International Service

International Service encompasses efforts to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the world and to promote world understanding and peace.

A 2018-2019 focus on Apopo hero rats: detecting landmines AND tuberculosis
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A new project focus for the 2018-2019 Rotary year, supporting the Apopo hero rats - special rats trained to locate landmines and to detect diseases such as turburculosis - more at

But our international focus is a wide one.......

The Rotary Club of Market Harborough has a proud history of supporting international humanitarian causes across the six areas of focus that Rotary dedicates itself to in order to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. These are:

1.       Promoting peace

Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.

2.       Fighting disease

We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.

3.       Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene

We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.

4.       Saving mothers and children

Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. We expand access to quality care, so mothers and their children can live and grow stronger.

5.       Supporting education

More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.

6.       Growing local economies

We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.

See more at

From an international perspective our support across these areas of focus is provided through three different approaches:

Disaster Reliefhow we respond to natural and humanitarian disasters

The Rotary Network

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. With more than 35,000 clubs and a presence in most countries around the world we are able to leverage this network to ensure that all relief donations do go to the area of need and that the best use of those donations is informed by local Rotarians who understand the local need. See

In addition, Rotary has developed, supported and partnered with a whole host of charities who are able to provide specific relief materials. For initial disaster relief the need may be met, for example, by ShelterBox who are able to rapidly distribute basic shelter, tools and equipment which provide people with a head start - see . Sometime later it may be appropriate to support the restoration of economic development and again we can turn to our network and, perhaps, fund the supply of a Trade Aid box, a box which contains specially selected trade supplies and includes boxes designed for builders, tailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, electricians, mechanics, plumbers and teachers – see

Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s catastrophes. As a club we use our network to ensure that our response really does deliver the best value for the relief that we are able to offer. How do we do that?

·         Our Disaster Fund

As a club we maintain a modest ring fenced budget of charitable funds that allow an immediate response when natural or humanitarian disasters occur.

·         Local Collections

When the need calls for it we will endeavour to quickly obtain licences for a street collection and/or may see if we can gain the support of local supermarkets for a ‘bag packing’ collection.


Humanitarian Projects

As well as responding to natural and humanitarian disasters we develop international projects to help address some of the world’s most persistent issues and meet some of the key Rotary areas of focus.

As examples, over the past year our club has been involved in two significant projects that reflect the importance of clean water supply and education related to the understanding of health issues. Both have been supported by Rotary Foundation grants.

Water Irrigation in Tanzania

Completed in 2018 this project was led by our international 'twinned' club of Bjerringbro in Denmark with support from the Market Harborough club. Together, and supported with a Rotary Foundation Global grant this project ......... 


Palliative Care in Ethiopia

Led by Market Harborough member and District Governor 2017-2018 Chris Davies this project worked with the Rotary Club of Shegar in Addis Ababa and the Ministry of Health in the Ethiopian Government...... An ongoing story - see Related Pages below



The Rotary Foundation   (see also our dedicated Rotary Foundation page)

Our Charity

The Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity and in 2016/17 it celebrated its centennial anniversary. Over the last 100 years, the Foundation has spent over US$3 billion on humanitarian programmes across the world. This includes spearheading the movement to eradicate polio across the world, as well as facilitating projects which address Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus. It is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotary members and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of creating a better world. This support is essential to make possible projects, funded with Foundation grants that bring sustainable improvement to communities in need. Two examples of recent club projects above were both funded by a grant system operated between Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation. This gives clubs the opportunity to apply for grants for projects which matter to them. Once a project is identified, clubs partner with Rotary clubs in the host country to undertake the project. Additionally, clubs have the opportunity to partner with approved agencies to provide specialist input in the Six Areas of Focus.

End Polio

This is Rotary’s primary global objective, the eradication of the Polio virus. Starting as a Rotary project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but need to meet the challenges of total eradication. In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, formed in 1988, is a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world. Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awareness-building. Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Just 37 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2016, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.


The polio cases represented by the remaining one percent are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks. Rotary will raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These funds help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding.

Rotary in Action

More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio. Every year, hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries. Rotary Members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute mass communication tools to reach people in areas isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. Rotary members also recruit fellow volunteers, assist with transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.

See for more information


Rotary Friendship Exchange

This international Rotary programme for Rotary members and friends allows participants to take turns hosting one another in their homes and clubs. It provides experience of different cultures and builds international friendships.

The benefits?

·         Broaden international understanding

·         Explore a specific profession or job in a different context

·         Build enduring friendships

·         Establish a foundation for peace and service

·         Gain opportunities for active project involvement and support

·         Learn about a region’s people, food, languages, customs, and history

·         Find partners for grants


What is an exchange like?

Friendship Exchange participants travel as individuals, couples, families, or groups, and may include Rotary members and non-members. Prospective exchange teams communicate in advance to decide on the purpose, format, timing, logistics, and duration of each visit.

Exchanges offer unique chances for cultural immersion and interchange. They might include opportunities for professionals, including young professionals, to build global understanding and boost vocational and leadership skills. They can provide cultural experiences, vocational activities, fellowship, and much more.

For more information of Rotary Friendship Exchange, see:


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