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This is a story, a true Rotary story

About how a Rotary Youth Exchange saved thousands of lives.

It is amazing how one simple event, decades ago, can help save hundreds if not thousands of lives.

It all started back in the early 1990’s. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Poland was in chaos. The government was ineffective, there were constant strikes and people were struggling to feed their children. You probably remember seeing this Frontline news item on television.

In those early years Rotary opened the Student Exchange program to Poland. In 1992 Kasia Rewjewski was invited to the Grants Pass Rotary Club as an Exchange Student, one of the first from Poland.

She returned to Poland and became a doctor and later a Rotarian, days before the war started in Ukraine.

This video, created for the Zone Institute earlier this month, tells the story of those early years and the events that lead to the formation of a major coalition of Rotary Districts, initiated by District 5110, working together to combine their resources to help the people of Ukraine.

This is just the beginning. The Voices of Rotary podcast team is working on an audio series to bring you the stories and the hearts of the people who made this all happen. Stay tuned.

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