Our speaker this week was Rotarian Maurice Turner from the Wareham club. Maurice came to speak to us about The Rotary Foundation (“TRF”), our very own charity.
The Rotary Foundation was founded in 1917, twelve years after the start of Rotary with a meagre $12 or so. To date it has provided in excess of $3 billion worth of grant aid.
TRF has five areas of focus under which all its work operates:
- Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, under which Rotary Peace Centers have been established and train scholars in peace studies. These scholars now work across the globe in many different vocations;
- Disease Prevention and Treatment, under which the eradication of Polio Wordwide is the most high profile project;
- Water and Sanitation, where the emphasis is on ensuring a clean water supply for all by providing pumps to remote villages, building sand dams in hot countries to store vast amounts of water and providing proper toilets;
- Maternal and Child Health, aiming to train and educate mothers in bringing up their children and look after children from war torn communities;
- Education and Literacy, where efforts have been made to build schools in poorer countries, provide tools such as literacy boxes and assist people with disability to gain an education.
But TRF does so much more. A lot of work is going on with economic and community development, including the use of modern technology. Sustainability is also key, to ensure that what Rotary puts in will still be there many years from now.
Much of the funding for the TRF comes from Rotarians, either through donations to the Annual Programmes Fund or specific donations to some of the specialist areas that are supported such as End Polio Now or Rotary Scholarships. Around $70 million is returned to club projects from TRF every year.
Questions were asked from the floor, following which Rotarian David Chalcraft gave a vote of thanks to Maurice for his superb presentation and for reminding us all of the importance of our own charity, The Rotary Foundation.