International Service

 
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 mark.henderson@asu.edu or (480) 363-6453; or District 5495 International Service Chair, Craig Wilson, cw10@cox.net.
 
 

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 www.shelterboxusa.org/hero 

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 https://youtu.be/Ukpl_yM1AKA?si=8SwmipvyL1_7iEzh   

The Power of Partnership https://youtu.be/0L8v4KPKyjI 

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. www.shelterboxusa.org/volunteer   

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

MICROCREDIT TRIPS FOR 2024
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 abefeder1@gmail.com to lean more details and to reserve your seat on the bus!
Submitted by Past District Governor Abe Feder
Rotary Club of Tempe South
 
ALL IT TAKES IS $$ MONEY $$!
 
THE TRIQUI TRIBE PROJECT
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…
 
WHO IS THE TRIQUI TRIBE?
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.
 
ECONOMICS AND CHANGE
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
 
https://rotary5495.org/Stories/two-d5495-clubs-part-of-grant-to-build-new-school-in-budapest-for-students-from-ukraine 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
 
 
By Robert J. Jensen, MS
International Programs
Rotary Club of Mesa West
 
Since 1992, the Mesa West Rotary Club of Mesa, Arizona has sponsored a team of audiologists and doctors that conduct a medical mission to help the people of Guaymas, Mexico and others from the State of Sonora with their hearing problems.  Although the city has approximately 150,000 citizens, there are no audiologists or hearing aid dispensers in Guaymas. 
 
Guaymas is a Sister City of Mesa. It is located about 400 miles south of Phoenix, Arizona.  Its neighbor, San Carlos, lies twenty miles west on the coast of the Sea of Cortez. 
 
We have worked at a school for mentally and physically challenged students, many of whom have hearing loss.  We have a test booth, clinical audiometer, impedance meter, hearing aid modification tools and otoacoustic emissions screener.
 
Each year, a group of volunteers go and conduct hearing tests and medical examinations, fit and dispense hearing aids and earmolds, fix hearing aids, and provide consultations on matters related to aural rehabilitation and education of students with hearing loss.
 
We also test preschool-age children as well as adults. Over a typical four-day period, two are spent in traveling to and from Guaymas while two days are usually spent seeing patients.  It is not uncommon to see between 250 to 350 patients within those two days. 
 
All patients are given a medical examination by our volunteer doctors or local physicians, a hearing test by the audiologists, and, if needed, are fitted with custom-made temporary silicone earmolds and hearing aids.  Those already having hearing aids will have those aids inspected, cleaned and fixed or adjusted as needed.  Impressions are taken for many so that custom acrylic earmolds can be made and fitted on a return trip usually made in February or March of the next year. Batteries are dispensed to those needing them and the patients are counseled on the use and care of the hearing aids and earmolds.

Submitted by Dr. Honora Norton
Public Image Chair, Rotary Club of Sun Lakes

Rotary Club of Sun Lakes has contributed $2,000 to a Rotary International Global Grant with Denver’s Rotary Club of Fort Collins-Breakfast and Rotary Club of San Salvador Maquilishuat, along with 25 other Rotary Clubs & 6 Districts from around the world. 

RCSL’s contribution helped to fund a $130,895 sustainable water project that by October 2025 will provide a potable/hygienic water distribution system to two El Salvador communities—El Pital & Las Tablas—eventually benefitting 2,000+ people. This project is a collaboration with the Rams Without Borders Club of Colorado State University, with survey assistance provided by students & faculty from the University of El Salvador.

Rotary International Global Grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. By working together to respond to real community needs, clubs and districts strengthen their global partnerships. Global grants can fund humanitarian projects, scholarships for graduate-level academic studies; and vocational training teams, which are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about their field or to learn more about it themselves. 

Global grants have a minimum budget of $30,000 and a maximum World Fund award of $400,000. Grant sponsors can use a combination of Rotary District Designated Funds (DDF), cash, and/or directed gifts and endowment earnings to fund a global grant. The Rotary International Foundation will provide an 80 percent World Fund match for all DDF contributions. There is no minimum World Fund match.

For more information about Rotary Club of Sun Lakes projects and membership see – www.sunlakesrotary.com.

Photo: Residents meet to learn about the upcoming sustainable water project within their communities.