Howdy Rotary Friends,

As we have embraced the month of February, a time synonymous with love, reflection, and service, I am filled with gratitude for the incredible spirit of Rotary that unites us all. We continue to make a profound impact, and I am honored to witness the positive change we bring to our communities. I look forward to all the projects and initiatives coming this weekend with Rotary’s birthday, February 23! Let’s celebrate Rotary and SHARE Rotary across all channels. Remember to use #GoRotary! with your social media posts so we can compile all our activities into one place.

Celebrating Rotary’s Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Month: This month provides an opportunity for Rotary clubs and members to reflect on the significance of peace in our communities and take meaningful actions towards creating a more harmonious world. Please enjoy the articles on peace in this month’s newsletter and remember that peace starts from within. Begin by looking inward with self-compassion.

Upcoming Events: Be sure to check the newsletter for details on upcoming events, collaborations, and opportunities for fellowship. Your active participation fuels the vibrancy of our district, and I encourage you to engage wholeheartedly. Register NOW to join the celebration in Charleston, SC with our district conference! Save the date for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” June 18, 6pm. A fun family time for all! #RotaryFellowship

Thank you to each Rotarian, Rotaractor, Interactor, and supporter, and thank you for your commitment to Rotary and your dedication to making a positive impact. Together, we are truly making a difference.

Best wishes to finish a month filled with love, compassion, and meaningful service.

 Cheers,

DG Debb

Exciting news about Ending polio worldwide!

Click here to read the latest. https://msgfocus.rotary.org/q/12Gr3X6Scncq5gPcVC6zzCxo/wv

Time is Running Out! Register Now…

Elizabeth Usovicz

Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, Kansas City, MO, USA
Director, Rotary International 2021-2023

Elizabeth Usovicz is principal of WhiteSpace Consulting, which focuses on business coaching, business development strategy, and market insights. She previously held leadership positions at Deloitte, Kellogg’s of Mexico, and two venture capital-funded startup companies. Formerly associate director of international programs at Bentley University and an adjunct professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, she currently is a volunteer mentor and adviser to startup company founders through MIT’s Growth Mentoring Services program.

Usovicz joined Rotary in 1997. She served as a Rotary public image coordinator for three years, a facilitator for multiyear district planning for zones 30 and 31, on the training team for governors-elect training seminars, and as a curriculum chair of the Heart of America Rotary Leadership Institute.

Her 20-year passion in Rotary is supporting orphans and at-risk children in Malawi. She has written 10 Rotary Foundation grants to help Malawi’s children and led a vocational training team that worked with local primary school teachers to develop and implement a program that encourages children, especially girls, to stay in school. Other grant projects have focused on a malaria bed net initiative in the southern region of Lake Malawi. “We helped reduce the mortality rate of children under five by 80% in that region — that’s the power of ‘we’ in Rotary,” Usovicz says. “I am not a medical professional, but when we collaborate like that in Rotary, we become lifesavers.”

Usovicz has received The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and has twice received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award. In 2014, Usovicz was recognized at the White House as a Rotary Women of Action honoree.

A native of Salem, Massachusetts, she appreciates history and her Lithuanian heritage. She also enjoys music, classic films, and science fiction TV. Usovicz and her husband, Dean Mathewson, are both Major Donors and Bequest Society members. They live in Westwood, Kansas.

D7680 District Grants Training – 

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 9:00 am – 11:00 am via Zoom 

 Register NOW for District Grant Training on DACDB under the District Calendar. 

Training will start at 9:00 am and end by 11:00 am (Zoom link will be opened at 8:45 for log-in access). 

Does your club plan to apply for a District Grant for 2024-25? 

Now is the time to start assessing needs, collaborating with partners, and planning project(s). 

At least one member of your club (ideally 2 or more, preferably your club leadership and those directly involved in the grant application and project) needs to attend grants training each year.

Applications are due by June 15 in DACDB. (Application form will open after grant training.) 

Did your club receive a District Grant in 2023-24? 

Celebrate how your club is changing lives and creating hope in the world. Tell your story and raise awareness of Rotary in your community and beyond. Share your project with our District Grants committee. Spotlight it during our upcoming 2024 District Conference in the House of Friendship. You can even share it with Rotarians worldwide as part of RI’s “Rotary Showcase”. 

Final reports are due by June 15 in DACDB. (Upload photos & documentation as you go.)

If your club will not complete your project as planned, notify District Grants Chair by March 1. Grant funds that will not be spent by June 15 need to be returned to the district by March 31. 

For information about D7680’s District Grant process and resources, go to the “District Grants” module in DACDB (start at “Grants Overview”). You’ll find links there to Rotary International’s “Terms & Conditions”, MOU, Youth Protection requirements, and Scholarship Best Practices, as well as instructions on how to submit your club’s district grant application and final report. 

For questions, email Rotary7680DistrictGrants@gmail.com or contact the D7680 District Grants Chair (Sharon Heinrich). 

In the January newsletter and Mid-Year Assembly, we covered 3 topics

  • creating a culture of inviting, where it is normal for members to invite guests. Generally, clubs with it grow & clubs without it shrink. The challenge is making needed changes so that culture becomes the new norm.
  • think ‘what’s in it for them’ when inviting guests and onboarding new members – Relationships, Service, Growth and Learning. Being guest and new member-centered makes it easier to invite them.
  • member care is easy – set up a simple system to reach out to those missing meetings, with health issues, etc. Even a brief act of caring is powerful. But the process has to be formalized.

Now, three suggestions to get more out of your Rotary experience.

  • attend a District event – there is no better way to expand your Rotary universe than this. Our next big event is our District Conference in April in Charleston. Learn more on the Calendar under the Club or District tab at www.DACdb.com
  • sign up for Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) at www.rli33.org  to expand your Rotary knowledge beyond your club, and meet interesting Rotarians from all over.  As I tell people, as hard as it is to believe, not every interesting Rotarian on the planet is in your club.
  • volunteer to lead a project in your club – Rotary is the perfect place to practice and enhance leadership, speaking and organizing skills. You are doing something important, but if you’re less than perfect, you still have your day job! And you learned something from it.

Mike Walker
District Membership Chair

Mental Health Corner
District 7680 Newsletter

Romy Cawood, PhD
Charlotte Dilworth Southend Rotary Club

Healthy relationships are central to mental health, and good relationship skills help us to keep our connections with others harmonious and strong.  Building and maintaining healthy relationships is a major focus of my psychology practice, and I work with my clients to develop and refine relationship skills.

I have found that a key relationship skill is the ability to apologize well.  Although it might seem like a simple skill, it is not, and many of us are not taught good skills in apologizing.  Today I will offer pointers on how to apologize well.

Number 1:  Clarify in your own mind what you are apologizing for so that you can state your apology simply and directly.  Use clear language like “I am sorry that I forgot our plans,” or “I apologize for saying that to you.”

Number 2:  State your apology with no conditions or qualifiers, as in “I am sorry that I said that but you said the same thing the other day.”  Or “I apologized.  Now it’s your turn.”  Your apology should stand on its own.

Number 3:  If you wish to defend or clarify your intentions, make sure that does not dilute the clarity of your apology.  Do not say “I am sorry but I didn’t think that would hurt you.”  Do say “I want you to know that I had no intention of hurting you.  But I did, and I am sorry.”

Number 4:  Make sure that the situation is safe for you to offer an apology.  Apologizing is an act of both vulnerability and power.  If you are dealing with a bully, tread cautiously.  Bullies see power as a zero-sum game and often are not able to receive an apology in a healthy way.

Finally, if someone offers a heartfelt apology to you, acknowledge it and consider offering thanks, as in “I really appreciate your apology” or “Thank you so much for addressing my hurt feelings.  That means so much to me.”

For more resources on apologies and relationship repair:

6 Ways to Apologize like you mean it:  Life Kit: NPR

The Art of a Heartfelt Apology — Harvard Health

The Five Ingredients of an Effective Apology — Psychology Today

 

DEI Martin Luther King Day Volunteer Activities

District 7680 recognized its first MLK Day of Service in January with several of our clubs actively engaging in community projects and other activities.  We want to specifically thank the Meck South Club for their outstanding partnership with Rise Against Hunger in packing 10,150 meals! Bryan Cochran said, “What a fantastic way to help others in need while we worked together closely and had fun. In the past 14 months we packed over 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Our contribution makes a big impact in the lives of those with so little to eat.”

The Rotary Club of Gastonia partnered with a local food pantry called “Bountiful Blessings” to distribute food to those in need. Club President Les Davis added that his club added an extra day of service, specifically to honor Dr. King’s legacy of service.

Dr. Katrina Chance, past President of the Rockingham Rotary Club, advised that she participated with others in an ecumenical service on Sunday honoring Dr. King as well as a community breakfast, parade, and Gala.

DEI Co-Chairs Chris and Rina Arline recorded that members of the Charlotte Dilworth Club and the International Club participated in two separate events that were coordinated through a relationship with Harris Teeter’s Community Engagement team. We had five Rotarians from those two clubs working alongside Harris Teeter employees at Second Harvest Food Bank, sorting a variety of donated goods. Members of the Queen City Impact Club participated in a home build with Habitat for Humanity on the Saturday of the MLK weekend. Kudos to Choice Gray and Lorena Prince for their terrific effort!

Finally, on the actual day of recognizing Dr. King, members of the DEI Committee volunteered at the NC Diaper Bank in Charlotte, sorting and wrapping a variety of products for children and seniors.

This was a terrific first step toward honoring the service of Dr. King in his efforts for peace and human rights in our country. Our service remembers his service and we will continue to build upon this in the future.

International Peace Day Proclamation

I was honored this evening to attend the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners meeting where our District received a Proclamation from the Commissioners, recognizing Rotary’s long history in the pursuit of peace and February 23rd as “World Understanding and Peace Day”. This Proclamation came about as a direct result of our Rotary District 7680’s Peace Committee interest in seeing it pursued. I am personally grateful for the advocacy of County Commissioners Susan Rodriguez McDowell and Laura Meier and their strong support.

If you have a municipality in your club’s area, please consider using this as a template in requesting your own Proclamation.

DGE Kevin Kendrick

Spring Conference Registration is Open!

We are very excited to announce that registration for our 21st Annual Spring Conference is now LIVE! Click here to register to attend in-person or virtually. Our early bird registration discount ends on March 9, and online registration closes on March 29 at 5:00 pm EST.

The theme of this year’s conference is “From Self to Society: Envisioning Our Relationship to Peace”. Class 21 Rotary Peace Fellows will present on topics at the forefront of the fields of peacebuilding and international development at the FedEx Global Education Center (UNC-Chapel Hill) on Saturday, April 6th, 2024.

We hope to see you there

Nurturing Peacebuilders: Rotary Peace Fellowship Applications for 2024-25

In a world where the pursuit of peace is paramount, Rotary International stands as a beacon of hope with its renowned Peace Fellowship program. Each year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded fellowships to dedicated leaders worldwide, fostering their growth into effective catalysts for peace. Rotary Peace Fellowship program is offering dedicated leaders from across the globe the opportunity to contribute to peace and development. As we enter the second half of Rotary year 2023-24, let’s delve into the significance of this program and the impact it has on cultivating professionals committed to fostering peace.

Each year, Rotary bestows up to 130 fully funded fellowships to passionate leaders, allowing them to study at one of the prestigious Rotary Peace Centers. These centers provide academic training, hands-on experience, and global networking opportunities, all geared towards developing the capacity of peace and development professionals to become effective catalysts for peace.

The fellowships cover a range of expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and internship and field-study expenses. This comprehensive support ensures that peace fellows can focus on their studies and practical experiences without financial burdens.

We are delighted to announce that District 7680 has successfully proposed and guided the applications of three applicants(namely; Diego Carneiro, Elis Nassif and Salim Uqdah), including one from our city of Charlotte, Selim Uqdah last year (2023-24). We are proud to share with you that all three applicants have been accepted into the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program. This achievement exemplifies the strength and solidity of our foundation as the Peace Committee of District 7680. It underscores the power of teamwork and collaboration, aligning with the core principles of Rotary. Together, we continue to make a positive impact on the world. You can reach the results for the 2023-24 application cycle by clicking on this link: http://www.highroadsolution.com/file_uploader2/files/2024_comparison_chart_.pdf

Since its inception in 2002, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,700 fellows who now work in more than 140 countries. These alumni serve as leaders in governments, NGOs, education and research institutions, peacekeeping and law enforcement agencies, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.

Applications for the 2024-25 Rotary Peace Fellowships:

Rotary is now accepting applications for the 2024-25 Rotary Peace Fellowships. This year, the program will select 50 peace fellows for master’s degree programs and 40 fellows for professional development certificate studies. The application deadline is 15 May, providing aspiring peacebuilders with an opportunity to contribute to global peace efforts.

How You Can Contribute:

Rotary and Rotaract members can play a vital role in promoting the Rotary Peace Fellowship and encouraging potential candidates to apply. Here are some ways to get involved:

  1. Take the “All About the Rotary Peace Fellowship” course to understand the qualification criteria, eligibility restrictions, and the application process.
  2. Forward the fellowship announcement to your contacts and include it in club and district communications.
  3. Use the referral form to inform Rotary about potential candidates.
  4. Share a PowerPoint presentation about the fellowships with your club members and community.
  5. Follow the Rotary Peace Center Facebook page and share their posts.

Call for Action in District 7680:

As members of District 7680, let’s come together to learn more about the Rotary Peace Fellowship program and actively seek out potential candidates for the 2024 application cycle. To discover more about how you can contribute to recruiting the next generation of peace fellows, reach out to your district Rotary Peace Fellowship subcommittee chair or write to rotarypeacecenters@rotary.org.

Let’s unite in fostering peace and development, creating a brighter future for our global community.

Henry Lyon

Peace Fellow Natalie Emery Shares Her Peace Fellowship Experience

Rotary Peace Fellow Natalie Emery (Duke ‘19) shares about her Peace Fellowship experience in this video that was shown last year at the Duke / UNC Peace Center Spring Conference and posted today by the center on Facebook.

Our family was blessed to be matched with Natalie with our endowed scholarship – she’s an amazing and courageous peacebuilder who’s committed to creating positive peace. I think she’s moved on from South Sudan where she was working with the World Food Program in logistics at the time this video was recorded. 

Click here to view the video on Facebook.

Peace, Sharon Heinrich 

Salim Uqdah: A Journey Towards Global Peace

As I reflect on my journey toward becoming a dispute resolution professional and peace advocate, I am reminded of the winding paths, unexpected detours, and profound moments of clarity that have shaped my understanding of peace. My name is Salim Uqdah, and my commitment to fostering peace stems from a deeply rooted belief that it must begin with hailing the light surrounding us before radiating outwards to our communities and the world.

My upbringing in a diverse and vibrant community in Yonkers, NY, and later Charlotte, NC, instilled in me a profound appreciation for the richness of embracing different cultures, perspectives, and beliefs. I witnessed the transformative power of dialogue, empathy, and solidarity from an early age. As a child of an interfaith marriage, intergenerational household, and asus New Yorker during 9/11, I was raised to resolve conflicts and build bridges between strangers who turned into friends, family members, and communities. It prepared me to create enduring roots here in Charlotte since I was 14.

Though I was born in New York, Charlotte is the place that raised me and where I matured as a man. Through a large web of friends and chosen family, I saw firsthand how compromise amidst the tension, maintenance of intimacy, and radical honesty can unlock inner peace and belonging that serve as the foundation for promoting peace on a broader scale through community-minded action. This value led me to open my dispute resolution business, Uroboros Mediations, and become a certified mediator, divorce coach, facilitator, and consultant regarding dispute resolution.

Professional endeavors allowed me to create eviction diversion during COVID-19 that helped negotiate rent agreements between landlords and tenants. My board work with Care Ring and Playing for Others enriched Charlotte’s health and youth. Among participation with various regional and national organizations, my inclusion in Miles Mediation & Arbitration’s panel is a bright spot. I proved that successful mediators can be non-attorney mediators, which may provide more accessible pathways for other passionate people to enter the dispute resolution field.

Lastly, I was humbled to be honored in 2022 as one of Charlotte’s Top 30 Under 30 Future Leaders of Charlotte.

I feel proud of my achievements, yet I yearned to make an impact on a grander scale by creating dispute system designs, like the eviction diversion program. To pursue this yearning, I needed to equip myself with the tools to fuse legal dispute resolution with a foundation for sustainable unity, shifting from solely conflict intervenor to a peacebuilder. I came across the Rotary International Peace Fellowship, and this prestigious program allows individuals to further their knowledge and skills in conflict resolution and peace studies.

The Rotary International Peace Fellowship application process was rigorous and demanding, requiring a comprehensive understanding of global issues, a clear personal vision for promoting peace, and a commitment to service. I dedicated countless hours to crafting my application, drawing upon my experiences, academic background, aspirations for the future, and feedback from trusted families and friends.

The moment I received the news of my acceptance into the Rotary International Peace Fellowship program on Halloween was a surreal trick and trick. It validated my dedication, passion, and unwavering belief in the power of connection to transform into peace for communities and society.
As I prepare to embark on this new chapter of my journey, I feel a sense of gratitude, wonderment, and awe for the experience ahead and the fascinating people I will meet. To offer some wisdom to aspiring candidates and future peacebuilders, I offer the following advice:

  • Cultivate Your Philosophy: Take the time to reflect on your values, beliefs, and aspirations. Cultivate the imagination to envision an ideal world and life based on your philosophy. Determine the steps to inch closer to the dream of peace and how the past propelled you to the desired future. This task may be the hardest step.
  • Get organized for the application process: Review the Rotary Peace Fellowship information page. Set up designated study time in preparation for the 15th May 2024 application deadline. Reach out to your local Rotary club to familiarize yourself with the organization and see if you can obtain a mentor for this process. Continuously seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills in conflict resolution and peacebuilding and where you can make meaningful contributions.
  • Embrace Diversity of Thought: Recognize the value of other people’s unique perspectives, ask for assistance and help regarding your essays, and combine received feedback to foster understanding, clarity of messaging, and the appeal of your objectives across cultures and communities.
  • Be resilient: Pursuits in the peacekeeping field without challenges and setbacks. Only 10% of the Rotary Peace fellow candidates are accepted as finalists. Maintain your resolve in the face of adversity, and remain steadfast in your commitment to creating positive change by widening your options for potential opportunities and reexamining previously closed doors for possible entry because you can apply for the Peace Fellowship for the following year. By engaging in outreach to professionals, you may learn of projects and jobs that can fuel your passion while fulfilling an eligibility requirement for the application

As I continue my global peace journey, I plan to continue the tradition of African-American peacekeepers such as Ralph Bunche, Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin, Shirley Chisholm, and Andrew Young. I hope to excel in my Masters’ in Peace and Conflict at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. I want to thank the Rotary Foundation and Rotarians who endorsed me through this process. I aim to ease the disconnection, isolation, and pain our modern world suffers by creating forums and systems that empower us to embrace our humanity in our personal and professional lives.

The world may be on the precipice of global strife, but necessity breeds innovation. Tenacious leadership can have us all embody the spirit of unity, compassion, and understanding that forward inconceivable progress. Rotary International was born out of a need for this leadership. I desire to be a tenacious leader and have my collective efforts pave the way for a more peaceful and harmonious world for future generations.

Uroboros Mediations Newsletter

uroborosmediations.com

Rotary Magazine Article, February 2024 – Rotary Fellowship Application

Certificate Program Eligibility

For the certificate program at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, applicants must meet one of the following criteria: be from Africa, have prior work experience in Africa, engage with African communities or initiatives outside the continent, or demonstrate a strong interest in learning about peacebuilding approaches within the region.

Similarly, candidates for the certificate program at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkey, must either originate from the Middle East or North Africa, have professional experience in the region, work with communities or initiatives globally linked to the Middle East or North Africa, or exhibit a significant interest in learning about peacebuilding approaches within the region.

Selection Process

Applications undergo an initial screening to ensure eligibility. Qualified applications proceed to a comprehensive review and evaluation process. The Rotary Peace Centers Committee, comprising Rotary members and university representatives, assesses top candidates and selects finalists, who are notified in November.

Throughout the assessment, applications are evaluated based on several criteria:

  1. Fulfillment of eligibility requirements
  2. Proficiency in English
  3. Dedication to peace and development
  4. Leadership potential
  5. Alignment with fellowship objectives and Rotary’s ethos
  6. Academic achievements and compatibility with preferred university programs
  7. Feasibility and potential impact of proposed Social Change Initiative (for certificate program applicants only)

Eligibility Restrictions

Rotary Peace Fellowships are not applicable for doctoral studies. The following individuals are ineligible for the fellowship:

  • Active Rotary members or Rotaract members who are also Rotary members*
  • Employees of Rotary clubs or districts, Rotary International, or other Rotary entities
  • Spouses, lineal descendants (children or grandchildren by blood or legal adoption), spouses of lineal descendants, or ancestors (parents or grandparents by blood) of any living person in the aforementioned categories
  • Former Rotary members and their relatives as described above (within 36 months of their resignation)

*Rotaract club members who are not also Rotary club members can apply.

Applicants must have at least three years between the completion of their most recent academic degree program (undergraduate or graduate) and their intended fellowship start date. Individuals currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs are ineligible.

Rotary Peace Fellows who have finished the certificate program, master’s program, or a Global Grant Scholarship must wait three years from the end date of that program before starting their intended fellowship.

Master’s Degree Program Eligibility

The ideal candidate possesses a strong academic background with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and prior experience in peace and development. We seek early-career individuals who exhibit a steadfast commitment to peace and conflict resolution, are capable of rigorous research and study, and can actively engage within a diverse student body. Successful candidates demonstrate a track record of achievements in peacebuilding and exhibit potential for future leadership and impact in the field through their participation in the fellowship. Post-program, candidates are expected to share their experiences, maintain connections with fellow peace fellows in their region, and forge strong ties with Rotary members.

Eligibility:

Master’s degree candidates must also meet the following criteria:

  • Proficiency in English
  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree
  • Strong commitment to cross-cultural understanding and peace, demonstrated through professional and academic accomplishments, as well as personal or community service
  • Leadership potential
  • Minimum of three years of full-time relevant experience in peace or development work

Applicants must have a three-year gap between the completion of their most recent academic degree program (undergraduate or graduate) and the intended start date for the fellowship. Those currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs are ineligible to apply.

Rotary Peace Fellows who have completed the certificate program or a Global Grant Scholarship must wait three years between the end date of that program and the intended start date for the fellowship.

We encourage individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds to apply, and Rotary provides reasonable accommodations as necessary. You are ineligible if you are an active Rotary member or employed by a Rotary club, Rotary International, or any other Rotary entity. (Rotaract club members who are not also Rotary club members are eligible to apply.)

Introducing a Brand New Hub for Peace: The Otto and Fran Walter Rotary Peace Center

 The Otto and Fran Walter Rotary Peace Center, established through a $15.5 million donation from the Walter Foundation, is set to open at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkiye. Targeting experienced peacebuilders in the Middle East and North Africa, the center will offer a one-year professional development certificate program focusing on peace and development studies. The initiative aims to bring together diverse peacemakers to collaborate on regional peace efforts.

Rotary International, known for its peace centers worldwide, collaborates with established universities to provide comprehensive training in peace studies, conflict resolution, and international development. The curriculum at the new center will address regional issues such as land disputes, climate change, refugee integration, and economic development, tailored to local contexts.

The program includes seminars and workshops by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, along with a nine-month social change project in the region. Bahçeşehir University’s partnership with the UN Institute ensures alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, providing high-level training for fellows.

The center’s regional focus and bottom-up approach to conflict transformation are expected to enhance its effectiveness. Bahçeşehir University, a leading private institution in Turkiye with a diverse student body, will host the center at its Future Campus, offering fellows access to various resources and cultural experiences.

Applications for Rotary Peace Fellowships, including those at Bahçeşehir University, will be open from February 1st to May 15th, with fellows selected in November and studies commencing in early 2025. The fellowships cover tuition, accommodation, transportation, and other expenses.

Rotary members will support the center by encouraging eligible candidates to apply and welcoming fellows to Istanbul. With over 1,700 graduates from its existing peace centers, Rotary aims to make a lasting impact on peacebuilding efforts globally through initiatives like the new peace center in Istanbul.

Henry H. Aktig,

District 7680 Peace Fellowship Subcommittee Chair

Rotary Foundation

Make Life easier! Sign up for Rotary Direct to contribute funds to The Rotary Foundation.

Last year, our Foundation raised over US $427 million and funded more than 1,100 global grants, 470 district grants, and 310 disaster response grants to help communities thrive. Rotary Direct is one of the easiest and most secure ways for our donors to support the Foundation: because contributions are automated, donors don’t need to worry about sending checks or remembering to make an annual contribution on time. 

Rotary Direct saves time and reduces administrative costs. Monthly, quarterly, and annual gift options are available. Members can enroll at the Rotary Direct page, return a completed Rotary Direct enrollment form, or enroll by phone by calling the international office that serves their area or +1-866-976-8279 if in the U.S.

For more information, you can refer to these frequently asked questions. 

ShelterBox is more than just shelter…

Shelter is more than just tents and tarps. It’s a process of recovery, a way of keeping communities and families together and allowing them the space to focus on the future..

1: We help families create a home.  A home is more than a physical structure. It’s a place to spend time with family, to get a good night’s sleep, to play, to work, to feel safe and secure. It’s a place to find privacy and time to yourself. For the people we support, it’s a place with a future.

2: We work alongside beneficiaries to build skills & knowledge. We are committed to lasting change, including training people to build homes that last. A hammer does not build a home. But a hammer in the hands of someone with the knowledge, desire, and motivation to build a home will. By working with communities to showcase both local techniques and construction methods we’ve tested around the world, we can help families to build – and repair – reliable, weatherproof homes.

3: We help people return to work. Emergency shelters are deeply connected to livelihood. When you have a place to call home, you can shift your focus to earning a living. We often help people settle close to places where they can tend crops or keep livestock, and we provide the tools people need to work the fields or support trades

4: We help rebuild communities. A strong community is crucial to building resilience and lifting the spirit of the people living in it. Living with friends, family and neighbors around you provides the physical, material and emotional support needed to recover.

In 2023, we supported more than 325,000 people (approximately 65,000 households). It is our second biggest year, behind the 420,000 supported in 2022, in terms of people reached since ShelterBox began in 2000.

ShelterBox has provided aid to nearly 3 million people since 2000, we could not have reached them without clubs like these.

Thank you for being a ShelterBox HERO!

Caribbean Heritage Scholarship Appliation

Please find the Scholarship Application for the Caribbean International Cultural Association (CICA). This is for High School Seniors of Caribbean Heritage. Please share this with family/friends/anyone who is connected to a student that meets the criteria and let me know if they plan on applying.

The deadline to apply and submit supporting documents is March 31, 2024.

Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders (SFTL)

Check-out our new website for Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders (SFTL)

SFTL Student Registration is up and running in DACdb’s RYLA module! And now it is up to you, the Rotarian, to make the difference. You are the one Students need to make this happen.

Click her for the SFTL Brochure designed for Students, Parents/Guardians, Interact Leaders, Guidance Counselors or others. I have also included a CCL Brochure to provide some idea of how significant the program opportunity is for Students.

Please ask your Student and their Parents or Guardians to complete the SFTL Student Application found here, which will then register in DACdb’s RYLA module as Applicant Entered.

ACTION REQUIRED: Don’t wait, recruit now. The deadline is March 31, 2024.

International Women’s Day 2024 – Empowering and Elevating Women in the Workplace

On 8 March 2024, Rotary International is hosting a 60-minute panel discussion as a way to celebrate and recognize International Women’s Day, and we would love for you to join us!  

The discussion will focus on the importance of not only including but also being a champion of women in leadership — in the workplace and beyond. We will discuss the importance of identifying leaders early, establishing mentorship and sponsorship programs, supporting women in joining women-led professional organizations, and focusing on allyship. We’ll also announce and celebrate the recipient of the 2023-24 Sylvia Whitlock Leadership Award.  

This event is open to Rotary members and members of the public of all genders. Feel free to share with your networks.  

Click here to see the event details and to register. Following the event, a recording will be available to everyone who registers.

How to work with artificial intelligence

Zone 34 had a very informative webinar regarding AI Tips and Tricks.

Check it out here

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Sharing Hope With The World

Remember the sense of discovery, excitement, and community you experienced in Melbourne? The new relationships you developed? The project ideas exchanged? Those opportunities and more are all awaiting you again at the 2024 Rotary International Convention in Singapore!

From 25-29 May, you’ll connect with old friends, forge new bonds, learn fresh ways to create impact and join us in Sharing Hope With the World.

Tell your club members about your awe-inspiring experience at the last Rotary convention and encourage them to join you at the biggest Rotary event of 2024.

Register now for savings. But don’t wait! This discounted rate expires 15 December 2023.

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Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Announces 4th Annual Lake Norman Men That Cook Event

Annual Fundraiser Expected to Raise Thousands of Dollars for Local Charities.

The Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club’s most popular event, “Lake Norman Men That Cook” will return to The Venues at Langtree in Mooresville on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Each year, Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club awards many local charities with thousands of dollars generated by their Lake Norman Men that Cook event. Ticket sales go directly to support charities that serve the communities of North Mecklenburg and South Iredell counties.

Several charities enter their best food creations, and each event participant votes for their favorite food and charity, by placing their ticket in a bucket on each team’s table. That entry ticket value is then given to that charity. In addition to ticket sales, sponsorship dollars will be split among the non-profits represented, making everyone a winner!

In 2023, $23,000 was raised for 21 non-profit organizations with sponsorship from local businesses and community partners. This year the tradition continues with cooking teams competing for funds for their favorite charity with samples of their signature dish.

This family-friendly event provides a smorgasbord of tasty cuisine and a chance to vote for the “best of the best” in six different food categories. First, second, and third-place winners are selected by a panel of chefs from well-known area restaurants. Prize money from the funds raised is divided and shared by all the charities and every admission ticket counts as a vote. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door with a choice of two sessions, 11 am to 12:30 pm or 12:30 pm to 2 pm.  Tickets for children under 10 are $10.  Children under 5 are free.

This event is only possible with the generous support of our wonderful sponsors who support the cooking teams and their charities. Entry fees for cooking teams are $100 per team. The Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club has a 501(C)3 status. All sponsorships and contributions are tax deductible. To buy tickets to the event, become a sponsor, or register a team, contact John Beiler, at 608-469-5552 or visit the Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary website https://lakenormanmenthatcook.info/.

Feb 23-25: It’s Rotary’s birthday on Feb 23! We are celebrating with a weekend of service projects and a collective PR/PI focus. Participate in a local Rotary project or activity and SHARE your experience with the hashtag, #GoRotary! 

March 14-16: PETS

March 23: Grants Training

April 19-21: Go Rotary! District Conference, Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.

May 25-30: Rotary International Conference, Singapore

June 18: #GoRotary! Baseball Game

To submit articles to the District Newsletter, please send to Jenny Kendrick at jakendrick@outlook.com by the last Thursday of the month.