The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
Rotary Foundation Programs
Through Foundation grants and programs, Rotarians and other contributors can help change the world. They can finance a well for a village that lacks clean water, improve the environment, or provide scholarships to educate the next generation. The grants and programs available to Rotarians allow them to realize Rotary’s humanitarian mission throughout the world, including its number-one goal of eradicating polio.
To eradicate polio, Rotarians have mobilized by the hundreds of thousands. They’re working to ensure that children are immunized against this crippling disease and that surveillance is strong despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty, and civil strife of many countries. Since the PolioPlus program’s inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine.
Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge is the Rotary Foundation's response to the two grants totaling $355 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio. Every dollar given to PolioPlus will be counted toward the $200 million match, which must be completed by 30 June 2012.
PolioPlus Grants – Primarily applied for by National PolioPlus Committee chairs or a major partner agency, such as the World Health Organization or UNICEF. Support is available for eradication efforts in polio-endemic, recently endemic, and high-risk countries, including National Immunization Days, poliovirus transmission monitoring, and other activities.
Humanitarian Grants Program
Disaster Recovery – Allows Rotarians to donate money in response to specific disasters. Funds are distributed to local committees to support recovery efforts. The program was created in 2005-06, and the Foundation currently administers four Disaster Recovery accounts: Hurricanes Stan and Wilma (Guatemala and Mexico), Hurricane Wilma (United States), the Earthquake in India and Pakistan, and Solidarity in South Asia. Total contributions to the accounts were $6.4 million.
District Simplified Grants – Support the service activities of districts locally and abroad.
Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants – Fund large-scale, two- to four-year projects that improve health, alleviate hunger, or promote human development.
Matching Grants – Provide matching funds for the international service projects of Rotary clubs and districts.
Ambassadorial Scholarships – The Foundation sponsors one of the largest international scholarship programs in the world. Scholars study in a different country, where they serve as unofficial ambassadors of goodwill. Since 1947, more than 47,000 scholars from 110 countries have received scholarships of more than $476 million through The Rotary Foundation.
Group Study Exchange (GSE) – Annual awards are made to paired Rotary districts to cover travel expenses for a team of non-Rotarians from a variety of professions. Rotarian hosts organize a four- to six-week itinerary of vocational, educational, and cultural points of interest. Since 1965, more than 57,000 individuals (almost 12,000 teams) from 100 countries have participated at a cost of more than $92 million.
Rotary Peace Fellowships – Each year, up to 110 scholars are sponsored to study at one of the seven Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution for a master’s-level degree.
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