E-Club Cologne, Germany and RCBUS Form Partnership

EventThe Rotary e-Club Cologne and Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset [RCBUS] are excited to announce the creation of a partnership which will support each other’s humanitarian projects in our respective communities.  Such projects include Sewing for Living, a project which teaches Balinese women skills to become financially secure while working from home; and the WEHEA Project which works to save the rain forest, the home of the Dayak people in Kalimantan, helping to ensure the safe habitat of orangutans and many other endangered animals.  Both clubs will jointly work at establishing cultural exchanges to increase cross-cultural knowledge and understanding between Cologne, Germany, and Bali.  Both will also ensure that Rotaracts, Rotarians between the ages of 18 and 30, from both clubs are included in partnership activities.

Cologne, Germany is a 2,000 year old city located on the Rhine River in West Germany.  It’s noted for its high gothic architecture and its twelve Romanesque churches.  It is also the home of Rotary E-Club Cologne. A Rotary E-Club is a “. . . real Rotary club comprised of real living, breathing, working Rotarians doing real Rotary projects”. Members of E-Clubs simply use the Internet as a tool to manage the club and manage projects.

So how does a Rotary E-Club from Germany form a partnership with a traditional Rotary Club that is halfway around the world in Bali?  Both clubs are committed to “Serving to Change Lives” and that commitment brought them together.  In early spring of 2020, two members of E-Club Cologne, Doctors Sabine and Walter Roeb-Rienas, were living in the Candidasa area.  Walter started a project to supply food for the people in that area who were in need.  He contacted RCBUS for help in executing his program.  RCBUS agreed to assist, and all involved saw ways to strengthen both Rotary Clubs by partnering with each other.

The partnership is currently active.  E-Club Cologne held a fundraiser using a Zoom platform to raise funds for the clinic in East Bali, one of RCBUS’ projects.  Those participating took a musical tour guided by Ruediger Tiedemann of the E-Cologne Club.  He showcased the influence of ancient Balinese gamelan music on musicians such as Debussy and the music minimalism movement in the United States.  Both clubs are planning a live concert which will combine gamelan music, jazz and gospel.  It will occur in early January on a date yet to be announced in Cologne and distributed to the public on an electronic platform.

RCBUS’ Sewing for Living project is supplying handcrafted items for two Christmas Markets in Cologne. Those people attending the Christmas Markets can secure the items with a donation to the project.  All donations will go to the women who participate in Sewing for living.

Both clubs are planning cultural exchanges which will take place when travel bans due to Covid are lifted. Rotary International was founded in 1905 in the US primarily so its members could build enduring  friendship throughout their communities through helping other people.  As Rotary International expanded, so did its focus. Now Rotary works to build enduring friendships worldwide by broadening international understanding, establishing a foundation for peace and understanding, and gaining opportunities for active involvement in international projects.  Rotary members from Cologne will have the opportunity to come to Bali, once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, to experience first-hand Bali’s people, food, languages, customs, and history.  Members from RCBUS will have a similar opportunity to travel to Cologne to experience first-hand the people, food, languages, customs, and history of that West German city. Friendship Exchanges also give both clubs opportunities to explore mutually beneficial grants for projects and build partnerships based on them.


What will E-Club Cologne members do when they arrive in Bali?  RCBUS members will help them to understand the culture of ancient Bali and of modern Bali,  the difference between “local spicey” and “tourist spicey” when it comes to ordering food in a warung,  introduce them to the many spectacular tourist sites on this magical island, let them examine spaces that tourists usually don’t see, and show them the positive outcomes of years of projects supported by RCBUS that have strengthened local economies, supported educational and medical facilities, ensured running water, and cleaned the environment.

Are friendship exchanges limited to Rotarians?  The answer is no.  Rotary Friendship Exchanges are open to anyone.  Is there cost involved?  Yes, there is.  All exchanges are paid for in full by the participants themselves or possibly by their districts.


If you would like to read about other people’s experiences while participating in the Rotary Exchange program, information can be found at http://rotary.service@rotary.org.

More information about RCBUS’ projects can be found at http://rotarybaliubudsunset.org/club-projects/.

If you would like to join this dynamic group of people who love Bali and work to help the people who live here, information to do so can be found at http://rotarybaliubudsunset.org/how-to-become-an-rcbus-member/.