The Rotary Foundation and International Service Committee
The Rotary Foundation and International Service Committee is responsible for developing and implementing plans to support The Rotary Foundation (TRF) through financial contributions by Rotarians (and others), as well as participation in TRF programs, as encouraged in the Club Rotary Foundation Committee Manual and Club Service Projects Committee Manual of Rotary International. The Rotary Foundation and International Service Committee Director is the chair of this committee.
The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty, and they do so through a variety of programs supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
One of the Foundation's key program's is End Polio Now, which has made tremendous progress in its effort to eradicate polio worldwide with contributions and involvement by Rotarians from around the world (including our own club) and challenge grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In addition to a District Grants Program that provides funding for smaller local and international service projects of Rotary Clubs and districts, the Foundation also has a Global Grants Program that provides funding for larger international service projects, as well as a variety of Educational Programs that fund Ambassadorial Scholarships, Group Study Exchanges (now called Vocational Training Teams), and Rotary Peace Fellowships, and our club has participated in each of these programs on occasion. Some examples of the international service projects that our club has been involved with include:
- Water and sanitation projects in a variety of countries, including Malawi, Kenya, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, and Bolivia, all of which have been funded in part with money raised through the Cool Jazz/Clean Water Festival event that all nine Rotary clubs in Thurston County participate in each year. (That event also funds the purchase of musical instruments for students in our local schools.)
- Funding for books for a library in Santo Tomas, Nicaragua.
- Africa Bridge - Tanzania (in their efforts to educate kids and help families become economically independent).
- Shelter Box Disaster Relief.
- Various Group Study Exchanges, including a 2011 Vocational Training Team Exchange with teachers in the Philippines.
- Rotoplast (a program that provides reconstructive surgery for children with birth defects, especially cleft anomalies)