Growing local economies and communities

By Azka Asif, Rotary Service and Engagement Staff 

To promote growth and development of local economies and communities, the United Nations (U.N.) Millennium Development Goals encourage us to focus on eradicating poverty, uplifting and empowering women, creating global partnerships for development, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

According to the 2014 U.N. progress report, extreme poverty has been reduced by half, women’s status in the labor market is improving, the debt burden on developing countries remains stable and the use of technology continues to grow with almost three billion people online and seven billion mobile-cellular subscriptions.

Throughout October, Rotary Economic and Community Development Month, we’re celebrating our progress and commitment to helping grow local economies. Here are just a few examples of club service projects helping improve communities around the world:

  • In Albania, the Rotary Clubs Gubbio and Korça worked with a local organization to provide 125 beehives to 25 families. To create a source of sustainable income, trainings on beekeeping and sales of bee products were also conducted. At the end of the year, the beehives were split, creating 125 additional beehives for 25 more families.
  • The Rotary Club of Apo, Nigeria, aimed to empower widowed women in their community by providing microcredit loans for trading along with small business trainings on how to grow their businesses.
  • In India, the Rotary Club of Jamshedpur West provided vocational training for girls and women who are breadwinners of their families. The trainings focused on developing skills in food processing, tailoring and computer proficiency allowing them to gain better employment or start their own business.
  • The Rotary Club of Kampala-Nsambya in Uganda conducted financial literacy trainings for hundreds of residents. The trainings focused on personal financial management, savings, loans, investments, insurance, and planning for retirement.
  • Working with a local organization, the Rotary Club of Makati-San Lorenzo, Philippines, provided microcredit loans to more than 1500 rice farmers in their community. Club members also conducted trainings on rice mill operations for sustainable business efforts.
  • The Rotaract Club of Cairo Royal, Egypt, installed solar home systems for families in a remote village without access to electricity, changing the lives of people in the community by securing a basic need.

As the United Nations announces their new Sustainable Development Goals, we realize that although progress has been made, our work is not yet finished. We must continue to focus on promoting sustainable economic growth and achieve employment and decent work for all*.

Throughout the month of October, encourage fellow Rotary members to check back here for tips, resources, and inspirational success stories to help plan club and district economic and community development projects. Add your voice to the conversation using the blog’s commenting feature and share how your club supports economic and community development initiatives on Rotary Showcase. 

*[United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2015]

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