Interactor says Youth Exchange is unforgettable

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Youth Exchange students in Europe.

Youth Exchange students in Europe.

By Augusto La Colla, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Villa Regina, Argentina, to Muenster, Germany

Through my Interact club in Argentina, I learned of an opportunity last year to go on a Rotary Youth Exchange to Muenster, Germany. I want to echo what others have said on this blog, that Youth Exchange is an unforgettable experience.

I had the pleasure of staying with two families in Germany — the Kirchhoffs and Beikers — and I consider both part of my family. Getting to know the German culture, to be a part of it, and to be immersed in it, I developed a new appreciation for my home country, and the world beyond. It made me realize just how amazing this world is, and gave me a desire to work to make the world a better place. 

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Using social media to boost fundraising efforts

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Simone Collins, Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay, Western Australia, and Charter Chair of the Rotarians on Social Networks Fellowship

Social media is no longer a new technology – the first social media sites launched in 2000, and a number of those original sites are still around. Facebook was launched in 2004, LinkedIn in 2003, and Twitter has been around since 2006. Social media is now as vital a communication tool as a cell phone.

The power of social media is in the sheer number of users who contribute and consume information daily through these networks. Facebook currently boasts 1.3 billion active users, most of which log in daily. *Half of 18 to 34-year-olds check Facebook first thing in the morning, and 28% of those do so before even getting out of bed!

Rapid Response

Murphys Creek, Queensland, Australia. Photo courtesy of Rotary District 9830

Murphys Creek, Queensland, Australia. Photo courtesy of Rotary District 9830

In January 2011, we had…

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As little as $2 a week does a world of good

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

140725_bergmanBy Teree Bergman, an assistant regional Rotary Foundation coordinator

A new Rotary year began 1 July, and that means it’s time to begin a new effort to have our members participate in Rotary’s work by donating to the Annual Fund. Rotary’s Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) initiative empowers every Rotary member to be part of the humanitarian accomplishments of The Rotary Foundation.

Let me share a number I find unbelievable. During the year that ended 30 June, only 44 of the 666 clubs in the southwest region of the United States where I serve as coordinator earned an EREY banner. That’s a whopping 6 percent! (And keep in mind, not every member has to give $100 to qualify for the banner; the banners go to clubs that achieve a $100 average per member with every member giving some amount, however small.)  

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Peace, coffee, and sustainability

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Rotary Peace Fellows take part in a leadership retreat.

Rotary Peace Fellows take part in a leadership retreat.

By Pamela Broussard, 2007 Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

It has been more than 10 years since Rotary started training Rotary Peace Fellows around the globe. Today there are over 800 alumni working in a range of careers such as: international development, relief work, refugee services, military, government, education, and local grassroots organizations. If you have seen a crisis in the news, or on the

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How will you Light Up Rotary this year?

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Jesse Allerton, Rotary Programs staff

Light Up RotaryRI President Gary C.K. Huang is encouraging all Rotary members to Light Up Rotary in 2014-15 “by sharing our service, strengthening our clubs, and letting our light shine in our communities.”

Hosting a Rotary Day is a great way for clubs to put the President’s theme into action. It’s simple: hold a fun, informal event in your community to introduce the general public to Rotary and drive interest in membership and other opportunities for engagement. You can refer to the Rotary Days brochure for ideas on how to structure and promote a Rotary Day event and find more tips in this article from the July edition of Rotary Leader.

Remember to share photos, videos, and stories of your event with the Rotary community and beyond. Here are just a few ways you can publicize your impact:

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My Rotary Youth Exchange — this year has opened my eyes

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

By Victoria Alvarez, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Argentina to the United States

Most of you have probably heard of Rotary Youth Exchange, and maybe some of you have even been involved with the program. I recently completed my exchange year in the United States, and wanted to share the perspective of someone who has just taken part in one.

I come from Argentina, a little country on the edge of South America that you may have heard of recently because of the World Cup. It is in many ways very different from the United States. In signing up for an exchange to America, I stepped out alone into a culture unlike any I had experienced, in an unfamiliar environment, in a house I did not know, to live with people…

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ShelterBox and Rotary work together to assist flood-hit communities in the Balkans

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Melissa Martins Casagrande, ShelterBox staff, and Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

Following May flooding and landslides in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the Balkan region’s worst natural disasters in recent decades, ShelterBox response teams, with the support of Rotary club members, local fire departments and government agencies, have been providing vital aid to the most vulnerable in communities in both countries.

In addition to sending response teams, ShelterBox supplied mosquito nets to Bosnia where disease was spreading due to high water levels, mosquitoes, and heat. Nine Serbian municipalities most impacted by the disaster have received tents, water filters and carriers, mosquito nets, solar lamps, groundsheets and blankets.

Watch ShelterBox response team member Giles Walker’s video below as he provides a glimpse into local relief operations and talks with Rotary members who have been invaluable to ShelterBox’s disaster relief work in the region.

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The earth is a nice place to live because of Rotarians

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Bharath Reddy during his Group Study Exchange.

Bharath Reddy during his Group Study Exchange in 2006-07.

By Bharath Reddy, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

In 2006-07, I took part in a Group Study Exchange to Missouri in the United States, where I learned and trained with other professionals in my field.

During the exchange, I sharpened my leadership skills and made lifetime friends. It also helped me to build a bridge of friendship between Rotary members in India and the Midwest region of the United States, which has resulted in doing more community service projects and making everyone say, “The earth is a nice place to live because of Rotarians.”

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