|The International Service Update provides news about World Community Service, Rotary Volunteers, and
Rotary Community Corps, as well as disaster relief and recovery. Visit the Service and Fellowship pages on the Rotary International Web site,
www.rotary.org, for more information.|
Celebrate Vocational Service Month
October is Vocational
Service Month, an excellent time for Rotarians to reflect on ways to apply their professional skills and high ethical standards to serve others.
Consider volunteering as a tutor or mentor to help students or community members reach their vocational potential, or providing your expertise
directly to help those in need, locally or abroad.
For Andrew Kerr, past president of
the Rotary Club of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, service led to a new career after volunteering on community and international projects
through Rotary and the organization Hands on Volunteers (formerly Hands On Disaster Response). Read more.
Finding skilled volunteers for service projects is easy. If your club or district is looking for
volunteers who can assist in developing or carrying out a project, consult the Rotary Volunteers Database, which
lists Rotarian and non-Rotarian international volunteers who have a vast array of vocational skills and are willing to serve wherever their help is
|Register now for Rotary-UN Day, 6 November. This event brings together
Rotarians and United Nations leaders to discuss each organization’s unique humanitarian programs and to identify potential areas of future
cooperation. The deadline for registration is 22 October. Register online. |
Rotary Project Safaris will facilitate Rotarian visits to Rotary projects in countries where poverty is
prevalent to encourage financial support for efforts in these areas. The five-to-seven-day safaris will enable Rotarians to view and evaluate projects
in countries other than their own. For details, please review the guidelines on the Reach Out
to Africa Committee website. The site also will list the districts that want to serve as hosts to visiting Rotarians. Rotarians interested in
participating should work with their Rotary Friendship Exchange chair to make arrangements.
Above: A volunteer dentist at the Kilimambogo dental clinic in
|Disaster relief and recovery|
Rotarians have been providing assistance in
Pakistan, New Zealand, and Mexico after a recent series of natural disasters. Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province was overwhelmed
by severe flooding that began on 23 July. More than 1,100 people died as rescue workers in northwestern Pakistan struggled to reach the thousands
affected by the country’s worst floods since 1929. The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees established the
Rotary Pakistan Flooding Fund to help fund Rotary projects that
will support long-term disaster recovery. Learn how to contribute
cash or District Designated Fund (DDF) allocations.
On 4 September, Christchurch, New
Zealand, was struck by a 7.0 earthquake. Government authorities issued a civil defense state of emergency after
the quake damaged roads and buildings and left most of the city without power. Learn how you can contribute to relief
In mid-September, at least 12 people were killed and more than 500,000 were
affected as Hurricane Karl swept through Veracruz, Mexico. Learn
Portable electrocardiogram machines
|If medical professionals in your club are eager to use their skills for a
project, or if your club is interested in undertaking a medical effort, consider learning more about portable electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) machines. Medical professionals
perform electrocardiograms to monitor and record the electrical
activity of the heart. The procedure is noninvasive, painless, and risk-free, using the heart’s electrical activity to help identify problems.
While the accuracy of the EKG/ECG depends on the medical issue being tested, this technology can be used to detect a range of problems, including
heart damage, disease, and other abnormalities. Handheld EKG/ECG devices are small, lightweight, and easy to use, allowing for heart activity to be
monitored in a variety of locations or tested in an emergency situation.|
As your club observes Vocational
Service Month, consider discussing the global economic crisis and identifying ways to respond to the worldwide increase in unemployment and poverty. In the past decade, both developed and
developing regions of the world have experienced a deteriorating labor market and a decline in employment. Not only have employment rates decreased,
but the percentage of people employed in vulnerable positions has increased. Vulnerable employment consists of self-employment and unpaid work for
family members. In 2009, 11 percent of the workforce in developed countries and 60 percent of the workforce in developing regions fell into this
category. The global rate of vulnerable employment in the same year was estimated to be between 49 and 53 percent, or 1.5 to 1.6 billion people,
according to the International Labor Organization.
The United Nations has included
full employment as a target under the first of its eight Millennium
Development Goals: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Both the UN and the governments of individual countries have established initiatives to develop businesses, employment opportunities, and
vocational training programs, many of which have proved successful. Employment programs in Argentina lowered the poverty rate by more than half
between 2002 and 2005, from 9.9 to 4.5 percent. In Mali, the United Nations Development Programme is working with a women’s mango cooperative to
teach farming and produce processing skills. Mango exports in Mali increased nearly fourfold between 2005 and 2008, while the average price paid to
the farmers has increased by about US$70 per ton. The agency is also supporting the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in
India, in which marginal workers are given the right to at least 100 days of paid work per year.
Connect with employment and vocational training projects and
Rotary clubs in India, Indonesia, Kenya, the Philippines,and Uganda are implementing service projects to provide
vocational skills and increase employment opportunities in their countries. These clubs are seeking international partners to support their efforts.
Learn more about these projects and how you can help on ProjectLINK.
Successfully completed projects related to employment, such as those that have provided vocational training or scholarships
for vocational training schools, are also featured. These efforts may inspire clubs looking for project ideas and provide guidance on best practices.
Learn more by searching for a model project on ProjectLINK. To
narrow your search, include keywords such as employment training or vocational skills.
If your club is seeking international volunteers for its vocational service projects, use the Rotary Volunteers Database. Volunteers currently listed have
expertise in vocational counseling, micro enterprises, and business administration.