November was the ninth month in the Roman calendar and actually means nine. With the addition of January and February into our calendar, it became the “eleventh” month of the year. November is the third month of Spring, and the harbinger of Summer. It is therefore a “growing” month with expectations for the future – be it Christmas or the approaching New Year! It is also Rotary Foundation Month. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is Rotary's own charitable arm and its function is to give assistance to those in need. The Foundation utilises the global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into priorities such as eradicating Polio and promoting peace. The purpose of The Rotary Foundation can be found in it's motto: "Doing good in the world". Grants received from the Foundation enable Rotarians to tackle problems such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with solutions that provide a sustainable future. Strong financial oversight, a unique funding model and an outstanding world wide charity rating, mean that the Foundation makes the most out of monies raised by the 1.2 million Rotary members throughout the world. Indeed for the 10th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — four stars — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the USA.
As well as providing grants for projects that support Rotary causes, each year the Rotary Foundation awards up to 50 fellowships for Master’s degrees and 50 for Certificate studies, at premier universities around the world, which are designated as Rotary Peace Centres. Through training, study and practice, our Peace Fellows become leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution. The Rotary Club of Bribie Island is currently hosting a Peace fellow who is studying for her Masters degree at the University of Queensland - a designated Peace Centre.
The Rotary Club of Bribie Island have been the recipients of several grants from the Foundation. For example our Cervical Cancer vaccination of 28,000 girls in Papua New Guinea (PNG) commenced with a $1,000 contribution from our Club. Several Rotary Districts in the USA and Australia also donated and with the Foundation grant, a total of US$329,500 was given to this project. This is the largest Rotary Foundation grant ever received in our District and was the brainchild of George and Mary Grant who are stalwarts of our award winning Club.
Our Bisley Farm project, which assists indigenous children from the Cherbourg community, received a $55,000 grant from the Foundation. A recent joint application with neighbouring Rotary clubs to alleviate malnutrition in the western province of PNG is to receive funding from the Foundation. Those readers who attended our 2017 High Tea will recall that the proceeds from that day went towards scoping this project and it is exciting to see that that the Foundation has approved funding for this initiative. This global grant, “adopt a village project”, will provide nutritional information on local foods at village workshops and encourage the people in the Mougulu region of PNG to use this knowledge to improve their diet.
I am often asked why doesn't Rotary do more local projects. Our Club does do quite a bit locally and often receives District Grants, which are small TRF grants administered by our District, to assist with this work. For example providing hearing tests at Banksia Beach State School, the selection of local students to attend Rotary Youth Programs, the provision of Friendship Benches for the two Primary Schools, supporting the Neighbourhood Centre with their work with the homeless, as well as supporting the local Naval cadets, the Moreton Hospice and the Surf Life Saving Club. You will also see our Rotary Van at the Bribie Markets on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Please come along and say hello.
Notwithstanding local help, however, it is difficult to put this type of need before the desperate need of those in third world countries who don't have enough to eat, don't have clean water to drink, or when diagnosed with Cervical Cancer – will just go home to die.
If you have any suggestions for a project, please contact our Foundation Director, Jeff Eustace, on 0412 353 820.