International Service

The Rotary Club of Goodyear Pebblecreek has partnered with the non-profit organization WATTS OF LOVE to bring solar light to some of the most vulnerable and impoverished parts of Kenya by writing a Global Grant through Rotary International.
WHY LIGHT?  Light is a basic need. When the sun goes down, every household needs light to continue daily activities.
Light impacts everything… their environment by reducing the number of toxins being released from the kerosene allowing for better air quality, it empowers women in communities where they have been marginalized and overlooked by giving them a gift to care for their families, it provides income from not having to purchase kerosene, allowing them to save and use that money to purchase a chicken, a goat or cow to feed their family or to barter for other necessities.
Having solar light impacts their safety. They don’t have to worry about open flames, burns, injuries and fire. In addition, having access to solar light extends the work day, enabling businesses to stay open after dark and lengthening the number of hours the children can read and do their schoolwork.
This project empowers people to raise themselves out of poverty and onto a path of prosperity.
A financial literacy curriculum is used to train people on how to save, invest and build for the future. Partnering with Rotary clubs in Kenya, local leaders are being developed to train equip and empower entire regions to ensure lasting change around the world.
President Colleen Malany is leading the way on this Global Grant for our club.  After making several trips to Kenya and another trip next spring to distribute more solar lights and to help train more local leaders in the financial literacy curriculum, Colleen is in awe of what a difference one solar light can make for a woman and her family.
"It’s truly amazing how giving a small solar light, coupled with the pivotal element of financial literacy, unmitigatedly enables a family to dream bigger and actually achieve bigger.  I’ve seen it first-hand. The children are able to go to school and study at home, the family is healthier because they aren’t burning kerosene or using and disposing a significant number of batteries in a year, they have 'new money' from investing their savings in livestock or creating beadwork to sell, they are becoming entrepreneurs who have bigger dreams than ever were possible. 
“Akaidemi”! (it is possible).  The Scripps quote resounds with truth…” give light and they will find their own way”.”
If your club is interested in joining us in supporting this life changing sustainable “Watts of Love” Global Grant, contact Colleen
After two long years of hard work with the Rotary Foundation, the government of the state of Sonora and the Secretary of the Navy of Mexico, the Rotary Club of Puebla Gente de Acción and the Rotary Club of Prescott came together in San Carlos, Sonora to sink the decommissioned Mexican Navy ship, the Suchiate.
Why would Rotary and the Mexican authorities sink a ship? The answer is to create an artificial reef and address the threat of the loss of biodiversity posed to the “lungs” of the ocean, which coral reef systems provide.
The Suchiate now lies next to the Santo, which was sunk two years ago. The global grant executed by the Rotary clubs of D5495 and D4185 extend this environmental sustainability project. And now, because of the partnerships created, the plan is to create an underwater museum for recreational divers to explore. Oceanographers and experts from the dive industry have contributed to the research, environmental impact assessment and design of the museum. In the short time since the Santo was laid to rest, numerous species of flora and fauna have taken up residence on site as it becomes a living coral reef.
And now, it has been announced that the Mexican Navy will donate 2 more ships, two helicopters and 4 artillery units to extend the reef and create the shape of an anchor. This project will provide tremendous economic impact for local tourism, environmental sustainability and opportunities for research in marine biology. It is also expected to serve as a model for similar projects in many different parts of the world.
The Suchiate was originally built in Minnesota in 1946 and served the US Navy mostly as a freighter on the Great Lakes. In 1996, it was sold to the Mexican Navy and served as an oceanographic research vessel through 2020 when it was decommissioned.
The $176,000 usd global grant approved by the Rotary Foundation included funding from over 30 Rotary clubs, primarily in D4185 and D5495, but also included contributions from clubs in places like Hawaii and Maryland. It also included an important contribution from the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) and many individual Rotarians, as well as non-Rotarians. The Rotary Club of Puebla Gente de Acción and the Rotary Club of Prescott were the primary sponsors.
District Governor Kevin Pitts, a member of The Rotary Club of Prescott, was on hand for the sinking ceremony.
Have you ever wanted to be a part of an international project?
Would you like to help grow local economies by investing in vocational education, job training and employment opportunities? Then you may be interested in the following concept which comes to us from our friends in Kenya, the Maasai Education and Research Coalition (MERC) with which we have partnered on four major water projects aiding over 50k people and of course our popular Interact Ambassadors C4A program.
This proposal outlines an economic community development project on the Maasai Mara, a wild animal preserve in Southwest Kenya. It is a proposal to create the Maasai Automotive Education Center (MAEC) at the Dopoi Center near Talek, Kenya. 
This comes at the request of the Mara Guides Association (MGA), an organization of about 300 safari guides on the Maasai Mara. The overall goal is to improve community economic development by creating better automotive maintenance resources along with increased employment. The motivation for this project comes from unanimous comments from Maasai safari guides about unfair and inflated repair prices for poor repairs on their Toyota Land Cruisers at existing small shops in the area which have resulted in safari guides paying up to 50% of their income for repairs.
The MAEC goal is to improve the community economy by educating new auto mechanics and opening one or more new repair shops. This will reduce the vehicle maintenance costs by providing high quality and fair-priced repairs. 
We are currently sending 5 potential mechanics to an automotive trade school where they will receive a certification in August 2024.  We are also in the process of constructing the auto shop which is not a part of the Rotary grant.  It will need an array of necessary tools and equipment for which we are going to prepare a proposal to Rotary.  Any Global Grant requires Rotary partners in the Host country as well as an International Partner. We have Rotarians exploring club partners in Kenya and now are in need a local USA club to become the International Partner for this economic development project. 
The total proposal amount is about $50,000.
For more information and to explore being the International Partner club, please contact Mark Henderson at or (480) 363-6453; or District 5495 International Service Chair, Craig Wilson,

Greetings President Earl and Prescott Frontier Rotary Club,

Congratulations on achieving ShelterBox HERO club recognition for Rotary Year 2023-2024. Attached is your digital award to use on your club website and please share this recognition on your club and school social media outlets. At the end of the 23-24 Rotary year, all HERO clubs will be listed at 

In 2023, we supported more than 325,000 people (approximately 65,000 households). It is our second biggest year, behind the 420,000 supported in 2022, in terms of people reached since ShelterBox began in 2000.

We supported thousands of people in Türkiye and Syria after earthquakes devastated the region. In Morocco, where a powerful earthquake had caused widespread damage in the Atlas Mountains, our teams worked with our partner Association Le Grand Atlas, and Rotary District 9010 to distribute emergency shelter aid to around 20 affected communities. 

East Africa has been victim to the worst drought in 40 years, causing millions of people to be displaced. We’ve supported thousands of people in Ethiopia this year providing essential household items, tarpaulins, and ropes for people who have been displaced. We also launched our first project in Somalia since 2011 and have so far been able to provide support for hundreds of people, with additional projects in the pipeline for 2024.

As the conflict in Ukraine approaches its third year, we are delivering our sixth project in the country supporting thousands more people with winter clothing, blankets, and stoves. We are continuing to support people affected by conflict in Syria with winterisation projects too, making sure people have thermal clothing, blankets, and tarpaulins to help make temporary shelters waterproof. 

In Cameroon, we’ve supported over 100,000 people who have had to flee their homes due to conflict, the climate crisis, and poverty. Our latest project in the country has supported over 63,000 people with shelter.

Here are two short videos to watch at your next meeting and share on social media:

We are ShelterBox   

The Power of Partnership 

Active members are happy members, is there a member in your club looking to serve? Please have them consider becoming a ShelterBox Club Champion or Ambassador.  

Whatever skills, knowledge or time you have to volunteer, you can play a vital part in this process. All we need is your passion.   

About HERO Clubs:

Gifts from clubs, individuals identifying as club members, or anyone recognizing your club all count toward ShelterBox HERO club recognition. Other Rotary entities such as Districts, RYE, Rotaract and Interact can earn HERO recognition. A Bronze HERO recognition level is achieved at $1,000, Silver at $3,000, Gold at $5,000 and Platinum at 10K in total giving within the Rotary year. A club can ‘level up’ throughout the Rotary year. If this award is the result of an individual’s gift, you can thank them by making with a donation to increase their impact.

ShelterBox has provided aid to nearly 3 million people since 2000, we could not have reached them without clubs like yours. 

Thank you for being a ShelterBox HERO!

Bill Tobin

Submitted by By PDG Abe Feder
For nearly 10 years the Arizona Microcredit Program, started by Rotarians Wayne Rish and Terry Lubsen has uplifted the lives of those living in Sonora Mexico. Funded by three Global Grants and additional funding, we have assisted thousands of borrowers to increase their ability to grow the size and scope of their already existing small businesses.
We do this by lending capital in small amounts so they can purchase additional supplies and materials to increase their income.
Every year our committee plans trips to Hermosillo, Mexico to bring Rotarians from clubs in District 5495 and 5500 to visit, meet and interact with our beneficiaries of this program and we are again doing so in 2024 with 10 spots available for each trip.
The schedule for these trips is as follows:
* January-26-28, 3 spots available
* February-23-2,5 7 spots available
* March-22-24, 10 spots available
* April-26-28, 10 spots available
We depart from the Tufesa Bus depot in Phoenix and pick up in Tucson as well. All costs of the trip, bus fares, meals and lodging (2 per room) are covered.
Join us and learn about and see how a Rotary program that you and your club can sponsor (or are already sponsoring) is changing lives every day and has done so year after year.
Spots fill up rapidly so contact: PDG Abe Feder 602-622-7289 or to lean more details and to reserve your seat on the bus!
Submitted by Past District Governor Abe Feder
Rotary Club of Tempe South
The Rotary Foundation does not build buildings that can be part of a Global Grant, so here is a chance for you or your club (or both) to join with Rotary Districts 4100, 5495 and 5500 as well as 44 other Rotarians, Rotaractors and 5 clubs to be part of our Grass Roots Effort to raise funds to build a School and Community Center for the Triqui Tribe and their children. STAY WITH US THROUGH THIS JOURNEY…
The Triqui are indigenous people numbering around 23,000 mostly coming from the state of Oaxaca. Three thousand moved from that area in 1982 to work in the fields around Poblado Miguel Aleman (near Hermosillo) and were given land to settle on by the Mexican Government. The Triqui have their own culture and language and many of them, including their children, do not speak Spanish. When coming from another state in Mexico the Triqui did not understand they needed to register in their new home. They are not considered citizens; their children do not have birth certificates and receive no healthcare or education.
The Trique are field workers and make about $10 per day. Most of their homes have dirt floors and if you go visit their community, make sure you do not go after it rain -- their streets and roads become almost unpassable.
The Millennium Rotary Club in Hermosillo headed by Past President Terri Ruiz has been working with the Triqui for the last six years. Working together through the government maze they have been able to obtain birth certificates for the children and have registered most adults.
But to gain benefits from the Mexican government, they and their children need to speak, read and write Spanish.
Submitted by Buddy Sims
Rotary Club of Goodyear Pebblecreek
The District 5495 article, “Two D5495 clubs support grant to build new school in Budapest for students from Ukraine,” at covers the old schoolhouse for 130 students and the new Global Grant project for a schoolhouse projected for 700 students.
Copied below is a Nov 21, 2023 ZOOM presentation that reflects an update on the project, as well as participating sponsors. We will continue to provide progress reports in 2024 on GG project for $240,000.
The Rotary Club of Zacatlan, Mexico, brought a framed certificate to present to Sunup Rotary President Laura Vanderberg at this year's Mexico-USA Friendship Conference in appreciation of the club's co-sponsorship with their club of a Rotary Foundation Global Grant rainwater harvesting project, which benefitted a village in their part of Mexico.  
John Stewart, a member of the Sunup Club’s International Service Committee, accepted the certificate at the conference, in Laura's absence. 
John presented the Certificate of Appreciation to Laura during a recent meeting of the club.  Sunup Rotary has had a tradition, dating back many years, of sponsoring water projects in other countries to benefit communities lacking access to safe drinking water.
In 1976 I was selected as a Rotary High School Exchange student from Marcos De NIza High School through the Tempe South Rotary Club, with Terry Beach heading the program. I spent 11 months in Stratford, New Zealand that had a major impact on my life.
My host sister Brenda visited me in Eugene, Ore. eight years ago after connecting again on Facebook.  I recently sent a letter to my host father Colin who is 92 and as spry and alert as ever.  The letter (copied below) relates the "ripples in the water" that emanated from my opportunity to experience another country and family thanks to the Rotary homestay program.
I thought that the Rotarians in District 5495 might enjoy reading about the benefits that this Rotary program brought about so many years ago.
Rick Obst
Eugene, Oregon
Colin “Dad” Kurth
The Country Estate
5 Anderley Place
Omokoroa 3114
New Zealand
Dear Dad,
It was February 1978. Over 45 years ago. It was the distant past. It still feels like yesterday. I left what felt like home to return to my family and a future ahead of me. I called my USA home from the Phoenix, Arizona airport upon returning. My brother Chris asked , “Who is this?” as my Kiwi accent was so strong, he had trouble understanding it was his brother speaking.
For several years thereafter I was asked where I came from when talking to people. When I told them I was a native Arizonan, they mentioned I had an accent. The hospitality of New Zealand had truly penetrated my soul.
Nyla, you, and your children made a deep and meaningful impression on me when you opened your home and your lives to a young Yankee far from home. My parents must have been more than somewhat fearful to have their oldest 16-year-old son so far from them.
The credibility of the Rotary Exchange program must have assured my parents. Their sacrifice to send me to New Zealand when they had three younger sons to consider was underappreciated at the time. I hope that my filial piety partially repaid the love and dedication that enabled me to be a part of your family for many months.
I returned to America in February 1978.  I graduated with honors from high school and college. I graduated with a master’s degree, got a job, and got on with my life. Great fortune allowed me to meet my perfect companion (Suzanne) in my life in California in 2000 and we ended up moving to Oregon in 2005 after marrying in 2002.
During our early days in Oregon, we came across a non-profit organization (Friendship Foundation for International Students) formed just after WWII that welcomed international students coming to the University of Oregon.  Locals hosted those students in their homes when they first arrived and provided a “home away from home” during their stay in Eugene, Oregon.
Dear Rotarians and Friends:
I trust this message finds you well. It's often said that visuals can speak louder than words. With that in mind, I've attached a video capturing the highlights of our recent Ukrainian School Opening event. Your unwavering support and contributions played a pivotal role in making this a success.
1 September 2023 heralds a significant milestone in our unyielding commitment to education and service. Overflowing with pride and gratitude, we celebrate the opening of the Ukrainian School in Budapest—a radiant beacon of hope for countless Ukrainian refugee children.
In February 2022, the unsettling tides of war brought many Ukrainian kids across the Hungarian border. Recognizing this immediate need for a Ukrainian School in Budapest, the Rotary Club Budapest-City, in alliance with two Rotary Districts, six esteemed Rotary clubs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Crowne Plaza Budapest, and the Rotaract Budapest International, united to bring this vision to life.
The Rotary Club of Scottsdale and the Rotary Club of Goodyear-Pebblecreek were two of the clubs that participated in the project.
Funds raised: HUF 21.8 million 
Resources acquired:
  • 7 school boards
  • 6 smart boards
  • 2 advanced projectors
  • 120 chairs
  • 60 school tables
  • 17 spacious school wardrobes