International Service

What would it take to change the world?  Rotary’s 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to “Service Above Self”.

In more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, you’ll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio.

The aim of International Service is to encourage and foster the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

We all choose our own Rotary paths and creatively find ways to serve. We have learned that our connection with each other extends our individual efforts exponentially. Together we can build stronger, healthier, and happier worldwide communities.

Since 1985 the Rotary Club of Salem has sustained an active role in providing contributions for the eradication of polio. We have Foundation alumni and members who have personally participated in polio eradication efforts internationally.  The Rotary Club of Salem, chartered in 1949, has donated in excess of $800,000 to the Rotary Foundation.

Rotary’s efforts to rid the world of polio exemplify our motto of “Service Above Self” even if that service is to children on the other side of the globe.  When we are successful in eradicating this crippling disease it will be only the second time in human history that an epidemic infectious disease has been eradicated from earth.

In addition, to the “We Are This Close” campaign the Club gave $10,000 in World Community Service grants to fund projects like these:


The club continues in its support of ShelterBox, which provides shelter, warmth, and dignity to people affected by disasters and humanitarian crises around the world.

ShelterBox Camp Sindh

Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.  Rotarians have worked with ShelterBox since the grassroots disaster relief organization was founded in 2000. Rotary International and ShelterBox signed a project partner agreement, enabling members of the Rotary family to give immediate, lifesaving support in communities hit by disasters.

Our Club’s World Community Service arm continues to be active in projects with Rotary International and with the host Rotary Clubs where the respective project resides. More than 34,000 clubs worldwide provide tremendous opportunities in International Service which Rotary Club of Salem members can support.

The Haiti Project

Haiti Project
Clean water for drinking and laundry

Club member, Dr. Tom Fame, has inspired our continued investment in rural Haiti’s infrastructure and quality of life. Dr. Fame has hosted Father Rene Blot, a Roman Catholic priest who oversees the projects humanitarian efforts in Haiti.  Father Blot visited our Club and reported on the benefits derived from our support. Last year participants in the Clean Water Project in Haiti built a gravity-fed water system in rural Haiti to bring clean water to two villages.

View the video below to learn how our investment has lead to new initiatives to better lives in a small Haitian valley.

To view more videos of Dr. Fame’s Haitian project click here.

Rotary Club of Loyola Heights, Phillipines

Our involvement in the Philippines goes back several years. Over that time our support has helped to build eight homes, ship containers full of books and computers to schools, drill wells for potable water, supply shoes for children, furnish a clinic, provide walking canes to the disabled and fund disaster relief .

The most recent project found the Rotary Club of Salem in partnership with the Rotary Club of Loyola Heights in Quezon City, Philippines, to provide the funds for a “Christmas for Children” program which purchased shoes and groceries for families in need.

Rotary Club of Bogota After School Project

Columbia is another corner of the world where the Rotary Club of Salem is establishing ties of friendship. This year’s grant assisted the Rotary Club of Bogota to establish a youth facility providing after school care and activities to help keep children off the streets.

June Hall Long

In December of 2013 a delegation led by PDG Woody & Lori Sadler including Rotary of Salem Club members, June & Bill Long, distributed 540 wheelchairs in Bogota, Colombia. The project was a joint effort of District 7570, The Rotary Foundation, The Wheelchair Foundation and The Rotary Club of Bogota Laureles. The recipients were victims of land mines or IEDs laid by drug cartels or the FARC terrorist organization. The land mines not only cause military causalities, but are also a threat to civilians traveling through the area or farmers cultivating their fields.

June Hall Long with appreciative Columbian soldier.
Appreciative Columbian soldier.

Rotary International and the Wheelchair Foundation have sent over 12,000 wheelchairs to Colombia over the past nine years. While the majority has gone to land mine victims, the chairs are also distributed to children and adults with disabilities. One recipient wrote through the translator on his cell phone in English “On behalf of the soldiers wounded in combat thank you very much.”

Rotarians of District 7570 should be proud of the gifts they have given. While there is a continuing need, you continue to made a difference in many people’s lives.

AHALA/CODENI Project – American Hands Aiding Latin American Youth

Three club members were instrumental in obtaining a grant from Rotary International for the AHALA/CODENI Project designed to deliver education to children working and living on the streets of Guadalajara, Mexico. Our Club worked with Rotary clubs in Roanoke, Buchanan, Lexington, and Ajijic, Mexico to secure the grant. Our club continues to support efforts to acquire school supplies and computers for the learning center, with the goal of getting children off of the streets and providing them the tools to gain an education.

CODENI (Colectivo Pro Derechos de la Niňez) has established contact with more than 300 child laborers in downtown Guadalajara, Mexico. As the only street outreach program working in this area, it is currently able to serve only a portion of these children. All donations directly support CODENI’s street outreach program, providing the children with the following services:

    • tutoring and literacy classes
    • recreational activities
    • workshops relating to children’s right and responsibilities
  • monthly outings and family events
  • counseling
  • medical attention
  • social work services for families

Click here to view videos from this organization.