October 2016 Rotary Service newsletter
October 2016 | Connect. Partner. Serve.
Children getting drinking water
Take action during Rotary Economic and Community Development Month 

During October, designated by Rotary as Economic and Community Development Month, members spotlight one of Rotary’s vital causes: growing local economies. According to the United Nations, 836 million people still live in extreme poverty. Unemployment and underemployment, along with lack of economic opportunity, appropriate training, and social services, lie at the core of poverty.

Rotarians worldwide are determined to reduce poverty through projects that deliver equipment, vocational training, and work to strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, from impoverished communities. Here are a couple of Rotary Showcase examples of members taking action to grow local economies and communities:

  • The Rotary Club of Abuja, Nigeria, carried out three months of training for 30 internally displaced women, who were affected by terrorist groups in the region. The women were trained in sewing clothes, and at the end of the program, the best participants received sewing machines, tools, and other necessities. The club also helped the best participants find jobs in the sewing industry.
  • The Rotary Club of Addis Ababa West, Ethiopia, offered vocational training to local participants, who attended a workshop on marketable businesses and management training. Then, they chose further training in a single vocation, such as hairdressing, sewing, food preparation, and video and photo editing. Government offices and private institutions trained them for two to five months. Afterward, participants received start-up tools, equipment, and supplies to begin their own business ventures.

Generating income and opportunities for entrepreneurship and a productive workforce is essential, along with education and health strategies, to reducing poverty. Every community has different needs and different opportunities to serve. The new Rotary guide Economic and Community Development Project Strategies aims to help clubs and districts ask the right questions, identify needs, and make the greatest possible impact with the time, energy, and resources they have. Download the guide and take action this Economic and Community Development Month.

Find a partner for your project on Rotary Ideas

Rotary’s crowdfunding platform emphasizes partnerships over dollars

Because the funding just wasn’t there, Suzette Ramdanie-Linton was almost ready to give up on a local clean water project that her Rotary Club of Montego Bay Sunrise had initiated in St. James, Jamaica. Then, her district governor, Paul Brown, encouraged her to promote the project on Rotary Ideas.

Two weeks after she put a project description and photos on Rotary’s crowdsourcing platform, she received an email from Naude Dreyer, a member of the Rotary Club of Central Cayman Islands. Dreyer was looking specifically for water projects in Jamaica. “It was a perfect find for us,” he says. “Rotary Ideas is a really cool site and a great way to fundraise.”

Rotary Ideas helps clubs seeking volunteers, partnerships, in-kind donations, funding, and connections with one another. More than 1,220 projects have been posted on the platform since it launched in August 2013. Rotary Ideas emphasizes partnerships over dollars. The two Caribbean clubs are now collaborating on another project, to provide dictionaries to third graders in St. James.

Rotary welcomes new fellowships

Enhance your Rotary experience through a Rotary Fellowship

There are more than 70 Rotary Fellowships, international, independently organized groups of Rotarians, family members, program participants, and alumni who share a common passion. The RI Board of Directors recently recognized four new fellowships:

  • The Whisk(e)y Drinking Rotarians and Members (DRAM) offers opportunities to learn about whiskey and its geographically distinct counterpart, whisky, along with food pairings and other topics related to the appreciation of all whiskeys produced worldwide. Visit the fellowship’s website or contact chair Terry Moore
  • The International Fellowship of Draughts Playing Rotarians fosters friendship among those who enjoy playing the game of draughts (checkers). The group plans to organize individual matches and team tournaments. It also encourages Rotaractors and Interactors to join, so they can develop skills that can also be useful in academic pursuits. Contact chair Bola Oyebade.
  • The Ethics Fellowship of Rotarians connects members interested in ethics, and promotes ethics not only in personal and professional interactions, but also in future generations. Join the fellowship’s group on Facebook or contact chair Sergio Levy.
  • The Table Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians welcomes those interested in the sport. Follow the fellowship’s Facebook page or contact chair Saadet Garan.

Rotary International

Give your members a meaningful Rotary experience by offering them opportunities to make a positive difference and connect with others. The following resources can help:


The Rotary Foundation turns 100 in 2016-17! Our Foundation stands at the forefront of humanitarian service, having supported thousands of projects to provide clean water, fight disease, promote peace, and provide basic education — as well as the historic project dedicated to eradicating polio worldwide.

Attend the Presidential Peace Conference

Come to the Atlanta Convention early to celebrate our commitment to peace

The Presidential Peace Conference will take place 9-10 June at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, USA. We’ll celebrate our work to reduce the underlying causes of conflict, and our success in making peace a priority. We’ll also look ahead toward opportunities to continue our commitment.

This special event is open to the public and all preconvention and convention attendees, including Rotary members, Peace Fellows, alumni, youths, and friends of Rotary. Read about the conference and registration details. The Rotary International Convention runs 10-14 June.

Plan effective and inspired service projects

Subscribe to the Rotary service blog

 The Rotary Connections blog helps our members and supporters plan service projects. Subscribe to the blog for tips, resources, and inspirational stories to boost your projects. You can motivate others, too, by adding your own experiences with success stories to the blog. We love hearing from you — send us your stories! Check out our contributor guidelines and read recent posts.

Resources & reference

Rotary Ideas
Rotary Showcase

Rotary's Area of Focus guide
Rotary's Areas of Focus presentations
Communities in Action
Community Assessment Tools

Rotary Service offers resources and news to help you plan effective service projects.

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