International Service
 
International Service expands Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and helps promote world understanding and peace.
 
Rotary clubs can sponsor projects in other countries, seek international partners to support projects in their own communities, or individual Rotarians can personally volunteer at an international project site. 
 
There are numerous International Service projects sponsored by Rotary which have been broadly classified under the Rotary’s six areas of focus:
 
  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development
 
Our Club makes a significant annual donation to the Rotary Foundation in support of the Polio Plus program which has the objective of eradicating polio from the world. 
 
Other global Rotary projects include water and sanitation programs, reconstructive surgery programs (Interplast and ROMAC), friendship exchanges and disaster relief.
 
The Rotary Foundation’s Global Grants Program (formerly Ambassadorial Scholarships) continues to have a high priority in our club and we successfully coached 2 Peace Scholar to gain scholarships in 2016-17. 
 
We have been generous with our financial support to Alola Foundation (East Timor), the Sumba Eye Program (Indonesia), Thai Educational Regional Agricultural Development (TREAD) (Thailand), photo and WAGGGS for Leadership Programs throughout Asia-Pacific. 
 
Support for the rebuilding of nations devastated by tsunamis and other natural disasters has been high on our agenda.  The club and individual members have made lifesaving contributions to the Disaster Aid Program that has been able to provide shelter and basic needs for those affected by natural disasters in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Northern India, Pakistan, and other regions. Link to Disaster Aid
 
On numerous occasions, the club has provided materials and voluntary labour to assist our nearby Pacific neighbours on projects which, without Rotary support, would not otherwise happen, such as the rebuilding of the orphanage run by the Carmelite order near Dili, Leste Timor.
 
Over a number of years Rotary Hawthorn has supported an NGO in Zambia supplying educational material, water bores, training in income generation projects, sanitation and household goods, mattresses and bikes.  Several hundred thousand dollars worth of donated goods have been sent in containers to several provinces in Zambia including 55 schools.  A special group of 10 grandmothers have also been helped with small financial donations to help bring up their 75 orphaned grandchildren. 
 
An innovative idea was the collection and reconditioning of unwanted hand tools to pack into 610 toolboxes for shipment to Timor Leste. 
 
One of our more recent international projects was the financing and packing of a 40-foot container with school desks, chairs, books, clothing, cloth and sewing machines which was sent to the remote area of Baguia in Timor Leste. This is the first step in our developing partnership with The Friends of Baguia.
 
For four years the Rotary Hawthorn has supported the work of Lille Fro, by sponsoring a destitute child to school in Ladakh in Northern India. We also provided funds to build a high-altitude greenhouse to assist in community sustainability through the growing of fresh green vegetables. photos 
The Club also donated funds to assist in disaster relief following the 2010 floods, photo and to fit-out the hostel to be built in the Zanskar mountains (Himalayas) over the coming years.
 
We partnered with the Rotary Club of Melton to send a team of trainers to a Leadership Development program for the newly established Girl Guide organisation in Myanmar, (Burma), an initiative which enabled Myanmar to be admitted to WAGGGS (World Girl Guide Association). 
 
Rotary Hawthorn is very active in the use of Global and District Grants to further our international service, mainly in the Pacific region.  Some of our outstanding club projects made possible by grants have included:
 
  • Setting up the Hawthorn Kitchen in Phuket in Thailand 
  • Building a school ablutions block in South Africa
  • Funding a bus to pick up the homeless in India
  • Sending a container of DIK goods to Vanuatu
  • Setting up a Rotary Cricket Blood Bank in Gujranwala, Pakistan
  • Teaching skills in chicken rearing, tailoring and basic living to rural Zambians
  • The immunisation of 4000 children in the city of Mumbai, India against Hepatitis B
  • Training of villagers in rural Zambia in basic hygiene, and the construction of pit latrines
  • The purchase of a vehicle for use in Zambia, and shipment of a container of badly needed school requisites, clothing, children’s story books and toys, sports equipment 
 
Rotary Hawthorn in conjunction with the Districts of Bangladesh and Turkey was supported with a Rotary Foundation 3H Grant for US$283,000 to set up a literacy program for the Kurdish refugee women in Turkey. This was by far our biggest Matching Grant from Rotary Foundation.  The program was later extended to cover many in the Turkish Army who were illiterate.
 
 
We have some exciting international projects on the drawing board:
 
Working Bees at DIK
Our Donations in Kind warehouse is stocked sky high with donated goods, such as beds, desks, computers, sewing machines and cloth, shoes and clothing, all just waiting to be sent to needy communities, both local and global. 
 
Working bees at DIK continue to be an important part of our International work.  Hawthorn Rotarians regularly participate in working bees, sorting and packing the goods for dispatch. 
 
Khmer–Russian Friendship Hospital
 
Our most recent project was the collection of hospital beds and medical equipment to pack into a container bound for the Khmer–Russian Friendship Hospital in Cambodia.  This is a project we will continue to actively support. 
 
Educational Program in Baguia 
 
In 2015 we began the implementation of a 5-year educational program in Baguia, in Timor Leste, working with the Friends of Baguia organisation. Our program will provide scholarships for university, technical trade and high school students, fund teacher training programs, and provide water tanks for clean drinking and cooking water.
 
Stretch targets could potentially include the rehabilitation of schools and provision of new toilet blocks.
 
It is anticipated that the club will soon send two members to Baguia to determine the success of our initial program, and implement ongoing educational projects.
 
 ROMAC – surgery for a young girl from Cambodia
 
Possibly our club’s most ambitious International Service project yet, the Hawthorn Kitchen at Phuket in Thailand was initiated in 1986 by David Rush who was the International Service director. While visiting Thailand, David had learnt that there were school children who were too embarrassed to go to school because their parents could not afford to supply lunches or suitable clothing.
 
David envisaged a self-help program to assist with this need. A cashew nut plantation was established with funding from Hawthorn and Phuket Rotary clubs. The children harvested the nuts, sold them and used the proceeds to purchase chickens and hot vegetables. Simple kitchen facilities were also provided at the schools as part of the scheme. The children’s health improved, they could attend school regularly and literacy rates at school were improved. The beauty of the scheme was that it encouraged self-help and was not just a handout of money.
 
In later years financial contributions from the two Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation enabled the scheme to be expanded to include the shipment to Thailand of high protein biscuits. Monitoring by the Phuket Rotarians afterwards revealed a significant improvement in the health of the children. The success of the project was evidenced by the Thai government’s award in 1987-88 of the year’s best Disadvantaged Children’s project.