Feed on

Key aspects for your Club to consider:
Project or Service ◊ Relationships ◊ Sustainability
Which Approach Fits ◊ Further Resources

Most project and service work in World Community Service starts and ends with solid relationships with the Host Club: that’s the lead club which identifies and supervises the project or service, administers funds in accord with the grant, and acts as our “eyes and ears.” Please remember it is not our role as American Rotarians to tell host clubs or village members what to do. Rather, we work within their social fabric to draw out the community needs, help them make plans, and establish goals they believe in – then accomplish them.

There are several approaches to finding and doing World Community Service projects:

  • Assist Other Clubs Here: you can assist other clubs in District 5100 with their projects; and share in the progress and results; then maybe later initiate your own.
  • Adopt-a-Village: your Club and the Host Club work with a target community to identify a series of community needs, and jointly set goals that last several years. This allows for consistent efforts that are more likely to help the village to become healthier, more productive, self-sustaining and rise out of poverty.
  • Adopt-a-School: likewise, the Clubs can work with a school, school district or group of village schools to identify their needs, and meet many over time. Improved schools in poor communities can become a center for learning for the whole family – teaching literacy and hygiene to parents through children, a place for the whole community to learn and research, have computer labs, even art, music and dance programs.
  • Area or Regional Programs: your club, with other host (and international) partners, can identify one or more needs in an area – then develop a system to efficiently deliver them to many villages or a region. They can last one or several years. For example, refurbish schools with furniture, books and supplies; or provide water and toilets to several villages or schools; or plant trees to offset deforestation; or provide a mobile or regional medical or dental clinic. The variety and scope is limited only by your collective imagination.
  • Work with NGO’s: identify an area served by a non-governmental organization (NGO), or identify an NGO to work with, then collaborate – provide funds, expertise, or volunteers. NGO’s (aka nonprofits) can be small or large, general or narrow in focus. Check ‘em out for mission, solvency, efficiency and the methods they use. Their funding & staff can leverage Rotary dollars and bring consistency, repeated contact and long-term change. Local governments can also be partners.
  • Make Contributions or Volunteer: there are many Rotary efforts that are worthy of your contribution and volunteer time: the eradication of Polio, repair of debilitating defects through Roto-Plast, aiding Shelter-Box, and many more.

When considering subject areas, please note The Rotary Foundation’s Future Vision Plan provides that Global Grants in the future will focus on larger projects, high-impact outcomes, and these six areas of focus:

  • Disease prevention/treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Education and basic literacy
  • Economic and community development
  • Peace and conflict resolution/prevention

Often, a focus on the needs of children will be easiest to gain consensus, and most beneficial. In all your WCS work, please be sure that you and your club commit to follow through with your communication, promises, coordination of services or goods as fits your role. Keep in touch with your host club counterparts. Consider a hands-on aspect to a project, and if possible make onsite visits – these are rewarding and you can see/hear the results first-hand. You don’t want to build or encourage village people to be on welfare perpetually. Sometimes an idea will come for development that transforms the nature of a community, or helps it become self-sustainable. Or at least a leg up.

Finally, some things that will build a good relationship with Host Clubs include: sharing meals, social visits & fellowship; regular email & phone calls; visiting their club meetings, exchanging flags & gifts; encouraging the Host Clubs to visit your club. You might just chat about why we are Rotarians … and develop a shared vision and commitment to humanitarian work for others.

Learn more about WCS on our District webite – www.d5100wcs.org. There you will find lots of tips, an explanation of the types of grants, forms, checklists, spreadsheets for calculating grants, booklets on Humanitarian Grants, and examples. You’ll also find links to project databases like www.matchinggrants.org for finding projects, and checking on the status of various projects in District 5100.

SM, WB, MH & D5100 WCS Committee – rev. Apr 2009

Leave a Reply