Report from the International Service Committee

Our International Committee of the Rotary Club of Stratford initiated a $57,000US project with a US$8,000 commitment in Butembo, Congo. This project was made possible through a Global Grant through Rotary, which multiplies funds through different partners. These partners include Rotary International, our district D6330, District D9150, and the Government of Canada. This provided solar collectors and oxygen concentrators for pediatric patients in two hospitals in Butembo., Congo , where the electrical supply is very unreliable. Dr Hawkes (who is the project leader from the U Alberta) says that a study showed that the saving of a baby’s life through this system costs about $17 which is about one third of the cost of oxygen cylinders , if available.

Our supported projects last year were (in addition to Congo): COMMIT ($2500). Homes for Hope ($2000), which is a local project that provides homes to people in Las Legas, El Salvador, as well as Rotary money which provides money for a doctor to make regular visits to the village. Change her World ($1000) , a local project that provides funds for girls education in Malawi, Africa. Guatamala Literacy Project ($100US) is a project that we support through North Bay Rotary. Agra Tajmahal got the balance of funds ($3373). Es Artes is a project managed through the Festival Theatre that provides funds for arts education in El Salvador. We supported Es Artes this year (2019) with $3000. Our total budget for International work is $20,000. Of note, the following people in our club, or people with close connections to our club went to :

Steve Rae and his wife went to El Salvadore with Homes for Hope. Katherine Hahn and her son, Evan , went to India with Agra Tajmahal. As well Tony Sheard, our incoming District Governor and his wife went there as well. Our money support was used for a girl’s scholarship for 5 years. This project has many facets.

Pat Feryn along with his wife, Jane , and Doug Thompson went to Nicaragua with COMMIT. They stay at an orphanage (called NPH). This year initiatives include funds for a bus, that will be used by COMMIT and the orphanage. Updating water distribution is another project that is planned for this year. Our club has pledged to proceed with a Global Grant to help fund these initiatives. Rotary money will be used to start a gardening project this year that will provide an opportunity for the villagers to produce their own nutritious, home grown food.

Mark Smith and Arlene Pol of our club went to Suchitoto, El Salvador to work with Es Artes, a project that we have supported in the past, and have supported this year (2019) with $3000.