Past Meetings

Recent Meetings:

Our regular schedule was interrupted by the current Corona virus pandemic, which requires “Social Distancing.” As a very social club, this raises some issues. For the foreseeable future, Rotary Utrecht International therefore moves its meetings into the virtual realm and comes together every other week on Zoom.

If you are a Rotarian looking for Fellowship, you are very welcome to join us. Please contact our club secretary for details!

About the speaker: James Twose is a data scientist who works for Neurocast.

About the presentation: The presentation is about how to support patients with a chronic disease through data analysis. Neurocast collects and uses data related to chronic diseases in order to support patients in their daily lives. James was suggested by Teresa.

The presentations in the series of ‘Sharing a cross-cultural experience’ are a chance for (new) members to tell more about their personal and professional background and their experience to live in different countries.

The presentations in the series of ‘Sharing a cross-cultural experience’ are a chance for (new) members to tell more about their personal and professional background and their experience to live in different countries.

Fernanda gives us the following information about her talk:
I come from Mexico, specifically from Mexico City. I am an expert in development and international cooperation. The Netherlands is not my first cross-cultural experience but until now my most challenging stay. It has made me reflect about identity, migration and motivated me to find new tools to understand a cultural diverse context. After one year of living in the Netherlands, I would like to share what I have learnt in the path from my very biased and authentic Mexican perspective.

Guest Speaker: Wouter Jan Strietman

About the speaker: Wouter Jan Strietman is a researcher at Wageningen University, Department of Economic Research. His work is positioned between marine environment, economy and society. He has expertise in sustainable development of fisheries, marine litter and the Arctic development.

About the presentation: In this presentation, Wouter Jan took us take us on a journey to a faraway place; the Arctic. Most people think of this as an unspoilt region, but this is far from the truth.

Even though the Arctic is nearly uninhabited, it’s coasts and seas are becoming increasingly polluted with plastic waste. Most of this litter arrives there through ocean currents from North America, Europe and Siberia, but some of it is also of local origin. This litter accumulates, providing an increasing threat to the environment and local communities.

There is an urgent need to put a halt to this constant inflow of plastic waste. But how can this be achieved? Cleaning up is one solution, but the most effective solution is prevention at the source. In the Artic Marine Litter Project, researcher Wouter Jan and his team are gathering previously unavailable data on the sources of marine litter in the Arctic. In addition, they are engaging local stakeholders and fishing industry experts. The results of this project can be used to take preventive, targeted, action and reduce marine plastic pollution in this region. The project has started in Svalbard (Spitsbergen) and is currently working on upscaling the project to the wider North-Atlantic Arctic region.

The agenda for this meeting will be published in advance by the Board.

About the speaker: Mohamad Daioub, originally comes from Syria and lives in Arnhem, the Netherlands, since 3.5 years. He has various work experiences including more than 10 years of work with International NGOs specialized in the last 5 years in Micro-finance coupled with an Executive MBA.

About the presentation: In my talk, I will give an overview about Microfinance as it is a tool to break the cycle of poverty with economic empowerment and provider of social financial services. Microfinance products and the role it plays in economy and social development including improving the quality of life and woman empowerment.

Guest Speaker: Alejandra Guevara Morel

About the speaker: Alejandra comes from Honduras where she obtained a degree as a medical doctor. Living in the Netherlands since 2016, she has specialised in epidemiology and has recently started a Ph.D. study in Health Technology Assessment at VU Amsterdam. She joined RC Utrecht International in September 2018.

About the talk: ‘Sharing a cross-cultural experience’ is the motto of RC Utrecht International. The club invites every new member to give a presentation in this series within their first year of membership. The speaker is free to talk about his/her home country, personal and professional background and their own cross-cultural experiences. We are curious to learn more about Alejandra in her presentation.

Guest Speaker: Ram Bhat

About the speaker: Ram is a Member of RC Bangalore West, he was the Secretary of the club when it was chartered in 1977! Ram describes him self as a clown, he tries to find humour in everything. He was an Engineer by training and he started his own engineering company which later moved in to construction. 19 years later he switched careers, he wanted to make conditions better for people, starting with the income women receive and can control. Since 1992 has been working on empowering women which led to his work with trafficked women, supporting the NGOs who work directly with the women. In 2012 he started Kshamata (, an NGO based in Mumbai. Kshamata supports women with training and counselling and pushing them, often the women have a negative self image, love and affection is often what the women need to start believing in themselves

  • Kshamata is a Hindi word; it means ability, capability and potential, but also self forgiveness.
    • Current scenario: India is a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking
    • In India, nearly all the trafficked women are forced in to prostitution
    • Women who are rescued end up in institutions (glorified prisons); when their case is closed they are released and nearly all end up back in prostitution
    • Ram’s organisation wants to ensure the women receive:
    • Further education
    • Counselling
    • Life skills/coping mechanisms
    • Soft skills for job preparedness/culture e.g. you will work from 8-5, you can’t take a day off because you have a headache (time and quality consciousness)
    • Options in vocational training
    • Post employment follow up and support (critical; often women last only a few weeks in the first/second/third jobs)
  • Kshamata’s impact since 2012
    • Reached out to 2500 women and girls
    • 700 women engaged on a longer term basis
    • 135 women living independently
    • Repatriated Bangladeshi women
    • Provided income generation opportunities at shelter homes
    • Formed 12 group stay homes
    • Engaged with 11 shelter homes
  • Biggest challenges
    • Willingness of women to try
    • Acceptance by society e.g. its very difficult to find a home to rent in Mumbai for four women with no male in the home
  • The future
    • People around the world talking about trafficking so that something is done about it

Guest Speaker: Berneditha Rijssel-Omusuo
Be the Inspiration

About the presentation: Berneditha will share some thoughts about her work with refugees. She will also talk about the international inspiration that she gets for her work from the Rotary values and ideas.

(read more…)

Guest Speaker: Henk Korvinus
How secure is it in the Netherlands?

In his presentation, Mr. Henk Korvinus will give us the most actual information on safety
concerning crime and terror threat. What do the numbers and statistics tell us and how are we
looking ourselves towards security issues? He also will tell more about themes like
cybercrime and criminal organizations, active on a national and international level.

(read more…)

Guest Speaker: Nancy H Chen
MNC s’ Sustainability Strategy and Climate Actions

Nancy Chen is going to share case studies of two Multinational corporates’ sustainability strategy related to climate change and the related climate actions.

(read more…)

Guest Speaker: Natalia Leal
Sharing a cross-cultural experience

In her talk Natalia will share some of her experiences of her personal and professional life. Natalia comes from Portugal and has lived and worked in four different European countries. She has worked in very different fields with different professional orientation. In September 2018 she started her own business.

(read more…)

Guest Speaker: Sonia Drannikova
Communication, the Why and the art of storytelling

Every Rotary Club needs a good communication strategy. To promote our projects, to find new members, to promote Rotary as a whole and for so many other reasons. Sonia will talk about communication strategies to give useful tips and tricks for efficient communication. From storytelling to writing a press release or a website article. This can be useful not only for our Rotary work but can enrich your personal and professional style of communication.

(read more…)

This meeting is dedicated to a discussion of all open issues in the club.

Guest Speaker: Roopa Menta
The Sasha Story – The Art of Giving

Our guest speark Roopa Menta, held a presentation about the fair-trade organization Sasha, and more generally Fair Trade and its impact.

(read more…)

The first meeting of the new Rotary year took place in the newly-renovated rooms of Coffeemania.

Earlier Meetings:

Rotary Club Utrecht International