International Service

The 2022 Mexico-USA Friendship Conference originally planned for in-person Feb. 3-6 in Tucson has been switched to an all-virtual program due to the increase in concerns surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.
The registration site for the virtual Mexico USA Friendship Conference and Global Grants Exchange is now active. Please see the attached information or click on the link below.
If your club is planning on presenting a global grant project, please submit it to your own district foundation chair and copy Kevin Pitts - We have a limited number of project presentations available. Club projects can be promoted at the conference as usual.
Submitted by PDG David Simmer
Dear Friends and Supporters of the Navajo Water Project:  We wanted to give you a quick update on our work to bring clean running water to the Navajo Nation.

In early 2020 (pre-Covid) nine in-home water systems from our Rotary global grants were installed in the small community of Dilkon on the Navajo Nation. Then in early April 2020, due to the severity of the pandemic on the Reservation, tribal leaders instituted lock-downs, curfews and work-stoppages that brought our work to a halt.  

While it was sad to pause this work, we all understood the need for caution given how hard the Navajo were impacted by Covid-19. Few were aware that by May of 2020 the Navajo Nation had become the epicenter of the outbreak in the world....worse by half than New York and New Jersey on a per-capita basis.  

So we pivoted.  We worked with DigDeep and the Rotary Foundation to quickly authorize that $75,000 of our first Dilkon global grant could be allocated to emergency above-ground water tanks.  These tanks helped the Navajo have access to clean water and of course to adhere to hand-washing protocol.  The emergency water tanks help them avoid the contact that occurred routinely at regional wells where they would have otherwise needed to fill buckets, cans and barrels with enough water to survive.

In October of this year, after over 18 months of work-stoppage, tribal leaders have finally allowed DigDeep (our operational partner) to install systems TO the homes, but not INTO the homes of those without water.  DigDeep calls them suitcase installations. 

These systems provide water for the residents via a small outdoor facility with sufficient insulation to protect the pipes from freezing.  (See images attached.)  Once we get the all-clear from the tribal-leaders those systems will be finished off with indoor hot and cold running water.  But for now we are grateful to see the work begin again and to see lives transformed with clean running water available at their homes.

We are hopeful that this is just the start of a robust effort to complete more home water systems.  Obviously there are a lot of variables, but if DigDeep can install water TO homes at an average pace of 10 per month, then Rotary would have funded and DigDeep would have installed water systems TO or INTO over 170 homes in Dilkon by Spring, 2023. 

We are hopeful that the weather allows and that Covid abates so that Rotary and DigDeep can continue to bring this essential element of life to the Navajo in Dilkon. As always, we are so grateful for your support of this incredible project.  We hope to have more good news for you in the near future.

With warm regards, David Simmer On behalf of Rotary's Navajo Water Project team of D5495                        
Past District Governor, Rotary District 5495 (2019-20) Past President, Rotary Club of Sedona (2014-15)

Philippines – Super Typhoon Rai
Disasters don't stop for the holidays, and late last week the Philippines was hit with a devastating super typhoon, causing massive destruction and deaths. Wind speeds reached 125 mph, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, and brought torrential rain and flooding to some of the poorest areas of the country.
We are extremely concerned about the situation in the Philippines. The super typhoon has displaced over 630,000 people. The death toll has risen to more than 200 people and initial reports suggest at least 55,000 homes have been damaged, with nearly 2 million people affected. This is one of the worst storms we have seen so far this year.
ShelterBox is responding to provide emergency shelter and other essential items to people who have lost their homes in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Rai tore across the country. We have aid stored locally, and our Philippines office is working hard on our initial assessments.
The typhoon, known locally as Odette, is the most severe storm to hit the Philippines this year – and one of the worst the world has seen in 2021. Damaged communication lines and fuel shortages are making needs assessments and travel extremely challenging – but our team in our Philippines office is working hard to understand the extent of the destruction.
ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan said: “This deadly typhoon has left hundreds of thousands of people displaced just before Christmas and the damage to homes we are witnessing is truly harrowing. The Philippines is a country still rebuilding having been ravaged by storms far too often, but Typhoon Rai is on a scale our team there simply haven’t seen before. It’s left large areas of the country decimated, and we’re expecting the death toll and damage reports to get much worse.”
Please consider supporting our disaster relief efforts. Help us to reach families that do not have the resources to self-recover.
Thank you.
Bill Tobin, Rotary Relations Manager
ShelterBox USA
Member, Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills Ca. D5180
Submitted by Ola Olugbodi, president of the eClub of the Southwest.
The Rotary eClub of the Southwest, through a district grant and support from Corral De Tierra Rotary District 5230, helped bring clean water to a rural community in Nigeria with its recent support of a water well ‘borehole' in Olurefe.
According to the United Nations, there are still 771 million people around the world that don’t have access to clean drinking water. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives.
Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families.
Advocating for clean water should be a top priority. For billions of people the MDG7 goal may be far from reach. It is of course a matter of human right, human dignity and of equity. Affordable and accessible clean water lead to better health and better life for mothers. Healthy mothers, liberated from the burden of walking long distance to fetch water can be more productive and more able to pay for the installation and maintenance of clean water supply. They can be powerful tools in advocacy efforts for more clean water and sanitation supply for all.
About 20–30% of pregnant women in Sub-Sahara Africa are infected with hookworms by walking or bathing in contaminated water and thus are at risk of preventable hookworm-related anemia. Anemia increases their risk of dying during pregnancy and delivering low birth weight babies who in turn are also at risk of dying.
Access to clean water is also an essential part of infection prevention in maternal care services.
Olurefe community is an agrarian community located at Orile - oje village in Ogo- Oluwa Local Government Area, of Ogbomoso in Oyo State in the South Western part of Nigeria. The population of the people in the community is about 400 people.
One of the perennial challenges in Olurefe Community is the challenge of scarcity of potable water. Due to the topography of the community, most of the "well" sanks do not end up yielding potable water. During the dry season that usually runs for about four months, the community resorts to going about in search of water to drink and to use for other domestic activities. Women both young and old, including young men, trekked about in search of water for survival.
In the same vein, during the raining season, the community members resolved to collection of rainwater for their use, which is always not hygienic to their health.
Because of this perennial water challenge in Olurefe Community The Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA D5495, through a district grant and support from Corral De Tierra Rotary D5230 provided water well ‘borehole’’ to the community.
Upon the completion of the functional borehole for the community, the community members took over the maintenance of the borehole for its continuous use.
The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) is excited to host a Zoom call to action for all Rotary SUPERHEROES to learn more about how to stop human trafficking and modern slavery in their community.
Featuring special guest, RAGAS Board Member and founder/CEO of Mekong Club, Matt Friedman. Matt is an international renowned global expert on modern-slavery with over thirty-five years of experience in the field. He will share ways you can engage your community in the fight against human trafficking/modern-slavery in the world and share his new book "Where Were You?".
RAGAS Coordinator, Amelia Stansell, will share the RAGAS Community Action & Prevention Education (CAPE) strategic action plan. She will share our newly developed toolbox that where you may begin addressing CAPE in your District, Clubs and your Communities.
RAGAS is offering ten (10) grants to help Districts and Clubs execute local community awareness & prevention education projects through a competitive request for proposal which will be introduced during the call. 
The deadline to submit a project proposal is 28 February 2022. 
Rotary Action Group Against Slavery, Inc.
December 8th, 2021 at 0900 EST (New York)
To Access the meeting please use the provided Zoom Link on Wednesday November 10th at 0900 - 9am EST (New York)
Join Zoom Meeting: Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 836 5993 3103
Passcode: 791258
Check out our new website:
An Update from Rotary International on Events in Afghanistan
26 August, 2021
Do we have Rotary clubs and members in Afghanistan?
  • Three Rotary clubs and two Interact clubs have been active in Afghanistan.  We are working to contact those club members to convey Rotary’s support and hopes for their continued health and safety. Our thoughts are with our members, their families and loved ones in Afghanistan.  
What is Rotary doing in response to events happening in Afghanistan?  
  • Rotary is monitoring as events unfold in Afghanistan.  Many Rotary members recognize the gravity of the situation and are compelled to act and offer support. As an organization, Rotary is ready to provide assistance however we can

    Will Rotary intervene, take a position or issue a statement on the political situation in Afghanistan? No. Rotary’s worldwide membership includes people with varying opinions on issues related to politics, government and political parties.  For this reason, Rotary does not take corporate action or express opinions on subjects related to government, political or ruling parties or entities. *
  • Our clubs and members are taking humanitarian action by advocating for the people of Afghanistan and mobilizing to provide immediate and long-term help.  The connections that drive and strengthen Rotary are already at work as members network with each other and our partners to assess what is needed by Afghan citizens who remain in the country, and to provide aid to refugees who have fled the country and are resettling elsewhere. 
  • As we gather more information about on-the-ground needs, we expect to see new project proposals aimed at providing local humanitarian aid for Afghanistan and support for refugees and displaced persons.  
  1. Contact your local club, district and zone leaders to determine if there are Rotary-led efforts with capabilities to evacuate and facilitate relocations for refugees.  
  2. Clubs can also connect to the Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement and Migration for more information and guidance on developing local resettlement efforts to help refugees transition. You can connect at
  3. Members and participants can also help respond by contacting local government officials that are committing to providing aid to Afghan refugees to see how you can augment their efforts.  
  • We can also leverage our expertise in promoting peace and conflict resolution to help advance global peacebuilding efforts. The situation unfolding in Afghanistan is a vivid reminder that security alone is not a sustainable solution. Our experiences with the Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Area of Focus and support for Rotary’s Peace Center network tells us that lasting peace goes beyond the absence of violence. The root causes and conditions that foster conflict must be addressed, with communities putting into place such factors as good governance, access to needed services, sound business environments, and respect for human rights.  
Given President Shekhar’s focus on empowering girls, are we doing anything to support girls in Afghanistan?
  • Rotary has asked clubs worldwide to embrace opportunities to empower girls as one of this year’s Presidential Initiatives. Rotary clubs have long supported efforts to help girls in Afghanistan and we remain committed to our work. If circumstances permit, clubs are encouraged to seek out ways to support girls in Afghanistan.
How will this affect our polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan? 
  • In 2021, despite internal conflicts and a global pandemic, Afghanistan is seeing unprecedentedly low transmission of wild polio, with just one case reported this year. Not only has the country seen a drastic reduction in cases of wild polio, polio surveillance data confirms this progress. Significantly less virus is being detected in the environment. As conflict in Afghanistan quickly evolves, we must advocate for the children of Afghanistan. The polio program must continue to operate and collaborate with all stakeholders involved to ensure that polio immunization remains a high priority so that the gains we have made against polio do not diminish. We look forward to working with our polio eradication partners and the Afghan people to completely eradicate polio. 
 *From RI Code

26.020.  Rotary and Politics

Because its world-wide membership includes persons of many facets of political opinion, no corporate action or corporate expression of opinion shall be taken or given by Rotary on political subjects.  (April 2016 Mtg., Bd. Dec. 157)
Source:  November 1964 Mtg., Bd. Dec. 89
Decubitus (AKA “pressure ulcers,” or more commonly known as “bed sores”) is an uncomfortable subject to discuss.  However, many of us face it either directly or via a loved one at some point in our lives.
In our local environment, available medical staff usually has the knowledge and tools to combat the advancement of this potentially fatal disease.  However, in many cultures abroad this is not the case.
In 2015, Global Grant #1419539 successfully partnered The Rotary Club of Sun City West (D5495) with RC Miskolc-Tapolca (D1911) to combat the advancement of decubitus in two hospices, four hospital wards, and one nursing home in three Hungarian communities.
Phoenix Rotary 100 (D5495) plans to partner with RC Miskolc-Tapolca for Round 2 of this fight.  We are looking for additional team members to join us to help conquer this terrible disease.   Round 2 will use the proven methodology of Round 1.  This will permit Rotarians to expand their reach and “do good in the world” for the residents of more communities throughout Hungary.
The project will address the needs of bedridden patients receiving long term acute or chronic hospital care, and critical end-of-life issues for the elderly in selected hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement communities.  Specifically, it will fund the procurement, delivery, installation, and training for several types of state-of-the-art mattresses and suspension systems to counteract the development of decubitus, a debilitating and fatal disease if unchecked.
There is a short and very graphic .ppt presentation that addresses the original (Round 1) project.  It summarizes the successful completion of that Global Grant and lays out the goals for Round 2.  This presentation can be compressed into a 15-20 minutes segment and include some time for Q&A.  It is available to be shown via Zoom to your club’s members and/or board. 
Should you wish to schedule a presentation, contact Jim Dowler at
Pearlette Ramos, Rotary 100 Member, is creating a documentary entitled Three (Extra)Ordinary Women using her upcoming climb up Kilimanjaro (September 2021) as a metaphor for the struggle too many girls and women must overcome, particularly race and gender inequality, to find their rightful place in our world.
Please view this 4 minute clip to get a glimpse into these women’s lives, and the journey they are about to take.
This project aligns perfectly with the statements of our Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta:
"Equality is a fundamental human right, and it's necessary for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Still, girls and women worldwide face inequities in areas including health and education and experience significant violence and disproportionate poverty. 
Rotary encourages clubs and districts to prioritize projects that improve the health, well-being, education, and economic security of girls in their communities and around the world. Take on a club-based initiative, a district grant, or a global grant that engages members of your community in a project that will protect and empower girls and increase equity by ensuring their access to resources that will improve their lives."emphasis added. 
Pearlette and her hiking sisters’ fund-raising goal is $700,000. This amount includes making the documentary and the social impact campaign that that will focus on showing this documentary to women and girls across the world. 
The Social Impact Campaign
The film will be strengthened through a Social Impact Campaign which will be initiated after the film’s release in April 2022. Having the ability to catalyze positive change and inspire solutions through storytelling, the social impact campaign will include a combination of film festival runs, broadcast, virtual and in-person community screenings aimed at:
1.   Bringing together educators, policymakers, social justice advocates, non-profits and grass root organizers for an educational campaign aimed at advancing gender and racial equality and peacebuilding locally and globally;
2.    Strengthening the capacity of girls and women to engage in collaborative approaches and community networks that support and inspire girls and women to step into leadership roles; and
3.   Encouraging humans everywhere to have meaningful dialogue about human differences and similarities—and the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The campaign will be targeted to Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike.
We request you and your club's support for this effort. Please join us in making this worthy project a reality.
* The contribution can be made through Film Independent a 501(c)(3)