Some folks just have to see for themselves. Bruce Azevedo is one of those, and he proved it in 1999 when he joined the Rotary Club.
At one of the first meetings in Madison County that he attended, the program was an update on The Rotary Foundation and the international project the club was sponsoring.
This year, the club was supporting Haiti by sending them goats, but as Bruce listened, he was a little confused. Having travelled to several countries in poverty and seeing the need for clean water as a common denominator, Bruce wondered about the need for goats.
So, he left the meeting, drove to the airport, and purchased a ticket to Haiti. He just had to see for himself. He talked to many people there about their individual needs and what they felt were needs for the country. What he learned was that children were dying from unclean drinking water and what these communities needed were wells.
When he returned to Madison County and described his findings in Haiti, the club made Azevedo the club’s Rotary Foundation Chair, and there he has been since 1999. Now, Azevedo serves as the Rotary Foundation Chair for the entire District 6910.
The information he presented to the Rotarians at their Friday meeting was an update on the Foundation’s projects with emphasis on District involvement.
The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. It provides money through several types of grants.
Humanitarian grants are divided into global grants and district grants and serve two different purposes. The global grant must be within one of the six areas of focus which are: peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
The district grants do not have to be within one of the six focus areas and can serve the needs of specific communities in the area. The foundation also offers a $30,000 global scholarship grant whose purpose is to forge a link between Rotary and the development of skilled professionals aligned with one of the Rotary Foundation’s areas of focus.
Another project is the HANWASH program. The Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy is a multi-national collaboration with the Haitian government. It includes multiple Rotary global grants to support sustainable water and sanitation projects to provide infrastructure.
Any Rotarian who gives $1,000 to the Foundation is named a Paul Harris Fellow, so named after Rotary’s founder. Someone who gives $1,000 each year becomes a member of the Paul Harris Society, and a person who leaves $10,000 in his will to the Foundation Endowment, becomes a Bequest member. These are just a few of the areas of service that the Foundation supports. And for District 6910, Bruce Azevedo handles all of this.
Ellen Cowne provides reports from the Rotary Club of Madison County.