Rotary International

Rotary Youth Services Programs


International Service

International ServiceIn District 5170, International Service is one of the most active and significant of the Avenues of Service. Our District is well known in the Rotary world for our international involvement. The International Service leadership group assists clubs in developing programs that improve the quality of life and promote understanding and good will among people in different nations throughout the world.

We would like every club in our District to sponsor, or help sponsor (with other clubs), one or more "World Community Service" Matching Grant projects, as well as to participate in other international activities. To make this happen, our International Service Functional Area Representatives (FARs) will assist the club International Service Chairs, identify some project opportunities, and set up Area-wide WCS projects that combine individual club resources where appropriate. The FARs for each Area are listed with their email addresses on this Directory page.

Fiscally, the most efficient way for us to help needy people in foreign lands is by leveraging our resources with matching grant funds from the Rotary Foundation, usually through the mechanism of World Community Service (WCS) projects. These projects are coordinated by our WCS Committee. For more information about WCS, see this page:

District 5170 provides a multitude of ways for Rotarians to be involved internationally, including opportunities to sponsor projects, host foreign visitors, and travel to interesting and exotic locations. As a result, a number of committees exist within this avenue of service to promote involvement. Some of the following committees are designed to showcase one large, ongoing project and others are designed to encourage involvement through participation in humanitarian projects and travel to project fairs and activities around the world. The programs may be grouped broadly as Medical Missions, People-to-People activities, and Special Project Resources. Here are more details about these activities:

Medical Missions

The Rotary AIDS Project, conceived by the Rotary Club of Los Altos in 1989, is a District 5170 program designed to educate others about AIDS, change attitudes and behavior concerning the disease, support those afflicted, and encourage Rotary's involvement in confronting the pandemic. Current emphases include: Projects aimed at reducing MTCT (Mother-to-Child-Transmission) of the HIV virus in Africa, China and other third-world regions; partnering with other Rotary clubs to lower the HIV infection rate in Nepal. Contact Dude Angius for more information.

Coaniquem (Chile-based Burnt Children Assistance Corporation) Coordinates efforts to treat seriously burned children in Latin America. Contact Ron Mazur for more information. The Fiesta de las Americas is an annual fund-raiser for Coaniquem.

Faces of Hope Annual project to support and accompany a medical team that surgically repairs children in Guatemala afflicted with cleft lip or palate. Contact Rose Johnson or Jolene Bortz for more information.

Rotaplast promotes and supports the Rotaplast organization, which provides surgical repair for children in third world countries throughout the world who are born with cleft lip and palate anomalies. Contact Kathy Wiley for more information.

Wheelchair Distribution Projects, in cooperation with the Wheelchair Foundation or others, arranges to provide wheelchairs to disabled people throughout the world who could not otherwise afford them. Contact Jerra Rowland for more information.

People-to-People Activities

Friendship Exchanges are a short-term informal cultural exchanges with Rotarian families around the world-- a great way to enjoy unique travel experiences! Contact Cincy Schuette for more information.

Uniendo America is an organization that conducts annual "project fairs" in Central America, which enable our Rotarians to meet their counterparts in Latin America and learn about project opportunities to help people in need and thereby work toward international understanding and world peace. The 2009 project fair is planned for January in Belize. Contact Donna Brown for more information.

West Africa Project Fair is an annual Rotary project fair which rotates around the countries of West Africa. It enables our Rotarians to meet their counterparts in West Africa and learn about project opportunities to help people work toward international understanding and world peace. Contact Brad Howard for more information.

Special Project Resources

The new Rotary Action Group Children at Risk, modeled on the successful "Sister Families" program that arranged foster care for many abandoned children in Brazil, will try to help abandoned children worldwide. Contact Loren Harper for more information.

Population & Development acts as liaison to the Rotary Action Group for Population and Development, and project opportunities that could impact world population growth. Contact Marie Sikora for more information.

Water, Health, Hunger & Solar acts as liaison to Rotary Action Groups and related project opportunities. Provides a resource, support and encouragement for club projects both internationally and locally related to water, sanitation, health, hunger and solar solutions. Contact Allart Ligtenberg for more information.