President's Message - Capsun M. Poe, President 2016-2017
Aloha Rotarians and Friends:
First off, I'm happy to report that Susan Szabo was approved for membership in the Rotary E-Club of Hawaii. Apologies to Susan for the previous incorrect spelling of her name. All votes that were cast voted to approve her membership. Congrats and welcome, Susan! On a similar note, we have two new member votes going on right now. Please check your email for the link to the voting site.
Our next Board meeting is on Monday and that is when we will induct Susan. If the other two members are approved, we will also induct them to our Club then. As always, Board meetings are open to all members. The Board meeting is our one chance to meet together in the same physical space on a monthly basis. While we conduct Board business, this is also when we do things that traditional Clubs do in their meetings - like recite the Four-Way Test. If you haven't attended one in person, I invite and encourage you to join us.
In other big developments, Rotarians at Work Day is an annual tradition in Rotary. This year, it will be on Saturday, April 29. We have an opportunity to join and partner with the Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu for a service project, so I encourage you to read about it and RSVP to Sean if you can join us.
Finally, check out this week's speaker, Bethany Lerch, who articulates something that many of us have seen first hand, the impact of Rotary in our communities and in the world at large.
Fundraising Goal - Hospice Hawaii
“Bring Hope, Reduce Fears and Impact Lives” by alleviating pain and suffering and enhancing the quality of life of patients and their families on Oahu, Molokai and Lanai, regardless of their ability to pay.
I would like to kindly ask for your help. If you're in the position to donate and would like to help my team accomplish our fundraising goal of $1000, please follow the link below to our fundraising page:
Any donation, large or small, will help alleviate the stress and burden many families, who opt for hospice care, may face.
Courtesy of Randy Soriano
Paul Harris Society - Big Congrats!
Past President Laine Kohama has become eligible and now a member of Rotary’s Paul Harris Society. Congratulations to Laine in leading the way for others to follow!
The Paul Harris Society recognizes Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who elect to contribute $1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, Polio Plus Fund, or approved global grants.
The purpose of the Paul Harris Society is to honor and thank individuals for their generous, ongoing support of The Rotary Foundation.
Rotary districts often honor new members of the Paul Harris Society by presenting them with a certificate and chevron at a district or club event.
Courtesy of Ray Paler
Changing The World Is Possible Through Rotary
Courtesy of blog.rotary.org
By Bethany Lerch, former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, 2010-2011
I knew little about Rotary eight years ago when my former high school counselor encouraged me to apply for an Ambassadorial Scholarship. He was retired, but still active in Rotary, and knew a master’s was my next step. At the time, I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and knew I needed to go to graduate school. But where and how?
Through a Google search, I learned Rotary was an international service organization. Intrigued, I applied for the scholarship and made it to the district interview, where I was asked what I wanted to do, really do. The question took me by surprise. Unsure how to answer, I stuttered that I hoped to change the world someday. I remember looking at the floor thinking, how far-fetched.
Less than a week later, I received the call that I had been selected. What if, I wondered, my acceptance had to do with wanting to “change the world” someday?
The University of Saint Andrews was my graduate school home. I pursued Terrorism Studies in hopes of better understanding the phenomenon that was killing so many, so often. In spring, two faculty members took me and a dozen classmates to the Middle East to see the context of that particular enduring conflict for ourselves. It was crushing.
I zeroed in on Afghanistan with my research, marveling at the country and investigating its history of, and tendency toward, violence as a means to an end. If ever there was a country that baffled historians and social scientists, Afghanistan is it. From the Anglo-Afghan wars to the Taliban to Al Qaeda, Afghanistan remains a bit mysterious.
It took four years of independent work and international travel before I finally made it to Afghanistan as a trainer on Gender Integration and Resource Management with the U.S. government. My job was to meet incoming Coalition personnel and teach them about the overall mission, as well as the country’s political and cultural terrain.
I arrived believing in making a change, forging ahead with equal rights for women, and telling others about doing the same. Less than a month later, a young Afghan woman named Farkhunda was brutally killed by a mob in downtown Kabul. Big questions set in. Mostly I wondered if we had the right approach: What if it was all too much, too soon?
My second job in Kabul took me from NATO headquarters into the city, where I worked with Afghan consultants to help their countrymen in the Ministries of Defense and Interior. Our team included strong Afghan women. Zahra was one of them. She demonstrated competence, courage, and commitment to rebuilding her country.
Zahra explained that she hoped to attend graduate school abroad. Like my guidance counselor before me, I told her about Rotary scholarships. Unfortunately, when we turned to Afghanistan-based Rotary groups, we found them unable to facilitate the global grant application.
As an alternative, I turned back to my hometown Rotary clubs in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Would they be willing to help Zahra? They were.
The Afghan Education Project kicked off with a small group: representatives from two Oshkosh Rotary clubs, folks from the University of Wisconsin campus in Oshkosh, and I (in Kabul). The university waived out-of-state tuition; a Rotary club provided the sponsor letter to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul; and Rotarians donated to fund the cost of Zahra’s in-state tuition for a graduate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.
Now in her second semester, Zahra has achieved all A’s. She is gainfully employed on-campus, for which she receives free room and board and meals. She is researching more about women’s access to education in Afghanistan, specifically how ethnicity and regional cultural norms impact their access. Upon her return to Afghanistan, she plans to work in educational policy. She’d like to integrate more literacy components, diversity lessons, and tolerance best-practices into the national curriculum.
I’ve always suspected that changing the world is possible. Rotary helped change my world, then did the same for Zahra. Just as Rotary makes a difference through its global organization and local presence, so, too, will Zahra’s future leadership in Afghan education make a difference for countless young students in Kabul and beyond.
Bethany Lerch is the founding President of Rotaract Oshkosh, graduate of the University of Saint Andrews, and former Coalition Military Advisor in Kabul, Afghanistan. For more information on the Afghan Education Project, including how to support it, visit www.able-to.org.
Trivia Night - Help Cure Polio!
Murder Mystery Fundraiser in the Roaring 20s
Rotarians at Work Day - April 29th, 8:30am -12 noon
We would love to have you join us for a morning of fun service side-by-side with the students. Those of you who were there last Spring please come and see the garden we built last year and new aquaponics enclosure.
The work will be a mix of indoor and outdoor. Some gardening, probably some indoor painting. We will be power washing some areas as well. Also for the carpentry minded we'd like to build a lightweight moveable wheel chair ramp so that the garden can be accessed by all the students.
If you want to volunteer or would like to come see what we will be working on please let me know.
PP RC of Downtown Honolulu
District Assembly Registration Now Open
Registration has been open for the D5000 Assemblies. Please sign up at your Rotary club and we look forward to sessions that are tailored to a wide range of Rotarians. There will be something for everyone. Whether you have been a Rotarian for many years or you just became a member, there is something for YOU on the agenda!
Mahalo for taking the time out of your busy schedule to make your club stronger. Come enjoy the opportunity of being with fellow Rotarians from all over your island.
Oahu: April 22nd, 2017 (Saturday) Kapolei High School, 91-5007 Kapolei Parkway. Contact your area Assistant Governor or D5000 Co-Trainer Kathleen Merriam at K.email@example.com.
If you plan to attend, please email President Capsun Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remaining Board Meetings
Please know that you are all invited to our Board meetings held at EAT Honolulu, 560 North Nimitz Highway, from 11:30am - 1:00pm., usually on the third Monday of the month. We regularly see guests at the one time we regularly meet in the same physical space. Here are the meetings for the remainder of this Rotary Year:
All contributions support our service projects and ability to provide programs. Please consider making a donation today.
Donations large and small are appreciated.
How do I makeup at this club?
Are you a visiting Rotarian that would like to do a makeup with us?