Within the Object of Rotary there is the fourth point which states; “The advancement of international understanding, good will and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men and women united in the ideal of service.” Global grants offer clubs and districts opportunities to participate in strategically focused, high-impact activities. These grants fund large scale international humanitarian projects, vocational training teams, and scholarships that have sustainable, measurable outcomes in one or more of Rotary’s areas of focus. Activities may be carried out individually or in combination; for example, one grant may support a vocational training team and a related humanitarian project.
Global grant projects must have a minimum total budget of $30,000. This includes the World Fund Award, which is based on a 100 percent match of District Designated Fund allocations, or a 50 percent match of cash contributions from the sponsors. That means that Rotary clubs must put in a minimum of $10,000. All global grants must be sponsored by two clubs or districts: a host partner in the country where the activity takes place, and an international partner outside that country.
Here is what our Rotary is doing…
The Rotary Club of Eureka has tried to meet this commitment during its existence. Prior to around 2000 the biggest problem in doing international service was communication. It was difficult with regular mail to develop or maintain relationships internationally. As a result our club did international work only occasionally. Periodically Rotary International would ask for disaster relief money and we would send some. Once a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Argentina asked for shoes for an orphanage in Argentina, and we sent some. Former member Ted Rose asked for supplies for an orphanage in Central America; we supplied his needs and later, as the project expanded, this became recognized by Rotary as Project Amigo. Former members Larry and Sara Kavich had a relationship with China and asked our help with sending school supplies there, which we did. Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka asked for our help in sending an ambulance to Guadalajara, Mexico. This came about because one of their members met a local Mexican Rotarian in a bar. Subsequently this project advanced into what is now the Festival of Brotherhood. None of these projects involved Rotary Foundation money.
After 2000, email and internet communication became easier and more common. This allowed for better, rapid communication throughout the world and made it easier for projects to be developed and implemented.
In the 2000-2001 Rotary year, PDG Harry Johnson, DDS and his district team selected then-President J. Kim Bauriedel of our club to be the district GSE Team Leader to Siberia, Russia, which at that time was part of D5010 consisting of Alaska, Yukon and Siberia. During that trip Dr. Bauriedel learned that a hospital needed certain urological surgical equipment. Knowing that there was a surplus of these particular items in Eureka that resulted from the recent purchase of General Hospital by St. Joseph Hospital, it was easily arranged for the Russian team to hand-carry back about $30,000 of medical equipment to the hospital in Siberia.
That first project set the Rotary Club of Eureka on a course of doing frequent projects with the Siberian Rotary Clubs. Most projects have been done through the Foundation grant process, but some have been direct donations. RCE Eureka has collaborated with other clubs including Del Norte Sunrise, Crescent City, Arcata, Arcata Sunrise, Fortuna, Fortuna Sunrise, Ferndale, Southwest Eureka, Old Town Eureka, Sebastopol Sunrise, Valley of the Moon, Vail Colorado, Santa Rosa West, Santa Rosa, Auburn CA, Liverpool England, Roseville CA, Sidney Australia, Anchorage East, AK, and others. The collaboration has included donations from St. Joseph Hospital, Redwood Memorial Hospital, Mad River Community Hospital, Mt. Diablo Hospital, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Keckler Industries, Whitmore Enterprises and donations from many non-Rotarian physicians, teachers, musicians and community members. The projects have been at hospitals, schools, orphanages and various city parks. Between 2001 and 2014, there were close to 50 projects completed. They have a worth approaching 3 million dollars. They have included multiple Rotary Friendship Teams going in both directions. In 2013-14 our district had its first exchange student from Siberia/Russia. Our club was instrumental in hosting our district’s first VTT, which was also from Vladivostok, Russia. To accomplish all this, the Rotary Foundation has contributed over $350,000 through our club for these Siberian projects.
Beyond these club initiated and coordinated projects, our club has contributed consistently to the Rotary Polio Eradication project, which started in 1987. Although our focus has been on Siberia, we have also contributed to projects in Belize, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Ecuador, Cambodia, Laos, Honduras, Tanzania, Swaziland, Uganda, Nigeria, England, India, Argentina and China (Tibet and Hong Kong) since 1992.
Packaged grants support predesigned projects developed by the Foundation and its strategic partners, which are organizations that work in one or more of Rotary’s areas of focus and can offer financial support, technical expertise, or advocacy. The Foundation and the strategic partner provide 100 percent of the funding; Rotarians implement the grant project. Details about packaged grant options and current strategic partners are available at www.rotary.org.