Rotary International News - June 13, 2011

During a trip to Niger on a Rotary Foundation grant, Ernie and Sally Montagne of Arizona, USA, saw firsthand how the Foundation's humanitarian efforts are helping to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.

“The Rotary Foundation is our vehicle of choice to enable ordinary Rotarians to make a lasting difference in the lives of thousands of villagers in Africa,” says Ernie.

Contributions to the Annual Programs Fund through the Every Rotarian, Every Year (EREY) initiative are the primary source of funding for Foundation programs, including those that helped support efforts in Niger. These programs cover more than 160 countries and geographical areas on seven continents. ( Contribute now .)

Here is a small sample of projects made possible through EREY:

  • In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, Rotary clubs helped create Nueva Esperanza, (New Hope), a sustainable community in Honduras for poor families devastated by the storm. Using a Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant, Rotary clubs in Honduras and California, USA, provided books, computers, and medical equipment for Nueva Esperanza, helping families put their lives back together.
  • With the help of a Rotary Foundation District Simplified Grant, the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville, Florida, USA, built a baseball field designed for local children with disabilities. The unique turf allows players using wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches to easily maneuver across the field with the help of an on-field “buddy” -- a volunteer, parent, or friend. (See this story in a clip from RVM: The Rotarian Video Magazine, volume 4, issue 1.)
  • A 3-H grant sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Calcutta Metropolitan, West Bengal, India, and Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, helped establish a half-mile concrete walkway in Nabapally, India, that serves as an escape route for villagers during annual monsoons.