Rotary Foundation is Rotary's own charity that is funded by donations from the Clubs and individual members who choose to donate on a regular basis.
The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, education, and alleviation of poverty.
The Foundation's greatest global success has been the End Polio Now campaign that has over the last 25 years virtually eradicated Polio from all bar three countries. Rotary's funding of immunisation programmes has had a global impact. This impact has been enhanced by the matching of funds from The Bill Gates Foundation to the tune of many millions of dollars. Here in the Langport & Somerton communities residents will have seen purple crousses flowering during March. This recognised the challenges faced by Polio around the globe and how Rotary has, working with others, has now witnessed just 5 cases of Polio in the world during 2017 - Afganistan and Pakistan being the only two countries affteced.
The Foundation also supports Districts and Clubs deliver their own aspirations with "matching grants", and encourages Clubs to work cross-nation on international projects.
As an example, the Rotary Club of Langport & Somerton worked with the Sherborne Castle Club and the local District on a project in Malawi to build a bridge across a dangerous river to help young people get to school in the rainy season. The funding was acheived by individual Clubs pooling money, drawing in further funding from their District and Foundation to deliver a significant budget from which to work. This project saves lives every year by eradicating the risk of young people being washed away in the torrents of rain.
Our Club has also used the "matching grant" model to draw down investment from Foundation for smaller projects such as the refurbishment of The Angel, where we host the Forget-Me-Not Memory Cafe, or the purchase of Girl Guides' tents.
More recently during 2017 we have worked agin with two other Clubs in the District on a Global Grant to fund another bridge project, this time in Fiji and used a District Grant to help us match-fund a project much closer to hime, bing BIBIC which is based in Langport.
The Langport Arms