Bill Boyd has provided us with some Rotary news snippets from around the world.
  • Despite the Covid pandemic, Rotarians have still supported our Rotary Foundation. Total giving in 2019/2020 was US$408m including the US$100m from the Gates Foundation and in 2020/2021 was US$441m. The Gates contribution is included because Gates give us the money to spend at our discretion provided it goes to polio eradication. They are comfortable for us to make the decisions.
  • Mid-September, there were 5 Rotary Peace Fellows still in Afghanistan. They are likely to be working for international agencies and have visas.
  • The latest addition to our Foundation programmes is “Programmes of Scale”. The grant is for US$2m and must give a sustainable solution to a major issue. The first grant last Rotary year was to reduce the incidence of malaria in Zambia by 80%. Rotary has contributed US$2m, World Vision has put in US$2m and the Gates Foundation has put in US$2m. A committee is currently choosing this year’s project.
  • Our RI President, Shekhar Mehta, has described this project in India as the biggest single project he has seen in Rotary. The Rotarians of Erode built a state of the art 401-bed hospital in 45 days at a cost of US$2.694m. The Government of Erode provided the land and the builder, a Rotarian, contributed the first US$200,000 to start the project on time. He used precast technology so that the building could be constructed promptly. The cost includes the medical equipment and it will convert to a general hospital when the Covid demand drops. The motivation to build the hospital came when Rotarians offered to donate 75 Covid beds but the existing teaching hospital had nowhere to put them. India has a legal requirement for companies to give a proportion of their profits to “corporate responsibility” and three companies contributed a quarter of the cost. While the speed of the build is now recognised as a record, the motivation came from the need. Amazing!