International Service

International Service Committee - Our Mandate 

The focus of this committee is to assist marginalised women and children in the developing world particularly in the areas of education, water and health.  Much of the recent activity has been in sub-Saharan Africa mainly in Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania.  We have been involved with work around AIDS and have also assisted in the building and renovation of schools in those countries.  We also have a major water project in the Zomba area of Malawi.  When finished, there will be about 150 new or refurbished wells.  These are done in partnership with Canadian NGOs, other local Rotary clubs, Rotary clubs in the developing world and with financial assistance from Rotary International.

We have also partnered with the Bombay Club in Mumbai in the award winning Project Mainstream, which teaches vocational and small business skills to children on the street.

We have participated in disaster activities such as Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and more recently through providing shelter boxes (self contained tents and supplies) to Haiti. We have been active in landmine and artificial limb projects in the Sudan, Afghanistan, India and the Dominican Republic.  Through the Gift of Life, we have brought children to Canada for lifesaving surgery. Our members have gone on Sweat Equity trips to Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Malawi and Cambodia.

The International Services Committee meets on a monthly basis. Please contact the committee chair for time and location.


International Service Committee Annual Report 2016-2017 - John Farrell

This year we challenged ISC to think big. The goal was to find a large scale signature project that would allow us as a Committee to demonstrate to the Club as a whole and to Rotarians worldwide as they gather in Toronto in the Spring of 2018 for the International Convention of the amazing things we do. To that end, we’ve identified a Global Grant to build toilet blocks for girls in rural India.  The Rotary Club of Toronto would be the International Club and the Rotary Club of Bombay Airport would be the Host Club.  Because of the long term nature of these Global Grant projects we continue to pursue this project into the 2017-2018 Rotary Year.  Further, as a Committee, we’ve endorsed a project with Shelterbox Canada currently being put forward to the Foundation Board for approval.  This is also a longer term project and will continue into the next Rotary Year.
In terms of highlights from this past year, ISC has continued to support high impact projects that fall within our mandate. These successful projects include:
  • Sri Lanka Orphanages: $2,000 in support of Committee member Errol Paulicpulle’s Sweat Equity trip to Sri Lanka to assist in Orphanages there. 
  • Emmanuel International: $5,000 in support of a water and sanitation project in the Zomba and Machinga region of Malawi.  A Matching Grant from Global Affairs Canada turned our contribution of $5,000 into $20,000 towards this project.
  • Children’s Improvement Organization Cambodia: $2,500 to assist in the building and development of a Learning Center for children in Siem Reap Cambodia.
  • HOPE School Kenya: $5,000 to help construct a water supply system for a school in Kenya.
  • CanUgan Global Grant: $2,500 to the Rotary Club of Ottawa West in support of their Global Grant supporting people with disabilities in Kasese District, Uganda. This support will provide assistive devices to people with disabilities.
  • Human and Hope Association Cambodia: U$2,321 in support of Human and Hope Association in Siem Reap, Cambodia for their Sew Many Opportunities sewing program.  Our support will be used to purchase the materials required to provide sewing lessons to two classes of students in 2017. 
  • Children of Hope Uganda: $1,320 to fund tuition costs for 2 girls in 2017.  These girls were born of rape by Joseph Kony’s, Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
  • Emmanuel International: $2,000 to support a Sweat Equity Trip of Rotarians and friends to Haiti to help build a school and a bridge on the outskirts of Port Au Prince. This was done in partnership with Emmanuel International. We have partnered with Emmanuel on school projects in Malawi on six occasions.
  • Alma Foundation: $4,218.86 to support their Las Palmeras pre-school & primary school project in Bolivia. Our support will help cover the costs of all the education materials, books and classroom equipment for both schools.
Further, a number of members of ISC and our Club as a whole have been busy this past spring as part of our Newcomer’s Sub-Committee preparing and welcoming our Syrian Refugee family, the Al Zahabi’s to Toronto.  The family arrived in Toronto on May 10th and the sub-committee has been extremely busy getting the family set up in an apartment in Toronto’s east end, enrolling the kids in local schools, getting involved in ESL classes where need be, and navigating through the myriad of immigration issues newcomers to Canada must work through. There has also been lots of time for fun as the Al Zahabi’s begin to explore Toronto and the surrounding areas.
Finally, I wanted to say thanks to all the active members of the International Service Committee who helped make this year such a resounding success.  Specifically; Jeff Dobson, Lawrence Foerster, Saleem Kassum, David Libby, Errol Paulicpulle, Brian Porter, CJ Shah, Peter Simmie, and Chris Snyder. A very special thanks is reserved for our Treasurer, Maureen Bird, who without her, our committee would grind to a halt. Our Vice-Chair and Secretary, Andrea Tirone, who managed to take minutes often remotely and with a tremendous amount of accuracy and efficiency. Andrea also stepped in on a variety of occasions to the role of Chair and ensured our committee continued to work effectively. Finally, a word of thanks to our Club Board Liaison Director, Kevin Power, who’s level headed approach ensured our voice was being heard at the Club Board and also kept our Committee’s passion for service to continue unfettered all while operating within the construct of the Club’s policies.