May is a very special month for Rotary

Feel free to share this flyer on your social media accounts. Developing leadership skills and a commitment to community service among young people has long been one of Rotary’s priorities. Check this website’s inside pages list for links to information on RYLA, Rotary Exchange, Rotaract, and other Rotary-affiliated organizations and activities suitable for high school- […]

Buy a ticket to India, get a no-strings free stay

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 2.46.47 PM
Marker shows location of Chennai on India’s southeast coast.

To the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club:

Greetings from the Rotary Club of Madras South in Chennai, India.

We were chartered in 1960 [like the SRC] and we are celebrating our diamond jubilee in 2019-20. To share our joy on this great occasion, we are organizing a four-day fun and fellowship event in Chennai from December 18-22. We are inviting all clubs across the world who were chartered in 1960 like ours to share this special bonding.

Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 2.40.45 PMWe are hosting this event at NO COST for the participants, except travel. We will take care of accommodation, food, transport, sight-seeing and fellowship during your stay at Chennai. And, we are working out post-tour options for whoever is interested, on a paid basis.

We organized a similar international fellowship event in in January 2000. Twenty-one  Rotarians and Anns from seven countries — Argentina, Australia, France, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Malaysia — joined us. It was four days of great fun, fellowship, and bonding for lifelong friendships with visiting tourist and cultural attractions, service projects, and shopping expeditions.

Some feedback from Rotarians who came in 2000:

• Hans Setz from Switzerland said,  “It wasn’t a travel agent waiting for us at the airport, but an ex-Rotary Governor and his wife.” Hans returned three years later to attend the wedding of a daughter of another Rotarian.

• Liz and Olof  Madebrink of Sweden said, “Our trip was like a dream from start to finish. We had a wonderful host couple who did everything for us.”

We invite you and your members to join us in December 2019. Due to logistics and other constraints we will be hosting maximum of 30 members on a first-come, first-served basis.

We will send you more details soon, meanwhile communicate this to your members and let us know who are all interested to join us. Looking forward for your reply and see you all soon in Chennai to experience “Incredible India” and our hospitality.

Warm regards,

Rotarian K. Saravanan    
President, Rotary Club of Madras South

Rotarians work for peace, conflict resolution

District 7190 Governor

Each month Rotary International focuses on a particular humanitarian issue. In February, for instance, the focus is on “Peace and Conflict Resolution/Prevention.”

While we all tend to focus somewhat singularly on the high profile conflicts around the world, like the fighting and human suffering in Syria, the fact is that according to the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) the global level of peace has deteriorated in the last year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations.

Peacefulness in 92 countries deteriorated, while in 71 countries it improved. The 2018 GPI reveals a world in which the tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the past decade remain unresolved, especially in the Middle East, resulting in this gradual, sustained fall in peacefulness. Clearly, there has never been a more important time for Rotary International to push forward with peace initiatives worldwide.

In our own District 7190, we will hold our second annual “Peace Summit for Youth” on May 11 in Schenectady. (Details to come.) This day-long event is aimed at high school students and invites them into a facilitated conversation which encourages them to self define peace — in their school, in their community and in the world.

While adults may think of peace on the context of war and border conflicts, our youth perceive conflict in social media, drug abuse, violence, bullying, and sex. Finding peaceful solutions to these issues is where they tend to focus their thinking and hopes.

It is our job to nurture their ideas and help them to grow hope for their own future.

Undecided about attending Toronto convention? Read this

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 12.06.35 AMBy John Mucha
7190 Past District Governor

We are about 10 months away from a very exciting opportunity for Rotarians and friends from District 7190 to attend an RI Convention close to home.

The convention will be held in Toronto, Canada, less than a day’s drive from anywhere in District 7190. No need for plane tickets, or long international flights. No language issues. This chance likely will not come again in many years.

The District is encouraging all Rotarians to make the effort to attend this event. Many Rotarians believe you cannot truly understand the worldwide impact of Rotary without attending a convention. You can simply register online for a fee of just $345 per person until December 15 when the price will increase.

Perhaps more important than registering now is securing a place to stay in Toronto. Many hotels already are sold out or are close to it. District 7190 has designated the Courtyard Marriott Downtown, on Yonge Street, as the District hotel.  Staying there will allow our District folks to be together if they wish.

You can register for a hotel on the website by clicking on “Convention Hotels.” There are rooms available at the “official” hotel as of this writing. Or you can, of course, register for any other hotel or any other housing you prefer. The important thing is to attend the convention. You won’t regret it!

ShelterBox aiding Asian refugee flood

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 9.24.47 PM
A Rohingya refugee slum in Bangladesh.

We usually hear about ShelterBox providing disaster relief to areas around the globe battered by floods, earthquakes, monsoons and other natural disasters. But, religious, sectarian and ethnic terrorism continues creating hordes of refugees in need of help.

The latest such situation is in Bangladesh where roughly a half-million Rohingya refugees have poured over the border of the South Asian country fleeing military violence against their ethnic group in neighboring Myanmar (Burma) and are living in squalor in makeshift camps.

There are more than a million Rohingya in Myanmar, but since the 1980s they have not been allowed to have citizenship in their own country. They often are referred to as the world’s most persecuted minority.

Liz O’Dell, who has volunteered for 18 Shelterbox deployments in various parts of the world, says this camp (seen above) is “one of the most shocking” she ever has seen. The squalor is apparent at just a glance. Click here for her video report.

Click here for background on the refugee crisis.

Click here for background on the Rohingya people.

Rotary-Peace Corps connection a solid one

SRC’s Becky Raymond at Rotary-Peace Corps Partnership meeting in Denver.

Southern Rensselaer County Rotary member Becky Raymond attended the recent Rotary-Peace Corps Partnership meeting in Denver, CO, that preceded the annual National Peace Corps Association conference. Most of the participants were both Rotarians and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

The purpose of the meeting was to underscore the goals of the “Rotary-Peace Corps Memorandum of Understanding,” and for participants to leave with tools and resources that will help further strengthen the relationship between the two organizations.

At the conference itself, Becky led a breakout session entitled “Collaborative Partnerships.” It highlighted the collaboration between the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northeastern New York, Rotary, the University at  Albany, and the Freedom From Fistula Foundation to raise funds for prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula.

Speakers included Victor Barnes, Rotary Director of Programs and Grants; Ashley Bell, Associate Director of External Affairs at Peace Corps; Ellina Kushnir, supervisor of the Rotary Service and Engagement portfolio; Ted Adams, Peace Corps Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs; several members of Denver area Rotary clubs, the District Governor, and a Rotary Scholar.

Registration already open for next RI Convention

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 12.55.56 PMThe 2017 Rotary International Convention has been over for only a single day, but the 2018 event — to be held in Toronto — already is being hyped by its organizers who are offering a deep registration discount for a limited time.

The convention, which will be held June 23 through 27, offers basic registration for $335 online or $345 by mail or fax through December 15. The price then rises incrementally in several steps as convention time nears. Just click here for full registration detail.