International Service

The world needs Rotary and YOU now, more than ever before.
You are making a difference. A case in point is the incredible support for helping Ukraine through the Disaster Relief fund of the Rotary Foundation, which now exceeds $13 million.
District 5495 made a donation of $10,000 in District Designated Funds in April to the disaster fund. The district amount matched an equal amount approximately contributed by clubs throughout the district.
The current amount raised globally as of May 25 totaled $13,182,470. The amount includes $10,136,104 in outright gifts, and $3,036,365 in District Designated Funds.
An impressive statistic is that the total amount contributed from Zone 26/27 – of which District 5495 is a member of – represents 19.5 percent of the total outright giving from across the world to the Disaster Relief Fund.
Zone 26 contributed $935,036 and Zone 27 gave $1,046,176 for a total of $1,981,212.
Thank you to all Rotarians in District 5495 for your support of the Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund.
Submitted by Bill Tobin, Rotary Relations Manager
Below are updates from ShelterBox responses in Ukraine and other areas. We appreciate all the support, donations and advocacy provided by district leadership to help ShelterBox respond to disaster and conflict. We have a big mission ahead and we need your help.
Exclusive Briefing Conflict and Crisis: ShelterBox responds in Ukraine and Yemen.: April 20th Noon ET / 9AM PT
Ukraine – CONFLICT
Our aid has arrived in Lviv in western Ukraine and distributions begin this week. Our team in eastern Europe is now working in Moldova while coordinating with partners in Poland and Ukraine. The number of people who've had to leave their homes is close to 10 million – that’s almost a quarter of Ukraine’s population. Over 4 million children are among those displaced (more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million child population).
We are working on three projects – two within Ukraine and one supporting those fleeing the country.
1.      We are working with People in Need to provide thousands of mattresses for collective centers like schools and churches in Lviv, Ukraine. Our aid has arrived in Lviv and will be distributed this week to collective centers - places where people fleeing conflict-affected areas are seeking shelter and safety. The mattresses will help people sleep and keep warm at night.
2.      We are preparing to provide shelter kits with tools and rope, high thermal blankets, hygiene kits including items like soap, washing powder and toothpaste, solar lights, buckets, and water carriers to help people in Ukraine survive in buildings damaged by the conflict. 
3.      We will be supporting refugees in neighboring countries with high priority items they can carry with them, like hygiene items and cash. Our teams are working with government representatives, Rotary, and other humanitarian organizations in Moldova to draw up our plans.
Dear District 5495 Rotarians:

I would like to personally invite you, your fellow Rotarians, your clubs and districts to JOIN our call for action TO END MALARIA in the world!

Rotarians Against Malaria - Global (RAM-G) is the official Rotary Action group that aims to bring all our local and regional efforts and knowledge on how to eliminate Malaria together, and to leverage what we learn in different parts of the world, to bring Malaria to ZERO everywhere. To do so, we have set our focus on raising awareness for Malaria within Rotary and beyond (through educational programs, community health workers and accessible resources to our members), as well as provide small grants for different interventions: treated nets, house spraying, rapid tests and treatment, medicines, community health workers, and more.

In the past years we have joined efforts with RAM-Australia, Seattle’s Malaria Partners International (MPI) and REMIT in various countries (e.g. Timor-Leste, Zambia, Tanzania, Colombia and many more). These collaborations have been rewarded with awards, such as the Program of Scale for Malaria work in Zambia in 2021. In addition, we partner with organizations such as the Global Fund for Aids, TB & Malaria, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the World Health Organization’s Roll Back Malaria program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Vision and many more.

We strongly believe that after Rotary’s success to end Polio in the world, we can apply the same dedication, focus, commitment and knowledge to the fight against Malaria. 

How can Rotary make a difference? 
  • We can LEAD the way to zero as a global network and by simply SPREADING the WORD.
  • We can refine, share and SCALE UP Innovations by working hand in hand with local governments and organizations.
  • We can generate funds through donations and Rotary led activities to support projects globally.
How can YOU as Rotarian join the call for action? 
  • JOIN RAM-Global TODAY and receive more information on all our initiatives and efforts.
  • DONATE for one or more of our projects that are led by fellow  Rotarians in the world.
  • SPREAD the word and raise awareness that Malaria causes over 600,00 deaths yearly and over 240 million cases worldwide each year.
  • CONNECT with us at the Houston Convention.
  • TAKE the LEAD by joining our RAM-G Board to help take Malaria to Scale
  • VISIT our website to receive detailed information on Malaria, our projects, how to donate and to become a member.
Thank you very much,

Chair & Co-founder of Rotarians Against Malaria

Several weeks ago, The Rotary Foundation launched the Rotary Disaster Response Fund to provide direct support for Rotary districts in Eastern Europe providing humanitarian aid to those impacted by the war in Ukraine.

The District 5495 Foundation Committee has announced it will match all club contributions with District Designated Funds (up to a combined total of $10,000) made to the Disaster Response Fund. Club contributions must be made directly to the Disaster Response Fund by April 30, 2022.

 All contributions to Rotary's Disaster Response Fund, through April 30, 2022, will be used to support relief and recovery efforts in Ukraine and surrounding areas. Rotary districts that have been affected by the Ukraine crisis will receive priority access to Disaster Response Grants until June 30, 2022.
The current decision specifically provides that Rotarians in Rotary Districts in (1) Hungary, (2) Poland, (3) Ukraine/Belarus (they are one district), (4) Czech Republic and Slovakia, and (5) Republic of Moldova and Romania are eligible for a Disaster Response Grant of $50,000 until June 30, 2022. When one grant is completed, another grant can be requested, to mobilize donations as soon as possible to make the most difference.
In summary, donations go to Rotary's Disaster Response Fund, and grants are made to Rotary members in the field. This channel of support gives donors the greatest assurance that contributions are going to help those most in need.
Disaster Response Grants may be used to provide basic items such as water, food, medicine, and clothing and for providing immediate aid to support refugees of this crisis.

Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine can be made here.

Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are also encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

The Rotary Foundation and Rotarians around the world are stepping up to help citizens in Ukraine who are the victims of a war and the resulting humanitarian crisis. Below are several Rotary-initiated opportunities to lend assistance to those living in Ukraine.
The Rotary Foundation

From John Germ, TRF Trustee Chair, 2021-22
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, Rotary has made peace the cornerstone of our global mission. We are deeply concerned about the Ukraine crisis and need your help.

Rotary is made up of people of action, especially in difficult times. In response to the deepening refugee crisis, The Rotary Foundation Trustees have decided to prioritize contributions made to the Disaster Response Fund until 30 April 2022 to support disaster response grants for districts affected by these events. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to supply water, food, medicine, shelter, and clothing.

Half a million people have fled Ukraine and are in dire need of emergency aid. The United Nations estimates that number of refugees could grow to as many as 5 million people displaced. Rotary clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.

With your donation to our Disaster Response Fund, we can support communities and help rebuild lives during this tragic time.  Click HERE to donate now.
Now through 30 June 2022, designated Rotary districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund. These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine and clothing.
During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
Now through 30 April 2022, Rotary districts can transfer unallocated District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the Disaster Response Fund, directly supporting these Ukraine-specific humanitarian grants.
Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund in support of Ukraine can be made here. All funds need to be received into the Disaster Response Fund by 30 April 2022 in order to qualify for use in support of the Ukrainian relief efforts.
Although the Disaster Response Fund will be the main avenue for Rotary Foundation support, Rotary and Rotaract clubs are also encouraged to create their own responses to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Shelter Box
By Gene Medina, Pantano Rotary Club (Arizona)
Pantano Rotary in Tucson is implementing efforts to direct donations to Shelter Box USA ( to assist refugees from Ukraine to survive during this horrific and tragic times. The need is huge.
As most of you have seen, mothers and their children arriving at the Polish and other national borders with little more than the clothes on their backs.  As you would expect, there is a tremendous need for shelter and food. There is help needed NOW. Shelter Box is one avenue.
Shelter Box is a Rotary supported program that provide shelter.
There are at least TWO ways to donate:
1. Directly to Shelter Box: Simply go to the website above, click on the banner at the top
Ukraine Crisis-Appeal- Send Aid Now.
It will take you to the donation page and you can make your choice of donation. ($20 and beyond). As you complete the donation sheet, you can note our Rotary Club, Pantano Rotary, and our Rotary district, 5500 if you choose.
2. You can mail a check to Pantano Rotary Club Foundation, P.O. Box 1517 N. Wilmot Road, No. 276, Tucson, AZ 85712.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has opened an International Designation: Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis. Rotary District 5170 has set up a microsite so members can give a financial gift to support the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis. Click here.
The Ukraine Red Cross is leading humanitarian response efforts in Ukraine and are being supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Our funds raised will support the global Red Cross movement response to provide humanitarian relief to people affected by the crisis in Ukraine. 
Rotary Club in Poland supporting Ukraine refugees
The Rotary Club of Sopot International is accepting donations to directly help refugee families escaping the conflict in Ukraine. According to Club President Julian Gilbert:
"We are providing accommodation, food and health products for Ukrainian families with children who have had to leave their homes to find safe haven in Poland. We are hosting families privately and are providing all the help they will need during this traumatic time, especially for young children."
For information and to donate, visit:
Pearlette Ramos, Rotary 100 Member, is creating a documentary entitled Three (Extra)Ordinary Women using her upcoming climb up Kilimanjaro (September 2021) as a metaphor for the struggle too many girls and women must overcome, particularly race and gender inequality, to find their rightful place in our world.
Please view this 4 minute clip to get a glimpse into these women’s lives, and the journey they are about to take.
This project aligns perfectly with the statements of our Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta:
"Equality is a fundamental human right, and it's necessary for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Still, girls and women worldwide face inequities in areas including health and education and experience significant violence and disproportionate poverty. 
Rotary encourages clubs and districts to prioritize projects that improve the health, well-being, education, and economic security of girls in their communities and around the world. Take on a club-based initiative, a district grant, or a global grant that engages members of your community in a project that will protect and empower girls and increase equity by ensuring their access to resources that will improve their lives."emphasis added. 
Pearlette and her hiking sisters’ fund-raising goal is $700,000. This amount includes making the documentary and the social impact campaign that that will focus on showing this documentary to women and girls across the world. 
The Social Impact Campaign
The film will be strengthened through a Social Impact Campaign which will be initiated after the film’s release in April 2022. Having the ability to catalyze positive change and inspire solutions through storytelling, the social impact campaign will include a combination of film festival runs, broadcast, virtual and in-person community screenings aimed at:
1.   Bringing together educators, policymakers, social justice advocates, non-profits and grass root organizers for an educational campaign aimed at advancing gender and racial equality and peacebuilding locally and globally;
2.    Strengthening the capacity of girls and women to engage in collaborative approaches and community networks that support and inspire girls and women to step into leadership roles; and
3.   Encouraging humans everywhere to have meaningful dialogue about human differences and similarities—and the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The campaign will be targeted to Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike.
We request you and your club's support for this effort. Please join us in making this worthy project a reality.
* The contribution can be made through Film Independent a 501(c)(3) 
Rotary Statement on Ukraine
A message from Director Vicki Puliz
In response to the tragic events occurring in Ukraine, please see the official statement from Rotary International below. I know you are getting many questions from members about how they can help, because that is how Rotarians respond to crisis and disasters when other people are in need.  
The events in Ukraine are changing rapidly. General Secretary John Hewko, Director Katerina Kotsali-Papadimitriou, and other European Rotary Senior Leadership are working closely with Rotary leaders in Ukraine to monitor and provide substantial humanitarian assistance in a coordinated, effective way. They thank you for your support and desire to help, and will be back to us soon with action we can take.
Official Statement from Rotary International:
It is a tragic and sad time for the people of Ukraine and the world. 
At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there.  Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission.  We join the international community in calling for an immediate cease fire, withdrawal of Russian forces, and a restoration of diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict through dialogue. 
In the past decade, Rotary clubs in Ukraine, Russia and nearby countries have transcended national differences and have actively engaged in peace-building projects to promote goodwill and to marshal assistance for the victims of war and violence. Today, our thoughts are with our fellow Rotary members and others in Ukraine coping with these tragic events. Rotary International will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region. 
Submitted by PDG David Simmer
Dear Friends and Supporters of the Navajo Water Project:  We wanted to give you a quick update on our work to bring clean running water to the Navajo Nation.

In early 2020 (pre-Covid) nine in-home water systems from our Rotary global grants were installed in the small community of Dilkon on the Navajo Nation. Then in early April 2020, due to the severity of the pandemic on the Reservation, tribal leaders instituted lock-downs, curfews and work-stoppages that brought our work to a halt.  

While it was sad to pause this work, we all understood the need for caution given how hard the Navajo were impacted by Covid-19. Few were aware that by May of 2020 the Navajo Nation had become the epicenter of the outbreak in the world....worse by half than New York and New Jersey on a per-capita basis.  

So we pivoted.  We worked with DigDeep and the Rotary Foundation to quickly authorize that $75,000 of our first Dilkon global grant could be allocated to emergency above-ground water tanks.  These tanks helped the Navajo have access to clean water and of course to adhere to hand-washing protocol.  The emergency water tanks help them avoid the contact that occurred routinely at regional wells where they would have otherwise needed to fill buckets, cans and barrels with enough water to survive.

In October of this year, after over 18 months of work-stoppage, tribal leaders have finally allowed DigDeep (our operational partner) to install systems TO the homes, but not INTO the homes of those without water.  DigDeep calls them suitcase installations. 

These systems provide water for the residents via a small outdoor facility with sufficient insulation to protect the pipes from freezing.  (See images attached.)  Once we get the all-clear from the tribal-leaders those systems will be finished off with indoor hot and cold running water.  But for now we are grateful to see the work begin again and to see lives transformed with clean running water available at their homes.

We are hopeful that this is just the start of a robust effort to complete more home water systems.  Obviously there are a lot of variables, but if DigDeep can install water TO homes at an average pace of 10 per month, then Rotary would have funded and DigDeep would have installed water systems TO or INTO over 170 homes in Dilkon by Spring, 2023. 

We are hopeful that the weather allows and that Covid abates so that Rotary and DigDeep can continue to bring this essential element of life to the Navajo in Dilkon. As always, we are so grateful for your support of this incredible project.  We hope to have more good news for you in the near future.

With warm regards, David Simmer On behalf of Rotary's Navajo Water Project team of D5495                        
Past District Governor, Rotary District 5495 (2019-20) Past President, Rotary Club of Sedona (2014-15)

Submitted by Ola Olugbodi, president of the eClub of the Southwest.
The Rotary eClub of the Southwest, through a district grant and support from Corral De Tierra Rotary District 5230, helped bring clean water to a rural community in Nigeria with its recent support of a water well ‘borehole' in Olurefe.
According to the United Nations, there are still 771 million people around the world that don’t have access to clean drinking water. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives.
Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families.
Advocating for clean water should be a top priority. For billions of people the MDG7 goal may be far from reach. It is of course a matter of human right, human dignity and of equity. Affordable and accessible clean water lead to better health and better life for mothers. Healthy mothers, liberated from the burden of walking long distance to fetch water can be more productive and more able to pay for the installation and maintenance of clean water supply. They can be powerful tools in advocacy efforts for more clean water and sanitation supply for all.
About 20–30% of pregnant women in Sub-Sahara Africa are infected with hookworms by walking or bathing in contaminated water and thus are at risk of preventable hookworm-related anemia. Anemia increases their risk of dying during pregnancy and delivering low birth weight babies who in turn are also at risk of dying.
Access to clean water is also an essential part of infection prevention in maternal care services.
Olurefe community is an agrarian community located at Orile - oje village in Ogo- Oluwa Local Government Area, of Ogbomoso in Oyo State in the South Western part of Nigeria. The population of the people in the community is about 400 people.
One of the perennial challenges in Olurefe Community is the challenge of scarcity of potable water. Due to the topography of the community, most of the "well" sanks do not end up yielding potable water. During the dry season that usually runs for about four months, the community resorts to going about in search of water to drink and to use for other domestic activities. Women both young and old, including young men, trekked about in search of water for survival.
In the same vein, during the raining season, the community members resolved to collection of rainwater for their use, which is always not hygienic to their health.
Because of this perennial water challenge in Olurefe Community The Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA D5495, through a district grant and support from Corral De Tierra Rotary D5230 provided water well ‘borehole’’ to the community.
Upon the completion of the functional borehole for the community, the community members took over the maintenance of the borehole for its continuous use.