Orkeeswa – building a sustainable leadership pipeline

In September 2021, the Leadership Team at Orkeeswa in rural Tanzania visited 65 homes in 8 villages as part of the annual student selection process. Leading the selection process this year were two Orkeeswa alumni who have deep and meaningful relationships within their community. Because of Orkeeswa’s outreach program in the local primary school, the team are familiar with most of the students who applied. And, new Pre-Form One students are now being taught by Orkeeswa alumni 

Using the community as a classroom, Orkeeswa invests in student-centered, skills-based learning for young people at three critical points:

  • Orkeeswa Outreach uses trained and motivated Orkeeswa student and alumni leaders to run holistic programming in local primary schools;
  • Orkeeswa School provides high-quality academics, robust co-curricular programs, student wellness services, and community-based leadership through a holistic secondary school experience; 
  • Orkeeswa Incubator supports the ongoing impact of alumni through professional development, higher education scholarships, and small grants and mentorship for entrepreneurs. 

Orkeeswa is growing, and extending its reach in a self-sustaining cycle of leadership development and community impact.

You can assist this project sponsored by the Rotary E-Club Serving Humanity, D9705 by making your tax deductible donation here:

Lotus Program Teacher Training

The Lotus Program in Sri Lanka offers training to primary English teachers in participating schools. The recent training program was opened up to any interested teacher and attracted 400 enrolments. This is a record – the Lotus schools account for approximately 45 of the 400 teachers! The training is conducted online using Zoom which enables us to reach so many more than costly face-to-face workshops. We can also spread the training over several months instead of cramming it into 2-3 days.

For more information on the Lotus Program for English Literacy in Primary Grades go to www/microdevpartners.org .

For information about the training offered contact info@microdevpartners.org.

RAWCS Project 18-2005-06, sponsored by the Rotary E-Club Serving Humanity, District 9705

Be a role model for Each One, Bring One

Posted on  in Rotary Voices

I encourage all members to look for prospective members that you might be overlooking. Please give them the opportunity to become a member of the Rotary E-Club Serving Humanity

Editor’s note: Membership is the life blood of Rotary. Surveys have confirmed that members join because they want to connect with other people and take action to create lasting change. For Membership Month in August we have asked several experts to talk about how they reach out to prospective members, keep existing members engaged, and create an environment that allows new clubs to form and thrive. This is the first in that series

Elizabeth Usovicz

By Elizabeth Usovicz, Rotary International Director, Zones 30 and 31 

Rotary connections are powerful, for both current and future members. After 16 months of lockdown, online business and virtual Rotary meetings, I recently met a longtime client for lunch. The restaurant we chose was quiet that day, and the dining area was empty except for one table.  

Our fellow diners were two young men of different races. They seemed to be talking about business as my client and I were seated at a nearby table. We didn’t focus on their conversation until our ears perked up like hyper-alert terriers when we heard one of them say, “Rotary.” 

Expanding the conversation 

My client is a past president of her Rotary club, and we both began to listen in on the young men’s conversation. One was explaining the motto of Rotary, Service Above Self, and the service projects of his local Rotary club. “I have to introduce myself,” I told my client excitedly. She laughed as I slid out of my chair and moved toward their table. 

They looked up, surprised, when I approached them. “Excuse me,” I smiled. “My colleague and I heard you say “Rotary” and we wanted to introduce ourselves.” I pointed to my lapel pin. “We are both Rotary members too!” 

Each One, Bring One – and beyond 

As it turns out, one of the men, Jeff, is a member of the Rotary club of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He was discussing Rotary with Jordan, a prospective member. 

Jordan grinned in amazement at our Rotary connection, which happens every day for Rotary members across the globe. “Wow!” he said. “You mean people in Rotary just find each other like this?” My client, Jeff, and I each smiled. “We all serve,” I replied. “We are people from all backgrounds, all walks of life, and we all serve our communities.” 

That brief exchange was a simple, yet powerful moment of Rotary pride and purpose for three Rotary members. For Jordan, it was an impressive example of the strength of the Rotary network and our capacity to connect people across communities. 

Each one of us is a role model for growing Rotary 

Since that lunch meeting, Jordan has visited Jeff’s club twice and is on the path to becoming a member. Jeff’s support of the Presidential Initiative, “Each One Bring One” prompted me to reach out to three prospective members.  

What if each of us did the same? What if each of us encouraged the formation of a new club? By this time next year, our Rotary network and our capacity to connect people across the globe will be even more powerful. All we need to do, like Jeff, is to be a role model for Each One, Bring One. Find your Jordans and invite them to lunch. 

Read President Shekhar Mehta’s July message about Each One, Bring One 

About the author: Elizabeth Usovicz is a member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City-Plaza, Missouri, USA, and Rotary International Director for Zones 30 and 31. She was a Rotary International Women of Action honoree at the White House in 2014. 

Meet our District Governor 2021-22

Leo Farrelly is from Canberra. Leo joined Rotary in 1989 as a member of the Rotary Club of
Belconnen for 5 years and rejoined in 2008. LEO served as President in 2015-2016 and has filled many other positions in the Club.

Leo served as Assistant Governor of D9710 Group 5 for the period 2016-2017 to 2018-2019, and has been reappointed to that role for the 2019-2020 year prior to the inauguration of D9705.

Leo is a member of the Paul Harris Society and a member of the Scouting Rotarians Fellowship. His wife Elaine has been a member of Inner Wheel since 1979.

Leo is Principal and owner of PPM Strategies Pty Ltd a company that provides training in project and programme management directed at achievement of an organisation’s strategic plan.
Leo served 24 years in the Royal Australian Navy retiring in 1987 as a Lieutenant Commander in the Weapons Electrical Engineering branch. He served in Destroyer Escorts but did a 12 month stint on the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and 2 years at the patrol boat base HMAS Tarangau on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

After the Navy he worked in Defence industry and became interested in structured project management methods and the application of programme management approaches for the achievement of an organisation’s strategic plan.

Although retired, Leo continues to teach programme management on a regular basis, as he finds it very relevant to his Rotary work and his desire to see Rotary regenerate itself and thrive into the future.

Meet our RI President 2021-22

Shekhar Mehta

Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar
West Bengal, India

Mehta, an accountant, is chair of the Skyline Group, a real estate development company he founded. He is also a director of Operation Eyesight Universal (India), a Canada-based organization.

Mehta has been actively involved in disaster response and is a trustee of ShelterBox, UK. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he helped build nearly 500 homes for families affected by the disaster.

He pioneered a program that has performed more than 1,500 life-changing heart surgeries in South Asia. He is also the architect of the TEACH Program, which promotes literacy throughout India and has reached thousands of schools.

A Rotary member since 1984, Mehta has served Rotary as director, member or chair of several committees, zone coordinator, training leader, member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers, and district governor. He is also the chair of Rotary Foundation (India).

Mehta has received Rotary’s Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation’s Citation for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Awards.

He and his wife, Rashi, are Major Donors and members of the Bequest Society.

Presidential Initiatives

Equality is a fundamental human right, and it’s necessary for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Still, girls and women worldwide face inequities in areas including health and education and experience significant violence and disproportionate poverty. Rotary encourages clubs and districts to prioritize projects that improve the health, well-being, education, and economic security of girls in their communities and around the world. Take on a club-based initiative, a district grant, or a global grant that engages members of your community in a project that will protect and empower girls and increase equity by ensuring their access to resources that will improve their lives.

Host a Rotary Day of Service: a meaningful day of hands-on service activities where Rotary members and the community come together to improve their community.

Plan to attend a Presidential Conference. The 2021-22 presidential conference series will highlight the humanitarian work that Rotary clubs and districts pioneer locally and support globally.