Sebastopol Rotary embraces Rotary International’s commitment to world peace and the betterment of poor people around the globe.  We commit both money and volunteer time, with some of our most meaningful and memorable projects being the work we have done with our own hands in some of the farthest corners of the world.
 
             - Rotary International’s Commitment to End Polio Around the World In 1985, the Club joined with the other 35,000+ Rotary clubs around the world to work through Rotary International to end the scourge of polio.  Although the U.S. has been polio-free since 1979, worldwide, 350,000 children in 125 countries were then contracting the disease annually.  Thirty-five years later, w, along with our partners, like the WHO and the Gates Foundation, have reduced the number by 99.9%, with just three countries reporting cases last year.  This year, 2020, only 59 cases have been reported through May.  Polio will be only the second disease in history to be eliminated from the face of the earth, following smallpox's elimination in 1980.  In 2019-20, Club members donated over $52,000 to the Rotary International Foundation, much of which has gone to help in this fight.  
 
     
 
             - Current Health and Education Projects We have focused on five projects over the last two years.  Here they are:
                         - One hundred hospital mattresses for Chidamoyo Hospital (Zimbabwe) - We have a longstanding relationship with this hospital through one of our members, who knows the director of the hospital.  We have previously provided funds for a standby generator, purchased a pickup truck for them to use an an ambulance/field clinic, provided furnishing for a new pediatric wing, and participated in filling a shipping container filled with supplies from various people and organizations in Sebastopol.
                         - Fifty water filters for families without clean water
(Puerta Vallarta, Mexico) - In conjunction with the Rotary Club of Puerto Vallarta, we have long supported health, education, and other community projects in  and around Puerto Vallarta.  This water filter project is part of our partner club's multi-year clean water effort, and it's the second time we've contributed to it.  These inexpensive e filters will provide over one million gallons of clean water for a 10-year period for a family of four.  They come with a simple backlashing kit and are easy to maintain.  Simply dip the five gallon bucket in the river and a hose in the bottom of the bucket leads to a filter.  Instant clean, and safe, water. 
                         - Water project (Trujillo, Honduras) - In partnership with the Port Isabel, TX, Rotary Club, we are building a project to serve 5000 people who are now using hand pumps to service five communities.  The project includes a storage tank, piping, and a filtration system.  
 
            - Other Recent Projects These projects vary from year to year, but they give us the opportunity to find and support the determined efforts of fellow Rotarians and their communities abroad.  As with many of our international projects, our financial support is amplified by our ability, with the help of Rotary International, to find matching grants that significantly increase the amount of money we can direct to these communities.  For example, our $17,000 contribution to our Ecuadorian village project grew to $78,000 with various matching grants. Here are a selection of other project in which the Club has participated in the last few years:
                         - Cervical cancer screening (Senegal) - In partnership with Chicago's Rotary Club #1, we've helped establish a permanent and centralized cervical cancer prevention center which will also provide training for clinical and administrative personnel and increase cancer screening rates by empowering and educating women (aged 30-59) to access and use the screening service.  
                         - Water catchment system and toilet blocks (Tanzania) - In collaboration with the Sebastopol Sunrise Club, and funded by a Rotary Global Grant, we are providing a drinking water catchment system and toilet blocks, as we'll as private facilities for young girls' menstrual needs.  Students now have to walk about two miles up and down a steep hill before class to get water for theses, in addition to clothes' washing.
                          - Adopt-a-village: Over the last decade, the club has adopted small towns in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to help them with their basic needs.  We have also continued an ongoing project begun in 1996 in conjunction with the Club Rotario Vallarta Sur in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to provide needed financial assistance to good students in middle school, high school, and university. In the 2017-18 school year, eleven club members provided a total of $3,700 to twelve students, who used the money to stay in school and continue their studies.  As a result several club members have had the gratifying experience of helping a good student stay in school beginning in middle school through to their university graduation. 
                        - Helping Girls Stay in School – The Club is pleased to support Kathie and Frank Mayhew, two club members, whose Anthill Foundation, supports the education of young women around the world. 
 
 
This past year, our effort helped the foundation build a new school building for girls in rural Uganda.  Frank spent two weeks working in Uganda with villagers, constructed a new building and came back to us beaming with pride about the impact that he, the foundation, and the club have had on the lives of dozens of girls who might otherwise never had a chance for a decent education.  We continue to work with the Rotary International Foundation to sustain support for the school. 
                      Sebastopol World Friends (Chyhyryn Ukraine Hospital Project) - Chyhyryn, Ukraine is a sister city to Sebastopol.  Sebastopol World Friends, a non-profit maintains the relations between the two cities,  has committed to re-equipping the local hospital, where much of what is there is 40 years old.  The club has recently donated $5000 to SWF for the project.  The money has allowed SWF to initiate the assembling and shipping of the materials to Ukraine.  
                       - The Peace and Justice Program – The club has formed a Peace and Justice Committee to support and supplement Rotary International’s Peace and Justice Program.  RI is committed to promoting peace and justice around the world.  Its effort includes masters programs at Tokyo Christian University, a joint effort of Duke and UNC/Chapel Hill, and programs at universities in Wales, England, Sweden and Australia, where the University of Queensland has committed to creating a $70-100 million dollar (Aus) to support its work.  Here in Sebastopol, our committee is focused on encourage cultural exchange programs, particularly to increase contacts with Muslim culture.  We are also looking at whether we can develop a peace fellow training program at our local high schools.
 
               - And one more thing: It's Not All One Way: Most of what we write about is good works that we do.  But Rotary is about international friendship and cooperation, and this year demonstrated that friendship and cooperation in a big way.  In 2011, a club member, Nao Noguchi, spearheaded a fundraising effort that sent $15,000 to the Rotary of Otsuchi, Japan. 
 
 
 
In 2018, the Otsuchi club returned the favor, sending a gift of $5000 for victims of the Wine Country fires. Accompanying the gift was a note: "After the March 2011 Great Earthquake, your club send us aid money to be used for the purchase of a fire pump engine, and we deeply appreciated the thought. We will never forget your love and support."
 
 
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