selfies.
When now-RI President Ian H.S. Riseley toured Toronto in May, he didn’t merely step out on the glass floor. He did the EdgeWalk: Imagine being fitted with a harness and strolling around the tower on a tiny ledge without a railing 1,168 feet above the ground. Sound terrifying? Exhilarating? Either way, a GoPro camera on your helmet captures it all so you can relive it later...........
People donate money to good causes for all sorts of reasons; it could be a personal connection to a community in need, a debt of gratitude for a past kindness, or a desire to leave a legacy. We asked eight people around the world what motivates them to give to The Rotary Foundation — and to keep giving — and the answers were as diverse as our membership. Here are their stories.
Nearly 20 years ago, Ignacio Holtz was suffering from chronic kidney disease and in need of a transplant. His wife, Beatriz, made the lifesaving donation of a healthy kidney. When he joined a Rotary club a few years later, he talked with fellow members about how to help less fortunate patients in the same situation.
Ignacio Holtz, right, has helped save lives with an organ donation program.
Working with the Heart 2 Heart program, a decadelong collaboration among clubs in Mexico and the United States, Holtz led efforts to provide 10 disadvantaged young people with kidney transplants. The program has since saved more than 500 lives, with help from six global grants from The Rotary Foundation and matching funds from Sólo por Ayudar, a local nonprofit.
Holtz and members of his club work with local hospitals to screen potential donors and recipients, negotiate rates, and offer logistical support to participating families.
The inspiring stories of recovered patients motivate Holtz to keep giving. Holtz is still in touch with the first patient they helped, then a 15-year-old girl whose uncle donated a kidney to keep her alive. The project covered the fees for the operations, and today she is the healthy mother of a young daughter.
“It took me some time to discover the miracles that Rotary can achieve. By multiplying what we give, The Rotary Foundation gives us the opportunity to make a better world,” says Holtz.
The way Toni Polsterer sees it, The Rotary Foundation’s greatest strength is its ability to forge international connections to improve lives.
Toni Polsterer has helped advance peace and reduce conflict.
Polsterer serves on the executive council of Intercountry Committees worldwide, a network of 250 groups, each made up of clubs and districts from two or more countries. Group members work together to build goodwill and plan projects, particularly those that support peace and conflict resolution.
In early 2016, Polsterer worked with the intercountry committees to organize a contest for global grant projects focused on peace and conflict resolution, offering a $5,000 prize to each of the two winners: a vocational training team of women peacebuilders, and a music therapy program for young people affected by conflict.
A member of Rotary clubs in Vienna and Moscow in the 1980s, and later governor of a diverse multinational district during the heated ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Polsterer has seen firsthand how Rotary can bring people together.
“Sometimes the best peace projects don’t focus on the conflict itself but rather initiate communication and cooperation between two parties,” he has said. “Experience in our district has shown that intercountry meetings and projects not only lead to better understanding between Rotarians but can also act as a catalyst for clubs within a country with a longstanding history of internal conflict.”
Marilyn Masiero joined Rotary when she was living in Florida in 1994. A former art therapist and textile designer, she relocated to New York upon her retirement and joined a club there.
“When I moved, I didn’t know anyone until I was invited to join a Rotary club. Then I knew I had found a new home,” she says. “Rotary is nonpolitical and shows no bias to creed or religion. In this complex world, it is very nice to have a place where that is clearly understood — an oasis in the middle of turmoil.”
Recognizing the need for stability and sustainability in a changing world, she directs her giving to the Endowment Fund, which ensures The Rotary Foundation’s future, and the World Fund, which provides the necessary funds for critical humanitarian projects around the world.
“I want Rotary to be around for a long time, to keep doing good works,” she says. “I am personally unable to solve the world’s problems, but my desire to help is strong. By giving to The Rotary Foundation and encouraging others working toward the same goals, I know I’m doing my part.”........
If your Rotary club project is a "secret" known only to members, it probably will not have the expected impact nor reach its full potential. The success of fundraising campaigns, social actions or promotional initiatives is the result of intense publicity and the involvement of as many people as possible.
Former vice president of Rotary International, Jennifer Jones, believes it is extremely important to share the history of our organization. According to her, "we are the greatest story ever told."
"For a long time we have done our good deeds in silence, without seeking recognition," he explains. "Although it was noble, it did not help people understand the work we do and the reason we exist." For her, telling our story right is the key to motivating others to join us.
So what is the most effective way to tell the story of Rotary? Here are some tips to follow:
- Describe a challenge or problem, and explain how Rotary came on the scene to help. See an example here .
- Explain the benefits of transformation and the impact of Rotary on the community. Visual resources are always welcome! Use high resolution photos, videos or pictures that show how we make a difference.
- Include real examples and touching and inspiring accounts. Nothing like a captivating story to gain a place in people's minds and hearts.
- Adapt the story according to your audience. Is he familiar with Rotary or does he barely know the organization? It is important to customize your message to ensure the expected result.
- Avoid jargon or acronyms of Rotary. If the person has to stop to think about the meaning of what you are talking about (or worse, search for acronym after acronym), your message has already lost its force. Clarity first, always!
- Tell a story short enough to hold the audience's attention. These days, people want quick information. So do not wrap up, do not delay or overextrate too much. Create an efficient, brief, high-impact message.
- Oh, and do not forget to use social media to reach even more people! Who is not connected nowadays? Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or your favorite social network to spread the story of your club, a project, or Rotary in general.
To help you with your outreach efforts, use the materials from our new People in Action campaign. It was created specifically to publicize the work of Rotarians by showing how they make it happen. Download Promotional Materials at Brand Center today!
Google translation from Portuguese
“I have no idea.”
“That’s a type of phone, right?”
“Oh, I’ve heard of Rotary. I don’t know what they do though.”
The statements above aren’t uncommon when we ask non-members if they know what Rotary is. We know there’s a lack of awareness in our communities; some parts of the world have been seeing a decline in membership. How can we expect clubs to grow if people don’t know who we are?
I’ve been volunteering since I was a child. I thank my parents and local church for fostering my commitment to service. And yet, having an interest in service from a young age, I never knowingly encountered Rotary throughout middle school, high school, university, and all the way into my late twenties. How did I make it that far without knowing anything about Rotary? While we didn’t have local Interact or Rotaract clubs, we did have nearby Rotary clubs. The problem was, we were never made aware of volunteer opportunities with clubs within my communities.
In the past, a Rotary club may have avoided speaking openly about the community service they provide for fear of appearing braggart. But there’s a missed opportunity in not sharing. Turn your talk of service into an opportunity to raise awareness, make a greater impact, and inspire potential members.
As part of the Regional Membership Officer team at Rotary International, we see this issue affecting clubs and districts all over the world. To help broaden your next service project, I’ve created a checklist of things to consider to bring awareness (and, therefore, more support) to your club and engage prospective members:
There are now more resources to help your club inspire your community, bring attention to all the good work you’re doing, and invite others to join you. Check out the new Rotary People of Action materials in the Brand Center on My Rotary to help explain your club and your good work.
- Julie Aubry, Regional Membership Officer at Rotary International
About 80 percent of the world’s 285 million visually impaired people have treatable eye diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Rotary and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) aim to promote eye health to underserved communities.
Under the one-year partnership signed today by Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko and Vice President of IAPB Victoria Sheffield, Rotary clubs can partner with IAPB member agencies to provide access to continuous eye care and blindness prevention services. These could include eye exams, cataract screenings and treatment, and diabetic eye examinations and follow-up services.
“IAPB champions the belief that in the 21st century no one should have to live with avoidable blindness or sight loss,” said Rotary General Secretary John Hewko. “Rotary also sees global health as a core priority. With IAPB’s expertise, and the power of Rotary’s volunteer network, we will help transform the lives of millions of people who live with a visual impairment.”
“The impact of blindness prevention efforts is lasting and has a palpable effect at the local level. This service partnership agreement will help eye care agencies and hospitals tie-up with local rotary clubs to deliver positive, lasting eye care to local communities” noted Victoria Sheffield, CEO, International Eye Foundation and Vice-President, IAPB. “Eye care work will greatly benefit from the passion, energy and support of Rotary members worldwide”.
IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. IAPB achieves this by bringing together governments, non-governmental agencies, academic institutions and the private sector to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable eye care programmes.
Rotary members develop sustainable projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children and grow local economies. The recent partnership will help clubs further their efforts to provide disease prevention and treatment and maternal and child health programs worldwide. Over the past three years, nearly a quarter of a million people benefited from Rotary’s interventions for disease prevention and maternal and child health, supported by almost $100 million awarded through its grants programs.
About International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is the coordinating membership organization leading international efforts in blindness prevention activities. IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programs.
Source: Rotary International
Posted by Ambalakat Ram Mohan on August 22, 2017 at 4:46pm
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