The International Service Committee meets monthly and its role and terms of reference falls within three areas.
Firstly, whenever natural disasters occur around the world the committee tries to respond quickly so that food, shelter and first aid are despatched without delay. The priority is always to get supplies of clean drinking water in the disaster area as soon as possible and we actively support the Rotary charities, Shelterbox and Aquabox. These two organisations are set-up to respond immediately to natural disasters.
We also support Water Aid, a charity that drills wells and provides clean drinking water to Third World communities.
The second area where we are active is providing financial assistance to local young people who want to go abroad to work with disadvantaged people on community, environmental or ecological projects and we make a donation once our criteria of self funding has been achieved. We are active in inviting such requests from local young people and the committee considers them and usually make a donation. This type of work is often a life changing experience and instils in them an understanding of the needs of others less fortunate than themselves and a desire to be of service to others. The support the International Committee provides is slighly different from the Millennium Scholarship Tust Fund, details of which can be found by clicking here.
The third area is planning and funding for overseas projects either with our club's charity money or from Rotary Grants. Any appropriate charity can put in a funding request and, providing it meets our criteria we select those most suitable. We concentrate on small local charities and those with an international dimension and registered with the Charity Commissioners.
Canterbury Rotary Club is linked with four other Rotary clubs in France, Germany, Belgium and Holland this is know as the Pentangular and it regularly runs jointly funded overseas projects. This reinforces the international dimension of Rotary and demonstrates the work we do with other clubs around the world.
Criteria used by the Canterbury Rotary Club’s International Service Committee when assessing the worth of requests for funding.
- Charities should have an International perspective and have local links.
- Charities should to be registered with the Charity Commission or Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.
- Small low-profile charities are preferred on the basis that a sum of money given to them would have greater impact than giving to a large charity.
Priorities for “kick starting” a new charity:
- The Charity asking for money should be able to demonstrate the clear objectives for the funding.
- The Charity should be accountable for the spending of the money. They will have to sign a receipt and disclaimer to limit any liability on the club.
- The Committee wishes to maximise the effectiveness of its aid.
- Assistance could be other than financial aid – giving books, tools etc.
Criteria by which we prioritise students requesting funding for overseas project work:
- Applicants should be in full time education at a Canterbury School.
- They will need to have to raise three quarters of the cost of the trip themselves - we will then “top up” with a donation of £250.
- They will have engaged in community environmental or ecological project work themselves. (The usual rate charities charge students for the trip is around £2,250 and students can often raise this though their own fund raising but other Charities charge £4,000. Our approach has been to decline requests when the cost is too high.)
- Students are expected to give a talk to the club on their return.
Each case is considered on its merits and if you think you qualify for support from the International Service Committee, please get in touch with it's chairman, Viv Pritchard, via the Get in Touch panel below.