One of the five avenues of service for Rotarians, International Service involves activities of the club that promote world peace and cooperation among Rotarians. At the district level, new for 2016-2017 rather than have a singular person who serves as the International Service Advisor, there is now an International Service Committee with Rotarians from across the district. The general scope of International Service Advisor and Committee is to help clubs establish "twin club" arrangements with clubs in other countries and to assist where needed in any aspect involving international projects and exchanges.
There are two specific focus areas for the committee for this year. They are defined as follows:
International Service Projects: International Service projects are conducted by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more. The trips coordinated by the District are typically hands on with approximately 5 days set aside for physical work on the identified project. Typical Duration – 9 days including travel days.
Friendship Exchange: Participants experience other cultures and build friendships by staying in the homes of Rotary club members in another country. This program advances international understanding and peace through personal contact across borders while developing interclub relationships that lead to fellowship and service projects. Typical duration – 8-14 days including travel days.
International Service Projects
The first specific focus area is to solicit and coordinate implementation of international service trips at a district level and promote and assist, where needed, in international service trips at a club level. To this end it is the intent to serve as a clearinghouse for potential projects for clubs to consider taking on. To this end, written proposals for projects are being submitted and will be considered by the committee in early September, 2016.
The second area of focus is “growing” the Friendship change program. With the successful exchange this past year with the team from Pakistan, the district is set to see this fantastic program grow. One of the lessons learned with this most recent exchange is that from a logistical standpoint, the exchanges should be coordinated at either the club level or sector level. The committee will serve as a conduit to facilitate exchanges with other districts. Similar to the international service project component, it is the intent to have this committee serve as a clearinghouse of available friendship exchanges.
Information on grants that can assist with International Service Projects can be found at http://rotary6440.org/SitePage/humanitarian-grants
The International Service Advisor is Jim Wales who stands ready to help clubs with their international service projects. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance!