Bayview Elementary Family Dinner

Following a few months hiatus when our efforts failed to restart a monthly community breakfast, we came up with the idea of putting on a family dinner at one of the south end elementary schools. With the help of Michelle Swecera, Community Schools Coordinator with SD68, we came up with Bayview Elementary. The principal, Sue Derosa, welcomed us with open arms, and the first  Bayview Family Dinner was served on Dec 12th to 70 students and family members. A great success, with more to follow.
Bayview Elementary Family Dinner Rob Waine 2023-12-17 08:00:00Z 0

Installation of 2023-24 President

With the new Rotary year starting on July 1st we installed our new club president and executive at the final meeting of the 2022-23 Rotary year on June 20th. Incoming President Bill Grace received the clock from outgoing president Perry Williams. [The clock was a gift from the Rotary Club of Akita East, Japan presented to our club in the 1980's.]
Larry Rumming was awarded the Bruce Coleman Rotarian of the Year trophy. 
Installation of 2023-24 President Rob Waine 2023-07-04 07:00:00Z 0

And the Community Breakfast continues

This month we served 175 meals - not quite a record for us (last month it was 205!) - but significant all the same.
We had the pleasure of having three inbound Rotary Youth Exchange Students help us with the serving: Veera from Finland, Luzzia from Austria, and Simon from France. A busy time, but satisfying to know the we've helped lots of folks who were in need of a hearty meal.
And the Community Breakfast continues Rob Waine 2022-09-19 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Community Breakfast is back

On Nov 13 we cooked and served over 125 meals yesterday at the New Hope Centre Salvation Army Nanaimo Community Ministries. Very sad to see again first hand how desperate the lives of some in our community have become. Very happy to be able to give them some sustenance to survive the day. Huge thanks to S.A. staff Ed and Judy for coming in early to make sure we had everything we needed, and to show us the new equipment and procedures.
Rotary Community Breakfast is back 2021-11-27 08:00:00Z 0

Garage Sale Trail a success

Despite steady rains and gusty winds, Rotarians braved the elements to ensure the 2021 Garage Sale Trail was up and running and.... a success. 
All six locations on the trail did a brisk but moderate business on the October 16 trail day and even though crowds weren't as robust as anticipated, the club did manage to bring in well over $3,000. 
Everything but the kitchen sink seemed to make its way into the mix and whether it was tools, books, storage containers, furniture, clothing or nick-nacks --- there was something for everyone. Hats off to the volunteers who made this a learning experience, a financial success and fun.
Garage Sale Trail a success Rob Waine 2021-11-06 07:00:00Z 0

Preparations for Garage Sale Trail 

More than a dozen Rotarians and friends turned up Oct 2 for the 'big book pick up' organized by Ian Thompson and literally thousands of books were transported by eager volunteers.
The books, from an estate sale, will be used at various locations on the upcoming Rotary Garage Sale Trail on October 16. Everything from art, history, geography, arts and crafts to fiction and non-fiction was in the mix.  The donation of books will be a treasure trove for anyone who likes books and reading.
The lady who passed was a librarian and so, the extensive collection of literature from coffee table books to hardcover and paperbacks, as well as bound collections, is sure to be a gold mine for readers, scholars and collectors.
Eight SUVs, trucks and vans were used to move the scores of boxes and everything was removed from the home in under an hour.  Hats off to the crew who stepped up and helped pave the way for a great Garage Sale Trail event.
Preparations for Garage Sale Trail Rob Waine 2021-10-03 07:00:00Z 0

Installation - June 2021

With Island Health's continued recommendation for no group meetings our club's installation meeting took place via zoom - with a tropical theme. No masks needed, Mai Tai's were abundant, but not mandatory!
The new executive and new president, Cara Klein, were installed by incoming Assistant Governor Ken Hammer. 
Outgoing president Glynis Hayes presented the President's Citation to Don Dempson, and the Bruce Coleman Rotarian of the Year award was presented to Ian Thompson.
Best wishes to our rookie Pres!
Installation - June 2021 Rob Waine 2021-07-06 07:00:00Z 0

Community Breakfast suspended

Regrettably we've deemed it necessary to suspend the breakfast until such time as in-door dining is possible again.
Back in November and December the Nanaimo North’s Rotary team of volunteers (although fewer because of the pandemic’s and personal restrictions) went in early on the 2nd Saturday of each month and prepared breakfast for the scores of homeless and working poor in our city’s downtown. Instead of serving in the Salvation Army’s dining area, we prepared “to go” boxes which were handed out via their mobile Emergency Services truck.
Community Breakfast suspended Rob Waine 2020-12-14 08:00:00Z 0

Food Bank service project continues

Once protocols had been established for volunteers at the Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank we re-commenced our monthly shifts. We are only allowed up to 8 volunteers, socially distanced and masked, so it's a different experience, but non-the-less rewarding. On Sep 29th, just 5 of us (Bill McK, Barney, Rob, Sheila, and Bill G) worked the shift and managed to sort three pallets of dry goods!
Food Bank service project continues Rob Waine 2020-10-05 07:00:00Z 0
New President installed Rob Waine 2020-06-20 07:00:00Z 0

On-line meetings

As on-line meetings become the new, albeit temporary, normal, we're beginning to get the hang of it!
   Click on "read more" to hear about our last two meetings.
On-line meetings Rob Waine 2020-05-20 07:00:00Z 0

Craft Beer Crawl  Fundraising Project

If you enjoy craft beer and you missed the launch of our latest fundraising project, here’s the scoop:
Purchase our Craft Beer Crawl pass (app or gift card) for only $25 and save money with over $200 worth in offers when you visit one of the 22 participating breweries on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Sea to Sky corridor.  
For full details go to
Craft Beer Crawl  Fundraising Project 2020-02-03 08:00:00Z 0
District Governor Maureen Fritz-Roberts Craig Clarke 2019-07-12 07:00:00Z 0
Earth Day Event April 27 2019 Craig Clarke 2019-05-13 07:00:00Z 0
Service Project at Loaves & Fishes Jan 22nd Craig Clarke 2019-01-31 08:00:00Z 0

December round-up

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 19, 2019
Our volunteers were busy at the Brechin School pancake breakfast Breakfast  December 14th 
We were also working at the Christmas Craft Market at Nanaimo North Town Centre
December round-up Craig Clarke 2019-01-19 08:00:00Z 0

End Polio Days in Nanaimo

The Rotary Clubs of Nanaimo/Lantzville are hosting a ROTARY AWARENESS EVENT - End Polio Now
VIU Malaspina Theatre - Building 310
Guest Speaker Joan Toone - Rotarian and Polio Survivor
Learn why it’s so important that Polio be eradicated from the world and how Rotary is contributing to that goal
Please join us for the evening. Please pass the word far and wide. Please bring a friend who might want to learn a little bit more about Rotary.
In addition, we're going to have a flag raising (Rotary flag) on November 8th at city hall to kick-off End Polio Now Days in Nanaimo at 9:00 AM with the new mayor and council.
End Polio Days in Nanaimo Craig Clarke 2018-11-01 07:00:00Z 0

Tree Planting Day at Beban Park

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 26, 2018
On Sunday September 23rd, our volunteers along with those from other clubs in area 4 marked the beginning of National Forest Week by planting trees on the bank below Merle Logan Fields (2253 Dorman Road).  Planning was started in the previous Rotary year under Jim Turley, but the project was postponed by request of Nanaimo Parks.  Thanks to city parks staff for their support; they dug many of the holes, delivered the trees, provided mulch and symbiotic mycorrhizae for the roots.
Tree Planting Day at Beban Park Craig Clarke 2018-09-26 07:00:00Z 0

New Zealand Friendship Exchange

Posted on Sep 17, 2018
by Gill Campbell
Peter Lillico, Gill, Sandra Kyle, Raewyn & David Lusk, David Baker, Bev Lillico, Christine Meredith, Anne Abbott, Robert Kyle, DG Craig Gillis.
When nine New Zealanders (D9940) arrived at Departure Bay on 11 September, it kicked off the 2018/19 Rotary Friendship Exchange that will see Port Hardy, Nanaimo and Victoria Rotarians join our US partners in Wellington on March 15!
New Zealand Friendship Exchange Craig Clarke 2018-09-17 07:00:00Z 0

Fresh roasted coffee from Rotary

Posted on Aug 15, 2018
Organic, fairly traded beans, roasted locally on the Mid Island in a convenient re-sealable bag.
Nanaimo North Rotary has three coffee bean products available to purchase.
Decaf (Swiss Water Process) for $16 per 400g bag.
Medium Roast for $15 per 400g bag
Dark Roast for $15 per per 400g bag.
Place your order online today and you will receive it next week.
Click here to go to our order page; there you can enter the amount of your purchase and specify the products in the comments section.
Fresh roasted coffee from Rotary Craig Clarke 2018-08-15 07:00:00Z 0

Visit of Governor Craig Gillis

Posted on Aug 01, 2018
Dear President Paul and Nanaimo North Club Members.....
We are well into a new Rotary year!   I am honoured to have the opportunity to visit your impressive Rotary club on Tuesday evening at the Nanaimo Golf Club.  I had the pleasure of attending one of your meetings last year and felt a tremendous sense of welcome.   I'm back for a second helping!   I will be excited to share the ‘launch’ of this new year with you.  
The Nanaimo North Rotary Club has a well earned reputation for ‘service above self’ and a proven history of community and global projects.   Your support of the Rotary Youth Exchange programs annually helps young ambassadors experience a remarkable exchange year.   You have district leaders who give so generously of their time.  I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday as we support the 2018-2019 Rotary International theme:  Be the Inspiration!
Craig Gillis
District Governor 2018-2019
Visit of Governor Craig Gillis 2018-08-01 07:00:00Z 0

Tour of Longwood Brewery July 31

Posted on Aug 01, 2018
  by Don Dempson
The original song talked about “I like bread and butter” (the Newbeats 1992) but after a recent tour of the Longwood Brewery the words could now be, “I love hops and barley”.  Nineteen Rotarians, spouses and friends had an enjoyable tour of the brewery July 31 and they didn't come away disappointed.
The group had the opportunity to sample six beers from light IPA style all the way to the brewery’s award winning black Russian Imperial Stoutnik.  Those in attendance also had the opportunity to learn about the history of the brewery, how they source almost exclusively local ingredients and how their market has grown and become more and more accepted in the trendy and competitive craft brew market.
Tour of Longwood Brewery July 31 Craig Clarke 2018-08-01 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Nanaimo North Rotary Promotional Fine Art Exhibit

Posted on Jul 16, 2018
Multi-media, 6’ X 6’ X 7’, Created by Derek Rickwood, BFA
My New Rotary Story by Derek Rickwood
On Saturday, June 23rd I was excited to share my first fine art exhibit designed to help promote Rotary with so many Rotarians and other humanitarians from around the world at our recent RI convention in House of Friendship at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre.
Rotary Club of Nanaimo North Rotary Promotional Fine Art Exhibit Craig Clarke 2018-07-16 07:00:00Z 0
BREW uses fellowship to help provide clean water Craig Clarke 2018-07-10 07:00:00Z 0
More pictures from Installation 2018 Craig Clarke 2018-06-08 07:00:00Z 0
May Community Breakfast Craig Clarke 2018-06-03 07:00:00Z 0
Interview with Michele Guy, co-chair of Toronto 2018 HOC Craig Clarke 2018-03-12 07:00:00Z 0

25 years ago: President Jim presents $10k to Port Theatre 1993

Posted on Mar 03, 2018
President Jim hands a cheque for $10,000 to Sandra Thompson & Michael Stebbings for the theatre building fund. The image is courtesy of Sandra.  She says: Rotary Club of Nanaimo North was the leadership gift of $10,000 that started  the other three Rotary clubs to match them - (Oceanside and Daybreak didn't exist back then!).
So it was an important step in the Service Club campaign which eventually saw every type of club in the region contribute over $200,000!
Ian Niamath, a former member of the club was very actively involved in the fundraising campaign.
Sandra Thompson started working for the Harbourfront Centre Society in 1990 as development officer. Michael Stebbings was project manager from 1993-96.  The official opening of the Theatre was on September 16, 1998. 
25 years ago: President Jim presents $10k to Port Theatre 1993 Craig Clarke 2018-03-03 08:00:00Z 0

Glen Raynor spoke at Rotary Peace Conference

Posted on Mar 02, 2018
by Mary Coward
District 5020 Peace Fellow Glenn Raynor speaks at Rotary Peace Conference in Vancouver – and his sponsor club in Victoria
Glenn Raynor recently traveled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he’s serving as Executive Director of the Jane Goodall Institute, to Vancouver to speak at the Presidential Peacebuilding Conference on Feb. 9-11, 2018 where over 800 Rotarians gathered to discuss a range of topics themed around Environmental Sustainability and Peace.
Photo Caption:  Glenn Raynor
Glen Raynor spoke at Rotary Peace Conference Craig Clarke 2018-03-02 08:00:00Z 0

Presidential Peacebuilding Conference Vancouver Feb 9_11 2018

Posted by Craig Clarke on Feb 26, 2018
This was the first of six Presidential Peacebuilding Conferences in 2018 which link Rotary International’s five other areas of focus including, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, and Economic and Community Development, with Peace.
Derek & Craig attended the conference along with Frank Shoemaker from the downtown club, DG Tom Carroll, DG elect Craig Gillis, DG nominee Maureen Fritz-Roberts and 800 Rotarians from around the world. 
Presidential Peacebuilding Conference Vancouver Feb 9_11 2018 Craig Clarke 2018-02-26 08:00:00Z 0

Recent meetings

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 31, 2018
  Dec 5 2017: Hikaru Nakamura presents Pres. Jim with a banner from District 27890 in Japan. She is a business student at VIU
Thanks to Don Dempson for providing photos & some  humorous captions from our recent meetings.
Recent meetings Craig Clarke 2018-01-31 08:00:00Z 0

President Riseley's tree planting challenge

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 31, 2018
President Riseley challenged every Rotary club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between the start of the Rotary year on 1 July and Earth Day on 22 April 2018. Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which slows global warming.
“It is my hope that the result of that effort will be far greater than the environmental benefit that those 1.2 million new trees will bring,” Riseley said. “I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”
Click here for Youtube video of President Riseley issuing the challenge at last year's convention.
President Riseley's tree planting challenge Craig Clarke 2018-01-31 08:00:00Z 0

New Theme for Club Website

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 26, 2017
If you are wondering why the appearance of our website has changed, we are using a new theme.  ClubRunner is discontinuing our old theme as of November 30th
The advantage of the new themes without a banner image is that they are more compatible with mobile devices.
Please direct comments or suggestions to Craig.
New Theme for Club Website Craig Clarke 2017-11-26 08:00:00Z 0
November 11 Community Breakfast Craig Clarke 2017-11-19 08:00:00Z 0
Video on the 100th anniversary of Rotary Foundation Craig Clarke 2017-10-14 07:00:00Z 0

Why the Rotary year begins 1 July

Posted on Sep 21, 2017
The international convention initially played a key role in determining the start date of our fiscal and administrative year.
Click here for story on Rotary website.
Why the Rotary year begins 1 July Craig Clarke 2017-09-21 07:00:00Z 0

Harewood Family Fun Night Aug 31

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 08, 2017
Club members prepared burgers, hot dogs & popcorn at Harewood Centennial Park last week.
Thanks to Country Grocer for donation of hamburgers, hot dogs, buns & condiments.
Harewood Family Fun Night Aug 31 Craig Clarke 2017-09-08 07:00:00Z 0
Disaster AID USA responds to Hurricane Harvey Craig Clarke 2017-08-30 07:00:00Z 0

Symphony in the Harbour

Posted by Craig Clarke on Aug 12, 2017
 Anne Marie & Ed ready to serve popcorn to the audience
Symphony in the Harbour Craig Clarke 2017-08-12 07:00:00Z 0

Barry Rassin nominee for RI President 2018_19

Posted on Aug 08, 2017
Barry Rassin, of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International for 2018-19. He will be declared the president-elect on 1 September if no challenging candidates have been suggested.
As president, Rassin aims to strengthen our public image and our use of digital tools to maximize Rotary’s reach.
Click here for full story on the RI webpage
Barry Rassin nominee for RI President 2018_19 Craig Clarke 2017-08-08 07:00:00Z 0

Excerpts from RI Convention in Atlanta

Posted on Aug 05, 2017
Rotary International Convention Highlights - Atlanta 2017
   Click here to watch video of RI President Ian Riseley's remarks at the Presidential Peace Conference in Atlanta

"Environmental sustainability is and must be everyone’s concern."

With that strong statement, and to the cheers of ESRAG members in the Closing Session, Ian Riseley became RI’s President for 2017-18.   ESRAG marshaled its resources to provide a strong presence at the Atlanta Convention in support of his vision for “a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility, not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself, on which we all live and on which we all depend.” [excerpt from RI President Elect’s speech, June 14, 2017, Atlanta ]
The learning and fellowship began with the WASRAG’s World Water Summit, which this year focused on women and water. 
Dr. Bernice A. King at the Presidential Peace Conference in Atlanta
Click on the photo to access videos
The annual Peace Conference followed with an inspiring keynote by Dr. Bernice King in which she quoted her father, Martin Luther King, Jr., “True peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.”  She reminded us that we seek to defeat issues and conditions, not other people.  She encouraged us to remember the “we” factor, a message that resonates well with Rotarians!
Excerpts from RI Convention in Atlanta 2017-08-05 07:00:00Z 0

Presidential Conference on Sustainability Feb 2018

Posted by Craig Clarke on Aug 04, 2017
An Opportunity for Rotary, the Environment, and Peace

RI President Ian Riseley has made environmental sustainability a major focus for his year.  
Click here to see President Riseley's invitation to his Presidential Conference on Environmental Sustainability and Peace in Vancouver on the weekend of February 9 - 11, 2018.

As members of the Rotary Family who understand the central role that environmental sustainability plays in the long term success of all that Rotary does, we urge you to join us at this conference. 
Keynote speakers:
Ian Riseley, RI President 2017-2018. Chartered accountant.
Paul Netzel, Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair. Management Consultant.
Dr. Jonathan Patz, Director, Global Health Institute, University of Wisconsin
Jess Housty, Heiltsuk First Nation, tribal councillor & chair of the lands portfolio.
David Suzuki. Prof. Emeritus, UBC, Companion to the Order of Canada, recipient of the UN Environment Program Medal.
Douglas Justice, University of BC Botanical Gardens, Associate Director of Horticulture.
Linda Low, Rotary Peace Fellow at Duke/University of North Carolina Rotary Peace Center.
Registration & opening reception Friday evening.
Plenary sessions & breakouts on Saturday
Hands-on project TBA on Sunday morning.
Venue - Hyatt Regency, Vancouver.
Click here to go to conference website
Click here to read the article in Rotary Leader on Presidential Conferences on Peace & Areas of Focus
Presidential Conference on Sustainability Feb 2018 Craig Clarke 2017-08-04 07:00:00Z 0

RI President Elect Sam Owori 1941_2017

Posted on Jul 29, 2017
RI President Elect Sam Owori 1941_2017 Craig Clarke 2017-07-29 07:00:00Z 0
Collection at Nanaimo North Town Centre July 29 Craig Clarke 2017-07-29 07:00:00Z 0

Disaster Aid Collection for fire evacuees July 29 -31

Posted on Jul 27, 2017
Disaster Aid Logo
6 shipments of supplies help Evacuees
People in BC needed help and many people have stepped forward to lend a hand. Volunteers at Evacuation Centres, Emergency Crews, Firemen, and countless other services have worked tirelessly these past few weeks. 
44,000 people were displaced due to the BC Wild Fires. As of this week 20,000 are still unable to return home. Help is still needed and we must continue aid where we can.
Disaster Aid Canada has secured a 20 foot container (thanks to Big Steel Box). This will be loaded with supplies and transported to Kamloops early next week.  Donations are needed to fill this container. We have 3 days to get this container filled and sent to Kamloops. 
A very specific list was determined by The Rotary Club of Kamloops with help from the United Way.
On Saturday (July 29th) to Monday (July 31st), from 10am - 6pm, a Big Steel Box container will be at the Nanaimo North Town Centre Mall for donation drop-off. The container will be located in the Lowe's parking lot. You will see a hub of activity and Rotary signs.  
Please see the list of required items  (NEW or gently used). 
Your support and donations are essential for filling this container. 
Local Rotarians from 5 Rotary Clubs in Nanaimo and Lantzville (Area 4 of District 5020) will be there to assist you. Your donations will be transported to the Evacuation Centre in Kamloops early next week. These supplies are needed for people still displaced and for the new wave of people that arrived in Kamloops.
Rotary Club of Comox
If you are not able to drop off a donation to the Nanaimo North Town Centre please consider make a financial donation to Disaster Aid Canada and our British Columbia Wildfire Campaign.  Financial donations are used to purchase required supplies. 
Tax Receipts are issued for donations over $20.  You can also make a donation to Disaster Aid Canada online via CanadaHelps.
Disaster Aid Collection for fire evacuees July 29 -31 Craig Clarke 2017-07-27 07:00:00Z 0

Canada announced $100M over three years for polio eradication

Posted on Jun 15, 2017
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta that Canada will contribute $100 million over three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiatives’ Endgame Strategic Plan, which seeks to wipe polio out for good by 2020.
Canada has been a significant supporter of the fight against polio from the very beginning, having contributed over $600 million to eradication efforts since 2000.
With only three polio-endemic countries remaining in the world, and only five new cases so far in 2017, global polio eradication is closer than ever.
Canada announced $100M over three years for polio eradication Craig Clarke 2017-06-15 07:00:00Z 0

Bill Gates Keynote on Polio eradication at Atlanta Convention

Posted on Jun 14, 2017
Bill Gates, speaking on 12 June at the Rotary International Convention, highlighted the extraordinary progress that’s been made toward a polio-free world, along with challenges ahead. 
Speaking at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Gates reminded the audience of more than 22,000 attendees, who were given LED bracelets to wear, that the effort must continue and be strengthened before polio cases can be reduced to zero. 
Click here for video clip of Gates address
Bill Gates Keynote on Polio eradication at Atlanta Convention Craig Clarke 2017-06-14 07:00:00Z 0
Community Breakfast May 2017 Craig Clarke 2017-05-17 07:00:00Z 0

Jack (John Edward) Vallance  1926 - 2017

Posted by Craig Clarke on May 13, 2017
Jack died last Saturday at age 91.  He was a charter member and past president (1974-75) of our club. We offer our condolences to his family. A memorial service will be held at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at 1:30 PM on Tuesday May16th.
Jack (John Edward) Vallance 1926 - 2017 Craig Clarke 2017-05-13 07:00:00Z 0

Doug Greer 1922 - 2017

Posted by Craig Clarke on Apr 28, 2017
DOUGLAS M. GREER 1922—2017 With regret we report the passing of Rotarian Doug Greer on April 7th.
Doug was a member of Nanaimo Rotary club since 1978 and was President in 1995 -96, a Paul Harris Fellow and an Honorary Member.
He joined our club in November 2009 sponsored by Mike Mah. Doug attended our meetings while he lived at Kiwanis Village.  He returned to the Nanaimo Rotary Club October 2010 when he moved downtown.
Doug served in the RCAF in WWII and upon his return from the war he attended UBC law and had a long and distinguished career retiring as a provincial court judge. He was not only active in Rotary, but was active in Ashlar Lodge, Shriners and a number of societies in Nanaimo. In his youth Doug enjoyed flying, boating and spending summers with his family on Long Lake. A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date
Doug Greer 1922 - 2017 Craig Clarke 2017-04-28 07:00:00Z 0

We’re so close to eradicating polio. Here’s why we need $1.5 billion more to finish the job.

Posted on Apr 17, 2017


When was polio last in Europe? If you guessed 2002, the year the region was certified polio-free, you’re wrong. 
The last time polio affected a child in Europe was 2015. Two Ukrainian children were diagnosed with paralytic polio, and that likely means that many more were infected and didn’t show symptoms. At least one Western news outlet deemed the outbreak “crazy” — but the reality is that no place on Earth is safe from polio until the disease is eradicated everywhere. 
Ukraine had fully vaccinated only 50 percent of its children against polio, and low immunization rates are a recipe for an outbreak. In this case, a rare mutation in the weakened strain used in the oral polio vaccine was able to spread because so many children had not been vaccinated. To stop it from progressing, the country needed to administer 6 million vaccines through an emergency program.
Click here to go to full article on Rotary website.
We’re so close to eradicating polio. Here’s why we need $1.5 billion more to finish the job. Craig Clarke 2017-04-17 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation Centennial Celebration April 1

Posted by Rob Waine on Apr 06, 2017
On Saturday April 1st the 5 Nanaimo and Lantzville Rotary Clubs hosted a successful celebration of the Rotary Foundation's Centennial at Beban Auditorium. The event was attended by members and partners from each club, as well as scores of prominent community members. The organizing committee, headed by our very own Derek Rickwood did a fine job in putting together an informative and positive program featuring greetings from Snuneymuxw First Nation and Nanaimo mayor Bill Mackay, information on Rotary's youth programs, and, of course, The Rotary Foundation.
Ten Paul Harris Fellow Awards were presented to some exceptional community members. Our club's awards went to Deborah Marshall - Principal of John Barsby Community School - and to Rob Anderson - Director of Community Ministries at Salvation Army. We partner with the school at several events a year, and with Salvation Army's New Hope Centre monthly when we put on our community breakfast. Congratulations to Derek and his committee, and to Deb and Rob - our award recipients!
Rotary Foundation Centennial Celebration April 1 Rob Waine 2017-04-06 07:00:00Z 0

Medical equipment for Ghana

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 23, 2017
Our club executive approved a $500 contribution to this US$100,500 project to supply blood fridges & medical equipment in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. (Brong-Ahafo is in south Ghana west of Lake Volta; it surrounds the towns of Sunyani and Techiman.) Bev Hilton & the Oceanside Rotary Club will administer the project.
How did this project come to be? 
There is a 10-year history behind this project:
The evolution of the Rotary World Community Service Mid-Island Group since 2007 has brought us to the point of being able to jointly plan, develop and implement a major project of this type.  The leveraged funding and sharing of expertise of MIG will allow us to make larger contributions and more significant impacts on our world communities.
Medical equipment for Ghana Craig Clarke 2017-03-23 07:00:00Z 0

D5020 Foundation Centennial Dinner

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 22, 2017
Craig attended the first Centennial Celebration for D5020 in Victoria March 18th.
An enjoyable event complete with a surprise appearance by Floyd the Nerd who joked with DG Joanne Croghan, DG Nominee Designate Tom Carroll & Rotary VP Jennifer Jones.
Jennifer Jones gave a masterful presentation on the core values of Rotary.
Generous Centennial donors from D5020 added $683,648 to the Rotary Foundation!
D5020 Foundation Centennial Dinner Craig Clarke 2017-03-22 07:00:00Z 0

Outstanding Rotary Youth Exchange award for D5020

Posted on Mar 22, 2017
At the recent NAYEN (North American Youth Exchange Network) Conference hosted in Calgary, Alberta, the Rotary Youth Exchange Program of District 5020 was honoured with the Dr. Abe Kuttothara Award as the “outstanding Rotary Youth Exchange District in North America”.   The award is given annually to a District from Canada, the U.S., or Mexico that exemplifies the ideals of Rotary Youth Exchange fostered by a North American Youth Exchange Network pioneer, Dr. Abe Kuttothara.
  Craig Gillis holding the plaque, Paul Geneau second from right
In accepting the award on behalf of District 5020, District Chair Craig Gillis acknowledged the tremendous ‘team’ effort of the District 5020 Youth Exchange Committee, a group of dedicated volunteers who give tirelessly of their time and talents to provide a remarkable opportunity for students who immerse themselves in the world of youth exchange.  “We view our students as peace ambassadors, individuals who have are able to transform our world through understanding and acceptance, bringing us closer to global peace one student at a time”.  
In presenting the award Sofia Sotomayor, Chair of RYE District 4100 in Mexico, noted the award acknowledges the longevity of the District 5020 program, its exceptional training for both inbound and outbound students, its efforts to create opportunities for both long term and short term exchanges, its blend of U.S. and Canadian clubs and its commitment to innovative programs that support and encourage a successful exchange year for all participants.   Recently all inbound students attended the five day Comox Rendezvous, a series of winter activities sponsored by the four Rotary clubs in the Comox Valley.   It is also noteworthy that several members of the committee provide leadership beyond the district level.  
District 5020 is so proud of the commitment of district Rotary clubs dedicated to sponsoring and hosting students year after year.   An amazing group of clubs annually welcome students to their club and give them experiences and opportunities they will carry with them for a lifetime.  That is at the heart of what truly makes this an ‘outstanding’ Rotary Youth Exchange District.   The District Committee wish to thank all of those Youth Exchange Officers, Counsellors, Youth Protection Officers and Rotarians who truly believe in this life changing program.
- See more at:
Outstanding Rotary Youth Exchange award for D5020 Craig Clarke 2017-03-22 07:00:00Z 0

We were at John Barsby School for Northern Games

Posted by bill robinson on Mar 17, 2017
Thanks to Ed, Anne Marie, Jim, Ian, Derek, Rob ... We served hamburgers to 1000 students at the Northern Games event at Barsby. We were an awesome team and much appreciated by the students and their teachers.
Click here for a Youtube video of the event.
We were at John Barsby School for Northern Games bill robinson 2017-03-17 07:00:00Z 0

Beer 'n Burger Feb 23

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 11, 2017
 Thanks to Don Dempson for these pictures at the event.
Beer 'n Burger Feb 23 Craig Clarke 2017-03-11 08:00:00Z 0

RIP Bob Fenty

Posted by Craig Clarke on Feb 23, 2017
  Don Dempson provided these images from an event at John Barsby School last December.
Bob died on February 18th .  A member of the Nanaimo Rotary Club for 30 years, Bob was an enthusiastic promoter of Rotary.
 There will be a Celebration of Life on Sunday, March 5th from1:00 to 3:00 PM at the Coast Hotel. All members of Rotary are invited.
RIP Bob Fenty Craig Clarke 2017-02-23 08:00:00Z 0
Loaves & Fishes Service Project Jan 24 2017 Craig Clarke 2017-01-26 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary International VP Jennifer Jones is keynote speaker at the Centennial Dinner on March 18 Craig Clarke 2017-01-20 08:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Foundation ranked in list of top charities

Posted on Jan 13, 2017

CNBC has ranked The Rotary Foundation No. 3 in its annual list of Top 10 Charities Changing the World in 2016. The list includes some of the largest and highest-rated charities that help women, children, the poor, and the environment throughout the world, according to Charity Navigator, and that maintain high standards of financial health, accountability, and transparency of reporting.

The Foundation was noted for connecting 1.2 million members from more than 200 geographic areas to tackle the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges, including projects that focus on disease prevention, water and sanitation, and maternal and child health. The ranking also recognized Rotary's role in the effort to eradicate polio.
The Foundation ranked No. 5 on CNBC's list in 2015.
The Rotary Foundation ranked in list of top charities Craig Clarke 2017-01-13 08:00:00Z 0
Pancake Breakfast at Brechin School Craig Clarke 2016-12-22 08:00:00Z 0

Eden Gardens Landscaping December 3 2016

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 04, 2016
On Saturday morning a number of Rotarians from local clubs arrived at Eden Gardens construction site.  They were tasked with planting landscape materials in the courtyard & around the parking lot as well as staining wooden benches.  After the work was completed, more people arrived and there was a guided tour of the innovative facility.
  Craig planting.  Image by Derek.
Eden Gardens Landscaping December 3 2016 Craig Clarke 2016-12-04 08:00:00Z 0

TRF given outstanding Foundation Award for 2016

Posted on Nov 28, 2016
Rotary News  November 15 2016
The Association of Fundraising Professionals has recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation.
The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.
TRF given outstanding Foundation Award for 2016 Craig Clarke 2016-11-28 08:00:00Z 0

Brechin School Ski Swap

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 28, 2016
Bill Robinson, Gill Campbell and Jeff Tomlinson help out at the Brechin School Ski Swap. Another huge event that brings the community together and helps out the school, while encouraging activity for kids. Nanaimo North Rotary club also supported the Ski Swap last year and always puts Service before Self when it comes to lending a helping hand
Brechin School Ski Swap Craig Clarke 2016-11-28 08:00:00Z 0
Service at Loaves & Fishes October 25 2016 Craig Clarke 2016-11-04 07:00:00Z 0

Take part in World Polio Day

Posted on Oct 21, 2016
Join us on 24 October for World Polio Day and share your voice that we are closer than ever to creating a polio-free world. Rotary will host its fourth annual World Polio Day: Making History live stream event at 18:00 EDT (UTC-4) from the headquarters of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The event brings together the biggest names in the global fight to eradicate polio. Watch live on .
Take part in World Polio Day Craig Clarke 2016-10-21 07:00:00Z 0

2016 The State of Food and Agriculture_FAO

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 20, 2016
The world faces an unprecidented double challenge: to eradicate hunger and poverty and to stabilize the global climate before it is too late.
Click here to read 2016 FAO report
2016 The State of Food and Agriculture_FAO Craig Clarke 2016-10-20 07:00:00Z 0


Posted on Oct 15, 2016
By Maureen Vaught, Rotary News  14-Oct-2016

Staff from ShelterBox and the United Nation’s World Food Programme help unload a delivery of ShelterBox supplies at Les Cayes harbor in Haiti, where tents are likely to be used to help health professionals screen and treat cholera victims.
Photo Credit: Alexis Masciarelli
Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless.
ROTARY AND SHELTERBOX ON THE GROUND IN HAITI Craig Clarke 2016-10-15 07:00:00Z 0


Posted on Sep 13, 2016


The Rotary Foundation has received the highest possible score from Charity Navigator, 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.

Purchase of new grill at Salvation Army 

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 10, 2016
  Jim and Don proudly display the new gas-fired grill at the Salvation Army New Hope Centre. 
Our club paid half ($1,500) of the purchase price.
The large grill has increased capacity for pancake production at the Community Breakfast.
Purchase of new grill at Salvation Army  Craig Clarke 2016-09-10 07:00:00Z 0

Ironman triathelete challenges world to end polio

Posted on Sep 10, 2016
As told to David Goodstone 9-Sep-2016
  Minda Dentler becomes the first woman hand cyclist to complete the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle, and 26.2-mile marathon of the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA.
Ironman triathelete challenges world to end polio Craig Clarke 2016-09-10 07:00:00Z 0
In memoriam - Suzanne Benoit Craig Clarke 2016-08-29 07:00:00Z 0

DisasterAid appeal for donations to assist Louisiana

Posted by Craig Clarke on Aug 18, 2016
  Citizens of Youngsville outside of Lafayette escaping with a few possessions.
The flooding caused by torrential rains in Louisana is the worst natural disaster in the US since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Thousands of people have been rescued.
Click here to read the call for donations from DisasterAid USA
DisasterAid appeal for donations to assist Louisiana Craig Clarke 2016-08-18 07:00:00Z 0

Update on Sihlengeni High School

Posted by Craig Clarke on Aug 01, 2016
Bill Robinson first visited Zimbabwe in 2002 and was introduced to Head Master Jimmy Nioni of Sihlengeni School.
With $1,000 from our club and another $1,300 raised privately, he initiated a cooperative project with the school which ultimately invested $30,000 improving the facilities for its students.
This photo was published in the October 2002 issue of the District 5020 Governor's Newsletter.
Update on Sihlengeni High School Craig Clarke 2016-08-01 07:00:00Z 0

Sustainable development: a new kind of globalization

Posted on Aug 01, 2016
By Jeffrey Sachs  
Around the world, people are calling for a new kind of globalization. The current version, once called the Washington Consensus, has delivered economic growth but at enormous cost: rising inequalities of income, massive environmental destruction, and growing lawlessness. The search is on for a new approach, sometimes called sustainable development, to ensure that economic growth is also socially just and environmentally sustainable.
Click here to go to rest of story in the Boston Globe.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and author of “The Age of Sustainable Development.”
Sustainable development: a new kind of globalization Craig Clarke 2016-08-01 07:00:00Z 0

COO at World Bank explains work to end poverty by 2030

Posted on Jul 20, 2016
by Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director - COO at The World Bank

For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key areas that are critical for ending poverty by 2030: good governancegender equality, conflict and fragility, preventing and adapting to climate change, and, finally, creating jobs.


Click here to go to full article on LinkedIn.

COO at World Bank explains work to end poverty by 2030 Craig Clarke 2016-07-20 07:00:00Z 0
Scenes from Dragon Boat 2016 Craig Clarke 2016-07-19 07:00:00Z 0

Changes for the new Rotary year

Posted on Jul 10, 2016
The council on legislation met in April and voted to grant greater flexibility to clubs.
Clubs are now free to vary their meeting days & times, as long as they meet a minimum of 2 times per month.
Attendance reports are still required by the District.
Click here to go to story in Rotary Leader
Changes for the new Rotary year Craig Clarke 2016-07-10 07:00:00Z 0

Latest project at St. Hubert's School in Ghana is complete

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jun 22, 2016
Doug Pearson announced at our June 21st meeting  that the final report detailing completion of the project at St. Hubert’s basic school has been accepted by the District 5020 Foundation Committee.  Foundation Chair, Bill McCarthy wrote: “congratulations! You have made education safer through the provision of the basics; water, electricity, etc. for students at St. Hubert’s. Your partnerships and “boots on the ground” mad this possible. Further, the Mid Island Group enabled this project to be adequately funded.”
Latest project at St. Hubert's School in Ghana is complete Craig Clarke 2016-06-22 07:00:00Z 0

Disaster Aid International Ecuador Appeal

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jun 22, 2016

Editor: Katherine Carver Disaster Aid UK/Ireland

The earthquake that hit Ecuador on 16 April resulted in 660 deaths and injured approximately 4,600 people. The most severe damage was concentrated in the North west; in Manabí Province and the canton of Muisne in neighboring Esmeraldas Province. Ecuador has appealed to the international community for help for the estimated 720,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance; 72,000 of whom have been displaced.
First response aid has been provided and is still being provided. However, many of the displaced are in emergency camps and many of these are reported to be of very low standard. Unicef have identified an urgent need to facilitate the relocation of those displaced back to the vicinity of their original communities so that they can start to rebuild their original homes. Those familiar with International Disaster Aid will know that this is just the type of work we specialise in.
Accordingly, Steve Lister and Craig Roberts, both from the UK, have been sent by Disaster Aid International to undertake the assessment visit. They arrived on 6 June with the objective of understanding the socio-political environment, developing partnerships on the ground, identifying communities that can be supported effectively, identifying the precise requirements for those communities and then drawing up a delivery plan that is acceptable to all the relevant stakeholders.
Click here to see detailed description.
Disaster Aid International Ecuador Appeal Craig Clarke 2016-06-22 07:00:00Z 0

June 7 2016 Meeting

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jun 15, 2016
  Patrick Maguire & Ron Blank from Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club spoke about the Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth Program.  It is offered to grade 10 students who tour the hospital to learn about real life physical trauma.  Volunteers are needed to guide the students to the various stations in the hospital.
June 7 2016 Meeting Craig Clarke 2016-06-15 07:00:00Z 0

Ghana Rotary Mission 2016

Posted on Jun 14, 2016
JUNE 12, 2016 (latest edition)
Mission Goals
  • Build capacity within District 5020 and the Sunyani and Techiman Rotary Clubs
  • Build relationships among Rotarians to be better able to serve their communities and the world
  • Continue to build on the partnerships established with Vancouver Island University, City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo
Mission Objectives
  • Visit the 5 Nanaimo/Lantzville Rotary Clubs to experience their meetings, thank them for their support and present on our partnership and joint projects
  • Attend a Rotary District 5020 Mid-Island World Community Service Group in Nanaimo and present on our partnerships and joint projects
  • Learn about Canadian culture through home-stay with Rotarians, meeting Rotarians and other community members, and visiting tourism sites
  • Learn from CVI Rotary Clubs and take at least 5 ideas back to the Sunyani and Techiman Rotary Clubs
  • Learn more about waste management, health care, education, government,  tourism and specific trade/business interests on CVI
  • Meet with officials at Vancouver Island University, City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo to build on past and current projects
  • Get commitment from District 5020 Rotary Clubs on at least 2 priority projects in Ghana
Organizing Team (with help from many other Rotarians)
Rotary Club
Phone Number
Ken Hammer
250 758-3438 (H)
Bev Hilton
250 667-2497 (C)
Randy Manikel
250 327-8133 (C)
Nelson Allen
250 756-6453 (C)
Doug Pearson
N. North
250 713-5080 (C)
Norman Myden
250 756-0804
William Litchfield    
Ghana Rotary Mission 2016 Craig Clarke 2016-06-14 07:00:00Z 0

Exchange students prom night

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jun 12, 2016
   photo by Don Dempson 
Daniel and Saeko attended the Dover Bay prom.  They will finish school, attend the District Convention  later this month and return home in July.
Exchange students prom night Craig Clarke 2016-06-12 07:00:00Z 0

Global movement needed to reverse water crisis

Posted on Jun 02, 2016
by Ryan Hyland 27-May-2016
This year's World Water Summit on 27 May in Seoul highlighted the progress being made:
  • Over the last 25 years, more than 2.5 billion people gained access to improved drinking water, and 2 billion who didn't have adequate sanitation now do.
  • Child deaths from water-related diseases dropped from 1.5 million to just over 600,000.
  • The UN Millennium Development Goals' target for clean drinking water was met five years ahead of schedule.
But for the 1.8 billion people whose drinking water remains contaminated and the 2.4 billion without access to proper sanitation, progress is still too slow, said Vanessa Tobin, director of water and sanitation for Catholic Relief Services and one of the event's main speakers.

Mirroring the polio eradication movement

"We need a movement," Tobin declared, saying it should follow Rotary's polio eradication model. "Polio was universal and everyone had one aim: eliminate every case in the world. We need to set a goal that by 2030 every child has safe water and sanitation for life.
"Water and sanitation must be at the top of each country's development agenda," she said.
Gary White, chief executive and co-founder of, agreed and told attendees that charity alone won't solve the global water crisis. White said that it would take five years and $1 trillion to provide and maintain safe water access for all, but international aid totals only $8 billion each year. His organization is making it possible for people in need to help pay for their own clean water and sanitation.
"People who live in poverty or are coming out of it in developing countries want to pay for water security, not just for practical purposes, but for social and financial purposes," White said.
His organization established WaterCredit, a microfinance program that offers loans to families in need of water connections or toilets. The program's repayment rates exceed 99 percent.
"Giving people the capital to ensure water security gives them the dignity they want and need," he added.

Matching expertise with action

The water summit, the eighth convened by the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, seeks to match industry expertise with Rotary service projects.
Francis Barram, a member of the Rotary Club of Centurion in South Africa, came to the water summit to find partners for a project to clean up sewage-filled rivers in Johannesburg.
"People here [at the water summit] are passionate about finding solutions for clean water. And more importantly, they know what they're doing," said Barram, who joined the Rotarian Action Group last year. "Our club found the need, and we can pull together the support, but we need the technical know-how. This event can help me find that."
Breakout sessions focused on sustainable strategies for getting clean water and sanitation in schools, partnerships, financing, climate change, and safe drinking water systems. Other speakers included Deuk-Mo Chung, director general of the Seoul Water Institute, and Sanjay Wijesekera, chief of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for UNICEF.
Global movement needed to reverse water crisis Craig Clarke 2016-06-02 07:00:00Z 0

Don Hubbard wins provincial volunteer award

Posted by Craig Clarke on May 16, 2016
Don Hubbard, a past member of our club has been notified  that he will be a recipient of the 2016 B.C. Community Achievement Award.
Click here to go to story in Nanaimo News Bulletin. 
Don Hubbard wins provincial volunteer award Craig Clarke 2016-05-16 07:00:00Z 0
District 5370 sets up Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund Craig Clarke 2016-05-11 07:00:00Z 0

Pope welcomes Rotary to Jubilee audience

Posted on May 06, 2016
By Ryan Hyland, Rotary News 2-May-2016
Pope Francis greets Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran at a Jubilee audience at the Vatican on 30 April, where 9,000 Rotary members were special guests of the pontiff.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Vatican
Thousands of Rotary members, motivated by a special invitation from Pope Francis, gathered at the Vatican in Rome on Saturday to celebrate a message of compassion, inclusiveness, and service to humanity.
At midmorning, the group -- numbering some 9,000 members from 80 countries -- made its way through the congested streets of Rome, past the tight security surrounding St. Peter's Square, and settled into the area reserved for Rotary in front of St. Peter's Basilica for the Jubilee audience.
Francis, a 79-year-old Argentine, urged the crowd of more than 100,000, which included members of the police and armed forces from around the world, "to build a culture of peace, security, and solidarity around the world."
His message of peace resonated with Rotary members, including R. Asokan from Tamil Nadu, India. "His message about peace is about accepting. Rotary, which accepts all walks of life, can carry his message to all our clubs, therefore carrying his message to all our communities," says Asokan.
Though Francis is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, his words often reach a wider audience. A poll published earlier this year found him to be one of the most liked and trusted world leaders.
That's what made this event at the Vatican so appealing, says Adriana Lanting, who traveled from California, USA, to attend. "To have such a transcending figure together with a transcending organization like Rotary in the same place is something I just couldn't miss," says Lanting, a member of the Rotary Club of Long Beach.
Madrid Zimmerman, another Long Beach member, isn't Catholic but says Francis has a knack for touching people's hearts regardless of where they're from. "Rotary has the same effect," she adds. "We may have different ways of expressing it, but our [Rotary] action in helping others comes from the same place.
"This event is a reminder that we only have one goal and that's to give service to those who need it. I think that's the message I want to bring back to my club," Zimmerman says.
After the Jubilee audience, Francis met with a small delegation of Rotary members led by RI President K.R. Ravindran. The pope spoke to Ravindran about the importance of vaccinating children against polio and encouraged Rotary to continue its efforts against this disease.
"I have been honored and deeply touched to have had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis earlier today, and to have heard him tell us to continue our fight toward polio eradication," says Ravindran, who is Hindu. "It has given me even more pride in Rotary's past, even more faith in its present, and even more optimism about its future, than ever before."

Mitigating the migrant crisis

On Friday, Rotary hosted a panel discussion in Rome to highlight efforts to alleviate the plight of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. More than 60 million people, including 11 million Syrians, have been displaced by war and violence over the last four years. Such extensive displacement has not been seen since World War II.
In the discussion, moderated by Vatican Radio, experts from the World Food Programme, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) talked about ways to help migrants start over in their new countries.
Rotary General Secretary John Hewko, speaking on the panel, pointed to several initiatives Rotary clubs have undertaken to integrate refugees into society, including computer coding schools and a vocational training project in Rimini, Italy.
"The plight of today's refugees is really a litmus test for today's compassion," Hewko said.
He encouraged audience members and panelists to use their connections to provide the resources and funding needed to address the humanitarian crisis.
After the panel discussion, Bonaventure Fohtung, a member of the Rotary Club of Upper Blue Mountains Sunrise in New South Wales, Australia, said that Rotary and the pope have the same agenda when it comes to helping migrants. Recently Francis took 12 Syrian migrants, three families including six children, back with him to the Vatican after visiting a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. 
"We need to go home from this event and set an example. Each club should do something. Just one thing to help these refugees can make a remarkable difference," he added.
The two-day Rotary event in Rome, tied to the Vatican's Jubilee of Mercy and dubbed the Jubilee of Rotarians by organizers from District 2080 (Italy), also included benefit concerts and three fundraising dinners for polio eradication.
Pope welcomes Rotary to Jubilee audience Craig Clarke 2016-05-06 07:00:00Z 0
Volunteers at Warehouse for Loaves & Fishes Foodbank Craig Clarke 2016-04-28 07:00:00Z 0

Council on Legislation Grants Clubs More Flexibility

Posted on Apr 22, 2016
By Arnold Grahl, Rotary News 18-Apr-2016
The 2016 Council on Legislation may well be remembered as one of the most progressive in Rotary history.
Not only did this Council grant clubs more freedom in determining their meeting schedule and membership, it also approved an increase in per capita dues of $4 a year for three years. The increase will be used to enhance Rotary’s website, improve online tools, and add programs and services to help clubs increase membership.
The Council is an essential element of Rotary’s governance. Every three years, members from around the world gather in Chicago to consider proposed changes to the policies that govern the organization and its member clubs. Measures that are adopted take effect 1 July.
The tone for this year was set early, when the RI Board put forth two proposals that increase flexibility. The first measure allows clubs to decide to vary their meeting times, whether to meet online or in person, and when to cancel a meeting, as long as they meet at least twice a month. The second allows clubs flexibility in choosing their membership rules and requirements. Both passed.
Representatives also approved removing six membership criteria from the RI Constitution and replacing them with a simple requirement that a member be a person of good character who has a good reputation in their business or community and is willing to serve the community.
The $4 per year dues increase was based on a five-year financial forecast that predicted that if Rotary didn’t either raise dues or make drastic cuts, its reserves would dip below mandated levels by 2020. The yearly per capita dues that clubs pay to RI will be $60 in 2017-18, $64 in 2018-19, and $68 in 2019-20. The next council will establish the rate after that.
“We are at a moment in time when we must think beyond the status quo,” said RI Vice President Greg E. Podd. “We must think about our future.”
Podd said the dues increase will allow RI to improve My Rotary, develop resources so clubs can offer a better membership experience, simplify club and district reporting, improve website access for Rotaractors, and update systems to keep Rotary in compliance with changing global regulations.
Also because of this Council’s decisions:
  • A Council on Resolutions will meet annually online to consider resolutions — recommendations to the RI Board. Council members will be selected for three-year terms. They’ll participate in the Council on Resolutions for three years and the Council on Legislation in their final year only. The Council on Resolutions will free the Council on Legislation to concentrate on enactments — changes to Rotary’s governing documents. Proponents predict that the Council on Legislation can then be shortened by a day, saving $300,000.
  • Rotaractors will be allowed to become members of Rotary clubs while they are still in Rotaract. Proponents argued that too few Rotaractors (around 5 percent) join Rotary. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to leave their Rotaract clubs before they have to, upon reaching age 30. It’s hoped that giving them more options will boost the numbers of qualified young leaders in Rotary.
  • The distinction between e-clubs and traditional clubs will be eliminated. The Council recognized that clubs have been meeting in a number of ways, and given this flexibility, the distinction was no longer meaningful. Clubs that have “e-club” in their names can keep it, however.
  • The reference to admission fees will be removed from the bylaws. Proponents argued that the mention of admission fees does not advance a modern image of Rotary.
  • A standing committee on membership was established, in recognition that membership is a top priority of the organization, and polio eradication was also reaffirmed to be a goal of the highest order.
Learn more about the Council on Legislation
Council on Legislation Grants Clubs More Flexibility Craig Clarke 2016-04-22 07:00:00Z 0
Shop and dine downtown for charity Jim Turley 2016-04-20 07:00:00Z 0

April 5 Meeting

Posted by Craig Clarke on Apr 06, 2016
   Paul, Barney with exchange student Daniel and visiting student Tim.
 Robert Grose presentation on Eden Gardens a new facility for Compassionate Dementia Care
   Thanks to Don Dempson for the images.
April 5 Meeting Craig Clarke 2016-04-06 07:00:00Z 0

Government of Canada announces new support to fight polio in Pakistan

Posted on Apr 05, 2016

April 4, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced new programming to help stop the transmission of polio in Pakistan.
Minister Bibeau made the announcement following her first meeting with Tariq Azim Khan, High Commissioner of Pakistan in Canada.
Canada is contributing $40 million over three years toward two initiatives by UNICEF and by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Building Community Support for Polio Eradication project, implemented by UNICEF, will increase community acceptance of polio vaccination team workers through local language media campaigns, the delivery of health information packages, and the recruitment and training of community-based vaccinators.
The WHO’s Improving Surveillance to End Polio Transmission project will improve the detection and tracking of polio, as well as improve the monitoring of all polio eradication efforts.
Government of Canada announces new support to fight polio in Pakistan Craig Clarke 2016-04-05 07:00:00Z 0

Trades Information Evening

Posted on Apr 04, 2016
Come and meet the panelists from Vancouver Island University, School District 68, Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP), Industry Training Authority, and more at out trades information evening.

If you or anyone you know would like to know more on employment in the trades please pass along this information. Whether you are in high school, a parent of a high school student, unemployed, or wishing to change careers, this is an opportunity to explore the option of a career in the trades!
Trades Information Evening Craig Clarke 2016-04-04 07:00:00Z 0

Successful women mentor youth through Rotary

Posted on Mar 16, 2016
By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary News 8-Mar-2016
Clara Montanez attends a reception in 2013 for the Champions of Change honorees at the White House in Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: Rotary Images
When Clara Montanez was a student, she never heard the word mentoring. The idea of having a role model help you pursue your ambitions was unfamiliar to her.
"You basically chose your career based on personal interest and hoped you could find a job," says Montanez, senior director of investment for Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. "I went the route of getting married and having children first, and started my career later in life. I had no model for how to do that."
That changed for Montanez the day a friend invited her to join Rotary.
"Frankly, I was dragged into Rotary. I didn't see a connection at first," says Montanez, who's been a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., since 2003. "But then I met several women, including Doris Margolis, who took me under her wing and started mentoring me on how to get more involved. I began seeing the value in having someone I could count on as a mentor, and I have become more of a leader in our club, in my community, and at work."
Rotary's mentoring opportunities motivated Montanez, Rotary's alternate representative to the Organization of American States, to help organize an event for International Women's Day, 8 March. The event, to be held at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, will feature Deepa Willingham and Marion Bunch, both previously honored as Rotary Women of Action. Rotary International Director Jennifer Jones will moderate the event, which will be streamed on World Bank Live.
Montanez says Rotary has given her a platform to mentor young women as they balance career and family, as well as manage the challenge of repaying student loans. According to a recent study by the American Association of University Women, the student loan debt burden weighs more heavily on women because of the persistent gap in pay between women and men.
"I think Rotary has given me access to young people, like Rotaractors, and they are ready to accept guidance because Rotary is a safe place to reach out and get advice," says Montanez.
Successful women mentor youth through Rotary Craig Clarke 2016-03-16 07:00:00Z 0
Member's tokens for meals project gets great community response Craig Clarke 2016-02-19 08:00:00Z 0

District leaders are preparing to celebrate centennial of the Rotary Foundation

Posted on Jan 29, 2016
By Ryan Hyland, Rotary News 22-Jan-2016
The Rotary Foundation has been improving lives since 1917. Learn about our work and help us celebrate 100 years of doing good in the world.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith asked district governors in training at the International Assembly to lead the celebration of the Foundation's centennial year, 2016-17.
"You are the primary contacts between the Foundation and our 34,000 Rotary clubs in the world. The success of the centennial celebration is largely in your hands," said Klinginsmith at a 19 January general session. "Catch the spirit and spread the word about the importance of celebrating our success."
Since the Foundation was established in 1917, it has spent more than $3 billion on programs and projects to improve the lives of millions worldwide, said Klinginsmith.
The centennial celebration officially kicks off in May at the Rotary Convention in Korea and culminates at the 2017 convention in Atlanta.

District plans for the centennial

Governor-elect Tom James Markos of District 5100 in Oregon, USA, says he is proud to be serving during such a historic year. He plans to promote the centennial not only to his district's members, but also through local media.
"We need the public to be aware of what we've accomplished," says Markos, who has set a district goal of raising $1 million for the Foundation during the centennial year.
Bill Proctor, incoming governor of District 7080 in Ontario, Canada, believes the centennial year is an opportunity to "refocus and reeducate" members on the importance the Foundation's work.
"We have so many accomplishments to celebrate," said Proctor. "We need to use the momentum of the celebration to strengthen the Foundation's future."
Share your centennial photos and stories on social media using #TRF100.
District leaders are preparing to celebrate centennial of the Rotary Foundation Craig Clarke 2016-01-29 08:00:00Z 0

In a majority of countries, more women than men work without pay in family-run businesses: World Bank

Posted on Jan 22, 2016
The World Bank Group has just launched a new gender data portal that brings together sex-disaggregated and gender-relevant data on topics ranging from education, demographics, and health to jobs, asset ownership, and political participation. We’ve also just released the Little Data Book on Gender 2016 along with online tables that are linked to the latest data available in the World Development Indicators

Gender data are one of the most visited parts of our data site, and these new resources make it easier than ever to see our data’s gender dimensions. The country and topic dashboards give an overview of the distribution and trends in data across important themes, and the online tables and book are a useful reference for the most commonly accessed data. 

Below I’ve picked a few charts from the new portal related to the four pillars of the Bank Group’s new gender equality strategy. These aims focus on improving human endowments, through better access to health, education, and social protection; opening up more and better jobs by tackling issues such as skills gaps and care arrangements; expanding women’s access to and control over assets;  and enhancing women’s voice and agency, meaning their ability to make themselves heard and exert control over key aspects of their own lives.
Click here to read full story on World Bank website.
In a majority of countries, more women than men work without pay in family-run businesses: World Bank Craig Clarke 2016-01-22 08:00:00Z 0

New online process makes it easy to follow up on prospective members

Posted on Jan 15, 2016
Rotary News  7-Dec-2015

Tracking your membership leads is easier than ever. District leaders and club officers can now review inquiries from prospective, referred, and relocating or returning members -- all in one place.

Sign in to My Rotary and visit the Club and District Administration pages to discover how easy it is to manage your online membership leads and review reports. You’ll also find guides to help walk you through the new process.
To refer a member or begin the process of changing clubs, visit the Member Center. If you’re not a Rotary member but are interested in joining us, you can learn more about club membership.
Learn about the membership process
New online process makes it easy to follow up on prospective members Craig Clarke 2016-01-15 08:00:00Z 0

US Senate unanimously passes electrify Africa Bill

Posted on Jan 02, 2016
In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 620 million people do not have access to electricity. Thirty seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa have a national electrification rate of below 50 percent. These endemic power shortages affect all aspects of life. Energy access is one of the most urgent priorities for people in sub-Saharan Africa with one in five Africans citing infrastructure – including electricity – as their most pressing concern.
The lack of electricity impacts people’s lives, with a disproportionately negative impact on girls and women.
The legislation will leverage private sector resources through loan guarantees to help 50 million Africans access electricity for the first-time and add 20,000 megawatts of electricity to the grid by 2020. Providing access to electricity will stimulate economic growth while also improving access to education and public health.
The bill requires the president to create a comprehensive strategy for United States’ engagement with sub-Saharan Africa in developing a broad mix of power solutions to increase electricity access and reliability. It encourages the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), USAID, the U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, World Bank, and African Development Bank to prioritize loans, grants, and technical support that promote private investment in projects designed to increase electricity access and reliability.
US Senate unanimously passes electrify Africa Bill Craig Clarke 2016-01-02 08:00:00Z 0

Bozeman Home repair project

Posted on Dec 23, 2015

Posted on by

Click here for 4 minute YouTube video
By Gregg Alexander, Rotary Club of Bozeman Sunrise, Montana, USA
For six years now, my Rotary Club has provided home repair assistance to local residents through the Bozeman Fix-Up Festival. Giving preference to elderly and disabled homeowners, we strive to provide home improvements to low-income residents who either can’t afford them or are physically unable to complete the work themselves. The impact of this one-day event stretches far beyond just benefits to the homeowners: The festival touches many lives and brings the community together.
Finding homeowners in need
We begin planning in January and wrap up in mid-November. We begin by developing a budget and conducting outreach to find applicants. We partner with local nonprofits to educate and identify homeowners who may be in need of assistance. We do require that they own their home and that they fall below the state of Montana’s poverty level.
We publicize the project on the radio, through TV interviews, and social media marketing to drive interested people to our website, where they can fill out an application. Once the April application deadline is past, our committee members conduct interviews, go on home visits, and verify applicants’ income.
Over the last five years, we’ve completed work on almost 60 homes.
Bozeman Home repair project Craig Clarke 2015-12-23 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary & UN Climate Change Conference in Paris

Posted on Dec 23, 2015
Purpose:  Assist Rotarians in implementing service projects, building awareness, and inspiring action toward environmental sustainability -- particularly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the global warming humanitarian crisis.
It was a significant moment in world history Saturday 12th December, when the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed. 195 countries were united in addressing what many believe is the greatest moral challenge of our time. If it turns out to be a catalyst for transformation, then it will be recognized as a critical moment indeed.

The Agreement is an inclusive, ambitious commitment to tackle climate change and parts are legally binding:
  • aims to limit the earth’s warming to only 1.5degC,
  • bring fossil fuel emissions down to zero; target is 2100, and
  • regular 5-year reviews of national commitments to achieve these targets.
It addresses the need for a financial package of at least $100 billion from developed countries, for developing countries. This will aid both mitigation and adaptation and assist the vulnerable communities around the world most threatened by climate change, such as Pacific Island nations.

The Agreement is seen as a breakthrough and catalyst for new climate action. It imposes on many nations the need to increase their own specific climate commitments (up to 2030) as soon as possible, so they are sufficient for the world to at least meet the 2degC target. It encourages all countries to adopt tougher emission cuts over time in light of their differing national circumstances - there will be another stock take on how the world is doing in 2019.

Many countries came to Paris two weeks before with strategies and pledges that were estimated to limit warming to 3degC. However, with great leadership from the French and after night-long negotiations, the Agreement was signed saying that a limit of 1.5degC in world temperature increases was the needed target. This is ambitious and a huge step for the world community to take.

The reduction in emissions to zero by 2100 is less ambitious compared to the date of 2050 (desired by many). But it is still a significantly better outcome than was expected.

Overall, the Agreement signals a great start, into an era where the science of Climate Change is now acknowledged, and action - with the help of new science - is seen as essential. And the different perspectives between developed and developing countries, between the large continental states and small threatened islands, are all now more keenly recognized.

The impact on all of us will be changes to the way we source and use energy – especially with a new long-term goal for full decarbonisation. There will certainly be more carbon-pricing mechanisms, more opportunities for renewables, and there needs to be much  less land clearing and deforestation.

Meanwhile, we will have more severe weather patterns, more glaciers melting and communities that are devastated by the changes already underway in the world’s weather.

However, the world has come together – uniquely – with a clear commitment to tackle the problem. Optimism reigns for the moment; now attention turns to HOW best to meet these targets.  ESRAG is gearing up to lend the power of Rotary to this challenge.  Stay tuned and in the meantime, please ask friends and family to join ESRAG at our 'placeholder' website,  Thank you.

Jeremy Wright
Communications and Marketing Committee Chair, ESRAG
Rotary & UN Climate Change Conference in Paris Craig Clarke 2015-12-23 08:00:00Z 0

5 reasons to give to The Rotary Foundation

Posted on Dec 19, 2015


Polio immunization activities in Ethiopia. Your generous giving supports our work to rid the world of polio.
Polio immunization in Ethiopia. Your generous giving supports our work to rid the world of polio.
By Rotary Voices staff
When you make a donation to The Rotary Foundation, you are helping Rotary members make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world, by promoting peace, preventing disease, bolstering economic development, and providing clean water and sanitation.
Here are just a few ways your generosity is changing lives.
  1. Eradicating polio
Thanks to you, we are closer than ever to ending polio. In September, the World Health Organization removed Nigeria from the list of polio endemic countries after going a year without a reported case of the wild poliovirus. It has also been more than a year since the last case of the wild poliovirus anywhere on the African continent. Yet it’s no time to let up on our efforts. Keeping children protected from this virus and building on these achievements will require continued commitment and funding. And every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication is matched 2 to 1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, tripling your impact.  Watch our World Polio Day Livestream update, and give to end polio.
  1. Promoting peace and conflict resolution
Rotary’s most significant effort to promote peace is the Rotary Peace Centers program, established in 2002. Each year, the program trains some of the world’s most dedicated and brightest professionals, preparing them to promote national and international cooperation and to resolve conflict. They include graduates of a two-year master’s degree program and a three-month professional certificate program at Rotary’s partner universities. Watch a video highlighting Rotary Peace Fellows at work.
  1. Supporting education
Through a Foundation grant and in partnerships with the Organization of American States, Rotary members in Maryland, USA, provided a training program for teachers in Quito, Ecuador, which included the use of new technology. At the conclusion of the program, each school selected one story written by a second, third, or fourth-grade student to include in a book illustrated with student art. Read more about the project, and browse other education projects on Rotary Showcase.
  1. Fighting disease
In Tamil Nadu, India, two doctors, both members of the Rotary Club of Srirangam, discovered an alarming trend in the remote city outskirts of Trichy, women dying of breast cancer. They partnered with Rotary members in Maryland, USA, to purchase a large van, with the help of a Foundation global grant, and equip it with X-ray equipment. The “mammobus” has administered more than 2,500 free breast cancer screenings, and detected and treated early stage cancer in six women. Read more of the story and browse health-related projects on Rotary Showcase.
  1. Ending hunger
In Seattle, Rotary members are diverting millions of pounds of fruit and vegetable from food waste into the hands of those who need it through Rotary First Harvest, a program of Rotary District 5030 (Washington, USA). Watch a video about the program, and browse other hunger projects on Rotary Showcase.
5 reasons to give to The Rotary Foundation Craig Clarke 2015-12-19 08:00:00Z 0

RI Directors approve new ESRAG

Posted on Nov 12, 2015
Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG)
The Environmental Sustainability RAG will assist Rotary clubs, districts and multi-districts in planning, implementing and evaluating service projects, building awareness, and inspiring action. These projects will promote environmental sustainability, awareness of climate change, and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate disruption. ESRAG will promote educational resources, initiate dialogue about environmental sustainability, and use best practices in models and assessments for both projects and daily choices.
Click here to go to webpage.
RI Directors approve new ESRAG Craig Clarke 2015-11-12 08:00:00Z 0

Derek Rickwood did Mt Benson Hike in support of Nepal Earthquake Victims

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 11, 2015
story thumbnail
Congratulations to Derek Rickwood for hiking to the summit of Mt Benson on Saturday September 26th.  Derek collected pledges for the project supporting earthquake victims in Nepal. The hike was organized by Dr. San Mahara of the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club.
    Derek at the summit.  Photo by Derek.
Derek Rickwood did Mt Benson Hike in support of Nepal Earthquake Victims Craig Clarke 2015-11-11 08:00:00Z 0
World Polio Day update from Rotary International Craig Clarke 2015-11-02 08:00:00Z 0

The grant for our newest project in Ghana has been approved

Posted on Sep 24, 2015
Our club together with Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club developed a grant proposal for the project.  The district community grant application was approved by D5020 in the amount of US$3,500; this will be matched by contributions from the Mid Island Group, area clubs and the Techiman Rotary Club. The project will be administered by the Techiman club.  The grant will fund construction of a well and installation of electricity for the St. Hubert's basic school in Akrofrom, a community about 70 km NE of Sunyani.
When the project is completed, it  will give the children in St Hubert’s Basic School and the community access to clean drinking water as well as electricity. It should take six months to complete
The school was chosen because the community is expanding very quickly increasing the school population but the school lacks basic facilities like water and electricity. We therefore decided to use this grant to provide these basic facilities, to help improve their way of life thereby improving education and literacy.
The grant for our newest project in Ghana has been approved Craig Clarke 2015-09-24 07:00:00Z 0
September 12th Community Breakfast Suzy Depledge 2015-09-18 07:00:00Z 0

Making a difference through Rotary Youth Exchange

Posted on Sep 06, 2015

Rotary Youth Exchange students visit RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, during a Discover America Bus Trip in July.
Photo Credit: Rotary International/Arnold R. Grahl
When Gabriela Vessani was 12 years old, her mother took her to stay with friends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, for the summer.
“I loved it, so when I heard about Rotary Youth Exchange, I knew that was something I wanted to do,” says Vessani, who is an Interactor from São Paulo.
This year, Vessani participated in the program. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada, she stayed with four families, one of which included adopted children from different parts of the world.   
“They had seven children, and it was crazy for me. But I loved it,” she says. “It was such a unique experience getting to know all of my host brothers and sisters, and learning about so many cultures.”

Changing lives

Vessani and 104 other Rotary Youth Exchange students visited Rotary World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, in July as part of a 31-day Discover America cross-country bus trip that was a finale to the exchange experience.
“This is the best program Rotary can be involved with, because Rotary is all about changing lives,” says Vessani.
Rotary Youth Exchange has been providing intercultural exchange opportunities for secondary school students ages 15-19 since the 1920s. Students become cultural ambassadors for up to a full academic year, and the host families can help build peace and international understanding, serving one of Rotary’s six areas of focus.

Club benefits

Mike Lubelfeld, an elementary school superintendent and member of the Rotary Club of Deerfield, Illinois, spent weeks making arrangements for his club to host its first exchange student in more than two decades. In August, Leo, a 17-year-old from Indonesia, was greeted at the airport by an enthusiastic welcome committee from the club. 
“We have just started the process and, already, there is so much excitement,” says Lubelfeld. “Working with youth of the world is one of the best ways to ensure a better future. And for our club to be able to take part in this cultural exchange is a huge opportunity that will not only benefit Leo but our members as well.”

Building self-confidence

Varda Shah’s family was asked by a friend to host an exchange student two years ago in Mumbai. At first, family members were reluctant.
“We were like, he’s a boy, he’s German, I don’t know how this is going to work,” says Shah. “But we decided to take a chance, and I never would have thought I could grow so close to someone in three months. We still Skype and connect through social media constantly and are always in touch.”
Shah decided she wanted her own exchange experience. She stayed with three host families in New York, learning about camping, tailgating at sports events, and ice hockey. But the biggest change was to her self-confidence.  
“Before, I would never be able to make a conversation with a person I didn’t know,” she says. “Now, I can proudly say it isn’t like that anymore. I can go up to people. I have become more open, more mature.”

Accepting others

Juliana Kinnl of Vienna decided to follow in her older sister’s footsteps and take part in a Rotary Youth Exchange. She was hosted by two families from the Rotary Club of Newtown, Pennsylvania, and says she learned to be more accepting of other people and their differences.
“Meeting exchange students from all over the world, I have grown to accept people for who they are and not to judge them because they are different,” says Kinnl. “I’ve also grown more confident in my own abilities and who I am.”

Growing bolder

Minerva Lopez Martinez of Marcia, Spain, spent her exchange in Canada, hosted by the Rotary Club of Simcoe, Ontario. She said some of her friends at home chose not to pursue an exchange because they felt they would be losing a year of schoolwork. But she has a different perspective on that.
“You have your whole life to go to school and learn. You only have one opportunity for a youth exchange,” she says. “The reason I came on the exchange is that I can be shy, and I didn’t want to be like that anymore. Now, I am trying new things, talking to people I don’t know. It has changed me a lot.”
Learn more about starting an exchange
Read more experiences of Rotary Youth Exchange students
By Arnold R. Grahl
Rotary News
Making a difference through Rotary Youth Exchange 2015-09-06 07:00:00Z 0

Symphony by the Sea

Posted on Aug 13, 2015
   Picture by Margo Holmes
While out collecting donations before the concert Suzy & Craig met a visiting Rotarian from Lyon.
His name was Denis Cante, President of Club Lyon - Tassin Ecully.
Symphony by the Sea Craig Clarke 2015-08-13 07:00:00Z 0
Dragon Boat Saturday July 11 2015 Craig Clarke 2015-07-25 07:00:00Z 0

Farewell party for Bas

Posted on Jul 25, 2015
Doug Pearson forwarded these pictures a couple of weeks ago.
Farewell party for Bas Craig Clarke 2015-07-25 07:00:00Z 0

Member Benefits Program Introduced at RI Convention in São Paulo

Posted on Jun 19, 2015
RI President-elect K.R. Ravindran and his wife, Vanathy, are introduced to the audience at the 2015 Rotary Convention closing plenary session on 9 June in São Paulo, Brazil. The four-day convention attracted more than 14,500 attendees from more than 150 countries.   Photo Credit: Rotary International/Monika
RI President-elect K.R. Ravindran introduced a member benefits program at the 9 June closing session of the 2015 Rotary International Convention, saying that many more hands are needed to continue Rotary’s work around the world.
The program, Rotary Global Rewards, aims to boost membership and enhance member satisfaction. It will debut on 1 July.
“This innovative new program will allow Rotary members to connect with hundreds of businesses and service providers from around the world -- and that number is growing,” said Ravindran. “These establishments will offer Rotarians discounts and concessions on the everyday business that you do. And, in many cases, not only will you benefit, but our Foundation will as well, by receiving a contribution with each transaction.”
The program will include discounts on car rentals, hotels, dining, and entertainment. Discounts on more products and services from companies worldwide are expected to be added throughout the year.
“It will be another way to benefit from being a Rotarian and being part of the Rotary network,” said Ravindran, whose presidential theme for 2015-16 is Be a Gift to the World. “I urge all of you to become a part of that scheme.”
Member Benefits Program Introduced at RI Convention in São Paulo Craig Clarke 2015-06-19 07:00:00Z 0

Report calls for expanded investment in renewable energy for Africa

Posted on Jun 11, 2015
The main message of a new report from Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel, Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities is for expanded investments in renewable energy. The report calls for a ten-fold increase in power generation to provide all Africans with access to electricity by 2030. This would reduce poverty and inequality, boost growth, and provide the climate leadership that is sorely missing at the international level.
"We categorically reject the idea that Africa has to choose between growth and low-carbon development," said Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel. "Africa needs to utilize all of its energy assets in the short term, while building the foundations for a competitive, low-carbon energy infrastructure."
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 621 million people lack access to electricity – and this number is rising. Excluding South Africa, which generates half the region’s electricity, Sub-Saharan Africa uses less electricity than Spain. It would take the average Tanzanian eight years to use as much electricity as an average American consumes in a single month. And over the course of one year someone boiling a kettle twice a day in the United Kingdom uses five times more electricity than an Ethiopian consumes over the same year.
Report calls for expanded investment in renewable energy for Africa Craig Clarke 2015-06-11 07:00:00Z 0

San Mahara organizing relief for Nepal earthquake

Posted by Craig Clarke on May 14, 2015
Nanaimo Dentist San Mahara has recently returned from a visit to Nepal where he witnessed the damage caused by the major earthquake.
He is planning to raise funds for relief in cooperation with the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club.
Click here to go to story in Nanaimo Daily News.
San Mahara organizing relief for Nepal earthquake Craig Clarke 2015-05-14 07:00:00Z 0
Federal government matching donations to Nepal relief Craig Clarke 2015-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

Shelterbox arrives in Nepal

Posted on Apr 26, 2015
The quake occurred between the major cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara, with tremors felt as far away as Delhi in India. More than 3,600 people are reported to have died and an estimated 6,500 have sustained injury following the earthquake.
Assessments are being made by the onsite ShelterBox response team, Phil Duloy (UK) and Nicola Hinds (UK). A second response team, consisting of Becky Maynard (UK) and Liz O'Dell (UK), has been activated. ShelterBox already has aid, including tents, prepositioned in the country, which could be used as emergency clinics, as well as shelters in the immediate aftermath.
Current conditions are reported to be quiet with very little electricity or lighting. There is widespread fear as tremors occurred again on Monday and further seismic activity is expected. Worse conditions are expected in the surrounding rural areas as an estimated 70% of all structures have been destroyed. Weather conditions will soon compound the situation with incoming rain, thunderstorms and snow in high altitudes.
Click here to go to Shelterbox website.
Shelterbox arrives in Nepal Craig Clarke 2015-04-27 00:00:00Z 0

Refugee Sponsorship Forum April 25

Posted on Apr 20, 2015
Canada is asking private sponsorship groups to sponsor 6,000 Syrian refugees over the next 3 years.
Attend this forum to learn more about Refugee Sponsorship – who can sponsor, what is expected, how a refugee is chosen, the costs and the benefits of sponsorship. 
Time: 9:30 AM - 3 PM Saturday April 25
Place: Bethlehem Retreat Centre, 2371 Arbot Rd Nanaimo.
Cost:  $15 includes a hot lunch.
Click here  for more details
Refugee Sponsorship Forum April 25 Craig Clarke 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0

Celebrating our volunteers

Posted by Craig Clarke on Apr 16, 2015
This is National Volunteer week and a good time to reflect on our hard-working members and their accomplishments locally and internationally. 

Don Dempson shared a few of his images from our breakfast on Saturday.
   our celebrity pancake chef making his "famous A"
Celebrating our volunteers Craig Clarke 2015-04-17 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Young Professionals Summit August 28_29

Posted on Apr 07, 2015
Dear Greg Phillips,
We are seeking young Rotarians to represent our district at the Rotary Young Professionals Summit in Berkeley, CA on Aug 28-29, 2015.  These young Rotarians will be collaborating with district leadership on young professional membership growth initiatives.  Here is the website for further information:
We would like you to nominate individuals in your clubs to apply that meet the following criteria:
  • Rotarians between 25-45 years of age
  • Demonstrates passion for Rotary and ability to grow membership and interest among young professionals
  • Exhibits future leadership potential to be a Club President, Club Board Member, or New Professional Chair in our district
While the cost of the conference is covered; our district is unable to reimburse for travel expenses, so the costs related to flight and hotel will be the responsibility of the participant or the participant's club, if funding is available.
Please respond to Amanda Carroll,, with the names and contact information for individuals that you wish to nominate. Thank you!
Rose Bowman
District 5020 District Governor Elect
Rotary Young Professionals Summit August 28_29 Craig Clarke 2015-04-08 00:00:00Z 0

Monrovia club's Ebola fight not finished

Posted on Mar 27, 2015



By Ryan Hyland  Rotary News  9-Mar-2015
Members of the Rotaract Club of Monrovia conduct a door-to-door outreach campaign aimed at raising awareness about Ebola prevention.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rotary Club of Monrovia, Liberia
After the first cases of Ebola reached Liberia's capital, Monrovia, last June, local Rotary members feared that the city's limited health care system wouldn't be able to contain the highly infectious, often-deadly disease.
Those fears were realized when infections quickly multiplied, underscoring the speed with which Ebola can spread in an urban center. It was the first time the hemorrhagic fever had threatened a major city since it erupted in West Africa last March.
Now, after months of crisis-level response, and with the number of new cases declining, club members are looking to the long term, planning three projects that will have a sustained impact in the Ebola fight in their community.
"We were at the mercy of Ebola," recalls David Frankfort, a member of the Rotary Club of Monrovia and chair of its Ebola committee. "We didn't have enough trained health personnel or proper medical equipment to handle the onset of the epidemic here."
The Monrovia club quickly stepped up efforts to control the spread of the disease in the city. By October, members had donated 220 noncontact infrared thermometers, 10,000 examination gloves, 100 plastic buckets with spouts for handwashing, 120 pairs of rubber boots for health care workers, 80 mattresses, fuel coupons for Ebola response vehicles, and books for students who had to stay at home after the government ordered the closing of all its schools in June.
The 53-member club is also working directly with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to enhance local support for Ebola patients, health workers, and support staff.
"When this crisis hit, we weren't going to stand by and wait for help to arrive; we created our own emergency action plan," says Frankfort. "We felt a responsibility, as a Rotary club, to show our community that responding to disasters like this is what we are all about."
The Rotaract Club of Monrovia also pitched in, conducting a door-to-door outreach campaign aimed at raising awareness about Ebola prevention and home management. The effort was co-sponsored by the Liberian Nurses Association.
In addition, Frankfort says that dozens of clubs worldwide have assisted Rotary members in Monrovia, including the Rotary Club of Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, England, which raised more than $113,000 for the effort.
Monrovia club's Ebola fight not finished cra 2015-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Celebration of Rotary week in Nanaimo

Posted on Mar 02, 2015
Mayor Mackay raising the Rotary Flag at City Hall Feb 23rd photo courtesy of Ian Willams, Rotary Club of Nanaimo.
5-club reception at the Nanaimo Golf Club.  photo by Don Bonner, Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club.
Celebration of Rotary week in Nanaimo Craig Clarke 2015-03-03 00:00:00Z 0

Clubs celebrate Rotary's anniversary, 30 yr of PolioPlus

Posted on Feb 26, 2015


This week marks 110 years since Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting. It also is 30 years since Rotary launched its campaign to rid the world of polio.
Rotary clubs are celebrating the milestones in a variety of ways. The Rotary Club of Mt. Warning AM, New South Wales, Australia, gave away pancakes and handouts on the village’s main street.
“Our brand stood out because of our signage, the shirts we wore, and the handouts we brought,” says club president Kaileen Casey. “It was a very relaxed comfortable environment with lots of laughter. It’s important for people to feel at ease and to ask questions. This is the way to increase our awareness in the community.”
Clubs celebrate Rotary's anniversary, 30 yr of PolioPlus Craig Clarke 2015-02-27 00:00:00Z 0

UN declares 2015 the International Year of Soils

Posted on Feb 26, 2015
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) (A/RES/68/232).
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.
The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:
  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).
Click here to go to FAO page
UN declares 2015 the International Year of Soils Craig Clarke 2015-02-27 00:00:00Z 0

We volunteered at Coldest Night of the Year

Jeff & Craig in their marshal uniform.
In contrast to last year, the weather was superb for the "Coldest night of the year Walk"  . 
Bob Lasota organized the marshals and some members participated in the walk, choosing to do 2, 5, or 10 kilometers.
The event raised raised $38,000 for Nanaimo and $25,000 in Parksville.
Funds will support the Island Crisis Care Society.

​A special thank you to our members and their families who either were walking or volunteering for this event.



We volunteered at Coldest Night of the Year Craig Clarke 2015-02-24 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary releases US$34.8 million to end polio worldwide

Posted on Feb 19, 2015
6-Feb-2015 News Release Contact: Petina Dixon-Jenkins, (847) 866-3054,

EVANSTON, Ill., USA (20 January 2015) — The continued fight to eradicate polio gets an additional $34.8 million boost from Rotary in support of immunization activities and research to be carried out by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The funds will be used by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for polio immunization, surveillance and research activities in ten countries, as well as to provide technical assistance to additional countries in Africa.
In 2014, the world saw significant progress against polio in most places. Nigeria – the last polio-endemic country in Africa – saw a nearly 90% reduction in cases in 2014 over 2013, with the last case recorded six months ago. In addition, more than half of the world’s polio cases in 2013 were the result of outbreaks in previously polio-free countries, largely caused by instability and conflict in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Somalia. These outbreaks appear to have been stopped in 2014 following special vaccination efforts in 11 countries, reaching more than 56 million children.
The exception to this progress was Pakistan, which saw an explosive outbreak which resulted in more than 300 cases in 2014, the highest number in the country in more than a decade. As a result, Pakistan accounted for almost 90% of the world’s cases in 2014. In 2015, Pakistan has the opportunity to reverse that trend and in doing so, help the world end polio forever.
The progress made against the disease in 2014, while significant, is fragile. Rotary’s funds will support efforts to end polio in the three countries where the disease has never been stopped: $8.1 million in Nigeria; $1.1 million in Pakistan and $6.7 million in Afghanistan.
Rotary releases US$34.8 million to end polio worldwide Craig Clarke 2015-02-20 00:00:00Z 0

Dragonboat Festival Society donates to Hospital & Hospice

Posted on Feb 07, 2015
  Save-On-Foods and the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival Society delivered $22,000 to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation to be put towards the purchase of a Breast MRI; offering progressive healthcare to Vancouver Island women.   Proud of our hardworking members Bob Lasota and Jim Turley for their contribution to the Dragon Boat festival. 
Dragonboat Festival Society donates to Hospital & Hospice Craig Clarke 2015-02-08 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary director Monty Jay Audenart dies January 21, 2015

Posted on Feb 03, 2015

Monty Jay Audenart

Born November 14, 1949, died January 21 2015 in Red Deer Alberta.  Monty joined Rotary in 1987, and served as Club President, District Governor, Rotary International Director and Vice-President, and a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation.
Click here to read obituary.
Rotary director Monty Jay Audenart dies January 21, 2015 Craig Clarke 2015-02-04 00:00:00Z 0

Promoting membership with new ideas, even some that challenge tradition

Posted on Jan 23, 2015


By Ryan Hyland, Rotary News 21-Jan-2015
Rotary member Michael McQueen, a bestselling author and founder of The Nexgen Group, talks to district governor-elects on 20 January about keeping Rotary relevant.
Photo Credit: Rotary International/Monika Lozinska
Strengthening Rotary's membership is not just important for incoming district governors, it's critical. That's the message they received from several key speakers at their training event, the 2015 International Assembly in San Diego.
For membership to grow, leaders must be willing, for example, to ease stringent club meeting protocols and make other efforts to accommodate a younger, digitally oriented demographic.
Seventy percent of Rotary members are 50 years or older, while half of the world's population is under 30, according to Rotary leaders. The contrast shouldn't be something to fear, but rather something to embrace, said Rotary member Michael McQueen, a bestselling author who studies social change, youth culture, and cultural issues and whose consulting firm, The Nexgen Group, specializes in demographic shifts and social trends.
To engage this young demographic, McQueen says that staying relevant is crucial. He shared three key ways that enduring organizations can do that: recalibrate, re-engineer, and reposition.
But relevance does not involve compromise, McQueen stressed; the values, priorities, and commitment of Rotary should never change. "Any organization that is willing to compromise its DNA in order to stay relevant never lasts. After all, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything," said McQueen, a member of the Rotary Club of Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia.
RI General Secretary John Hewko expressed a similar view when he addressed the assembly. He said it's clear that members have been able to accomplish a great deal, but asked what they are "willing to do" to make Rotary stronger.
"So I'm asking all of you, in the coming year, to be voices for doing everything we can in Rotary, not just everything that's comfortable or easy or the way things have always been done," he said. "Be advocates for thoughtful, positive, and lasting change. We have a great tradition in Rotary, but it's our tradition. We made it, we own it -- it doesn't own us; if it no longer serves its purpose, we can change it."
McQueen suggests adjusting some of the traditions, processes, and protocols that "could be the very things that cause us to lose relevance."
Promoting membership with new ideas, even some that challenge tradition Craig Clarke 2015-01-24 00:00:00Z 0

Gates 2015 annual letter

Posted on Jan 23, 2015
Bill & Melinda Gates released their annual letter.  In it they describe their bet that the next 15 years will be transformative for poor countries.
Click here to read it.
Gates 2015 annual letter Craig Clarke 2015-01-24 00:00:00Z 0
Literacy Nanaimo refurbishes computer hardware Craig Clarke 2015-01-23 00:00:00Z 0

WHO Director-General launches report on on global status of noncommunicable diseases

Posted on Jan 18, 2015
speech by Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization in Geneva, January 19, 2015.
...heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases are the biggest cause of premature mortality worldwide, with 82% of these deaths now occurring in low- and middle-income countries. The fact that most of these deaths could have been prevented sounds a loud and compelling call to action.
Since the start of this century, these diseases have become more prevalent. They have also become more democratic, driven as they are by universal pressures, like the global marketing of unhealthy products, rapid urbanization, and population ageing.
The marketing of unhealthy products, like cigarettes, alcohol, sugar-filled beverages, and foods that are rich in fat, sugar, and salt, is powerful and persuasive. Countering it needs attention and policies coming from the highest level of government.
Click here to read entire text on WHO site.
WHO Director-General launches report on on global status of noncommunicable diseases Craig Clarke 2015-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary's innovative tribute to Polio Eradication in India

Posted on Jan 09, 2015
By Adam Ross, Rotary News  8-JAN-2015
Participants organized by local Rotary members in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, gather to break the record for the world’s largest human national flag.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of I.S.A.K. Nazar, governor of District 3230 (India)
To eradicate polio in India, Rotary members displayed impressive coordination and commitment. So it should come as no surprise that Rotary members in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, were able to mobilize more than 40,000 people to create the world's largest human national flag. The tribute to the polio eradication effort qualified as a Guinness World Records-breaking achievement.
"What impressed me most was that all of Rotary was represented: Rotaractors, Interactors, and Rotarians," says RI President Gary C.K. Huang, who participated in the event along with his wife, Corinna, and other Rotary senior leaders. "They brought their classmates, friends, and co-workers. I think that says a lot about how important it is to the people that India is polio free."
Rotary's innovative tribute to Polio Eradication in India Craig Clarke 2015-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

What young professionals are looking for in Rotary

Posted on Jan 06, 2015

Posted on by

Rotary members who attended the Young Professional Summit 26-27 September.
Rotary members who attended the Young Professionals Summit 26-27 September.
By Chris Davidson, Rotary Club of Newport News, Virginia
I attended the first-ever Rotary Young Professionals Summit held in Chicago on 26-27 September, which gathered 30 Rotarians under the age of 40 to discuss how Rotary can better attract and engage young professionals.
The summit was a huge success and thoroughly captured the essence of what Millennials and members of Generation Y are looking for — mentorship, friendship, opportunities, and fun. One of my Rotary mentors, past RI Vice President Anne L. Matthews, who I had worked with on district membership projects, had encouraged me to apply.
Joining Rotary as a 32-year-old young professional was a life-changing event. I knew I wanted to develop my leadership skills and was looking for ways to meet influential members of my community. Once I was exposed to Rotary, I realized that the best way to develop relationships with successful people was to work alongside them in the service of others. One year after joining the Rotary Club of Newport News, I traveled to Zambia as part of a grant to build footbridges in remote “limited access” communities. Rotary offers so much to young people who have the desire to help others, make connections, and learn servant leadership in a world that desperately needs more of that.
What young professionals are looking for in Rotary Craig Clarke 2015-01-07 00:00:00Z 0

Lack of access to water can fuel conflict and even threaten peace and stability

Posted on Dec 29, 2014
by Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations.
The world is experiencing a surge of water-related crises.  The eastern basin of the Aral Sea dried up completely in August, for the first time in 600 years.  California has experienced an unprecedented three-year drought. Demographic changes and unsustainable economic practices are affecting the quality and quality of water at our disposal.
Click here to read the entire article at
Lack of access to water can fuel conflict and even threaten peace and stability Craig Clarke 2014-12-30 00:00:00Z 0
Don's images from Community Breakfast Craig Clarke 2014-12-18 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Peace Scholar has lived through two civil wars


Lyttelton Braima lived through two civil wars. Now the Duke graduate student advocates peace and respect for human rights around the globe through the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, one of six such centers worldwide designed to educate future leaders in the field of peace and conflict resolution.
Braima is one of 20 scholars currently pursuing master’s degrees on the Duke and UNC campuses through the peace fellows program. Hailing from 16 countries, these scholars are funded by the Rotary Foundation. Together they represent what Susan Carroll, assistant director of the center, calls “a mini United Nations—a little microcosm” of people who share an interest in national and international cooperation.
For Braima, that interest stemmed from personal hardships that led him, against all odds, to the Master of International Development Policy program at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. “My father was on the opposition side [of the Sierra Leone Civil War],” he said, recalling his childhood in the country. “He was hunted, and because they were hunting my father, they were also hunting us, the little kids.”
After fleeing to Liberia, a country experiencing its own civil war, Braima took refuge in books and in knowledge. Unable to attend school until age 11 because of the rheumatoid arthritis that attacked his joints and ligaments, Braima taught himself to read by listening to his brothers and sisters spell three-letter words aloud and by memorizing the sounds. In Liberia, Braima would eventually pursue an undergraduate degree in economics.
Rotary Peace Scholar has lived through two civil wars Craig Clarke 2014-12-10 00:00:00Z 0

A major breakthrough against polio

Posted on Nov 24, 2014
By Dan Nixon Rotary News  21-Nov-2014
A member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, immunizes children against polio at a camp for internally displaced persons in Waziristan. No type 3 polio has been reported in Pakistan -- or anywhere worldwide -- for more than two years.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi
Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are approaching a significant milestone: the eradication of type 3 wild poliovirus.
The last case of polio caused by the type 3 virus was reported in Yobe, Nigeria, on 10 November 2012.
"We may have eradicated a second of three; that's a major milestone," said Dr. Stephen Cochi, a senior adviser at the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking to the BBC.
Rotary has played an important role in bringing type 3 polio close to extinction. PolioPlus grants have provided key funding for surveillance, operational support, social mobilization, and technical assistance in the fight to eradicate polio, including type 3. And Rotary members have worked to change the minds of community leaders and parents who once refused to let children be immunized, including in the three remaining polio-endemic countries, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
A major breakthrough against polio 2014-11-25 00:00:00Z 0

Global grant approved for Sunyani Schools Project

Posted on Nov 04, 2014
by Bev Hilton
The global grant application submitted by the 5-club world community service alliance (Nanaimo Rotary Club, Nanaimo North Rotary Club, Lantzville Rotary Club, Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club, Nanaimo Oceanside Rotary Club)  has been approved.  Nanaimo Oceanside Club has taken the lead on this project.  The local partner is the Sunyani Central Rotary Club. 
The Global Grant is for US$66,500 US  ($71,500 CDN or 227,000 Ghana Cedi).
The project will replace roofs of the Nyamaa Kindergarten & Junior High school. It will construct a new 12-seater latrine at Kotokrom and provide for annual visits by trained nurses to teach a hygene class to the school. The dirt floor in a classroom at Kotokrom will be covered. Southridge Model school will receive a security fence similar to the Sunyani Municipal Primary School.  Surplus funds will be used to distribute malaria nets at one of the community hospitals.  Bids are underway, work should begin by mid month.
Thank you to your club for its support of the 5-club alliance and the Ghana projects.  While many projects are being carried out in areas to the south, it is important to retain our partnership with the Ghanaian Rotary clubs as the need of the people of Ghana is not any less important.
Global grant approved for Sunyani Schools Project Craig Clarke 2014-11-05 00:00:00Z 0

World Polio Day: Health officials laud polio eradication achievements, point to disease’s endgame

Posted on Oct 27, 2014
By Ryan Hyland  Rotary News  24-Oct-2014
Time magazine science and technology editor Jeffery Kluger (left) talks with James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist for the CDC as part of World Polio Day Friday night.
Photo Credit: Alyce Henson
After a year of shrinking polio cases worldwide, the crippling disease is now on the cusp of being eradicated, said top health officials at Rotary's second annual World Polio Day event on 24 October.
At a special Livestream program -- World Polio Day: Make History Today -- Rotary leaders joined global health experts and celebrity singers to hail the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. After nearly 30 years, the GPEI, which includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is on the brink of ending polio by 2018, making it the second infectious disease to be eradicated.
World Polio Day: Health officials laud polio eradication achievements, point to disease’s endgame Craig Clarke 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

World Polio Day October 24

Posted on Oct 23, 2014

Why Ending Polio Matters

Why ending polio matters
On World Polio Day, 24 October, Rotary will host a live-streamed event including an update on our campaign to eradicate polio. We are 99 percent of the way to ending this crippling disease. Learn why it is critical that we finish the job, and what you can do to help.
World Polio Day October 24 Craig Clarke 2014-10-24 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary’s response to Ebola outbreak

Posted on Oct 23, 2014

Rotary continues to follow the developments surrounding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and advice of the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our partners in international public health.

Strengthening the health infrastructure and supporting and sustaining the deployment of government health workers throughout these outbreak areas are greatly needed. Although Rotary has limited opportunities to respond at a corporate level, our strength as an organization is firmly rooted in the grassroots response of Rotary clubs and Rotarians.
Clubs around the world are creating or joining coalitions that are raising funds as well as purchasing and shipping safety equipment and supplies. If you want to let others know about your club project, you can post it on Rotary Ideas, Rotary’s crowdsourcing tool.  Club officers can request partners, online contributions, volunteers, and in-kind donations for their projects. While only Rotary projects can request resources, anyone – including the public – can visit the site and donate.
The Rotary Foundation continues to support long-term sustainable health care projects through global grants. Find out more.
Questions about contributing to Ebola relief efforts should be sent to
Rotary News
Rotary’s response to Ebola outbreak Craig Clarke 2014-10-24 00:00:00Z 0

Volunteers needed for PARTY program 2014_2015.

The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth) Program is a dynamic, interactive injury prevention program for teenagers. P.A.R.T.Y. was developed in 1986 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario, through a request from a group of youth. As of June 2012, there are over 100 sites around the world, seventy-two of which are operating in Canada, with the remainder of the sites in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Japan and Germany.
Patrick Maguire of Daybreak Rotary Club [] is coordinating volunteers for the program in Nanaimo.  If somebody is going to go more than once, they should register as a volunteer with the hospital and they can get a parking pass; Patrick can help with this.
Up to four volunteers requested for each PARTY session, please. That’s four for the morning and four for the afternoon, or four for the whole day! If you can do the whole day, please sign in for both sessions. Name and Phone #, Please and Thank you!
9:00 – 12:30
11:00 – 2:30
October 1
October 22
November 5
November 19
December 3
January 15
March 4
April 1
April 22
May 6
May 20
Volunteers needed for PARTY program 2014_2015. 2014-10-22 00:00:00Z 0

World Food Day October 16

Posted on Oct 13, 2014
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations marks World Food Day each year on 16 October, the day on which FAO was founded in 1945.  World Food Day was first held on 16 Oct 1981.
The 2014 World Food Day theme - Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth” - has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
World Food Day October 16 Craig Clarke 2014-10-14 00:00:00Z 0

Vital Signs Report released in Nanaimo

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 09, 2014
The Vital Signs report by the Nanaimo Community Foundation was released October 7th.
Click here to download the report.
There were 27 Vital Signs reports across Canada.
Click here to go to the Vital Signs Canada page with links to other reports
Vital Signs Report released in Nanaimo Craig Clarke 2014-10-10 00:00:00Z 0

Managing the effects of Japan's triple disaster

Posted on Oct 07, 2014

Mending the lingering effects of Japan’s triple disaster

Mourner prays at the memorial for students and teachers of the Elementary School of Okawa in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, 11 September 2011Photo Credit: Rotary International/Alyce Henson
More than three years after an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster triggered widespread devastation in Japan, the physical scars are beginning to mend. Debris has been removed. Coastal communities are being rebuilt. Farming and fishing have resumed, and thousands of people have moved in to new housing.
But the Rotary Clubs of Koriyama West, Japan, and Englewood, New Jersey, USA, are concerned with the emotional and psychological impact caused by the triple disaster, known in Japan as 3/11, which claimed more than 19,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
In a country that prides itself on stoicism, it is difficult for survivors to seek and accept mental health care. "We believe that the first step to overcome the grief is to be able to talk about what they're going through and share their personal experiences," says Englewood club member Ikuyo Yanagisawa.
With a Rotary global grant, the clubs purchased mobile video conference equipment for four mental health clinics in areas most affected by the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis. These tools now connect mental health care providers in Japan with trauma experts at the Arnhold Global Health Institute in New York City, where psychologists treated survivors and witnesses of the September 11 attacks.
Managing the effects of Japan's triple disaster 2014-10-08 00:00:00Z 0

Why social media can't be left to the PR director

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

Posted on by

A social media post is like a stone skipping across a pond. Each comment or retweet makes new ripples.
A social media post is like a stone skipping across a pond. Each comment or retweet makes new ripples.
By Kate McKenzie, Rotary Club of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
I have often met Rotary leaders who have nodded thoughtfully when I have explained the benefits of social media and then said “I will get my PR director to do that.” Although it is important to have division of labor and leaders with the right skills concentrating on the right tasks, social media doesn’t work if it is the sole responsibility of one person alone.
In order for something to be social, more than one person has to participate. Of course, not everyone has the confidence to be the main content creator and it is important that the person responsible for managing the club or district pages is able to create the right tone and use their creativity to attract the public’s attention. It can be a very lonely task, however, if that creativity goes unnoticed and unsupported by fellow club members.
Social media works as a PR tool because likes, shares, and comments spread the original message beyond the creator’s own immediate network and into the networks of friend’s friends. If I have 100 friends, and 20 friends like, share, comment on, or retweet my post, that will have a greater impact than if only two friends did the same.
Stone Skipping
I often use the analogy of stone skimming or stone skipping, where the stone is a post or update and the Web is the pond. If a post doesn’t receive any likes, comments, retweets, and shares, then it drops straight to the bottom of the Web never to be seen again. Each like, comment, retweet, and share helps the post to travel just that little bit further and each splash can attract the attention of new people as it makes it’s way across the Internet.
Rotary clubs and districts can make the most of the talents of their enthusiastic and creative marketing/PR directors by empowering them to be the key content creator, while also ensuring that it is the responsibility of all members to be content sharers.
Another example is events. Have you ever walked past an empty restaurant and decided not to go in? The same thing happens for Facebook events — people don’t join events that look empty. If you receive an invitation from your club or district, respond to it. If you can’t attend, invite your other friends before you decline but also leave a short note expressing your regrets and encouraging others to join the fun.
To build your confidence in sharing content, log into the system and observe what other people do. Ask questions in the Rotarians on Social Networks Fellowship member groups (it’s free to join). Keep your comments positive and always apply The Four Way Test. Set yourself a goal of logging in and responding to event invites and sharing club news at least once a week. Or invest in a smartphone so you can do it on the move.
Your PR director will be much happier, but more importantly your network is likely to become more aware of and engaged in your Rotary activities and over the medium to long term this will convert to new members, funds, and support.
140922_mckenzie2About the author: Kate McKenzie is club secretary of the Rotary Club of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia, and conference chair for District 9675. She is a member of the Rotarians on Social Networks Fellowship.
Why social media can't be left to the PR director Craig Clarke 2014-09-26 00:00:00Z 0

Polio remains a public health emergency

Posted on Aug 11, 2014
On 31 July, the World Health Organization confirmed that polio remains a public health emergency of international concern. The decision means recommendations on travel from polio-impacted countries will remain in place, protecting the initiative's overall gains in the fight against polio. These recommendations are as important as ever with the WHO facing another public health emergency in the Ebola outbreak.
Polio remains a public health emergency 2014-08-12 00:00:00Z 0

Symphony in the Harbor 2014

Posted on Aug 09, 2014
                 Tenor Ken Lavigne & conductor Calvin Dyck 
Jim Turley coordinated our volunteer effort including set-up, collecting donations and clean-up after the concert.  The perfect weather attracted a large audience.
Symphony in the Harbor 2014 2014-08-10 00:00:00Z 0

News from Etta Projects

Posted on Jul 27, 2014
Persistence thru the Rain
Each day starts with an assessment of the weather forecast. How far out can we go? How much do we push to get to a village? Is there another route? How do we get to our work today? When the work is in remote rural Bolivia, traveling to work may be slow, but it is possible, at least until the asphalt ends. The rainy season usually lasts until the end of March or at the very latest the end of April, but not this year. Even as I write this on July 23, we are worried about rain tonight.  We sent staff into the field  as far as 8 hours away this morning to train villagers and monitor water systems. We have one staff member out with a large truck delivering supplies into villages for construction of Eco Latrines. Hopefully they will all make it back before the rain starts. Looking out the window seem to always be an anxiety-provoking experience. We cross our fingers and pray a lot.
I want to point out that our staff is out there doing this work that sometimes seems impossible. They are persistent and committed to getting our projects on the ground up and going. They negotiate, plan, leave at the crack of dawn, walk thru mud, water and lord only knows what else. They get to the river that we usually can cross in a 4-wheel drive truck. Then they park, take a canoe, and hitch a  ride with a motorcycle on the other side to make sure they are in the village to complete a hygiene training. I am constantly humbled by their dedication to get these projects done.
We thank each of you for funding this work and we want you to know that despite the rain we still plan to build 51 ecological composting latrines;  train health promoters in 11 villages; monitor all past water, sanitation and health projects; and continue the safe water & hygiene training for four villages who received their systems last year. Our dedication and persistence is only matched by your belief in and support of what we do.
Thanks for being a part of our TEAM!  
We relish your written or verbal comments and we will never say no to financial input to the team cash flow!  GO TEAM!!
Deciding point, turn back or try?Deciding to walk it with a toilet insert! Go Edith & Ben! 
 And this is why...
News from Etta Projects Craig Clarke 2014-07-28 00:00:00Z 0
How to share Rotary with images on Social Media Craig Clarke 2014-07-27 00:00:00Z 0

Youth exchange year opened her eyes

Posted on Jul 21, 2014

My Rotary Youth Exchange — this year has opened my eyes

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 I did not know. Leaving behind family, friends, and most of what was familiar.
Youth exchange year opened her eyes cra 2014-07-22 00:00:00Z 0

Meet Rotary's new president Gary C K Huang

Posted on Jul 08, 2014

by Susie Ma

Rotary’s new president, Gary C.K. Huang, shows us the meaning behind the family of Rotary.

Gary Huang played a lot of sports when he was younger, but basketball was his favorite. He was captain and point guard of his high school team. “I’m not tall, but I was quick.” He flashes a grin. “I knew how to move the ball and set my team up to win.” That was decades ago, but whether in basketball, business, or Rotary, moving the ball continues to be Huang’s game. He likes action and progress. He relishes a challenge. When the Rotary Club of Taipei told him he was too young to be a member, he persisted, attending every meeting for nine months until he hooked an invitation at age 30. Since then, he has not stopped moving forward. Five years after joining Rotary, Huang became club president. Then he became Taiwan’s youngest district governor, first RI director, and first Rotary Foundation trustee. This month, he becomes the first Chinese president of Rotary International.
Huang was born in Fujian, a province in southern China. He is the third child of seven. Like many others, his family fled China during the civil war, unhappy with the communists who were taking over the country. The family settled in Taiwan in 1947, when Huang was one year old.
Huang’s parents pushed him to excel in school, but they also believed that grades were not the only things that were important. “My father used to say to me that getting B’s was OK, but I had to participate in activities and join clubs. He said that would help me in the future,” Huang recalls.
Although Huang’s father was not a Rotarian, he instilled similar ideals of service in his son. Helping others, his father said, would help him learn how to be a leader. As a result, Huang was president of his high school class. Besides playing basketball, he played soccer, ran track and, at the urging of his mother, participated in (and often won) speech competitions. He also led the daily morning pep rallies at his school for six years. “My father was happy I did those things,” Huang says. “Every time there was a school celebration, no matter how busy he was, he would always attend.”
After high school and two years of serving in the military, Huang moved to Michigan to attend the University of Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti. He recalls those years with fondness, remembering how clean and wide-open the Midwest felt to a city boy from Taipei. He lived with an American family, who gave him the name Gary because they liked the actor Gary Cooper. He worked through school at a gas repair company, where he started at $1.25 an hour and ended at $4.75 a few years later. When he graduated with a business degree in 1971, he was so happy, he bought himself a graduation ring. “It was the first, most expensive thing I’d bought with my own money, so I wear it all the time,” he says.
But his education was far from over. Huang’s father was president of an insurance company in Taiwan and wanted his son to be well prepared for a career in the same field. Huang went on to graduate school at New York University and spent time in England, Switzerland, Germany, and Japan, learning about the insurance business and making international connections. Years later, Huang would again be making connections all over the world as RI president.
Huang returned to Taiwan to work for a small insurance firm, which over the next 15 years he built into one of the largest in the industry. He made one agreement with his chairman: that he had to be able to fit Rotary into his busy schedule. “I wanted to continue my work in Rotary no matter what,” he says.
When Huang began to experience success in his profession and in Rotary, his mother kept him grounded, something she still does at the age of 95. “I know she is proud of me,” he says. “But no matter how successful I am, she never praises me.”
Meet Rotary's new president Gary C K Huang Craig Clarke 2014-07-09 00:00:00Z 0

Energy for the Poor - Powering the Fight against poverty

Posted on Jun 25, 2014
BY BILL GATES   ON JUNE 25, 2014  [from the blog of Bill Gates]
For years, I took energy for granted. There’s no telling how many times I walked into my office, flipped a light switch, and powered up a PC without thinking at all about the magic of getting electricity any time I wanted it. But then I started traveling to poor and middle-income countries, and I had a very different experience.
I remember going to Buenos Aires and seeing where the government had run big wires to distribute electricity. But people couldn’t afford it, so they tapped their own power cables into the government’s and stole the electricity. This is a very common experience—according to the United Nations, some 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity, and a billion more only have access to unreliable electricity networks. I’ve talked to women in rural Africa who spent hours every day hauling wood so they could cook food and light their homes. Others buy fuel to run a generator, which pumps out pollutants that cause asthma and lung cancer and, at 25 cents per kilowatt-hour, is more than twice as expensive as what the average American homeowner pays for electricity. Another example of the high cost of being poor.
Infographic: How Much Energy Does the Average U.S. Refrigerator Use? | The Blog of Bill Gates
Here is a picture of some students in Conakry, Guinea. They’re studying under street lamps, because they don’t have reliable lights at home. This is one of the most vivid examples of life without electricity at home that I’ve seen.
Students in Guinea Study Under Streetlights
Think about what it has meant to America to have access to affordable, reliable energy. Electricity powers the streetlights that make our cities far safer than they were a century ago. The American construction industry never would have taken off if we didn’t have lots of affordable energy for making cement and steel. Our farmers became much more productive when they replaced their plows and oxen with tractors—but only because they had fuel to run these new machines. The historian Vaclav Smil found that in the 20th century the average American’s energy use jumped roughly 60-fold. At the same time, the price we pay for electricity fell by roughly 98 percent.
That’s why I think any anti-poverty agenda has to look at giving more people access to affordable energy. For countries to lift themselves out of poverty, they need lights in schools so students can study when it’s dark out. Refrigerators in health clinics to keep vaccines cold. Pumps to irrigate farmland and provide clean water.
In the rich world, we are right to worry about conserving energy, but in poor places, people needmore energy.
There is also a demand side to this equation. As people get richer, they want more energy-consuming goods, like computers and refrigerators, and energy-hungry services like health care. We’ve seen it already in Brazil, India, China, and other countries, and it’s a trend that will continue well into the future. The U.S. government estimates that the world’s energy needs will increase by more than 50 percent by 2040, but I think it could go even higher as the global population grows and incomes continue to rise. We want to provide this energy as efficiently as possible, but that’s no reason to deny the poor access to the services that rich countries enjoy.
What about climate change?
It’s a huge problem, one of the biggest we face today. The more energy we produce with today’s technology, the more carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere. While there is some uncertainty about the exact impact, there is nearly universal scientific agreement that these effects will be bad. And they will be worst for the poorest people on earth, who have done the least to cause the problem. Energy can’t just be affordable—it also has to be clean.
That’s why it’s so important for the United States and other rich countries to invest more in research into clean energy. A few years ago, I shared a few thoughts on this subject in a TED talk about developing energy sources that produce zero carbon. And I’m investing in a number of projects to develop cleaner, more affordable sources of energy. I hope to have more to share about them as they move through the R&D cycle.
These days, I don’t take energy for granted. I know what a difference it can make in the lives of the poorest, and I’m committed to helping them get it.
Energy for the Poor - Powering the Fight against poverty Craig Clarke 2014-06-26 00:00:00Z 0

Club receives Rotary International Significant Achievement Award

Posted on Jun 19, 2014
Our club has received received the Rotary International Significant Achievement Award 2013/14 for our community breakfast program!
Letter from RI President Ron Burton .
Certificate signed by President Ron Burton and District Governor Pete Taylor
Club receives Rotary International Significant Achievement Award Craig Clarke 2014-06-20 00:00:00Z 0

Hul'qumi'num Books

Posted by Bill Robinson on Jun 13, 2014
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The club recently voted to print 100 copies (3 classroom sets plus 10 spared) of each of the books pictured here. They will be used by the three Hul’qumi’num teachers in SD68 each of whom rotate through a number of classrooms.  All three have seen sample copies of the books and are excited to be able to begin using them starting next September.
The SD68 Multicultural and Race Relations Committee, chaired by member Bill Robinson, a trustee, is working to introduce more Hul’qumi’num language and culture into the district’s schools through introducing more Hul’qumi’num signage and verbal language into the day to day experience of students. Our club has also provided volunteers at two Truth and Reconciliation events this year, which has helped to move this goal forward.
Hul'qumi'num Books Bill Robinson 2014-06-14 00:00:00Z 0

Derek helping organize Symphony Concert in the Park

'Looking for last minute Sponsorship for the "Concert in the Park" produced by VIS Concert Master Calvin Dyck which will be held Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 6pm.
Seeking those who are not already supporting the VIS. We need to know by the end of May in time to get complete recognition.
Contact Derek Rickwood, 250-616-1158
Derek helping organize Symphony Concert in the Park 2014-05-23 00:00:00Z 0

Turkish project creates cookbook for the visually impaired

By Arnold R. Grahl     Rotary News     16-May-2014
         A participant receives instruction chopping ingredients during a cooking course for the visually impaired in Izmir, Turkey.   Photo Credit: Figen Ertas
A woman with a black apron is stirring tomatoes into a pan of vegetables in Bursa, Turkey. Visually impaired, she is being helped by an assistant, who is a spouse of a Turkish Rotary member.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, other cooks and Rotary spouses are preparing meatballs, slicing and peeling eggplants, and measuring out cookie dough. At a table in an adjacent dining area, a man is reading a recipe from a Braille cookbook.
The cookbook, "Good Smells From the Kitchen," has enabled many members of the Library of Turkey for the Visually Disabled to enter the kitchen with new confidence.
"For the first time I made lentil meatballs," says Sϋheyla Karayalçin, a book recipient. "I had never done it before. I let others taste it, it was nice. I am very excited to have a special recipe book for us [people with visual impairments]."
The activity is part of a project by Rotary members in western Turkey, who have partnered with the library to produce the country's first cookbook for the visually impaired, printed in Braille and recorded on audio CD. Several dozen copies of the book have rolled off the library's presses and have been recorded in the library's studio, and given free to library members. Additional copies are printed as Rotary members secure funding and line up new sponsors.
Turkish project creates cookbook for the visually impaired 2014-05-17 00:00:00Z 0

Peace Corps and Rotary kickoff historic collaboration

Posted on May 08, 2014
In an effort to promote global development and volunteer service, Rotary and Peace Corps have agreed to participate in a one-year pilot program in the Philippines, Thailand, and Togo.
Under the agreement, Rotary clubs and Peace Corps volunteers are encouraged to share their resources and knowledge to boost the impact of development projects in these three countries.
Opportunities for collaboration include supporting community projects, training, networking, and community education. Through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, Rotary clubs can continue to provide small grants to support volunteers and their communities.


Peace Corps and Rotary kickoff historic collaboration Craig Clarke 2014-05-09 00:00:00Z 0
Video update from Disaster Aid International craig 2014-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

District Conference at Whistler

Posted by Craig Clarke
About 350 delegates participated in the District Conference in Whistler last weekend.  The conference was held simultaneously with that of D5050.  Past RI President Kalyan Banerjee attended on behalf of RI President Ron Burton; he thanked us for our support of the Rotary Foundation.  
I learned that our district is the largest in the Americas, the largest international district and 7th largest in the world.  The Honourable Steven Point and Robert Blacker described the Write to Read literacy project  which brings libraries to isolated communities in BC. Steven Solomon & Jean Irwin spoke about the benefits of the ambassadorial scholarship program.
One of the functions of the conference was to recognize clubs for their accomplishments during the year.  Our club won an award for increasing membership - well done!
On Sunday morning, the final breakfast plenary was held with both districts combined.  It turned out that both Pete Taylor & DG Denis Boyd of 5050 worked in radio early in their careers.  
Norm Watts introduced the 2015 Conference which will be held in Nanaimo from June 19-21 next year.  Norm was asked by incoming DG Michael Procter to chair next year's conference, returning the favour for Michael who chaired the conference when Norm was DG.
District Conference at Whistler Craig Clarke 2014-05-05 00:00:00Z 0

Protect our planet through Rotary

From providing clean water to planting trees, Rotary supports the environment
On Earth Day 22 April, leaders around the globe mobilized people to create a sustainable, healthy environment by greening communities. The Environmental Fellowship of Rotarians and the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group are two groups committed to helping our environment. Learn more about Rotary's work, and find out how you can help.
Protect our planet through Rotary 2014-04-25 00:00:00Z 0

World's Biggest Commercial Finale

More than 90,000 people from 170 countries have added their photo to Rotary’s World’s Biggest Commercial, a digital campaign to support the fight to end polio. Celebrities and others across the globe uploaded a photo of themselves doing the “this close” pose to the campaign website. Each photo was added to an ever-expanding online web-based video with the likes of notable figures including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bill Gates, Archie Panjabi, Jackie Chan and others. The resulting video has grown to over three hours long! 
Click here to go to story on RI website.
World's Biggest Commercial Finale 2014-04-25 00:00:00Z 0


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Rotary's IT staff is looking into the impact of the Heartbleed bug on our website. We are proactively working with our partners to identify and to resolve any vulnerabilities within, and will share those findings with members as soon as we have completed our investigation. Check back often to receive the latest information and/or next steps.

The Heartbleed bug, a major Internet security vulnerability, was discovered Monday, 7 April. To learn more about the bug and what it means to you, read Heartbleed Bug: What Can You Do? on the Krebs on Security blog.
The following websites have confirmed that they were potentially vulnerable to the bug. If you have an account on any of these sites, we suggest that you change your password.
• Amazon
• Dropbox
• Facebook
• Flickr
• Google (all Google services, including Gmail and Google Drive)
• Newton
• Qualtrics
• SurveyMonkey
• Vimeo
• Wordpress
• Yahoo
• YouTube
If you have any questions or concerns about the Heartbleed bug, please reach out to Rotary's Contact Center.

OECD Announcement on Global Transparency of Financial Information

Posted by craig clarke on Apr 11, 2014
Offshore tax evasion remains a serious problem for countries and jurisdictions worldwide, with vast amounts of funds deposited abroad and sheltered from taxation when taxpayers fail to comply with obligations in their home countries. 
Responding to a mandate from G20 leaders to reinforce action against tax avoidance and evasion and inject greater trust and fairness into the international tax system, the OECD has unveiled today a new single global standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities worldwide.
OECD Announcement on Global Transparency of Financial Information craig clarke 2014-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Successful Reconciliation & Dialogue Workshop held March 27, 28

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 27, 2014

by Bill Robinson, one of the event organizers.

Thanks to the ten Rotarians and one spouse who volunteered to help set up and take down tables and chairs for the Reconciliation and Dialogue Workshop. The work was light and easy but the event itself was “heavy” in a most positive way.

Most of us feel that we are aware of the inter-generational impact Residential Schools have had but when you get to hear stories from Residential School survivors, especially the one who talk about the impact the sexual abuse he experience has had not only on himself  but his children and grandchildren, we understand the impact at a much deeper level.

Every one of our volunteers talked about the impact the experience had on them personally. Agreeing to take on this volunteer assignment was definitely a win/win opportunity for us.

Several of us are hoping that we can arrange to have one of the survivors speak to our club in the near future.


Click here to go to article in Nanaimo Daily News about the student session on Thursday.

Successful Reconciliation & Dialogue Workshop held March 27, 28 Craig Clarke 2014-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Presentations March 25 2014

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 24, 2014


  Bill, Bob M., Bob L. & Joan Ethier with Paul Harris awards presented by Colin.  Photo by Don Dempson.



   Doug & Don with speaker Bill Tuele.



Paul Harris Presentations March 25 2014 Craig Clarke 2014-03-25 00:00:00Z 0

Rotaractors organize successful conferences in India and Uganda

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 22, 2014

By Daniela Garcia  Rotary News  19-Mar-2014 


Rotaractors at the Presidential New Generations Conference in Chennai, India, organized the world’s biggest high-five. A total of 7,084 people participated in the challenge, which was recognized by Guinness World Records.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ramkumar Raju

Ramkumar Raju of India and Winfred Karungi of Uganda have never met, but they have a great deal in common. They're both Rotaract club members and district Rotaract representatives. They're also promising young community leaders who helped plan successful Presidential New Generations Conferences in their countries.

Rotary International President Ron Burton hosted the conferences, which were held in Chennai in October and Kampala in November. (A third conference took place in Rosario, Argentina, in March.) The goal of these international conferences was to bring together young community leaders and Rotary members to share ideas for attracting new members and engaging young people.

Raju, a member of the Madras Central Rotaract club, and Karungi, a member of the Kampala City club, were asked by Rotarians in their areas to be part of the conference planning committee. Both describe the experience as a great learning opportunity. "I learned decision making and communication skills, how to be a team player and handle crucial situations, and last but not least, I learned the power of Rotary," Raju says.

Karungi says she also improved her relationships with Rotary members in her country and learned that "with proper planning, anything can be executed, even a task as great as organizing a conference, a service project, or a dinner for President Burton."

Improving their communities

Each conference included a community service component. Rotaractors in India chose projects that focused on education and disease prevention. They collected thousands of donated books, which will be used to establish libraries in rural areas. They also collected more than 300 units of blood, held a rubella awareness camp hosted by a panel of local doctors, and offered free vaccinations.

In Uganda, Rotaract members also focused their efforts on fighting preventable diseases and promoting child and maternal health. Working alongside community leaders, they organized a hand washing campaign and classes on soap making, distributed mosquito nets to children and expectant mothers, held blood drives, and offered cervical cancer screenings.

"We formed committees to identify a suitable Rotaract community project that President Burton could visit and worked to get at least 1,000 young people to attend the conference. We ended up with almost 3,000 attendees," Karungi says.

Guinness World Record

Rotaractors in India took time out from their humanitarian projects to take on another global challenge, breaking a Guinness World Record. Raju and his fellow Rotaractors organized the "world's biggest high-five." A total of 7,084 people participated in the challenge, which was recognized by Guinness World Records in the category Largest Human Image of a Hand. He says the hand served as a symbol of their theme for the year: Let's Be the Change.

"We have always had this dream of breaking a Guinness World Record but didn't have the funding," Raju says. "I.S.A.K. Nazar (District 3230 governor-elect from Chennai) proposed that we attempt it. With the help of Rotary, all the guidelines were met and we received the certification that we are officially amazing."

Although they didn't break any world records in Kampala, Karungi says that talking with President Burton was the highlight of the conference for her. "I was able to hear his views about Rotary and how young people can make an impact in their communities," she says.

In a speech to conference attendees, Karungi shared her transformation into a young professional eager to serve her local community through Rotaract. "Visit a Rotary club today, and stand a chance to be transformed in ways that you could never imagine your life could be."

Click here to read Raju's blog post from the conference

Rotaractors organize successful conferences in India and Uganda Craig Clarke 2014-03-23 00:00:00Z 0

Adaptation to climate change in Tanzania

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 14, 2014


                     Ohio Rotary member Amy Kaspar and science teacher Bartholomew Meena embrace during Kaspar’s visit to Tanzania in 2009. The meeting sparked a service project that is educating villagers near Mount Kilimanjaro how to adapt to climate change.


Littered with old National Geographic magazines, a model volcano, and a solar cooker, Bartholomew Meena’s crammed science room in Machame, Tanzania, captured Amy Kaspar’s heart at first glance.

“He created all the science projects we had from our childhood in one room,” recalls Kaspar, a former Rotary Scholar who’s now a member of the Rotary Club of Capital Square in Ohio. Within those projects, she saw Meena’s passion for his environment and a wealth of unexplored opportunities, particularly the chance to collaborate and study the environmental impact of Mount Kilimanjaro’s melting glaciers.

“I had attended several lectures recently at Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center,” Kaspar says. “The thought hit me, shouldn’t the people who live around the mountain know about what is happening and prepare for the changes?”

Kaspar spent the next four years connecting Meena with the center, which has been doing cutting edge climate change research. Kaspar’s desire to help Machame matched the center’s goal of providing more research to local communities where it could do more good. And by utilizing Rotary’s network, she was able to bring Rotary members in Ohio and Machame into the collaboration.

Together, they would teach communities at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro how to adapt to the changing temperatures and precipitation patterns.

“Tanzania is an area where we haven’t been able to give back as much,” says Jason Cervenac, educational outreach coordinator for the Byrd center, “and an educational initiative seemed to be an obvious approach.”

The center is also providing Meena with material to write a new curriculum in Swahili, which Rotary members will help publish, distribute, and promote. Additional plans are in the works to use posters to educate the community, hold seminars and community workshops, and fund study exchanges between Tanzania and Ohio.

None of this would have been possible without the Rotary infrastructure, Kaspar says.

“It’s all about the personal relationships you establish,” she adds. “Rotary has changed who I am, and now I want to do what I can to help change the lives of others for the better.”

Kaspar’s path to Rotary began in 1993,when she studied architecture and international development at Oxford Brooks University in Oxford, England, through a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship. There she met her host family, Jane and Peter Jones of the Rotary Club of Haddenham and District.

“Amy arrived in a wheelchair with a bicycle. Need I say more?” says Jane, who with her husband has hosted more than 20 scholars. “We found it difficult to control her exuberance and enthusiasm and keep her plans grounded, but that isn’t a criticism.”

The Jones family invited Kaspar to attend club activities and take part in service projects. A decade later, they put her in touch with Rotary members in Tanzania, where she would go on to work with the relatively new Rotary Club of Machame.

“I’m here today because my host dad in England would never let me off the hook and always made sure I got involved in stuff,” she says. “Service is now a part of who I am. It’s a part of my genetic makeup.”

Adaptation to climate change in Tanzania Craig Clarke 2014-03-15 00:00:00Z 0

National Geographic produced 4 different plots of global carbon footprints

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 08, 2014

Global carbon footprints are shown as current emissions, per capita emissions, emissions intensity per unit of GDP, and cumulative emissions.

Click here  to see the maps.

We map the starkly different views of the climate crisis that have led to stalemate in our newly revised interactive, Four Ways to Look at Global Carbon Footrpints.  (See related “Quiz: What You Don’t Know About Climate Change Science.”)

Our map zeroes in on just a small number of nations–14–but they happen to be responsible for 80 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. The numbers come from the World Resources Institute’s excellent climate data navigator, CAIT 2.0, one of the few data sources that enables apples-to-apples comparisons of emissions from around the world.

Each of the four viewpoints in our map is accurate, as far as it goes. But each alone is inadequate. Like the legendary blind men surveying the elephant, nations that contemplate the massive global warming problem from only one vantage point will end up groping at a portion of the truth and griping at each other, missing the whole picture. (See related, “Q&A With Philippines Climate Envoy Who’s Fasting After Super Typhoon Haiyan.”)

For the United States and most other industrialized nations, the operative view is “Current Emissions,” and the alarming reality that China’s carbon output has grown more than 40 percent, and India’s, by 25 percent, since our last version of the map, based on 2005 data. (See related “Pictures: A Rare Look Inside China’s Energy Machine.”) Any treaty that is designed like the Kyoto accord, with binding carbon emissions cuts only for the richest countries, will fail to stem the rising threat of Asia’s rapidly mounting emissions.

The U.S. and Europe often point to the climate progress they’ve made by focusing on what we call “Intensity,” on our map, their relatively low greenhouse gas emissions per unit of economic output. Indeed, carbon intensity has fallen dramatically in wealthy nations over the past few decades. But no nation is an island, and these efficiency improvements are in part because energy-intensive manufacturing has moved to the developing world, often to make goods that are being shipped, bought and consumed in the developed world. And even if all nations were reducing their intensity, it would matter little if absolute emissions are rising at their current rate.

Developing nations frequently rebuff calls that they face binding emissions cuts, pointing to their low “Per Capita” emissions, compared to the giant footprint of the United States and other wealthy countries. Several years ago, India in particular made relatively low per capita emissions the cornerstone of its climate policy, but the trends here too are alarming. India’s per capita carbon emissions are up 12 percent since our previous map, China’s are up 40 percent and now nearly on par with those of Europe. The atmosphere will be overwhelmed if per capita emissions continue to grow at this rate in nations with large and growing populations, and yet these countries still face the very real and necessary challenge of extending electricity to millions of people living in poverty and without access to the grid. (See “Related: Five Surprising Facts About Energy Poverty.”)

But most of the debate in Warsaw has centered around the title on our map called “Cumulative Emissions.” When measured since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere by the United States and Europe far surpass those of any single developing nation. If, as the scientists now say, the world has a limited “carbon budget” and more than half of it already has been spent, developing nations point out that the United States and Europe have burned up more than their fair shares of fossil fuel on their paths to economic progress.

Cumulative emissions are about more than emissions, they are now about money. Wealthy nations have long promised to establish a fund to bolster the defenses of those at the greatest risk of sea level rise and extreme weather. Developing countries now want to see that funding plus an additional mechanism for the nations with the largest cumulative emissions to compensate the poorer, vulnerable nations for “loss and damage” due to climate events. They could point to one example playing out in real time, the tragedy unfolding in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan.

But cumulative emissions, too, are changing. Just prior to the Warsaw talks, the United Nations Environmental Program released its “emissions gap” report, showing how nations’ current commitments on climate change fall well short of what’s needed to curb the risk of catastrophic global warming. UNEP noted that until about the year 2000, it was clear that the wealthy nations’ historic emissions far outweighed those of the poor countries. Since then, emissions have grown so rapidly in the developing world since then that the balance has changed significantly. Now, developed nations and developing nations’ share roughly 50-50 responsibility for the atmosphere’s cumulative carbon load since 1850.

Recent research on cumulative emissions cited by the UN, by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency,  shows how tricky a single viewpoint of emissions can be. Some have suggested for example, discounting some past emissions to account for technological progress. The authors point out that the United Kingdom, for instance, had a long history of high emissions due to the use of inefficient steam engines. But nations developing today don’t need to repeat that history; they can employ much more advanced technologies and emit far less carbon for the same level of economic output.

Another way to look at cumulative emissions, the authors point out, is to grant each nation a “deduction,” so to speak, for “basic needs.” In this approach, nations would not be held responsible for the carbon emissions necessary to meet the basic needs of their people.

Discounting past emissions to account for technological progress would tend to lessen responsibility for wealthy nations, while deductions for “basic needs” would lessen the pressure on poorer and developing nations. But the recent research on cumulative emissions underscores the point of our interactive map, the importance of looking at the world’s climate crisis globally and from many different points of view, and not just from the poor frame of reference circumscribed by any one nation’s borders.

National Geographic produced 4 different plots of global carbon footprints Craig Clarke 2014-03-09 00:00:00Z 0

Plan Canada Celebrates International Women's Day

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 06, 2014

CANADA, March 6, 2013  Recognizing Canadian women who are working to empower the next generation of women and girls

CANADA, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Friday March 8 is International Women's Day, a day to recognize and celebrate women around the world. This year, Plan Canada is applauding the achievements of Canadian women who give their time and expertise to help inspire women in Canada and globally through philanthropic initiatives.

International Women's Day is an opportunity to focus on the importance of the world's girls and women. Canadian women recognize that many girls and women around the world face significant challenges and barriers, such as barriers to education or employment, simply because of their gender. Supporting girls and women around the world is key to transforming lives. Plan Canada recognizes that by investing in girls we can support a generation of empowered women, mothers, workers and leaders. These women will improve the lives of everyone around them and in turn lift families, communities and entire nations out of poverty.

"We need to continue to address barriers and discrimination that women face," says Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada. "There are many Canadian women who understand this need and give selflessly to help spread the message about the power of girls and women, and help to make real change. On this International Women's Day we celebrate these Canadian women."

Click here to read full story.
Plan Canada Celebrates International Women's Day Craig Clarke 2014-03-07 00:00:00Z 0

World Health Organization guidelines on sugar consumption

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 04, 2014

5 March 2014 | GENEVA - WHO is launching a public consultation on its draft guideline on sugars intake. When finalized, the guideline will provide countries with recommendations on limiting the consumption of sugars to reduce public health problems like obesity and dental caries (commonly referred to as tooth decay).

Comments on the draft guideline will be accepted via the WHO web site from 5 through 31 March 2014. Anyone who wishes to comment must submit a declaration of interests. An expert peer-review process will happen over the same period. Once the peer-review and public consultation are completed, all comments will be reviewed, the draft guidelines will be revised if necessary and cleared by WHO’s Guidelines Review Committee before being finalized.

New draft guideline proposals

WHO’s current recommendation, from 2002, is that sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake per day. The new draft guideline also proposes that sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake per day. It further suggests that a reduction to below 5% of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits. Five per cent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI).

The suggested limits on intake of sugars in the draft guideline apply to all monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) that are added to food by the manufacturer, the cook or the consumer, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates.

Much of the sugars consumed today are “hidden” in processed foods that are not usually seen as sweets. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4 grams (around 1 teaspoon) of sugars. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40 grams (around 10 teaspoons) of sugar.

The draft guideline was formulated based on analyses of all published scientific studies on the consumption of sugars and how that relates to excess weight gain and tooth decay in adults and children.


Click here to go to WHO webpage.

World Health Organization guidelines on sugar consumption Craig Clarke 2014-03-05 00:00:00Z 0

Polio: The eradication endgame

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 04, 2014

 by Cassandra Willyard in the Journal Nature



   Photo by  Agron Dragaj  Female vaccinators — often the only ones allowed to speak to mothers or enter a child's home — wait outside a house in Afghanistan.

Researchers are developing a strategy that could put an end to polio forever.

In 1988, scientists around the world launched a massive effort to eliminate polio, a disease that can cripple and kill. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has since made great progress: the number of polio cases has fallen by more than 99%, from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to around 400 in 2013. And in January, India, once a stronghold for polio, celebrated an important milestone: three years with no new cases. Yet poliovirus stubbornly persists in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where violence, politics and mistrust have hampered eradication efforts. Indeed, in early 2014, Kabul saw its first case of polio since 2001. In 2012, the GPEI issued a dire warning: “Polio eradication is at a tipping point. If immunity is not raised in the three remaining countries to levels necessary to stop poliovirus transmission, polio eradication will fail.”

In chess, the final moves must be carefully planned, as one mistake can let your opponent gain the upper hand. It's the same with the polio endgame. Violence has made delivery of the vaccine nearly impossible in some regions. In others, fear and mistrust have led parents to refuse to have their children vaccinated. But there is another, seldom discussed, obstacle to eradication: in rare cases, the live, attenuated (weakened) virus in the oral polio vaccine (OPV) can mutate and spark polio outbreaks.
In April 2013, the GPEI presented a new strategy to wipe out polio — not only the wild virus, but also polioviruses derived from OPV. The plan is to introduce inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which contains killed virus, in the 124 countries that rely on OPV by 2015. A more effective oral vaccine will then be used to eliminate the last pockets of virus. Once the world is free of polio, the oral vaccine can be phased out entirely. Introducing IPV in so many countries will pose a “major challenge”, says Elizabeth Miller, an epidemiologist who chairs the polio working group of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization. “On the other hand, it offers huge rewards in terms of progress towards eradication.”

Click here to go to full article on Nature website


Polio: The eradication endgame Craig Clarke 2014-03-05 00:00:00Z 0

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Antibiotic Use in US Hospitals could be improved

Posted by Craig Clarke on Mar 03, 2014

Antibiotics offer tremendous benefit to patients with infectious diseases and are commonly administered to patients cared for in U.S. hospitals. However, studies have demonstrated that treatment indication, choice of agent, or duration of therapy can be incorrect in up to 50% of the instances in which antibiotics are prescribed. One study reported that 30% of antibiotics received by hospitalized adult patients, outside of critical care, were unnecessary; antibiotics often were used for longer than recommended durations or for treatment of colonizing or contaminating microorganisms. Incorrect prescribing of antibiotics exposes individual patients to potential complications of antibiotic therapy, without any therapeutic benefit. One such complication is infection with Clostridium difficile, an anaerobic, spore-forming bacillus that causes pseudomembranous colitis, manifesting as diarrhea that often recurs and can progress to sepsis and death; CDC has estimated that there are about 250,000 C. difficile infections in hospitalized patients each year. Other complications related to unnecessary use of antibiotics include infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and complications from adverse events.

Antibiotic prescribing for inpatients is common, and there is ample opportunity to improve use and patient safety by reducing incorrect antibiotic prescribing.


Click here to go to full article on CDC website

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Antibiotic Use in US Hospitals could be improved Craig Clarke 2014-03-04 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Celebration Feb 20 - Paul Geneau story in Nanaimo Daily News

Posted by Craig Clarke on Feb 20, 2014


   Photo by Ian Williams, Rotary Club of Nanaimo.

On Thursday evening, members of the five Nanaimo area Rotary clubs, together with guests, gathered to celebrate the 109th anniversary of the founding of Rotary. It was 1905, in Chicago, that a young lawyer named Paul Harris, recently moved to the bustling city, brought three friends together to form the first Rotary Club. His goal was to create a circle of friendship, with those who shared his high ethical standards. They quickly realized that a small group of talented, motivated people can accomplish amazing things, and Rotary's commitment to service was born.

In a few short years, Rotary Clubs sprang up across the United States and into Canada, and within 16 years had clubs on six continents. Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional people that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 31,000 Rotary clubs located in 166 countries.

The Rotary Club of Nanaimo was formed in 1920, and over the years included many of the city's "movers and shakers" in its membership. It took 52 years before the next club, Nanaimo North was formed, and only 16 years later, in a burst of expansion, three more clubs arose: Lantzville (1988), Nanaimo Daybreak (1995), and Nanaimo Oceanside (1995).

Click here to read full story.

Rotary Celebration Feb 20 - Paul Geneau story in Nanaimo Daily News Craig Clarke 2014-02-21 00:00:00Z 0

The first four Rotarians

Posted by Craig Clarke on Feb 15, 2014



On 23 February 1905, Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.

Harris’s desire for camaraderie among business associates brought together these four men and eventually led to an international organization of service and fellowship.

Read about each of the first four Rotarians below, and about Harry L. Ruggles, who is often called the "fifth Rotarian."

Rotary’s founder, Harris, was born in Wisconsin, USA, on 19 April 1868. He was raised by his paternal grandparents in Vermont and attended the University of Vermont, Princeton, and the University of Iowa. He was Rotary president from 1910 to 1912 and a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago until his death on 27 January 1947. Learn more .

Loehr, a mining engineer, was born on 18 October 1864 in Carlinville, Illinois. He was a Rotarian for only a few years, never holding office at the club or international level. But that first Rotary meeting was held in his office, Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago. He died in Chicago on 23 May 1918.

A Rotarian for only a few years, Shorey served as recording secretary during the club’s first year. He was born in Maine in August 1862 and died in March 1944.

Schiele, a coal dealer, served as the Chicago club’s first president in 1905 and Rotary International’s third treasurer in 1945. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, in June 1870, Schiele attended Terre Haute Business College and served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War. He was president of the Schiele Coal Company from 1902 until his retirement in 1939. He and Harris became lifelong friends and lived near each other on the South Side of Chicago. Schiele died on 17 December 1945 and is buried near Harris at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Originally from Michigan, Ruggles was a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and joined Rotary at its second meeting. He was treasurer of the Chicago club during its first year, president from 1908 to 1910, and a Rotary director from 1912 to 1913. He is known for having introduced singing to Rotary club meetings. His printing company, H.L. Ruggles & Co., printed the first issue of The National Rotarian and the first Rotary songbook. He died on 23 October 1959, an honorary member of seven clubs in addition to his home club, the Rotary Club of Chicago.

Learn more about the

The first four Rotarians Craig Clarke 2014-02-16 00:00:00Z 0

U.S. commits $205 million to polio eradication

Posted by Craig Clarke on Feb 05, 2014

 By Dan Nixon Rotary News  31-Jan-2014


    A child is vaccinated against polio in Côte d’lvoire, which has been free of the disease since 2011. 

President Barack Obama signed an omnibus appropriations bill in January that provides $205 million to support polio eradication in 2014, through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U. S. Agency for International Development.

The largest government donor to polio eradication, the U.S. has contributed more than $2.3 billion since the mid-1980s, when 125 countries were polio endemic and the disease afflicted 350,000 people annually. Today, only Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria are endemic, and in 2013, the combined incidence of polio in those countries fell to a record-low 157 cases. Last month , India reached a three-year milestone without polio, paving the way for the entire Southeast Asia region to be certified free of the disease.

"Eradicating polio will leave a lasting legacy of health care infrastructure, experience, and expertise that is already being used to benefit a broad range of global public health efforts," says James Lacy, chair of Rotary's Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for the United States and past president of Rotary International.

The task force leads Rotary's efforts to inform the U.S. government and other funding sources of the urgency and benefits of supporting the (GPEI).

One of Rotary's chief responsibilities in the GPEI is advocacy. In addition to contributing more than $1.2 billion to the initiative, Rotary has helped secure over $9 billion from donor governments since the GPEI was launched in 1988.


U.S. commits $205 million to polio eradication Craig Clarke 2014-02-06 00:00:00Z 0

Atmospheric rivers and our water supply

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 31, 2014

Atmospheric Rivers (AR) are relatively narrow regions in the atmosphere that are responsible for most of the horizontal transport of water vapor outside of the tropics. While ARs come in many shapes and sizes, those that contain the largest amounts of water vapor, the strongest winds, and stall over watersheds vulnerable to flooding, can create extreme rainfall and floods. These events can disrupt travel, induce mud slides, and cause catastrophic damage to life and property. However, not all ARs cause damage – most are weak, and simply provide beneficial rain or snow that is crucial to water supply

Click here to go to article on NOAA website

Atmospheric rivers and our water supply Craig Clarke 2014-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

Michael Bloomberg appointed Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 31, 2014

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2014 - The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued the following statement today:

“The appointment of Michael R. Bloomberg as a Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change to the United Nations should be applauded from Beijing to Rio to Mumbai. His selection is a huge boost for global leadership efforts to combat climate change.

“Unless the world takes bold action now, a disastrously warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions and roll back decades of development. Those least able to adapt - the poor and vulnerable - will be hit hardest. 

“The World Bank Group is focused on five key areas that can have the biggest impact in tackling climate change: moving forward on climate smart agriculture; accelerating energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy; supporting work on ending fossil fuel subsidies; developing carbon pricing to get prices right for emissions; and building low-carbon, climate resilient cities.

Click here to go to full statement on the World Bank page.

Michael Bloomberg appointed Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change Craig Clarke 2014-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

Gates Fdn 2014 Annual Letter - 3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 31, 2014

By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same. 

- Bill Gates

 Click here to go to story on the Gates Foundation website.


Gates Fdn 2014 Annual Letter - 3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor Craig Clarke 2014-02-01 00:00:00Z 0

News from Etta Projects

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Etta!



Today is Etta’s Birthday and our goal is to raise $2800 to build 5 1/2 (secretly hoping for 6) Ecological Composting Latrines.  She would love this idea, and we think it is a great way to remember how she inspires and motivates us to do incredible things in the world, NOT tomorrow or someday but RIGHT NOW TODAY!!

We have been at it all day on line with FACEBOOK and some of you have given!! Thank you very much!!! If you haven't and you want to help us get there consider $28 to bring a life changing sanitation facility to a rural Bolivian family. We are up to $1749. right now!! Whew Hew!!



Hope you have hugged your toilet today because if you didn't have one, life would look and smell a lot different. We have posted some videos on line for those of you who do not have Facebook. Link here  or see them on Facebook! Please donate and share with your friends and family, it is not every day that you celebrate a life with a toilet, at least in this country. 


Etta Projects












News from Etta Projects Craig Clarke 2014-01-25 00:00:00Z 0

NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 20, 2014

NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.

With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which analyzes global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated report Tuesday on temperatures around the globe in 2013. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience temperatures warmer than those measured several decades ago.

The average temperature in 2013 was 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 Celsius), which is 1.1 F (0.6 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline. The average global temperature has risen about 1.4 degrees F (0.8 C) since 1880, according to the new analysis.

While the world experienced relatively warm temperatures in 2013, the continental United States experienced the 42nd warmest year on record, according to GISS analysis. For some other countries, such as Australia, 2013 was the hottest year on record.



     Click here to go to full press release on NASA website.

NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend Craig Clarke 2014-01-21 00:00:00Z 0

India celebrates three years without polio

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 16, 2014


     Hyderabad Public School

Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011.

To mark this historic triumph -- reached after a decades-long battle against polio -- Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."

The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the .

The challenge now is to replicate India's success in neighboring Pakistan, one of three remaining polio-endemic countries, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Rotary leaders in India are working with their Pakistani counterparts to share best practices and lessons learned during India's successful anti-polio campaign. Rotary was particularly effective in obtaining the support of influential religious leaders in India's Islamic communities. Pakistani Rotary leaders are playing a similar role to counter rumors and misinformation about polio vaccinations that keep some Muslim parents from immunizing their children.

Meanwhile, continue in both countries. During these large-scale drives, Rotary volunteers join health workers to vaccinate every child under age five against polio.

"We must now stop polio in Pakistan to both protect Pakistani children and to safeguard our success in India and other countries where we have beaten this terrible disease," says India PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur. "Until polio is finally eradicated globally, all unvaccinated children will remain at risk of infection and paralysis, no matter where they live."




India celebrates three years without polio Craig Clarke 2014-01-17 00:00:00Z 0

Work of our partner club in Sunyani Ghana is featured in Rotary annual report

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 09, 2014


       Samuel Obour, Registrar of Sunyani Polytechnic, past president of RC Sunyani Central.

Providing clean water and preventing disease drive Samuel Obour’s quest to make life better for people in Ghana. Assistant governor of District 9102 and a member of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Obour and his club recently worked with Canadian Rotarians on a global grant project to install latrines at a primary school in Sunyani and a washing station and toilets at a busy rural market. Efforts like these help prevent the spread of dysentery and other bacterial diseases.

Obour has also helped tackle Buruli ulcer, a flesh-eating bacterial disease that often necessitates amputation of the affected limb. Although the transmission source of the bacteria isn’t certain, lesions detected early can usually be treated with antibiotics before they cause extensive tissue damage. Obour and his fellow Rotarians worked with the Ghanaian health service to educate villagers about the importance of early detection and to supply hospitals with necessary treatment tools.

Click here to go to story page.

Work of our partner club in Sunyani Ghana is featured in Rotary annual report Craig Clarke 2014-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

Study reveals changes in gene expression with meditation

Posted by Craig Clarke on Jan 01, 2014
Dec. 4, 2013    by Jill Sakai
 With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.

A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

Click here to read full article on University of Wisconsin webpage.

Study reveals changes in gene expression with meditation Craig Clarke 2014-01-02 00:00:00Z 0

One laptop per child provides computers to aboriginal children

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 15, 2013


   Grade 3 students at the O.K. School in Nelson House, northern Manitoba work on a computer. The school now ranks second in Canada and 49th in the world on standardized math tests

One Laptop per Child Canada is a charity that provides laptops to aboriginal children. Since its founding in 2010 it has distributed 3,800 of the tough little computers.   The computers, worth $235 apiece, come fully loaded with HD video, YouTube streaming, 60 literacy programs, a physical fitness app, a nutrition app, a financial skills app, math games, activities that help kids cope with bullying, alcohol, solvents, family violence, drugs and depression and 25 books written by First Nation, Métis and Inuit authors in aboriginal languages. The scope for creativity is almost limitless.

The sponsors of the program are the Belinda Stronach FoundationVale, the global mining giant; the Bank of Montreal and the Ontario ministry of aboriginal affairs.

Click here to read full article in the Toronto Star.

One laptop per child provides computers to aboriginal children Craig Clarke 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z 0

Christiana Figueres blog on COP19 process in Warsaw

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 11, 2013


  UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres with Evelyn Ohenewaa Gyasi of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes initiative and UN Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and I were able to briefly give our sore feet a break by getting on bamboo bicycles, manufactured by women in Ghana, and celebrated by our “Women for Results” focus area of Momentum for Change. These bicycles, constructed from material that absorbs carbon dioxide, are a symbol of sustainable development, women’s empowerment and the desire to improve people’s lives.

Possibly the most vocal “special interest” group at COP 19 was the group of activist women, highlighting the issue of gender equality and women’s power to fight climate change. Women quite literally rocked COP 19 with moving testimonials of what they are doing and a vision of the safe world they see for themselves and their children.

 Women play a key role in the UNFCCC secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative. In Warsaw, our initiative celebrated the 2013 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities to recognize climate actions that demonstrate positive results through innovative finance, women’s leadership and action by and for the urban poor.

 Cities and regions were represented at the COP as never before. This is extremely important, given that more than half the global population lives in urban areas, which produce around 80% of energy-related emissions. Many mayors and governors are very vocal and have clear, practical ideas about what is required for a successful climate agreement in 2015, and how they can contribute to the growing momentum for action.

Click here to read the full article on the UNFCCC webpage.

Christiana Figueres blog on COP19 process in Warsaw Craig Clarke 2013-12-12 00:00:00Z 0

New Study Reveals Crime, Corruption, Tax Evasion Drained US$946.7 Billion from Developing Countries in 2011

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 11, 2013

Illicit Financial Outflows from Developing World Up 13.7% from 2010

Nearly $6 Trillion Stolen from Developing Countries in Decade between 2002 and 2011

China, Russia, Mexico, Malaysia, India—in Declining Order—are Biggest Exporters of Illicit Capital over Decade; Sub-Saharan Africa Suffers Biggest Illicit Outflows as Percent of GDP

Study Is First GFI Analysis to Incorporate Re-Exporting Data from Hong Kong and First GFI Report to Utilize Disaggregated Trade Data in Methodology

WASHINGTON, DC – Crime, corruption, and tax evasion drained US$946.7 billion from the developing world in 2011, up more than 13.7 percent from 2010—when illicit financial outflows totaled US$832.4 billion.  The findings—which peg cumulative illicit financial outflows from developing countries at US$5.9 trillion between 2002 and 2011—are part of a new study published today by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization.

The report, “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002-2011,” [ PDF | HTML ] is GFI’s 2013 annual update on the amount of money flowing out of developing economies as a result of crime, corruption and tax evasion, and it is the first of GFI’s reports to include data for the year 2011.

“As the world economy sputters along in the wake of the global financial crisis, the illicit underworld is thriving—siphoning more and more money from developing countries each year,” said GFI President Raymond Baker.  “Anonymous shell companies, tax haven secrecy, and trade-based money laundering techniques drained nearly a trillion dollars from the world’s poorest in 2011, at a time when rich and poor nations alike are struggling to spur economic growth.  While global momentum has been building over the past year to curtail this problem, more must be done.  This study should serve as a wake-up call to world leaders: the time to act is now.”

Click here to read full press release.

New Study Reveals Crime, Corruption, Tax Evasion Drained US$946.7 Billion from Developing Countries in 2011 Craig Clarke 2013-12-12 00:00:00Z 0

Etta Projects celebrates International events, both in Bolivia and at home.

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 10, 2013

Toilets & Domestic Violence

World Toilet Day: On November 19th, fifty 5th graders at Skyline Elementary in Tacoma learned the valuable lesson that not all toilets are created equally.

Students learned how sanitation is vital for health and wellbeing, and yet 40% of the world’s population do not have access to anadequate toilet.

Students hung posters in school bathrooms and hallways to educate their fellow peers on why we should all be thankful for our precious toilets. Thank you Toilet for being there for me!

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: On November 25th, hundreds of men, women and children as well as municipal representatives and local doctors from 15 rural villages in Bolivia came together to celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Watch the video...

The event, which was led by the 45 community health promoters trained by Etta Projects, included presentations and songs from health promoters and male leaders, traditional dances by women and children and a large march where all the attendees chanted the rights of women.

New messages about gender equality and human rights rang through the villages on this important day! Etta would be so proud of these empowered women finding their voice and the men open to the possibilities of change! All great movements start with a few people in every community and in this one their signs read " Stop the violence against women".

Celebrate the holidays with Etta Projects!

Give a gift that gives back!

Inspire your friends and family during the Holiday Season with the gift of clean water, improved sanitation and better health to benefit people living in poverty in rural Bolivia.

  • Purchase a photo greeting card for a $25 share in school gardens or ecolatrines and we, or you, can mail it to anyone you designate. Allow us 2 days to get it into the mail. Order on our website here.


  • Come check out Etta Projects’ Christmas Tree Lot! We’re open two more Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through December 21. We have beautiful locally cut trees of every kind, hot cookies, coffee & hot chocolate, Bolivian artisan products and a setting that your kids and dogs will absolutely love. Get directions.
  • Donate that junker car or boat and we get 70-80% of the proceeds.
    Find out how.
  • Order a gift card or tribute card from our social media partner Global Giving. When Etta Projects is chosen as beneficiary, our projects get 85%.

Don’t wait - fill out your end-of-the-year donation forms or visit our website. 
Make your tax-deductible gift today and create real change for rural Bolivia. Etta Projects can also accept stock, property and any old thing in your closet and you will get the tax deduction.

Etta Projects celebrates International events, both in Bolivia and at home. Craig Clarke 2013-12-11 00:00:00Z 0

Citrus for Charity

Posted by Bob Lasota on Dec 10, 2013


Citrus for Charity being delivered to Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank.  Other deliveries included Salvation Army, Haven House, Women's Centre, Georgia Avenue School and John Barsby Community School.

Thank You for your generosity.


Citrus for Charity Bob Lasota 2013-12-11 00:00:00Z 0
Glynis made a couple of Jib-jab videos of the citrus crew last Saturday Craig Clarke 2013-12-10 00:00:00Z 0

Service for former club member Bob Gold

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 08, 2013


Gold, Robert (Bob) James August 6, 1953 - November 29, 2013 It is with great sorrow and heavy hearts that we announce the untimely passing of beloved husband, father, and brother Bob Gold on Friday, November 29, 2013, with family members by his side.   A memorial service to celebrate Bob's life will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, December 16, 2013, at the Nanaimo Golf Club (A.V. Macan Room), 2800 Highland Boulevard.

Click here to go to the obituary in the Nanaimo Daily News


Service for former club member Bob Gold Craig Clarke 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z 0

Update from Disaster Aid Deployment in the Phillippines

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 06, 2013

 Typhoon Haiyan was the most damaging storm ever to hit the Phillippines and globally is the strongest storm to make landfall. Our club has purchased one container of supplies and individual members have contributed to purchase an additional two containers from Disaster Aid. 


The following report was forwarded by Alan Lomax:

According to the authorities, the official death toll stands at 5,500, while an additional 1,800 people remain missing (28 November).

In addition to the immediate relief provided by Disaster Aid International,   the group is now well into its main deployment plan.

After careful assessment of need and operational issues,  DAI is deploying  in two areas on Panay Island; Estancia and President Roxas.   Estancia is a coastal municipality which has not only been badly hit by the typhoon and also by a major oil spill that resulted.  It also includes a number of islands which have been particularly badly hit.  President Roxas is in the North of Panay and has been very badly hit.

DAI will continue to work with Balay Mindanaw and Johanniter, which means that it will be working within a partnership which will provide a wider set of aid and services, including psychosocial services, distribution, manpower and food packs.  While Christine Cassar returned to the UK on 1 December, she is being replaced by two other members of the Disaster Aid Response Team to join Ed Cox who has remained on site.  The Team will also be working with volunteers from the local  Rotary Club of Iloilo Metro.  [Christine Cassar is completing a doctorate in conflict resolution and peace at Manchester University in the UK and is supported by a Rotary Scholarship. ]

As a result of the assessment, it emerged that the Family Survival Kits were not appropriate in all circumstances.  An important factor was the fact that most families refused to leave their demolished or damaged homes because they knew that,  if they were relocated, they would loose their claim on their land.  Given the compact nature of their villages, there was often no physical space to put up tents in close proximity to their original homes.  Given the mission of DIA to rebuild communities sustainably, the decision has been taken to replace some of the Family Survival Kits with 500 Shelter Repair Kits (made up of roofing palm, lumber, marine plywood, nails, hammer and bamboo rope).  A further 500 kits are being sourced at this time and it is hoped that DAI will be in a position to pay for a further 1000 kits during this deployment.  These kits will be resourced locally under the supervision of DAI. The current kits will be complemented with 10,000 tarpaulin sheets.

It is anticipated that the current deployment will be completed by the end of December. However,  five other areas on Panay have been identified as being  in need of support. A decision will be made on 15 December to what extent the deployment can be extended depending upon the availability of funds.

DAUK&I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many who have come forward to support this deployment and enabled us to be responsive to the real needs of those affected.  From DAI’s previous three deployments in the Philippines, it is known that the Philippinos are incredibly resilient and can work wonders in rebuilding their communities.  However, no one has had experience of the level of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

Click here to listen to an interview with Christine Cassar after she returned to the UK.

Update from Disaster Aid Deployment in the Phillippines Craig Clarke 2013-12-07 00:00:00Z 0

UBC research finds that volunteering improves heart health

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 03, 2013

Doing good for others warms the heart—and may protect the heart, too. Psychologists at the University of British Columbia asked 106 high school students to take part in a volunteering study. Half of the students spent an hour every week for 10 weeks helping elementary students with homework, sports or club activities. The other half of the students did not participate in volunteer work.

Using questionnaires and a medical examination both before and after the 10-week period, the researchers found that students who volunteered had lower levels of cholesterol and inflammation after the study. Those who did not volunteer showed no such improvements.

Click here to read article in Scientific American.

UBC research finds that volunteering improves heart health Craig Clarke 2013-12-04 00:00:00Z 0

Family health days help 250,000 in Africa

Posted by Craig Clarke on Dec 02, 2013

Marion Bunch on The Power of Rotary from Rotary International on Vimeo.

In 1994, Marion Bunch lost her son to AIDS. It was early on in the U.S. AIDS epidemic, and the stigma surrounding the disease kept her from talking about her son’s illness with anyone but family members.

“I never thought I’d do anything about it until one day, three years after his death, I felt a tap on the shoulder, and a voice in my ear said, ‘Mom, get up and get going; you haven’t done anything, and it’s been three years,’” she recalls.

Within a year, Bunch, a member of the Rotary Club of Dunwoody, Georgia, USA, proposed an idea to her club, and through Rotary began connecting community and professional leaders who shared a passion for disease prevention. This was the start of Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA), a Rotarian Action Group.

In May, the group held its third annual Family Health Days in Africa. Rotarians from 365 clubs fanned out across Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa to help medical professionals and government workers provide free health services to 250,000 people. The event included polio and measles immunizations, dental and eye clinics, and family counseling and screening for HIV, diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.

“The reach of this is so phenomenal because of the presence of Rotarians all across these countries who felt emotionally connected by working together as one force on one project,” Bunch says.

In South Africa, 225 Rotary clubs participated at 160 sites; in Uganda, 65 clubs supported 120 sites; and across Lagos and Ogun states in southern Nigeria, 62 clubs supported 70 sites. Two Rotary Foundation Global Grants provided funding to send vocational training teams to Uganda and to pay for bed nets that will help prevent malaria in Nigeria. 

“The heartbeat of the health care system must be prevention of disease and the promotion of health rather than [trying] to cure disease, to fix it after,” says Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s minister of health.

Chris Pretorius, a member of the Rotary Club of Pretoria Sunrise, South Africa, was amazed by the turnout for the event. “One of the members of the health department said they had never been able to get so many children here on a day like this,” he says. “That in itself is success.”

The campaign illustrates how Rotary teams up with other organizations to expand its impact. Since 2011, RFHA has partnered with the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, which contributed $450,000 for this year’s three-country event. Other partners were South Africa’s Department of Health, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID, Delta Airlines, and Nampak.  

“We are proud to have partnered with RFHA and the Department of Health in promoting access to health screening services,” says Therese Gearhart, president of Coca-Cola South Africa. “At Coca-Cola, we invest in these initiatives because, together with our partners, we have a common vision of a South Africa that comprises healthy, strong, and thriving communities.”

Leaders of the Rotarian Action Group hope to reach more African countries through the event each year.

“Rotary is the catalyst organization in this event because of the power and [political] neutrality of our brand and the respect we receive worldwide for our ability to mobilize communities into action,” Bunch says. “This event represents the power of public/private partnerships. No one organization can do a massive event like this alone. Each partner has a defined role and set of responsibilities, and that’s why it works.”

Adapted from a story in the October 2013 issue of The Rotarian

Family health days help 250,000 in Africa Craig Clarke 2013-12-03 00:00:00Z 0
4" Video by International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme on Climate change Craig Clarke 2013-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

How you can help for World AIDS Day 1 December

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 30, 2013

World AIDS Day is 1 December. Disease prevention and treatment is one of Rotary’s six areas of focus. The Rotarians For Family Health and AIDS Prevention, a Rotarian Action Group, was formed in 2004, and has been gathering Rotarians together to make a difference in the lives of many.

For the third year in a row, the action group will hold a huge health event in Africa in May, providing free health care services of all kinds (from HIV Testing to Polio Immunizations, tuberculosis, and malaria screening) to more than 200,000 children and families at 400 different sites in three countries. The Family Health Day takes place over three-days, led by Rotarians from 365 clubs.

Volunteers in all three countries are in need of supplies, such as malaria-treated bed nets, sanitary pad kits, and other items. In honor of World AIDS Day, learn more about how you can help by visiting the RFFHA’s website. You can contact Leonard Lanzi for help with grant support in beginning a Matching Grant or Global Grant application.

Read a blog post from the action group's founder, Marion Bunch on Rotary Voices.

How you can help for World AIDS Day 1 December Craig Clarke 2013-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Jack Sim wants you to talk about toilets

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 23, 2013


 By Jenny Llakmani.               Adapted from a story in the November 2013 issue of The Rotarian  19-Nov-2013

By age 40, Jack Sim was a successful entrepreneur running 16 businesses. He had enough money to retire, so he started searching for a neglected cause to which he could devote his time and effort.

Realizing that people don’t want to talk about toilets, he set about making the humble commode into a media darling, founding the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and holding a special day every year to draw attention to sanitation. This year, the United Nations voted to make World Toilet Day, 19 November, an official UN observance.

Sim credits Rotary with helping him break the taboo around the subject. In October, his organization inducted Ron Denham, chair emeritus of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, into its hall of fame. The honor recognizes the work Rotary and the action group have done to change behavior and improve sanitation.

“It is good to see Rotary being recognized for the impact we are having on people in the developing world,” Denham said. “But this award is a wake-up call as much as a recognition. No progress has been made toward the [UN’s] Millennium Development Goal of increasing access to safe sanitation. We as Rotary members must shift our focus from water to water and sanitation.”

We sat down with Sim, also known as Mr. Toilet, at the action group’s World Water Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in June.

The Rotarian: You use humor to break through the toilet taboo. How did you come up with that approach?

Jack Sim: Once you make people laugh, they will listen to you. I saw another person who did it very well: Mr. Condom from Thailand. He promoted the condom by making people laugh, so I did the same with toilets.

Everybody has their personal toilet horror stories, whether about their travels or about their children. You just have to let the conversation flow naturally, and everybody will talk about toilets. In fact, once they feel it’s a legitimate topic, they can’t stop.

What can Rotary members do to get people talking about sanitation?

Sim: More than 100 years ago, one of the first Rotary projects was to build a public toilet. Every Rotary member should know this story. When members do water and sanitation projects, at least 85 percent of them focus on water. But you cannot have clean water if people are still defecating into the river. You cannot improve quality of life for the poor if people are still getting sick because of lack of proper sanitation. Women cannot be safe if they are subjected to rape or molestation because they have to go to the toilet in the bush. You cannot achieve education for girls if they have no place to change their sanitary napkin, so they drop out of school for a week every month to avoid embarrassment, and eventually cannot catch up and drop out altogether.

You and others talk about approaching sanitation from the angle of behavior change and getting people to want to use toilets. What should Rotary be doing differently to promote sanitation?

Sim: The way to do it is to make toilets sexy, to make toilets a status symbol just like a cell phone. Even schoolchildren in the slums have cell phones, yet they have no toilets. The best way to know that a person wants a toilet is when he buys it.

A market-based solution is the most sustainable model. Instead of putting toilets in the ground and hoping people use them, if you invest this money in training people to set up a factory to produce toilets and train local ladies to sell toilets on commission, then you create jobs, you create entrepreneurship, and you deliver proper sanitation. Even after your investment is used up, the business continues to grow.

Jack Sim wants you to talk about toilets Craig Clarke 2013-11-24 00:00:00Z 0

US State Department promoting women's role in dealing with climate change

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 18, 2013

Although there are several sticking points to reaching a broader agreement at the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, gender equality and climate change is moving ahead. Implementing a stronger commitment to the inclusion of women in climate policy and the U.N. climate negotiations process is a bright spot at the talks in Warsaw.    Gender-sensitive climate policies recognize that women are disproportionately impacted by climate change impacts and have an important role to play in solving it. 

In honor of “Gender Day” at the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference, the United States is highlighting its actions to harness the potential of women and women’s networks to increase the use of clean energy technologies, which in turn helps reduce climate change. The Department of State launched the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (“wPOWER”) in January 2013. wPOWER aims to empower more than 8,000 women clean energy entrepreneurs across East Africa, Nigeria and India who will deliver clean energy access to more than 3.5 million people over the next three years.

Click here to read full press release on US State Department website.

US State Department promoting women's role in dealing with climate change Craig Clarke 2013-11-19 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary clubs take action for typhoon-ravaged Philippines

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 15, 2013


Rotary clubs around the world are pledging emergency aid to communities in central Philippines after last week’s massive typhoon flattened entire coastal towns and villages, killed thousands of people, and displaced nearly 600,000 more.

The situation remains dire as widespread destruction has made food, water, and medicine scarce in remote areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to make landfall on record.

Rotary President Ron Burton is urging our 34,000 clubs worldwide to continue to assist storm victims.

"I know we all want to help. I am urging our clubs to take action to provide emergency aid now and begin planning for the future when we can help rebuild homes, schools, and businesses," says Burton. "We are in the business of helping people in need."

Rotary partner ShelterBox has committed aid for 4,000 families in the form of emergency shelter and other relief assistance.

Such disasters are “exactly why we entered into our partnership with ShelterBox,” says Burton. “It gives Rotary members worldwide the opportunity to respond immediately and in a very meaningful way to the life-threatening conditions faced by the people of the Philippines.”

For nearly 100 years, Rotary clubs in the Philippines have been creating positive change in their communities. The first Philippine Rotary club was formed in Manila in 1919. Today, more than 800 Rotary clubs throughout the Philippines give members the chance to make a difference at home and around the globe.

Rotary's work to eradicate polio, our top priority, began in the Philippines. In 1979, Rotary funded the immunization of six million children with the oral polio vaccine. Based largely on the success there, the World Health Assembly authorized the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in which Rotary is a spearheading partner.

Rotary clubs in the Philippines have improved water and sanitation, led medical and dental missions, created literacy programs, and participated in reforestation plantings. When a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central Philippines in September, clubs were there to bring aid to those in need.

“Rotary members often are both first-responders and rebuilders when major disasters strike because clubs are present in every corner of the world,” Burton says. “We continue with recovery efforts long after international relief agencies have gone because Rotary clubs are part of the communities we serve.”

Rotary clubs take action for typhoon-ravaged Philippines Craig Clarke 2013-11-16 00:00:00Z 0

Disaster Aid International in Philippines earthquake & typhoon

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 12, 2013
November 10, 2013.

The Disaster Aid International Response Team was already in the Philippines responding to the earthquake last month. They sheltered through the storm and are now headed to the island of Leyte to assess the area. Over 10,000 estimated dead in one province alone. The need while be enormous, PLEASE consider a donation to   Donations give our team the ability to help this devastated people and country. Shelter, clean water, mosquito nets, solar lighting are just a few of the, items we bring.


Disaster Aid International in Philippines earthquake & typhoon Craig Clarke 2013-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

UNEP Emissions Gap Report

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 12, 2013
Major polluters must immediately begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if the rise in global temperatures is to be held in check, or else a higher price will have to be paid later, according to a report released November 5 by the United Nations Environment Program.  

While a failure to act swiftly will not necessarily doom the effort to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees C(3.6 degrees F), above preindustrial levels, it will make it much harder and more expensive to do so, the agency said in its latest report.
Even if nations meet their current climate pledges, greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are likely to be 8 to 12 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2e) above the level that would provide a likely chance of remaining on the least-cost pathway.


If the gap is not closed or significantly narrowed by 2020, the door to many options to limit temperature increase to a lower target of 1.5° C will be closed, further increasing the need to rely on faster energy-efficiency improvements and biomass with carbon capture and storage.

In order to be on track to stay within the 2° C target and head off the negative impacts outlined above, the report says that emissions should be a maximum of 44 GtCO2e by 2020 to set the stage for further cuts needed—to 40 GtCO2e by 2025, 35 GtCO2e by 2030 and 22 GtCO2e by 2050. As this target was based on scenarios of action beginning in 2010, the report finds that it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet this goal.

Click here to read full press release.

UNEP Emissions Gap Report Craig Clarke 2013-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary BREW Fellowship Approved

Posted by Craig Clarke on Nov 12, 2013

Last week the new Rotary BREW (Beers Rotarians Enjoy Worldwide) Fellowship was approved by RI.

This fellowhip was initiated by

Moses Aryee

President Elect

RC Accra-West.

World Chairman

BREW Fellowship.


Rotary BREW Fellowship Approved Craig Clarke 2013-11-13 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary highlights eradication effort on World Polio Day

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 25, 2013

By Dan Nixon   Rotary News 25-Oct-2013   Rotary helped put polio eradication on center stage on World Polio Day, 24 October.




   Moderator  Rotarian Jennifer Jones (Windsor-Roseland Ontario) and Archie Panjabi.


A special Livestream presentation  –  World Polio Day: Making History – showcased the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Co-hosted by Rotary and the Northwestern University Center for Global Health, the 60-minute program took place before a live audience at the John Hughes Auditorium on Northwestern’s Chicago campus and streamed online to viewers worldwide.

RI President Ron Burton kicked off the event by noting that Rotary began immunizing millions of children against polio in the 1970s, first in the Philippines and then in other high-risk countries.

“Polio rates in those countries plummeted,” Burton said. “As a result, in 1988, Rotary, the World Health Organization [WHO], UNICEF, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came together to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.  More recently, the initiative has benefited from the tremendous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation . . . . It is so very important to finish the job.”

Dr. Robert Murphy, director of Northwestern’s Center for Global Health, emphasized that polio eradication “is completely doable. . . . [It] will result in preventing billions of cases of paralysis and death, saving billions of dollars, assuring that no parent in the world will have to worry about this terrible disease ever again.”

Dennis Ogbe, polio survivor, Paralympian, and ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to promote child immunization, spoke compellingly about the challenges of living with the disease and the opportunity to protect people from it for all generations to come.

“I have learned not to look at anything as impossible, and that includes, especially, the eradication of polio,” said Ogbe, who was born in Nigeria. “We have come a long way since the start. So let us finish strong and End Polio Now.”

Dr. Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general for Polio, Emergencies, and Country Collaboration at WHO, emphasized that the global fight is winnable, noting that the number of cases in the endemic countries –Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan – is down 40 percent in 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. He also said that the type 2 wild poliovirus has been eradicated, and said November will mark one year without a case of type 3 virus anywhere in the world.

Aylward also pinpointed challenges to the global initiative, including the outbreak in the Horn of Africa with 200 cases. Because of the strong response to the outbreak, however, the region “is again rapidly becoming polio free,” he said. Moreover, the polio endgame strategic plan, if fully funded, is equipped to stop such outbreaks.

“Today, all children everywhere can have a better future, not just against polio, but against every disease . . . if we as a global society get behind the vision of Rotary 25 years ago to reach every child with something as simple as polio vaccine.”

The World Polio Day event also featured a short video showing the tireless efforts by health workers and Rotarians to immunize children in Pakistan. “We are very optimistic that the challenges will not be able to deter us and soon Pakistan will become polio free,” said Pakistan PolioPlus Committee chair Aziz Memon in narrating the video.

Event moderator and Canadian Rotary member Jennifer Jones encouraged people to donate to the End Polio Now: Make History Today.  fundraising campaign, which makes contributions work three times as hard with matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also invited everyone to join the more than 50,000 people in 150 countries who have expressed their support for a polio-free world by becoming part of the World’s Biggest Commercial.

Emmy Award-winning actress Archie Panjabi spoke passionately about why she is so committed to her work as a Rotary ambassador for polio eradication.

“When I was a child 10 years old, I went to India. As I walked to school, I would see children younger than me with no [use of their] limbs, begging for money,” Panjabi said. “It broke my heart.”

Inspired as an adult to learn more about polio, she was “amazed by the amount of work that Rotary has done,” in helping India be free of the disease since 2011, and joined a team of Rotary volunteers to immunize children there last year.

“I will do whatever I can to support Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative . . . . And if you do whatever you can, then together we can eradicate polio forever.”

Jones challenged the audience and online viewers everywhere to share their voice for polio eradication with friends and followers on social networks and encourage them to do the same. “And write or email your government officials to urge them to commit the resources we need to finish the job,” she said.

“We need you – and we want you to help us make history!”

Rotary highlights eradication effort on World Polio Day Craig Clarke 2013-10-26 00:00:00Z 0

Sleep clears molecules associated with neurodegeneration

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 22, 2013

 A good night's rest may literally clear the mind. Using mice, researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH.

"Sleep changes the cellular structure of the brain. It appears to be a completely different state," said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and a leader of the study.

For centuries, scientists and philosophers have wondered why people sleep and how it affects the brain. Only recently have scientists shown that sleep is important for storing memories. In this study, Dr. Nedergaard and her colleagues unexpectedly found that sleep may be also be the period when the brain cleanses itself of toxic molecules.

Their results, published in Science, show that during sleep a plumbing system called the glymphatic system may open, letting fluid flow rapidly through the brain. Dr. Nedergaard's lab recently discovered the glymphatic system helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Click here to read the abstract in the journal Science.

Sleep clears molecules associated with neurodegeneration Craig Clarke 2013-10-23 00:00:00Z 0

UN special rapporteur on rights of indigenous peoples concludes visit to Canada

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 19, 2013

Over the past several days, I have collected a significant amount of information from indigenous peoples and Government representatives across the country. In the following weeks, I will be reviewing the extensive information I have received during the visit in order to develop a report to evaluate the situation of indigenous peoples in Canada and to make a series of recommendations. This report will be made public, and will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council. I hope that that this report will be of use to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, as well as to the Government of Canada, to help find solutions to ongoing challenges that indigenous, or aboriginal, peoples in the country face. In advance of this report, I would like to now provide some preliminary observations and recommendations on the basis of what I have observed during my visit. These do not reflect the full range of issues that were brought to my attention, nor do they reflect all of the initiatives on the part of federal and provincial governments related to indigenous issues.

Canada, with its diverse and multicultural society, has been a leader on the world stage in the promotion of human rights since the creation of the United Nations in 1945. And it was one of the first countries in the modern era to extend constitutional protection to indigenous peoples’ rights. This constitutional protection has provided a strong foundation for advancing indigenous peoples’ rights over the last 30 years, especially through the courts. Federal and provincial governments have made notable efforts to address treaty and aboriginal claims, and to improve the social and economic well being of indigenous peoples. Canada has also addressed some of the concerns that were raised by my predecessor following his visit in 2003. These include actions to remedy gender disparities in the Indian Act and to providing access to the Canadian Human Rights Commission for claims based on the Indian Act. Additionally, Canada has adopted the goal of reconciliation, to repair the legacy of past injustices, and has taken steps toward that goal.

But despite positive steps, daunting challenges remain. From all I have learned, I can only conclude that Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples of the country. The well-being gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada has not narrowed over the last several years, treaty and aboriginals claims remain persistently unresolved, and overall there appear to be high levels of distrust among aboriginal peoples toward government at both the federal and provincial levels.

Canada consistently ranks near the top among countries with respect to human development standards, and yet amidst this wealth and prosperity, aboriginal people live in conditions akin to those in countries that rank much lower and in which poverty abounds. At least one in five aboriginal Canadians live in homes in need of serious repair, which are often also overcrowded and contaminated with mould. The suicide rate among Inuit and First Nations youth on reserve, at more than five times greater than other Canadians, is alarming. One community I visited has suffered a suicide every six weeks since the start of this year. Aboriginal women are eight times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous women and indigenous peoples face disproportionately high incarceration rates. For over a decade, the Auditor General has repeatedly highlighted significant funding disparities between on-reserve services and those available to other Canadians. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has consistently said that the conditions of aboriginal peoples make for the most serious human rights problem in Canada.

Click here to read full statement on UNHCR website.

UN special rapporteur on rights of indigenous peoples concludes visit to Canada Craig Clarke 2013-10-20 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary: No child should ever go to bed hungry

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 17, 2013

The millions of pounds of food that go to waste every year could ease hunger around the world. See how one Rotary project is working to solve a perennial problem.

Hunger touches every community, nation, and region of the world. It is a problem without a simple solution. At Rotary, we are committed to using the vast resources of our diverse membership and our partnership with organizations like the Global FoodBanking Network to seek fresh insights and pursue innovative answers. In the following letter for the official World Food Day website, Rotary's General Secretary John Hewko explains why Rotary is so motivated to help:

Hunger. Famine. Starvation. Malnutrition. Indeed, as World Food Day (16 October) reminds us, there is no easy way to describe the grim fact that nearly 870 million people on our planet are chronically undernourished. And sadly, so many of those affected are children, whose minds and bodies are denied the sustenance needed to grow into healthy, productive adults.

It is a truly global problem, plaguing communities throughout the developing world and even in developed countries where surprisingly high numbers of families struggle daily to put food on the table.

My organization, Rotary, a global network of volunteer leaders committed to finding solutions to the world’s most serious challenges, is well aware of the problem — and well positioned to do something about it. With more than 1.2 million members belonging to 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and regions, Rotary has “boots on the ground” where the need is high and also in communities with the capacity to help.

On their own initiative, Rotary members concerned about food insecurity have formed two very active international groups: the Rotarian Action Group for the Alleviation of Hunger & Malnutrition, and the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group. These action groups serve as resources, assisting Rotary clubs worldwide to collaborate and undertake effective, sustainable approaches to the hunger issue.

Recognizing the value of leveraging resources through partnerships with top-tier organizations with proven track records, Rotary in 2012 also became a service partner with the Global FoodBanking Network to combat jointly the issues of hunger and food insecurity through food banking.

Rotary First Harvest, a Rotary club supported charity in Seattle, Wash., USA, has developed a unique and effective way to support the food banking concept. Working in cooperation with growers and processors, Rotary First Harvest each year gathers more than nine million pounds of fresh, nourishing produce that would otherwise be wasted, and then helps deliver it to local food banks and food distribution programs serving families in need.

Other examples of Rotary clubs in action against hunger:

  • In Florida, USA, the Flagler Beach Rotary Club co-founded the Family Food Co-op to provide food to needy rural families identified by local schools. A $30 donation can feed a family of four for a week, and recipients are encouraged to volunteer their own time to help their neighbors.
  • In Australia, the Rotary Club of Brisbane Centenary launched the Beef Bank in 2007 to provide fresh meat to organizations working to feed local families. One beef cow can yield 500 pounds of meat, enough for 1,000 servings.
  • Since 1998, the Rotary Club of Madrid, Spain, has worked with local hotels to collect surplus meals for distribution to food programs serving families in need. Trucking and transportation companies donate delivery vehicles.
  • Rotary clubs in Ecuador are partnering with Banco de Alimentos Diakonia (Diakonia Food Bank) to provide equipment, expertise and volunteers to reach low-income families in Guayaquil, the nation’s largest city.

Of course, there is no single answer to the daunting challenge of hunger and food insecurity. Starving people must be fed on an ongoing basis, as long-term solutions are developed and implemented. Meanwhile, we must lay the groundwork needed to generate the kind of steady, sustainable, economic development that lifts communities out of poverty, which is inexorably linked to the food issue and other problems, including illiteracy, disease prevalence, and violence.

This is what Rotary does. And Rotary clubs will continue to work at the grassroots level to identify community needs and to develop workable, sustainable, culturally appropriate solutions. If you would like to be a part of this effort, visit and contact a Rotary club in your area. Learn what your area clubs are doing to alleviate hunger locally or internationally. Donate to or volunteer for a club-supported food project. Get involved.

Remember this simple truth: No child – anywhere in the world – should ever go to bed hungry. 

John Hewko, General Secretary, Rotary International

Rotary: No child should ever go to bed hungry Craig Clarke 2013-10-18 00:00:00Z 0

World Food Day October 16

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 15, 2013

October 16 commemorated in 150 countries as world food day is the anniversary of FAO's founding in 1945.  Recently, there was good news in the FAO report on The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013, which noted a 7.1-per-cent reduction in the numbers of undernourished people in developing countries.

However, contrary to global trends, food insecurity in developed countries, while accounting for only two per cent of global hunger, increased by 15 per cent from 13.6 million to 15.7 million people.

Here in BC, 96,000 people use food banks.  The Dieticians of Canada Cost of Eating in BC Report is released to publicize the fact that many British Columbians don’t have enough money to buy healthy food.

Health Canada's Community Health Survey states that 5.2% of BC households experienced moderate food insecurity  and 3.2% of households experienced severe food insecurity in 2009-2010.


World Food Day October 16 Craig Clarke 2013-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor's Report for October

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 15, 2013
OCTOBER IS VOCATIONAL SERVICE MONTH.Rotary International has designated October as Vocational Service month. Our District Vocational Service Chair, Chip Ross, has done a great job summarizing what Vocational Service is all about: October is Vocational Service Month. Does your club do something special to emphasize Vocational Service during October?
Here are a few Ideas for Club Programs:
  • Classification talks from new and old members
  • Avocation Talks
  • Members talk about their hobbies
  • Focus on Future Business Trends
  • Old members give 5 minute "who am I" talks
  • Off-site visits at members' or other sites
  • A Recital of the 4 Way Test at each meeting
  • A full program on the 4 Way Test - its history and significance
  • A program on “What is Vocational Service?”
Remember the words of Past RI President Bhichai Rattakul:

"This little Rotary pin which we wear in our lapels is meaningless unless it stands for something. Vocational Service is our testing ground. It is personal, and it is private.

It is the conscience of Rotary and of Rotarians. Of all the Avenues of Service, Vocational Service is the most important aspect of Rotary. Whatever else we do in Rotary, others are doing the same and sometimes they might be doing it better. It is through Vocational Service that we do what others don’t. It is this Vocational Service that Rotary can pride itself on how it has weathered the storms with distinction in the many humanitarian and educational programs. And yet it is important to recognize that although we have made significant progress in the many areas of human activity, both in a material and spiritual sense, our business and professional lives continue to be plagued with scandals and corrupt practices. In a world where too many overlook the importance of integrity and ethics in business, politics, and their personal lives, the need to represent our vocation in Rotary, and Rotary in our vocation, is as strong as ever."

Peter Lawrie, president of Oak Bay, has some comments that may resound with you as well: “Vocational Service is an area of service I have had little engagement with. Your note was VERY helpful. It helped to contextualize Rotary’s distinction. Today we had an assembly and it was also the first day of Vocational Service month. I used the quote from Bhichai Rattakul you included as a way to start our meeting. It clearly struck an effective chord. Lots of new/prospective members and also seasoned veterans were nodding their heads like – Yea! We lose sight of that sometimes! There are lots of service clubs who do good work. Rotary is about doing good work and impacting the world in the club and at work!

RI is recognizing outstanding Vocational Service activities with a Leadership Award. Please consider applying for the award. With diligence, you can find the form on the RI web site (search “Vocational Service Award”). It was also contained in Chip’s September 12 E-mail to club presidents. For more information, communicate with Chip at .

ZONE INSTITUTE. DGE Michael Procter, DGN Rose Bowman, PDG Bob and Jan Martin and District Trainer Craig Gillis joined me at the Rotary Zone Institute in Phoenix, September 26-29. This is a grand gathering of past, present and future leaders in Zones 25 and 26. General Secretary John Hewko announced that his contract had been renewed for four years. He has done an excellent job running the organization the past two years, so this is good news. We collectively learned a lot; it will be applied over the next few months.

CLUB VISITS. 5020 First Lady Kristine has healed well from her fractured femur accident, and will be back on the trail with me this month. Thank you for all your good wishes. Also, thanks to all the clubs I have visited for your hospitality. I have been awed by the projects you have shared with me. Keep up the great work!

DG Pete

District Governor's Report for October Craig Clarke 2013-10-16 00:00:00Z 0

Coop week October 13 - 19

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 13, 2013

Co-op Week has been celebrated by francophones throughout Canada since 1958. In 1981 celebrations were held among anglophone co-ops in the Maritimes and Saskatchewan. The event went national in 1982 with the encouragement of the Co-operative Union of Canada, a predecessor of the Canadian Co-operative Association.

Co-op Week appears to be a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. In the US, October is Co-op Month, and the International Co-operative Alliance and United Nations have an International Day of Co-operatives on the first Saturday in July.

International Credit Union Day, co-ordinated by the World Council of Credit Unions  has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.

Coop week October 13 - 19 Craig Clarke 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z 0

National Research Council announced its energy storage research program

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 08, 2013

Integrating renewable energy technologies, including wind and solar, into Canada’s electricity infrastructure can be accelerated by overcoming technical and cost barriers to grid-scale energy storage. While participating at the Renewable Energy Storage Summit, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced its Energy Storage for Grid Security and Modernization research program.

“This large-scale, multi-year, collaborative approach will deploy a critical mass of expertise in targeted areas to help resolve the reliability and affordability challenges of integrating new technologies into a modernized electricity grid,” said Andy Reynolds, General Manager of the Energy, Mining and Environment portfolio at the National Research Council of Canada. “This will help grow Canada’s renewable energy sector and create new markets for enabling technology and material suppliers, including the mining industry.”

Canada’s electricity grid will require significant maintenance and upgrades over the next 20 years, which could raise energy costs for consumers. Energy storage helps manage variable daily and seasonal energy generation and consumption levels and make more efficient use of existing transmission and distribution assets (for example: transmission lines, power stations, circuit breakers, etc.). It also provides opportunities for peak shaving (reducing consumption demands during peak hours) and arbitrage (purchasing electricity and storing it when prices are low, and then selling it when prices are high). By distributing energy storage technologies close to consumers, multiple economic benefits can be provided by a single installation which will reduce costs for end-users.

National Research Council announced its energy storage research program Craig Clarke 2013-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

Intl Energy Agency estimates fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide at $523 billion

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 08, 2013

The IEA, within the framework of the World Energy Outlook, has been measuring fossil-fuel subsidies in a systematic and regular fashion for more than a decade. Its analysis is aimed at demonstrating the impact of fossil-fuel subsidy removal for energy markets, climate change and government budgets. The IEA’s latest estimates indicate that fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide amounted to $523 billion in 2011, up from $412 billion in 2010, with subsidies to oil products representing over half of the total. Changes in international fuel prices are chiefly responsible for differences in subsidy costs from year to year. The increase in the global amount of subsidy in 2011 closely tracked the sharp rise in international fuel prices.

Since 2009 the IEA has provided ongoing input to the G-20 in support of their commitment to “rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption”. Many countries are now pursuing reforms, but steep economic, political and social hurdles will need to be overcome to realise lasting gains.

Click here to go to full text on International Energy Agency page.

Intl Energy Agency estimates fossil-fuel consumption subsidies worldwide at $523 billion Craig Clarke 2013-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

OECD report calls for credible and consistent carbon pricing to tackle climate change,

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 08, 2013

Releasing the report Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies during a Lecture organised jointly with the London School of Economics, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said that a transformation of the global energy system is needed if countries hope to limit climate change to a 2ºC temperature increase from pre-industrial levels, as agreed by the global community. He called for a coherent approach to carbon pricing, to ensure that price signals sent to consumers, producers and investors alike are consistent and facilitate the gradual phase-out of fossil fuel emissions. He also questioned how much impact existing climate policies can have when countries around the world continue to subsidise the exploration, production and use of fossil fuels. Read Mr. Gurría’s speech on The climate challenge: achieving zero emissions.


“Whatever policy mix we put in place, it has to lead to the complete elimination of emissions to the atmosphere from fossil fuels in the second half of the century,” Mr Gurría said. “We don’t need to see zero net emissions tomorrow, but we will need to be on the pathway.”


The report says governments need to ensure that carbon pricing is sufficient to achieve climate goals and that other policies are well-aligned with these goals. With international negotiations getting under way for a new climate agreement in 2015, every government needs to review its policy settings and rigorously assess if their overall impact helps climate action or hinders it

Click here to go to full press release on OECD site.

OECD report calls for credible and consistent carbon pricing to tackle climate change, Craig Clarke 2013-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

Reinventing the Toilet in India

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 06, 2013

       October 02, 2013

Gandhi said “Sanitation is more important than independence”. To demonstrate his commitment he made cleanliness and sanitation an integral part of the Gandhian way of living and believed in total sanitation for all.

October 2, 2013, is the 144th birthday of Bapu and what better way for the Bill & Melinda Gates to celebrate this profound and inspirational leader, than to announce our new partnership with The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in joint funding the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) to launch the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge – India.

If you are not immersed in the issues facing global sanitation, you should be. At the moment, 2.5 billion people don’t have access to safe sanitation. Safe sanitation, that could save the lives of 1.5 million kids under the age of 5 globally every year and prevent so much sickness and suffering for 40% of the world’s population.

At 1.27 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world. Although, around 275 million people gained access to improved sanitation between 1990 and 2011, 615 million still defecated in the open in 2011[1].

And, millions of tons of fecal sludge collected from pit latrines and septic tanks are discharged untreated into the environment, creating a horrendous health hazard. A recent UNICEF report on sanitation in India showed that poor sanitation is responsible for the stunting of 62 million children under the age of 5; these kids will never reach their full physical or mental potential.

Reinventing the Toilet in India Craig Clarke 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rowe House official opening

Posted by Craig Clarke on Oct 06, 2013


The official opening was held on Friday, October 4.

Our club can be proud of its contribution to this project in support of Nanaimo Youth Services.   Originally built in 1906, the house was remodeled with support from various levels of government.  The governments of Canada and B.C. provided a combined investment of $300,000 through the Federal Provincial Housing initiative, under the Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Agreement. In addition, the Government of B.C. provided financing of $381,515 to enable Nanaimo Youth Services Association to complete the acquisition of the property. The City of Nanaimo provided a $75,000 grant. Labour contributions were provided by the BladeRunners valued at $15,000 and the Rotary Club of Nanaimo North valued at $10,000.

Rowe House official opening Craig Clarke 2013-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
DisasterAid USA report on Pakistan Floods 2010 Craig Clarke 2013-10-01 00:00:00Z 0

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre fundraising goal $3k by October 31

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 29, 2013

In a very short amount time the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre has made a presence here in the community, collaborating, developing new community programs, meeting with many and working towards our vision of improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.

We've set a goal to raise $3000 by October 31st and with your support I know we can do it.

Take a moment to check us out on Indiegogo and also share our story with your friends. All the tools are there. Make a contribution, or simply follow updates.


Join us in our efforts.... please consider making a donation today.  It only takes a minute.

In Friendship,

Chris Beaton

Executive Director

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre

101 - 319 Selby Street

Nanaimo, BC  V9R 2R4

Phone:  250-753-6911

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre fundraising goal $3k by October 31 Craig Clarke 2013-09-30 00:00:00Z 0

Indian businesswoman Polio Plus donation of $1M matched 2:1 by Gates Fdn

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 29, 2013




Indian philanthropist and businesswoman Rajashree Birla has announced a new gift of US$1 million to Rotary to help eradicate polio. The gift brings her total contributions to the Rotary effort to more than $7.2 million.

What’s more, this gift will be matched two-for-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, resulting in $3 million in new funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Rotary is a leading partner in the GPEI, especially in advocating government and donor support, fundraising, and building public awareness. Through the End Polio Now: Make History Today fundraising campaign, the Gates Foundation is matching two-for-one every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication, up to $35 million per year, from 2013 through 2018.

“Mrs. Birla’s generous gift is deeply appreciated and could not have come at a more opportune time in our fight to end polio once and for all,” says Ashok Mahajan, a former Rotary Foundation trustee and close friend of the Birla family. “Her generosity no doubt will inspire other private donors to step up and help Rotary take full advantage of our innovative partnership with the Gates Foundation.”

Birla’s gift underscores India’s commitment to remain polio free. India -- which some experts believed would be the last nation to beat polio -- hasn’t recorded a case of the disease since January 2011. Only Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan remain on the list of countries where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped. India’s nearly 3,200 Rotary clubs have been instrumental in supporting National Immunization Days, massive initiatives that reach nearly 175 million children under age 5 with the oral polio vaccine.

“Thanks to the efforts of Rotary and its partners -- including India’s Health Ministry, WHO [World Health Organization], UNICEF, CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], the Gates Foundation, and other organizations -- India continues to be free of polio,” says Birla, whose son, Kumar Mangalam Birla, has transformed the Aditya Birla Group into a Fortune 500 global conglomerate. “Now we owe it to humanity to see that Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan also become polio free in the near future.”

Indian businesswoman Polio Plus donation of $1M matched 2:1 by Gates Fdn Craig Clarke 2013-09-30 00:00:00Z 0

Highlights of the fifth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 28, 2013

by Dr Stephan Rahmstorf  September 27. 2013.

The time has come: the new IPCC report is here! After several years of work by over 800 scientists from around the world, and after days of extensive discussion at the IPCC plenary meeting in Stockholm, the Summary for Policymakers was formally adopted at 5 o’clock this morning. Congratulations to all the colleagues who were there and worked night shifts. The full text of the report will be available online beginning of next week. Realclimate summarizes the key findings and shows the most interesting graphs.

Global warming

It is now considered even more certain (> 95%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Natural internal variability and natural external forcings (eg the sun) have contributed virtually nothing to the warming since 1950 – the share of these factors was narrowed down by IPCC to ± 0.1 degrees. The measured temperature evolution is shown in the following graph.

Figure 1 The measured global temperature curve from several data sets. Top: annual values. ​​Bottom: averaged values ​​over a decade.

Click here to read the full story at Real Climate website.

Click here for the 2 page summary of the headline statements by the IPCC in PDF format.

About the author:  A physicist and oceanographer by training, Stefan Rahmstorf  teaches physics of the oceans as a professor at Potsdam University and conducts research on the role of ocean currents in relation to climate change at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.  Rahmstorf is a member of the Advisory Council on Global Change of the German government and of the Academia Europaea. He is a lead author of the paleoclimate chapter of the 4th assessment report of the IPCC.

In 1999 Rahmstorf was awarded the $ 1 million Centennial Fellowship Award of the US-based James S. McDonnell foundation.


Highlights of the fifth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Craig Clarke 2013-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

McGill students awarded $1M prize by Bill Clinton for food security project

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 28, 2013

CTV Montreal  Published Monday, September 23, 2013 10:56PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 24, 2013 1:12PM EDT


A group of McGill students has been awarded $1 million to help create a company that will farm insects.

The Hult Prize was awarded to McGill University's Aspire team by former president Bill Clinton Monday evening at an event in New York City.

The McGill crew, which consisted of MBA students from the Desautels Faculty of Management, beat out some 10,000 colleges and universities from 150 countries in the running for the prize.

The goal was to address global food insecurity in urban slums. The McGill team put a special emphasis on using insects as a food source, and their prize money is supposed to go toward creating a company that will promote insect farming.

Read more


McGill students awarded $1M prize by Bill Clinton for food security project Craig Clarke 2013-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

Historic returns of Pink salmon to the Quinsam River

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 28, 2013

Pink salmon returns to the Campbell and Quinsam Rivers hit a historic high of over one million fish this year.

It is the highest total on record since the Quinsam Hatchery opened over 35 years ago.

This year's total even surpassed the return of about 900,000 in 2009. Last year about 327,000 pinks returned to the river.

While the pink numbers are confirmed, hatchery staff have been busy doing pink salmon egg takes and haven't had a chance to do swim counts and get the numbers on the other Pacific salmon in the system

Click here to read rest of story in the Courier-Islander.

Historic returns of Pink salmon to the Quinsam River Craig Clarke 2013-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

How do you get free ad space for Rotary?

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 28, 2013

Posted on


A digital billboard advertises Rotary near the George Massey Tunnel in Vancouver, Canada.

A digital billboard advertises Rotary near the George Massey Tunnel in Vancouver, Canada.

By Penny Offer, Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 24

Have you noticed how digital flat screen signs are popping up in banks, fast-food outlets, airports, sports areas and numerous other locations? They are replacing traditional fixed printed billboards on highways. This new media offers opportunities for Rotary.

In August, the Rotary Club of Ladner (Delta) in suburban Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, invited a sales rep from one of the major digital billboard companies as a speaker at a regular meeting of the club. At the end of his presentation he was asked if he would give comp space to Rotary, and he quickly agreed.

A poster was selected from the collection on the Rotary Media Center and modified to include a photo of a member of the club and the club’s web address. The digital billboard company posted it on two of their digital signs, at the George Massey Tunnel and the Alex Fraser Bridge. The image appears for 10 seconds every 90 seconds. The company offered 10 days of display at a retail value of $2,000, with no cost to Rotary.

Multiple traffic lanes merge at both the tunnel and bridge, with heavy traffic volume slowing traffic speed significantly. Therefore drivers and passengers see the Rotary sign twice as they pass during rush hour periods when traffic reaches a crawl.

The club will be monitoring increased visits to its site, contacts to its club membership chair, and new members brought in as a result of the sign.

So, how do you get low cost or free digital ad space for Rotary?

  • Just ask. Billboard companies may say no, but they often say yes!
  • When you see a digital sign, record the company name and contact them
  • Ask owners of businesses with digital signs if you can run a Rotary ad

See photos of the billboards and download a summary report on the project.

How do you get free ad space for Rotary? Craig Clarke 2013-09-29 00:00:00Z 0
Bill Gates' proposals for the next round of Millenium Development Goals Craig Clarke 2013-09-25 00:00:00Z 0

UNAIDS reports a 52% reduction in HIV infections in children

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 24, 2013

World closing in on Millennium Development Goal 6, globally the AIDS epidemic has been halted and reversed—race is on to reach universal access to HIV treatment.

GENEVA, 23 September 2013—As world leaders prepare to meet at the United Nations General Assembly to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals—a new report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows dramatic acceleration towards reaching 2015 global targets on HIV.  

New HIV infections among adults and children were estimated at 2.3 million in 2012, a 33% reduction since 2001. New HIV infections among children have been reduced to 260 000 in 2012, a reduction of 52% since 2001. AIDS-related deaths have also dropped by 30% since the peak in 2005 as access to antiretroviral treatment expands.

By the end of 2012, some 9.7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy, an increase of nearly 20% in just one year. In 2011, UN Member States agreed to a 2015 target of reaching 15 million people with HIV treatment. However, as countries scaled up their treatment coverage and as new evidence emerged showing the HIV prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy, the World Health Organization set new HIV treatment guidelines, expanding the total number of people estimated to be in need of treatment by more than 10 million.

“Not only can we meet the 2015 target of 15 million people on HIV treatment—we must also go beyond and have the vision and commitment to ensure no one is left behind,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Significant results have also been achieved towards meeting the needs of tuberculosis (TB) patients living with HIV, as TB-related deaths among people living with HIV have declined by 36% since 2004.

Despite a flattening in donor funding for HIV, which has remained around the same as 2008 levels, domestic spending on HIV has increased, accounting for 53% of global HIV resources in 2012. The total global resources available for HIV in 2012 was estimated at US$ 18.9 billion, US$ 3-5 billion short of the US$ 22-24 billion estimated to be needed annually by 2015. 

Click here to read story on UN website

UNAIDS reports a 52% reduction in HIV infections in children Craig Clarke 2013-09-25 00:00:00Z 0

The Rotary Club of Toronto Aboriginal Service Committee

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 24, 2013
 by Steven Smith
The Board of The Rotary Club of Toronto is delighted to announce that the Aboriginal Service Committee, which was established in 2011 as a pilot project, has been confirmed as a philanthropic committee. The decision was unanimously carried at the June 2013 meeting of the RCT Board. The Aboriginal Service Committee aims to build relationships with aboriginal peoples and groups, and to educate Rotarians about aboriginal issues and challenges. 

The committee has two areas of interest: 

• Education of aboriginal children and youth

• Collaboration with other groups that seek to make a difference in aboriginal communities.

In the past two years, the committee has achieved several milestones. It has:

• Supported a First Nations School in Toronto through a financial donation to its food program, and donations of equipment for special needs students, books and toys;
• Organized two Career Days, bringing Rotarians to the school to discuss a variety of careers and occupations with Grade 7 and 8 students;
• Given financial support to the Scarborough, Ont. GED program run by Native Child and Family Services;
• Supported financially and promoted Andrée Cazabon’s “Third World Canada” documentary that reveals the dire situation existing on many First Nation reserves;
• Helped bring together a number of Rotary Clubs and aboriginal leaders across Ontario to form the Aboriginal Rotarian Community Circle and collaborate on ways to assist   aboriginal communities;
• Arranged for several luncheon presentations on aboriginal issues to raise the awareness of club members;
• Submitted a proposal to The Rotary Club of Toronto board that resulted in a $25,000 donation to Club Amik, a book program initiated by former Ontario Lt. Gov. James Bartleman
• Participated in Ontario Lt. Gov. David Onley’s aboriginal networking initiative.

The committee continues to develop relationships in the aboriginal and non-aboriginal world in order to fulfill its mandate and meet the needs of the aboriginal community in Canada. It welcomes to its membership Rotarians who want to make a difference.

The Rotary Club of Toronto Aboriginal Service Committee Craig Clarke 2013-09-25 00:00:00Z 0
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at UN forum on sustainable development Craig Clarke 2013-09-24 00:00:00Z 0

Why the World Bank is Taking on Climate Change

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 23, 2013

If you had a life-threatening illness and there was near unanimous consensus among doctors about the cause, what would you do?

We know that climate change, left unchecked, threatens the health, homes, and livelihoods of millions of people around the globe, with the poorest and most vulnerable hit the hardest. 

This week, the United NationIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a major report that is expected to raise the panel’s certainty that human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, is the cause of much of the warming seen in recent years. In New York, World Bank President Jim Jong Kim will also be speaking at the opening of Climate Week on Sept. 23 on the impacts of climate change on poverty and the need for action.

“Decades of progress are now in danger of being rolled back because of climate change,” President Kim says. "This is a ‘make-or-break’ decade for action on global warming. The time to address the interlinked challenges of climate change and ending extreme poverty is now.” 

Click here to read the story on the World Bank website.

Why the World Bank is Taking on Climate Change Craig Clarke 2013-09-24 00:00:00Z 0

UN Conference on Trade and Development says poor countries can't rely on exports for growth

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 17, 2013

New UNCTAD report argues that the world economy is experiencing a structural shift, and that countries must introduce fundamental changes in their growth strategies in order to adjust to it. In particular, developing and transition economies that have been overly dependent on exports should give a greater role to domestic and regional demand.

The Trade and Development Report 2013 notes that the current global economic and financial crisis reflects a structural shift of the world economy, and that adjusting to this structural shift requires fundamental changes to the prevailing growth strategies.

The world economy cannot revert to pre-crisis growth, which was built on unsustainable global demand and financing patterns.

Developed countries should act more decisively to address the fundamental causes of the crisis, and should move away from contradictary fiscal policies so as not to further undermine their already slow economic growth.

UN Conference on Trade and Development says poor countries can't rely on exports for growth Craig Clarke 2013-09-18 00:00:00Z 0
Take a tour of the new Rotary International website Craig Clarke 2013-09-13 00:00:00Z 0

FAO report says global food waste harms climate, water land & biodiversity

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 10, 2013
11 September 2013, Rome - The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself, says a new FAO report.

Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources is the first study to analyze the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking specifically at its consequences for the climate, water and land use, and biodiversity.

Among its key findings: Each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River and is responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere; these emissions are topped only by the national emissions of  China and the U.S.
And beyond its environmental impacts, the direct economic consequences to producers of food wastage (excluding fish and seafood) run to the tune of $750 billion annually, FAO's report estimates.

"All of us - farmers and fishers; food processors and supermarkets; local and national governments; individual consumers -- must make changes at every link of the human food chain to prevent food wastage from happening in the first place, and re-use or recycle it when we can't," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.  "We simply cannot allow one-third of all the food we produce to go to waste or be lost because of inappropriate practices, when 870 million people go hungry every day," he added.

Fifty-four percent of the world's food wastage occurs "upstream" during production, post-harvest handling and storage, according to FAO's study. Forty-six percent of it happens "downstream," at the processing, distribution and consumption stages.

As a general trend, developing countries suffer more food losses during agricultural production, while food waste at the retail and consumer level tends to be higher in middle- and high-income regions -- where it accounts for 31-39 percent of total wastage -- than in low-income regions (4-16 percent).  The later a food product is lost along the chain, the greater the environmental consequences, FAO's report notes, since the environmental costs incurred during processing, transport, storage and cooking must be added to the initial production costs.


FAO report says global food waste harms climate, water land & biodiversity Craig Clarke 2013-09-11 00:00:00Z 0

UBC Cancelling classes Sept 18 for Truth & Reconciliation Event

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 09, 2013

The University of British Columbia has taken the extraordinary step of suspending almost all classes on its Vancouver campus on September 18 to encourage its community to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s National Event.

Held at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, the TRC will gather testimony from survivors of the Indian residential school system that operated from 1875 – 1996 in Canada. Forcibly removed from their homes, Aboriginal children were subject to emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

“UBC is fundamentally committed to ensuring what we’ve learned through the work of the commission will help guarantee future relationships are much better than those of the past,” said UBC President Stephen Toope, who is scheduled to speak at the national event on Sept. 18. “I encourage everyone to get involved.”

Click here to go to BC Reconciliation Week Sept 16 - 22 webpage.

UBC Cancelling classes Sept 18 for Truth & Reconciliation Event Craig Clarke 2013-09-10 00:00:00Z 0

New program is bringing electricity to Ethiopia

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 05, 2013

A program in Ethiopia has brought distributed solar to 13,200 people, and aims to reach roughly another 11,800 by the end of this November. Roughly one third of the East African country’s population lives on $1.25 a day (adjusted for purchasing power parity) or less, and as of 2009 the country was plagued by power outages and less than 10 percent of its households had access to electricity.

The effort is part of a larger program set up by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water and Energy, and backed by $40 million from the World Bank. It’s already commissioned three hydropower plants — with a combined capacity of 1.18 gigawatts — to bring renewable energy to Ethiopians on the nation’s electrical grid. $11 million of that grant is going to the solar program, which aims to bring distributed generation to Ethiopians not on the grid.

This can be an unusually effective energy solution for the poor in the developing world — especially in Africa, where sunshine is abundant. Between 1.2 and 1.6 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and the International Energy Agency has more or less admitted that at this rate half of them will never have access to the grid. Furthermore, these people generally rely on kerosene, candles, batteries, generators, and such for light and power. The kerosene alone took up 25 to 30 percent of a family’s income per year, as of 2012.

Click here to go to full article in Think Progress.

New program is bringing electricity to Ethiopia Craig Clarke 2013-09-06 00:00:00Z 0

Intl Energy Agency and UNDP partner to make building codes more energy efficient

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 04, 2013

The International Energy Agency (IEA)  and the United Nations Development Program produced a report that shares best practices and lessons learned among IEA member
countries and non-IEA countries in improving energy efficiency in the building sector. The objective is to limit pressures on global energy supply, improve energy security and contribute to environmental sustainability. Buildings are the largest consumers of energy worldwide.

In many IEA member countries, the buildings sector accounts for over 40% of primary energy consumption. Globally, the sector’s final consumption doubled between 1971 and 2010,
driven primarily by population increase and economic growth. The number of buildings will continue to increase, adding further pressure on energy supplies around the world. Global energy demand of buildings is projected to grow by an additional 30% by 2035.

In IEA member countries, where current building stock will remain in place for years to come, the main focus should be on renovation, through implementation of energy codes and minimum performance standards in existing buildings. In non-IEA countries, where more than half of the buildings stock needed by 2050 has yet to be built, new buildings should be designed to be lower energy consumers, with codes that specify strict performance standards. Comprehensive policy packages are needed to facilitate and promote the use of advanced building energy codes.

Click here to go to IEA webpage.

Intl Energy Agency and UNDP partner to make building codes more energy efficient Craig Clarke 2013-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

Political views influence our ability to do math

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 04, 2013

Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the “Science Comprehension Thesis” (SCT), which identifies defects in the public’s knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the “Identity-protective Cognition Thesis” (ICT) which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. In our experiment, we presented subjects with a difficult problem that turned on their ability to draw valid causal inferences from empirical data. As expected, subjects highest in Numeracy—a measure of the ability and disposition to make use of quantitative information—did substantially better than less numerate ones when the data were presented as results from a study of a new skin-rash treatment. Also as expected, subjects’ responses became politically polarized—and even less accurate—when the same data were presented as results from the study of a gun-control ban. But contrary to the prediction of SCT, such polarization did not abate among subjects highest in Numeracy; instead, it increased. This outcome supported ICT, which predicted that more Numerate subjects would use their quantitative-reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data to the result most consistent with their political outlooks. We discuss the theoretical and practical significance of these findings.

Click here to go to paper in the Social Science Research Network.

Political views influence our ability to do math Craig Clarke 2013-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

District 5360 Flood Relief Fund

Posted by Craig Clarke on Sep 01, 2013


District 5360 is accepting donations to benefit those communities most affected by the flooding in Southern Alberta. Those wishing to donate to specific communities are invited to make their donations directly to the local Rotary Club, or to indicate their wishes when donating through the District. Please note that some clubs, including High River, are not in a position to issue charitable receipts at this time should one be required.

Donate on line or mail a cheque to:

       Rotary District 5360 Inc - Flood Relief Fund
       4 Parkdale Crescent NW
       Calgary, AB   T2N 3T8

donation form and mark memo area on cheque: Flood Relief
       (Registered Charity #88939 5398 RR0001)
       Tax receipts will be issued for donations over $25 if full mailing address is provided.

District 5360 will work with the local Rotary Clubs in each affected community to disburse donated funds. The proceeds of the fund will support flood relief projects in the affected regions through Rotary Clubs in Calgary, Canmore, High River and Me