Rotary’s network of 1.2 million people and 32 thousand clubs spread across 100 countries provides it with many opportunities to direct money and expertise to the parts of the world that need it most at any given time. These projects are co-ordinated by the International Committee and our committee’s chair, Kath Hayes, provided us with an update tonight.
As a global organisation, Rotary’s two biggest International projects are the irradiation of Polio and the rapid deployment of Shelter Boxes in disaster zones. Our club has supported both projects during this (Rotary) year including a major effort to send six Shelter Boxes to The Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma last autumn.
International projects, by their very nature tend to be large projects and as such are organised at a district level or above. Our district, 1070, is involved in a long list of projects mostly in the third world providing water and sanitation, wheelchairs, irrigation, eye surgery, malaria vaccination, food, goats and aid for refugees in Europe.
Kath asked what other areas members of our club would like us to look at and a variety of good ideas were put forwards with modern day slavery and homeless children around the world two recurring themes.
The Rotary Model For International Aid
Rotary projects generally see aid passed through the Rotary network to be deployed where it is needed by the club that is ‘on the ground’. In this way the aid bypasses various institutions and organisations that, in some countries, may otherwise misappropriate it. This model relies on Rotarians the world over being honest and trustworthy individuals which is why members have to be invited to join and put forwards by an existing club member.
The second benefit is that the work is carried out by volunteers. Although Rotary does have some admin overhead it is paid for by the members annual subscription fees so money donated for a worthy cause is spent as you would hope and not on office buildings or wages.