Though my trip is not officially sanctioned or sponsored by The Rotary or any of its affiliates, The Rotary weaves in and out of many of the experiences on my globetrotting adventure. From supporting me as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar for a portion of my time in China to being inspired again and again by Rotarians I’ve met along the way, Rotary and its 1.4 million members have become key affiliates during my around-the-world adventure.
For those of you who may be unfamilar with Rotary International, it is the world’s first service club organization (founded in Chicago in the early 1900′s), and as its website states, “its members volunteer their time and talent to further the Rotary motto, Service Above Self.” The worldwide organization of clubs provide humanitarian services, encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Foundation, the charitable financial wing of the organization, advances world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. Rotary also has service club programs for young professionals and college students (called Rotaract) as well as high school students (called Interact).
Rotary, in my opinion, has the largest reach of any non-governemntal organization in the world and is probably in more places than even most Rotarians realize. From the remote corners of India to the suburbs of middle America, there are local Rotarians doing good things that in some way are positively affecting your life. If you’d like to learn more about The Rotary, I encourage you to visit their expansive website at www.rotary.org.
If you are member of Rotary or affiliated organization and interested in a visit, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Update Dec 2007: One of the experiences I worked to setup during my trip was funded by Rotarians from 18 different Rotary clubs from around the world. Learn more the “10 To The Top” Project, a the climb up Mt Kilimanjaro with 10 local Tanzanian students. <www.10tothetop.org>.
Update Jan 2008: Rotary featured a short piece on my around-the-world trip, which can be seen at Rotary Interactive.
Below are a few photos of some of my adventures involving Rotary.
Above right: 2006 Inbound Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars visiting Hong Kong pose with the local Rotary leadership
The cow and a Rotary sign, Udaipur, India.