I’d like to use this farewell message to share something important – the good works we all do through participation in The Rotary Foundation (TRF).
I could write a thousand words many times over to describe the multitudinous things we set out to do – and accomplish – but I’m going to sprinkle in a few pictures to save you from trudging through a an eight-thousand word tome. (You can thank me later.)
Your contributions to The Rotary Foundation go to all sorts of projects within our Missouri communities – including buddy backpack programs, literacy projects, dictionary distributions, community beautification projects, and partnerships with local schools. TRF funds also provide international education opportunities for outstanding scholars within the district.
Our TRF contributions have immense impact globally as well.
They help provide safe playgrounds in Thailand – a region in which human trafficking is rampant and child safety is a major concern.
An Akha hill tribe child enjoys the playground at the Akha Training Centre in Mae Suai, Thailand. In 2005, the facility housed 300 children from 27 Akha villages. It is located in northern Thailand’s “Golden Triangle,” where drug trafficking and civil unrest along the Laos-Myanmar border have caused many hill tribes to flee into Thailand. They speak their own languages, and almost half lack citizenship and are unable to own land, vote, or seek legal employment. The Akha Training Centre teaches Akha children English and Thai, which allows them to be educated at Thai schools, making them less vulnerable in mainstream society. Rotarians from Australia, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States have volunteered and provided donations, and The Rotary Foundation has supported the project with a Matching Grant.
We put smiles on abandoned children in third world countries, like these young ladies in a caring, group home in Guatemala.
Isabel de Bosch, a member of the Rotary Club of Ciudad de Guatemala, was the first woman to become a Rotarian in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She founded Fundaninas, a facility that houses, feeds, and educates abused and abandoned girls ages 2-18. Rotary Foundation Matching Grants in 1991 and 1997 helped fund bunk beds, sheets, and pillows, and outfit the kitchen and bathrooms. Now a Matching Grant project with the Rotary Club of Winterthur, Switzerland, is helping to provide a “soy cow” — a machine that grinds and processes soy beans to make soy milk.
We train dedicated professionals in the discipline of Peace and Conflict Resolution, as this photo from a Rotary Peace Fellowship discussion depicts.
Rotary Peace Fellows study together at the International Christian University (ICU) located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. Rotary Peace Fellows are leaders promoting national and international cooperation, peace, and the successful resolution of conflict throughout their lives, in their careers, and through service activities. Starting in September, 2002, International Christian University (ICU) was designated as one of seven Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution throughout the world. Each year ICU accommodates up to ten Rotary Peace Fellows who pursue a two-year master’s level degree in peace studies and conflict resolution. The Rotary Centers provide opportunities for fellows to study methods to deal effectively with obstacles, such as war, famine, poverty and disease that currently impede international cooperation and peace. The Rotary Centers also aim to advance knowledge on issues of peace and conflict resolution in order to help cultivate the next generation of community and world leaders.
Through The Rotary Foundation We Fight Polio. We will soon put an end to all casualties from this dread disease, allowing the world’s children to grow up with their physical potential intact.
A polio survivor hand peddles his three wheeled bicycle on the street in Mithipur, a small village outside Patna, India. This area is considered a high risk block for the transmission of the polio virus. Nearby, local Rotarians have built a clinic and permanent polio immunization center called Shankar Nath Clinic.
We deliver water filtration systems to villages, sometimes many miles away from established transportation routes. This significantly improves the health and prosperity of those living in remote locations.
Rotarians from District 6440 (Illinois, USA) hike through the jungle to deliver water filters to the remote village of Tatin, Guatemala.
We organize microloans and arrange for sustainable business and agricultural projects around the world.
Ak’Tenamit students do not pay tuition, but they contribute by working at the sustainable farm near their school. Ak’Tenamit is a Rotarian-supported community development effort along the Rio Dulce in eastern Guatemala. The project’s school, 24-hour clinic, dental missions, and restaurants that serve as practical classrooms benefit surrounding communites in Izabal as well as Q’eqchi’ Maya students from all over the country.
Through The Rotary Foundation we provide nutrition and sustenance to those who are lacking of both.
Rotary coordinators and Rotary public image coordinators from around the world package food for hungry children. More than 80 coordinators attending training at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois, USA, assembled 16,000 packages of fortified rice and soy in a project organized by Kids Against Hunger, a food aid organization, and sponsored by four Rotary clubs in Rock County, Wisconsin, USA. 5 March 2013.
The primary thing that we do, when you sum it all up, is that we provide hope.
Members of the Rotaract Club of University of Findlay, Ohio, USA, attended the 2010 Uniendo America Project Fair in Antigua, Guatemala, to look for international service projects. Here they visit Clinica del Nino Sano: Borrando Huellas (“Erasing Scars”) in Guatemala City, a pediatric burn clinic supported by the Rotary Club of Guatemala Metropoli.
If all that isn’t a worthy calling, I don’t know what is. Please give generously to The Rotary Foundation. You can do it right now through the RI web site.
Peace Through Service.
Rotary District 6080