rotary gseThe Rotary Club of Brookline recently participated in the Rotary International District Group Study Exchange (GSE) program. Indian participants are from Rotary International District 3170, covering the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Goa in India. The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

There were three Indian participants in this year’s GSE program: Ms. Padma Dandannavar, Ms. Sai Thakur, and Mr. Lalit Jain, who were led by Rotarian AnandKulkarni, who is also the District Secretary for District 3170 and a member of the Rotary Club of Belgaum South.

The Indian guests were in the Brookline area from May 15 to May 18 and while here were hosted by families in both Brookline and Newton. The team participated in vocational visits with Kara Brewton, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Brookline; Harry Robinson, Executive Director of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce; and Catie Hayes, Editor of BrooklineHub.com. Other activities included trips to Legacy Place and the New England Aquarium, a potluck dinner with Brookline Rotarians, and participation in this past Thursday’s weekly Brookline Rotary meeting. At the meeting, Ms. Thakur did a lively presentation on “big, fat Indian weddings”, and the team exchanged flags from their sponsor clubs in India with the Brookline Club.

Programs such as the Group Study Exchange are part of Rotary’s commitment to linking local and international communities and promoting peace and understanding. Brookline Rotary lives up to the International Rotary motto of “service above self”.

Rotary membership is available to the entire community. For more information on the Brookline club, visit their website or Facebook page. The club meets weekly on Thursdays from noon to 1:30pm at the Boston Brookline Holiday Inn at 1200 Beacon Street.

ABOUT THE ROTARY CLUB OF BROOKLINE: The Rotary Club of Brookline is dedicated to fighting hunger in our community. But Brookline Rotary’s reach extends beyond combatting hunger. The club has gifted $295,000 over the last ten years. Brookline Rotary dispenses $20,000 to $30,000 annually to many causes. 68% of Rotary’s funding supports local projects besides Brookline food pantries, among them the Brookline Education Foundation, Brookline Community Mental Health Center, Brookline veterans and the Women’s Lunch Place. Internationally, causes such as reliefin Haiti, clean water for a Honduras village and worldwide polio eradication are funded by Brookline Rotary.