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PDG Bruce Allen
District Grants provide a great
opportunity for clubs to use Rotary
Foundation money to fund or contribute
to a community project.
District Grants fund small-scale, short-
term activities that address needs in your
community and communities abroad.
Your club chooses which activities it will
fund with these grants and they can be
used to fund a variety of projects and
• Community development
• Education and literacy
• Child welfare
It was very pleasing to see how and
where districts spent their District Funds
in the first year of the current grants
model. In Australia some 48 per cent of
all project funding was spent on local
community projects, but the sad news is
that only 343 of 1036 clubs in Australia,
or just under 25 per cent, participated in
the District Grants program.
In New Zealand and the South Pacific,
there was an even great focus on the
local community with 88 per cent of
all available funding directed to local
Gone are the days when it was thought
that giving to The Rotary Foundation
meant your money was sent overseas,
never to be seen again. The grants model
ensures Rotarians at club level have a big
say in how their contributions are spent
and clubs are grabbing the opportunity
with both hands.
Next time you’re looking to personally
give to a charity, consider how much
of that gift comes back to benefit
your local community. In the first year
our clubs and members have voted
it’s plain to see that a high proportion
of District Grant money was spent on
local community projects. After all,
when we joined Rotary our primary
objective was mostly to serve our
Support for The Rotary Foundation
enables all of us to do just that.
dreams in Fiji
At the start of the 2013-14 Rotary year, the Rotary Club of Wandin, Vic, learned
of the project opportunities available through Art Building Children’s Dreams
(ABCD), a body sponsored by the Rotary Club of Templestowe, Vic. As a result,
Wandin undertook a project involving the school at Niusawa on the Island of
The first phase of the project was to raise funds to sponsor 23 preschool
students for the 2014 calendar year, with the funds to cover tuition, uniforms,
books, stationery and other school supplies. The Rotary Club of Wandin was able
to identify individual sponsors for each of these students. The funds were sent to
Taveuni via Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS).
The second phase of the project was to raise funds to build a preschool on the
Niusawa school site, which had no preschool facilities, and to send eight Rotarians
to Taveuni to help with the construction of the building. Through ABCD, Deakin
University was invited to participate as part of their Global Citizenship Program.
The university and the 11 students who also travelled to Fiji raised about 40 per
cent of the required funds, with the Rotary Club of Wandin raising the balance.
The Rotary Club of Taveuni has a small team of builders and in May they
installed the concrete slab, followed by the frame and roofing, so that work by
the visiting Rotarians could continue in the event of rain. By the time the Wandin
team arrived, much of the wall cladding was also tacked into place. Within 12
days the team completed the construction and most of the final coats of paint.
The Deakin University team overlapped with the Rotarians for one day and set
about completing the painting, including murals and landscaping.
The sincere appreciation from the children, parents and teachers was heart-
warming, much of it being expressed in song and dance. While they were clearly
the primary beneficiaries of the project, each Rotarian also benefitted through
bonding as a team, through the sense of accomplishment and through a greater
insight of life in a remote part of Fiji and an appreciation of the things we take
for granted in Australia.
ready to hand over
to Deakin University
students for painting.
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