Rotary Peace Fellowship

This is the meeting for the week of October 16, 2017 through October 22, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Rotary Peace Fellowship
Program Description: The presentation is about the 3-month Rotary Peace Fellowship experience at the Rotary Peace Centre of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. How it has benefited the presenter, and what the presenter aims to achieve after the fellowship.
Speaker: Qamaruzzaman Amir

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!


Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Stephen:

Hello E-Club Rotarians,
This past week has been extremely heartbreaking as I am sure most people reading this have been following the news on the fires that have been burning across California. We are all deeply saddened for all the families affected and I am sure many of us want to help in any way possible. I received an email from our district governor Orrin Mahoney the other day with information on how we can best help. Below are the links:

If you don’t have chance to read the PDFs or are somewhere where you cannot load the links, here is the official Rotary-organized relief fund for the Northern California fires: www.larca5130.org

Yours in service,


Stephen Zhou, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]


Weekly Inspiration: Warming the Feet (and Hearts) of Canada’s Homeless

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story about a man on a mission to help Canada’s homeless.

After the passing of his wife in 2010, Bob Rutherford searched for a way to give back to his community. He built two custom-made knitting machines and used them to create socks to protect those in need from the frigid Canadian winters. Now, the 88-year old has expanded his sock operation into a four-person outfit, knitting up and churning out socks en masse. Today, Socks by Bob has warmed the feet (and hearts) of thousands, having knit and donated over 11,600 pairs to homeless shelters across Canada.


Coffee with a Rotarian

Every month our club members are paired with fellow members and special guests for an exclusive one-on-one coffee session called Coffee with a Rotarian. The idea is simple: spend 1 hour of your time during the month to get to better know a fellow Rotarian! Some of the greatest friendships were spawned that way. Members report on their coffee sessions here.

This week we feature a coffee session between two of our members, Chris Cochrane (pictured below, left) and Yvonne Kwan (pictured below, right).

Last week we heard what Chris had to say about Yvonne:

“Starting Rotary life as an Interactor, she graduated to our e-Club at its beginning. She’s working on her Masters in Education to be able to teach at the grade school level. A slight control freak, she admits she can connect best with those children ages 7-9.

She is “vermiphobic”. That’s not a new type of club, it’s someone who has a phobia of worms. Yes, worms, those little, slimy, crawly, creatures you see on lawns. Many use them for bait to fish. Needless to point out she’s never been fishing! But she’s not alone. According to Google, over 100,000 people in the US share this phobia.

Would you believe Yvonne loves Country Music? Garth Brooks style. Bet she dances a mean Two Step, Cowboy, or Traveling Cha Cha. She’s never, ever, broken any bones! A feat we wish she keeps forever. But if it happens it’ll probably be when she’s dancing country style and slips on a worm.

Otherwise, her life is busy helping our e-Club, studying, and traveling where possible. Wouldn’t mind her assistance helping to create a video about the foods of Rotary. I suggest the reason many overseas markets are growing Rotary is their food is superior to the cuisines served in North American clubs. Best to visit as many clubs as possible to find out!!”

Thank you, Chris, for sharing!

And here is what Yvonne had to say about Chris:

Chris is an awesome storyteller, which isn’t surprising given his profession. He took me through his journey (the long version, at my request) of how he came into film and production; I wouldn’t do it justice by summarizing it here — you’ll have to ask him yourself one day. His story is a cool one of learning by doing; he learned all that he knows about film by taking action, and he began as a humble copy boy at a newspaper who completed menial tasks. In addition, Chris shared his Rotary beginnings with me — he “accidentally” joined Rotary!

Three fun facts about Chris: (1) He’s a Le Cordon Bleu chef, and his favorite dish to cook is his version of a Big Mac with homemade buns, freshly grown tomatoes and pickles, and 100% beef patties; (2) Chris is a car guy, and his favorite car model is a roadster (I admittedly know zero about cars); and (3) Chris loves meeting people, which fits perfectly with his profession. He’s met a plethora of notable people, including Neil Armstrong and Elvis Presley — four times!

Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing!

A big shout out to Tzviatko Chiderov for continuing to chair and organize these Coffee with a Rotarian sessions! If you are not yet signed up for a Coffee Session, please email Tzviatko at [email protected] to sign up!


World of Rotary

The over 1.2 million members of Rotary Clubs around the world form the largest humanitarian service organization, Rotary International. We’re part of this global family. This segment is a tribute to stories and to good deeds Rotary clubs around the world are conducting.

This week we are focusing on how Rotary recently set the world record for how many people are simultaneously watching virtual reality.

At the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, more than 3,000 people watched the debut of Rotary International’s new virtual reality film, “One Small Act,” at the largest simultaneous viewing of a VR film.

It’s pretty amazing to see Rotary embrace new technologies! What do you think we can do with virtual reality either in our local communities or with our club?


For Members Only: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Members: NAMEBADGES ARE COMING! Update your info please!

The Membership Committee is working on ordering new magnetic name badges for each member! We are missing the info for many members!!! These name badges will have your name on it and your profession. Perfect for wearing when you attend any Rotary events or meetings. In order to do this, we need your most updated information. Members, please click here to submit your info.

Past Member Announcements:


Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
137 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Past Event Recap:

Recap of Avenues of Service Project Fair last Thursday:

Past President Mitty here! It was terrific seeing members Megan Breyer, Cecelia Babkirk, Catherine A., and Heather Shaw at our district’s annual project fair, Avenues of Service, last Thursday at the Biltmore Hotel in Santa Clara! We had a blast networking with Rotarians and guests from throughout our district. We heard from the Vice President of Costco, John Matthews from Seattle. In addition to working for Costco, John also is a Rotarian and serves on the Rotary International Board of Directors. John spoke to us about Rotary membership and the importance of change and sustaining a positive net growth for our clubs in the years to come. Special kudos to member Cecelia Babkirk, known throughout the district as The Rotary Foundation Grants Queen, for presenting at the breakout session on The Rotary Foundation Grants. We heard great things about how it went!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 12 PM to 4 PM PST – Oakland Treasure Hunt

Join us for a treasure hunt fundraiser to support Game Theory Academy, a local nonprofit that pays high school students a stipend to take financial literacy and career development classes! The first person to e-mail [email protected] will get two free tickets!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 6:30 PM – Celebrate World Polio Day Online with Past Rotary International President Cliff Dochterman

October 24th is World Polio Day and our Membership Committee thought what better way to Celebrate World Polio Day than to hear from a man who helped start the PolioPlus program for Rotary International, Past Rotary International President Cliff Dochterman! This coming Tuesday, October 24th at 6:30 PM Pacific Time, Cliff Dochterman will be speaking to the Rotary E-Club of World Peace; a Southern California based Rotary E-Club. We’ve let their club president know our club will be “invading” their club meeting. Whether you are a club member or a guest, come join us at 6:30 PM on October 24th for what will be certainly a memorable online experience. Bring your own beverage of your choice, as we invade our fellow E-Club meeting with a toast to them. Their meeting is over Zoom. For information on how to connect to their Zoom Meeting, please visit this link right here. We hope to see you there! Members and guests, we encourage you to sign on 10 minutes prior to 6:30 PM to be able to socialize before the meeting starts.

Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 6 PM to 9 PM – Leaders in Motion, a speaker series on innovation and humanitarian service in Oakland

Join executives from Google, Copia, and Back to the Roots at the Leaders in Motion event happening Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA from 6 PM to 9 PM. This event is a speaker series on innovation and humanitarian service co-hosted by our Rotary eClub along with other Oakland and San Francisco Rotary clubs. You can find more information and registration at leadersinmotionoak.org. If you end up going, make sure to stop by our Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley table inside and say hi!

Other Upcoming Club Events:

  • Sunday, November 19, 2017 – Save the date for a club social (Details TBD)
  • Friday, December 8, 2017 – Save the date for a club dinner (Details TBD)
  • Saturday, January 13, 2018 – Save the date for a club outdoor expedition (Details TBD)
  • Saturday, February 28, 2018 – Save the date for a club skydiving event (Details TBD)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! What would you like to do? We’re working on putting together some exciting socials and impactful service projects for our upcoming quarter’s event calendar. Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.


Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards powering our club’s projects and service grants.

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his generous $15 donation! Rory had this to say:
“I acquired a front lawn yesterday, since my lawn was destroyed by the Hurricane Harvey debris.”

Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her $20 donation to PolioPlus! Monique had this to say:
Please donate to Polio Plus!

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation. Brian had this to say:
“The fires in Napa and Sonoma have been devestating. Looking forward to seeing a lot of good done by our Rotary friends in those counties.”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

This week’s happy dollars donations will be going to help fund our club projects and service grants!

Happy dollars is also a great opportunity to share with the group about something good that has happened to you, while giving back to a great cause.

So what are you happy about? Share with us below, and help support one of our future leaders!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting featuring the program on Fellowships: The Best Kept Secret in Rotary:

Member Raquel D. Juncal (Mexico) had this to say:
“It’s amazing how Interactors are taking the initiative to become more involved in service! 🙂 Rick, thanks for your presentation! I’m currently participating in several fellowships and they are a great way to connect with other Rotarians! Love the idea of reviving the eClub fellowship!

Member Leanza Tupfer (California, USA) had this to say:
“Amazing that you can still summit mountains without sight! Inspired by this story. It’s also a shame to hear that in an age of advanced technology, we further leave behind other areas of the world where child marriage is still a barrier to girls’ education.”

Member Tzviatko Chiderov (South Africa) had this to say:
“Great to see Rushton with our Australian members there 🙂 fits well with the travel fellowship discussion. Rick, thanks for the educational program. I wasn’t aware there are so many fellowships. And one for members of Rotary eClubs?! Seems like there really is something for everybody.

Guest Sean Straker (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
“Go Eric! I thought you were onto something there that people don’t “summit for the view” – they do it because its hard and enjoy the challenge You’re determination and passion shows and that’s why you enjoy climbing.

Member Andrew Taw (California, USA) had this to say:
“Thanks for your presentation, Rick! I checked out the Travel and Housing Fellowship site and am definitely intrigued!

Guest Ariana Fishkin (California, USA) had this to say:
“It’s great to see how our youth are becoming involved with Rotary through Interact. Being introduced to Rotary through Interact myself and being heavily involved in Interact through high school, it’s wonderful to see students that are taking the initiative to become more involved in service!”

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!


Program: Rotary Peace Fellowship

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is Qamaruzzaman Amir.

Qamaruzzaman Amir is a physics geek who has been involved with peace-building activities with young learners in the 17 to 23 year-age range since 2004. He is driven by the United World Colleges’ mission: “Education is a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. The United World Colleges is a global network of schools up to grade 12. He graduated from the United World College in Canada in 1992, and has been trying to live this mission since then. Currently transitioning from full-time physics educator to a peace educator, Q is pursuing his PhD in peace-building with the Institute of Religion, Culture and Peace of Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Post-PhD, he aims to work with Ministries of Education to strengthen the affective education component of national education systems.

Members and guests, please join me in welcoming Qamaruzzaman!

What did you think? Let’s hear from you!

Share with us your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page! If you have questions for Qamaruzzaman, feel free to ask him in the comments too!


Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Programs:

Week of 10/23/2017 Hosted by Tzviatko Chiderov Guest Speaker: Kelly Sibisibi Malaria eradication efforts at the Southern African Development Community in Namibia
Week of 10/30/2017 Hosted by Rushton Hurley Guest Speaker: Kelly Whitney iCivics
Week of 11/6/2017 Hosted by Rushton Hurley Guest Speaker: Zach Nelson Rumors and Reconciliation in Myanmar
Week of 11/13/2017 Hosted by Andrew Taw Guest Speaker: Andrew Taw, Heather Shaw, Tzviatko Chiderov Min-e-grantee Panel

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 10 AM Pacific Time – Kelly Sibisibi, malaria eradication efforts at the Southern African Development Community in Namibia
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 4 PM Pacific Time – Tam Pham, a young entrpereneur and best-selling author based in Silicon Valley

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, you are welcome to join us. Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. Please note the timezone for all recordings are listed for San Francisco, California, USA time (Pacific Time).


You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Thanks Q for the nice presentation and for your leadership in these important efforts. I wish you continued success.
    It’s great to hear that the Rotary Peace Fellowship has had a positive impact in your life and career.

  • Rory Olsen

    Interesting.

  • Keith Marsh

    Qman, thanks for the program. We always need more peacemakers.

  • Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne

    Inspirational insight into the Peace Fellowship work and how your career developed on this path, Q! It’s important work and I wish you the best. Libraries in California have VR stations (or will soon) that the public can use: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/09/technology/oculus-virtual-reality-tech-rolls-california-libraries/#_ and Marin County Library has been a leader in this area, in case you want to learn more. At Palo Alto City Library, we use the technology to assist with prep/design for items before they are printed on a 3D printer. Volunteers can assist – maybe that’s a role for Rotary club members?

  • One of the great meetings. Inspirational!

  • Sean Straker

    Really enjoyed Socks By Bob. You’re never too old to find something you love doing and make a difference!

  • ShagsCA

    Enjoyed it all!

  • That video about Socks by Bob is wonderful. I loved his message that we should “find a purpose…find something that needs to be done.” Perfect for Rotarians! Chris and Yvonne, those were great reports – I love the connections made through the Coffee with a Rotarian program. Qman, your work sounds really promising. Thanks for helping us better understand the Peace Fellow program!

  • Nathan Gildart

    Qman, that’s for the presentation. I hear you about keeping Physics teaching a part of you while you transition to peace education. What a fantastic transition it is! I have taught TOK as well and absolutely love it, but as a History teacher every day is TOK! 🙂 Best of luck with your future work and thanks for sharing about the Rotary Peace Fellowship program. No doubt your work will have an important impact on many lives.

    Socks by Bob rocks!

  • Leanza Tupfer

    WOW! Rotary sets the record at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, with more than 3,000 people simultaneous viewing a VR film. I wonder what Rotary can do with VR to help other places in the world? 🙂

  • Brett Sham

    Qman thanks again for taking the time out to speak to our club.

    I hope all our members are safe during these horrific fires. I see the occasional news about it here and it looks terrifying and there seems to be utter deviation.

    I was lucky enough to take part in the One Small Act viewing in Atlanta and it was truely an eye opener. Sometimes I feel like I forget that these conflicts are affecting real people / individuals and they are more than just a headline and that each person has their own story and journey.

    I’m writing this comment, lying in bed after a huge weekend at the Australian Rotaract Conference. I took plenty of photos and once I sort through them will share with the club. Heard so many amazing stories and hopefully have a few people that will present to our club. I’m exhausted but feeling rewarded that the hard work has paid off and also so inspired by the stories I heard and the passion that so many of these Rotaractors have. It’s opportunities like this that remind me why I’m involved with Rotary. So glad to be a member of such an amazing club and be surrounded by some wonderful people.

  • Qman great presentation! It’s great you have found someone who shares your vision of making the world a better place. Good luck to you both!

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Qman, thank you so much for your presentation!

  • Maxi Bustos

    Great meeting! Thanks Q for your presentation! I am happy to see that Rotary Peace Fellowship had an important impact on your career and that you are using that knowledge to help others.

  • Mark Dohn

    Qman, Thank you for a great presentation. Thank you for building peace through education.

  • john lozano

    Qman, thanks for your presentation. Keep up the great work.

  • William

    Awesome meeting! Thank you.

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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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