international projectsThere are a number of ways to help with international projects.

Service trips to Latin America and Africa are great fun and extremely rewarding — they will truly change your life. You will see how little most people in the world have, and that a small amount of money and effort thoughtfully applied can make an enormous difference. You will also see that there are many lessons for us visitors to learn from the people there. A lucky community might have one soccer ball for all of the kids to share and virtually no other possessions for entertaining themselves. Yet they do entertain themselves and find much joy in life.

When international volunteers go into an area for the first time the people are usually shy and reticent. By the time the volunteers leave, they have been invited into people’s houses, introduced to grandparents and children, and are honored at celebrations. You can see how non-tourist economy people really live and start to understand their joys and challenges.

All of the organizations below need help. There are often local opportunities to serve as well as international volunteer opportunities.

We are also participants in Rotary Youth Exchange and the fight to eradicate polio.

This Month’s Highlights

Friendship Exchange 

Five exchanges are currently in the planning stage. They are: 

  • Pakistan: Camille recently spoke with Rizwan (Lahore City Rotary Club) and he confirmed that he is the appointed person from that District for the upcoming RFE. They are planning on sending a team here in April of 2023. We agreed that we would work primarily on their visit here and that the participants in the exchange will have current US visas before coming.
  • South Africa: is planned for an outgoing team in September of 2023, probably the first two weeks.  This will be centered on the Capetown area. We are soliciting outgoing team members at this time and have several applicants.
  • Canada MidAtlantic States: will visit us probably the first two weeks in May of 2023.  This will complete this exchange. 
  • Philippines:  Carlos has discussed our return there and we have several interested in being on that outgoing team. Laurence from that district is currently teaching in Salem and was at the Foundation dinner. That district then will send a team here in 2024.
  • Italy:  Gary Plano has met in person with the District Governor from Italy. It has been decided that they will send a team of four associate winemakers here probably in May. Eugene, Corvallis and Southern Oregon will be the target areas with local Rotarians involved in transportation, hosting, etc.  

Hospital Supply 

During this past month, the project sent to Ukraine 18 pallets by air freight of “critical” medical supplies and an additional 40′ shipping container of less critical equipment and supplies by cargo ship.  Project volunteers helped empty and clean up the project’s former sorting warehouse on North Cleveland Street in west Eugene.  Finally, the project has arranged for a club presentation on October 27 on the impact of its shipment of donated medical equipment and supplies to a community hospital in southeastern Haiti. 

South Valley Rotary Grant Committee (SVRGC)

Kathi Hoffer attended the SVRGC meeting on Sept 28th.  They discussed on-going global grant work and the problems associated with summarizing the finances on the reports, which Susie has agonized over for the past few years.

Downtown Eugene Club had a global grant for maternal and child health care in Uganda that has been completed.  Airport club is doing a Mobile Medical Vehicle for their global grant which is in process.  Delta is looking for assistance in developing a global grant for 22-23.  Southtowne will be eligible again for a grant in 27-28, as we just completed one in 18-19 for Stoveteam, which evolved into a large district grant rather than a global grant.

World Community Service Committee

The big news is we got the sewing machines down to the School for the Deaf and the students were all delighted.  There are several big projects looming – medical supplies to the burn hospital in Peru, medical supplies to the hospital in Cambodia, a possible contribution to the global grant for the School for the Deaf in San Miguel de Allende, but none of these are finalized and will be discussed further this winter and spring.  The large painting which the Meyers won at the School for the Deaf fundraiser last spring (a 5x7ft modern piece which symbolizes ocean movement) was shipped to them and they have donated it to Rotary.  Camille is working on selling it thru the Shedd and it is hoped the funds received will partially go to international programs, as the Meyers wish.