Foundation Showcase 27 February

At our evening meeting on 27 February, our Foundation Team (Gill Russell, Kordo Saeed, Colin Cook and Mike Billington) gave a presentation explaining the structures and purpose of Rotary International’s own charity.  It can appear complex in the way it operates, but the underlying principle is simple – the contributions of Rotarians around the world enables the establishment and operation of projects over which Rotarians have control.

After an introduction from Gill, explaining the two elements of funding – District Grants, where clubs in the same District benefit from funds for local projects; and the Global Grants where clubs can partner across international boundaries, thus increasing the funds available, which are matched from the centre.

Kordo (who like Gill, is a polio survivor) then highlighted the End Polio Now campaign – almost there, but Rotary International’s most widely recognised global project.  He described how Winchester Rotarians have over the years, taken part in National Immunisation Days in India.  In recent years our club has also planted purple corms in strategic sites around our city – most notably around the statue of King Alfred.  As children are vaccinated, their little finger is painted purple (the “purple pinkie”).  Hence the symbolism in RotaryGBI of the purple crocus. 

During his presentation, Kordo referred to two items of online publicity, featuring himself and Gill. Links to both follow:

International Polio Day 2019 video

Article on surviving polio in national magazine 2022

Kordo ended with a reference to various international projects Winchester Rotary has taken part in – with particular reference to our recent links to and work with Rotary Kasese Snow Peaks in Uganda (more on that on 27 March!).

Colin then emphasised the importance of the financial pledges to Rotary Foundation, which all members are encouraged to make.  Basically, the more we contribute, the more funding is available for clubs to benefit from.  Before the Covid pandemic, we had organised several successful fundraising events – the current hiatus means that members’ contributions are becoming ever more important.  It is greatly to be hoped that fundraising for Foundation will return, as it also a vehicle for publicising the work of Rotary International.

Mike then took us through the various District Grants from which we had benefited – a particular recent one being the Scouts’ fundraising for Winchester Hospice, to which funding from District had been added.  He reminded everyone how important it is for members to come forward with new ideas.

By an extremely fortunate coincidence, the current Rotary magazine is almost completely devoted to increasing understanding of “Rotary’s rock-solid Foundation

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