Beth Barlow and Sandy Whiteman

Beth Barlow and Sandy Whiteman

ROTARY ROUNDUP: Rotary projects to bring aid around the world

Local groups helping to support those in need in Cambodia and Mexico.

Rotary is the world’s largest service organization, with more than 1.2 million members and 34,000 Rotary clubs worldwide.

When you join Rotary, you become part of an international organization focused on conflict resolution, disease prevention (polio eradication is the primary goal), water and sanitation, maternal and child health, literacy and economic and community development.

The Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International, was started for the purpose of dealing with humanitarian issues around the world. Funds contributed to the foundation by local Rotarians come back to clubs as grants for Rotary-sponsored projects in our local community and internationally.

Rotarians and friends of Rotary support the foundation’s work through voluntary contributions. Local club members have been and continue to be excellent financial supporters of the foundation. Strong financial regulations, a stellar charity rating and a unique funding model make the most of these contributions.

The Semiahmoo Rotary Club has been successful in various applications for district grants, including the building of a picnic shelter at Rotary Fieldhouse Park, and improvement of playground equipment and fences at a local shelter for women and children.

This year, with more than $25,000 raised locally by both Semiahmoo and Peace Arch Rotary clubs, and a target of $30,000, a recent $75,000 Global Grant has multiplied local fundraising threefold, to $105,000.

This project is intended to provide sustainable mobility solutions for residents of Hermosillo, Mexico.

The grant will make it possible for local Rotarians – with the help of Rotary International, the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, two Hermosillo Rotary clubs and two Mexican agencies – to distribute more than 300 wheelchairs (including 20 specialized ‘Kanga’ chairs designed for children with severe spinal-cord deficiencies), crutches, walkers, canes and replacement parts and tools.

It is estimated that for every wheelchair provided, 10 people are positively affected.

The South Surrey Rotary club has also recently received a grant through the foundation to help with their orphanage renovation project in Battanbang, Cambodia.

This orphanage needs major renovations.

Rotary will make a big difference in the lives of these children; food, health, education and a future. The children are then in the position to help others in their community.

In recent years, White Rock Rotary secured grants from the Rotary Foundation for the purchase of a specialized laser required for eye surgery which was donated to a group in Honduras. Rotarians travelled to Honduras to deliver the equipment and provide hands-on training for those who will be required to operate this equipment.

In addition, White Rock Rotary secured a grant for a health project in Uganda and are presently seeking out a partner Rotary club in a poverty stricken area of the world wherein they can secure a grant for a “water” project that would result in providing potable water for those living in areas where it is not available.

Valerie Giles writes monthly on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s five Rotary Clubs –


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