Rotarian Action Groups: How can they help make your project more impactful?

By RAG4Clubfoot, a Rotarian Action Group

Every three minutes a child is born with clubfoot. That’s nearly 200,000 children each year. Thousands of these children around the world are forced to live with this deformity that limits their mobility, ability to walk to school, play with their friends, and eventually work.

RAG4Clubfoot has a simple mission: to support timely Ponseti Method treatment and appropriate care for all children born with clubfoot. The Ponseti Method was developed at the University of Iowa, USA, by Dr. Ignacio Ponseti. The method is nearly 100% effective when used properly by a trained healthcare provider and is considered the gold standard for clubfoot treatment.

082We aim to connect Rotarians with partners that provide expertise on Ponseti Method and to establish a national clubfoot program with the goal of local sustainability. Our group works with Ponseti International Association (PIA) at the University of Iowa to provide guidance and technical expertise on Rotary-supported Ponseti Method training activities, educational materials, and other clubfoot related activities. PIA also provides assistance on monitoring and evaluation of training programs and the quality of care provided at newly formed clinics.

Our Rotarian Action Group, in collaboration with PIA staff, coordinates webinars for host and international sponsors focused on writing global grants and training on what is expected from both partners throughout the grant process. We assisted Districts 4420 (Brazil) and 6000 (Iowa, USA) on a recently approved global grant application for a two-year Vocational Training Team (VTT). The goal of the project is to train 65 orthopedic surgeons and to develop a sustainable national clubfoot program.

Throughout the grant process, we provided:

Connection opportunities

  • We connected host Rotarians with our partners at the Ponseti International Association (PIA). PIA is a professional organization that can identify qualified Ponseti Method in-country and international trainers.
  • After they had briefly met during the Sao Paulo International Convention in June 2015, we formally introduced an interested district governor from D5300 to the project’s primary host contact. District 5300 went on to contribute District Designated Funds (DDF) to the project.

Access to experts

  • Through our partners, we connected the primary contacts with experts to assist on drafting the grant proposal. Experts helped detail the specific objectives of the Ponseti Method training, the training curriculum, explaining how the goals would be met and the sustainability related to long-term outcomes.


  • We promoted the project on the RAG4Clubfoot Facebook page, through our newsletter, and established a project page on our website. This dedicated page provides details on the project as it progresses.

We will continue to support and promote this project, and other similar projects in hopes of inspiring all Rotary members to get involved and take action to provide care for all children born with clubfoot. Contact us to get started on a similar project!


January is Rotary Vocational Service Month! Lend your expertise to empower Rotary members to make their service projects more impactful by joining a Rotarian Action Group. Rotarian Action Groups (RAGs) are autonomous groups of Rotarians, family members, program participants and alumni who are experts in a particular field. Group members share their expertise by collaborating with clubs and districts on service projects. View a list of all action groups and contact the one you’re interested in joining.

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