By Azka Asif, Rotary Programs staff
For many Rotary clubs, service begins at home. Each year clubs take on numerous initiatives and conduct various projects to help address a significant need or problem in their community. Some of these outstanding projects are honored through the Significant Achievement Award.
Last year, 207 clubs from more than 40 countries received the award recognizing their excellent community service projects. These clubs took on projects that not only helped their local community but also involved most or all of their club members and were commensurate with the size and the resources of their club. Below are just a few examples of these amazing projects:
In celebration of 100 years of service, the Rotary Club of Beaumont built the first disabled accessible playground for children with special needs to safely play alongside their peers in Beaumont, Texas, USA. Club members and volunteers throughout the community worked side by side to help make this project a success through various activities such as fundraising to construction. Local Rotaract and Interact clubs also assisted with the construction of the playground.
The club raised more than $400,000 USD and contributed nearly 100,000 volunteer hours to complete the project.
Novembro Azul (Blue November)
Australia in 2003, Blue November is now implemented in many cities across Brazil. Through this initiative, the club distributed over 15,000 fliers and organized media interviews. The campaign reached 90% of the population in Timbó and led to over 1,200 disease screenings.
To help their community’s young women at risk of falling below the poverty line due to home environment, lack of education, and teenage pregnancy, the Rotary Club of Montego Bay Sunrise, Jamaica, created the Girl Power initiative for young women ages 14-25. Workshops are designed and implemented to empower participants to make positive changes in their lives. Phase one of the program focuses on personal development including improving self-esteem and leadership. Phase two is geared towards proper parenting skills, money management and career development.
MALAYA KA NA! (You’re Free!)
Members and spouses of the Rotary Club of Marikina West, Philippines, gathered at the Hall of Justice in Marikina City to provide free legal aid to qualified criminal defendants being wrongly held in the Marikina City Jail and help decongest the over-crowded jail. Several lawyer-members of the club represented various defendants, ultimately resulting in 112 releases.
Avoidable Blindness Outreach
The number of eye cases in Sabah, Malaysia, is three times the national average because of limited access to eye care services and general lack of education regarding the topic in remote areas.
The Rotary Club of Likas Bay hosted an Avoidable Blindness Outreach camp in rural northern Sabah. 86 eye specialists and paramedic personnel offered free eye screenings and cataract operations. 889 people received screenings and 117 cases were referred for further treatment
We’re currently accepting Significant Achievement Award nominations from district governors for the 2014-15 award. If your club conducted an impactful community service project during the 2014-15 Rotary year, contact your district governor to be considered for this award. District governors may select one outstanding project from their district and submit their nominations to email@example.com by 15 March. Eligibility requirements and procedures can be found on the nomination form.