Rotary District 6440 will host a Group Study Exchange Team (GSE) from Rotary District 9320 in South Africa over the next month. The in-bound team led by Rotarian John Roberts, a retired computer literacy professor from East London, Eastern Cape Province is comprised of four professionals from different areas of South Africa.  Team members are:

Celine Morolong, a public relations officer for the provincial government, from Kimberly, Northern Cape Province
Russell Molyneux , a geological engineer, from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province
Ivan Steenkamp, a transportation and security professional, from Kimberly, Northern Cape Province
Lara Tozzi, an educator and school administrator, from East London, Eastern Cape Province


Over the month, clubs within District 6440 will host the visitors and arrange meetings between the international visitors and US professionals in similar vocations. The visitors also participate in cultural experiences, stay with Rotarian families and visit Rotary Club meetings.

The South African Group Study Exchange team will be making presentations throughout its visit.  The schedule includes the various dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, April 12, 7am at the Riverside Receptions, 35 North River Lane, Geneva. Hosted by the Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles Rotary Clubs. (South West Sector)
  • Tuesday, April 19, 6pm at D’Andreas Banquets, 4419 Route 14, Crystal Lake. Hosted by North West Sector.
  • Wednesday, April 20, 6 pm at Doyle’s Irish Pub, 5604 Mill Street, Richmond. Hosted by Richmond – Spring Grove Rotary Club. (North East Sector)
  • Thursday, April 21, 11:45 pm, at the Ramada Inn, 200 N. Green Bay Road, Waukegan. Hosted by Waukegan Rotary Club.  (North East Sector)
  • Thursday, April 28, 7 am, in Barrington TBA. Call Mike Martinez @847-401-7400. Hosted by the Barrington Sunrise Rotary Club. (South Central Sector)
  • Friday, April 29, 3:30pm, at the Rotary District Conference, Lincolnshire Marriot Resort.

About Rotary Group Study Exchange
The Group Study Exchange is a vocational exchange between two Rotary Districts in different countries. Each year, District 6440, which is essentially Northern Illinois, selects a group of 4 young professionals under 40 who are not Rotarians and one Rotarian team leader who is over 40, to travel to another country for 4-6 weeks. Last year the “out bound” team visited South Africa and this next year the exchange will be with Taiwan.  The sending district pays travel expenses while team members’ employers provide time off. Once the team arrives in the host country, the host clubs within the host district are assigned days to schedule meetings with professionals in their area, take part in cultural experiences, meet with Rotarians and stay with host Rotarian families.
Persons interested in being a team member apply to their home Rotary District and the application/selection process is quite rigorous. Once selected, team members essentially make a year commitment, from the orientation process, the exchange and then visiting clubs in their home district describing their experience and how learning will be applied in their profession. The shared experience between hosts and teams is designed to be enriching on professional, personal, and cultural levels.