By Leonardo de Angelis, Rotary Club of Ravenna (Italy), immediate past District 2072 Rotary Foundation Chair, and founder and coordinator of the Multi-Club Workshop
Since 2007, I have had the pleasure of working with Rotarian friends, new and old, to organize Multi-Club Workshops, an annual meeting where international Rotarians, relatives, and friends meet to foster intercultural dialogue, inspire each other through their humanitarian projects, and build partnership for international projects and global grants.
This year’s event was particularly special as a group of more than 60 participants descended upon beautiful Palermo, Italy, to participate in the 10th annual Multi-Club Workshop (MCW) while also celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Rotary Foundation. With heartfelt thanks to the great support of the Rotary Club of Palermo Teatro del Sole and District 2110 (Sicily & Malta), the September 2016 MCW welcomed participants from 25 clubs representing 10 districts and six countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy, Russia, Sweden, the UK, and the United States.
We were also joined by two representatives from Rotary and The Rotary Foundation, Lauren Ribant Regional Grants Officer, and Ellina Kushnir, Supervisor of Service and Engagement, who presented about resources to support and enhance projects and important considerations when applying for grant funding from TRF.
The first two days of the event were filled with cultural immersion, exploring historic sites and eating delicious food, seeing local Rotary club projects, getting to know fellow participants and learning about their personal, professional, and Rotary lives, and engaging in fruitful discussions about resources and collaborating to maximize good.
The event culminated in a full-day workshop where we discussed strategies and resources for successful service projects and grants, learned about the many challenges facing communities around the world, and heard project proposals from eight Rotary club-led projects. The eight projects will benefit communities in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Congo, Greece, India, Myanmar, Philippines, and the U.K. The total value of these projects is equal to US $550,000. This year, through a preferential vote, all of the participants voted to support one of the presented projects with a pooled sum of US $4,342 (EUR €4000). With a tie in votes, two projects each received US $2,171 (EUR €2,000) to support their respective goals. We’re continuing to foster the relationships we made at the event and build partnerships to support each other’s projects. Each project exhibitor is now actively seeking to connect with international partnering clubs to begin implementing the projects presented at the 10° MCW.
Over the past 10 years, 45 projects with a combined value of US $2.18 million identified partners and received support as a result of the Multi-Club Workshop. Since our first event was hosted in 2007, more than 660 Rotarians and their families have participated in the workshops. Our workshops are hosted in a different country every year, and we welcome new exhibitors seeking project support along with.
Join us next year in London, England, for our 11th annual event. The 2017 Multi-Club Workshop will take place 6-10 September. Visit our website for more information and contact me to reserve your spot at next year’s event!