Blessed Is The Hand That Giveth; And Generosity Among Africans Is INNATE

“…There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway. Why there’s not four of them, Heaven only knows…” Randy Travis, 2002.

As Africans, Philanthropy is in our blood. Even in the old days, if one member of the village fell ill, the rest of the village would come together to help out. Maybe that’s just good neighborliness, but to me it’s also philanthropy.

According to the 10th edition of the World Giving Index released by the Charities Aid Foundation, more than half of Africans donate money to charity. Impressive, right? This means that Africa now has more people helping a stranger than at any given point in the last 10 years. So, when was the last time you made a donation to the less privileged in your society?

This November, we shift focus to reflect on our individual commitment to charity. What better way to donate to charity than through the Rotary Foundation!

The Rotary Foundation is the arm of Rotary International that stretches out to reach vulnerable communities all over the world. Whether it’s educating a scholar in peace and conflict resolution, eradicating polio, digging wells, or providing training to teachers at a local school, the Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is unique: It belongs to Rotarians and is dedicated to furthering Rotary programs that address the greatest needs around the world, fostering a smile to someone else.

But, what is the impact of a donation? For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio. 50USDs can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness and 500USDs can launch an anti-bullying campaign and create a safe environment for children. Rotarians and friends of Rotary support the Foundation’s work through voluntary contributions, which help fund community activities through local service projects and global initiatives

As Rotarians, we are driven by “Service above Self” and for over 100years now, we have transformed lives across the globe by funds donated by you through The Rotary Foundation. Transformed lives, I say. In what ways, you ask?

Rotary clubs worked together to help Puerto Ricans rebuild their homes and hearts after Hurricane Maria. A grant helped a club in Durango, Colorado, USA, install more than 200 solar lights in remote, off-the-grid Navajo homes. Closer home, a health care summit in Uganda, funded by a district grant, uncovered a need for improved prenatal diagnostic capabilities in rural communities and for better nutrition for expectant mothers. These, among many more, are ways in which small donations have made a big impact under the Rotary Foundation.

Rotarians contribute to The Rotary Foundation through three main funds:

  • The PolioPlus Fund, to help us eradicate polio worldwide.
  • The Annual Fund, to support Rotary’s work today.
  • The Endowment Fund, to support Rotary’s future work.

In the year 2018/2019 Total Global Grant awarded to our District 9212 was $2,281,201 while District Grants were a Total Funding of $ 28,000. Through a Global Grant, The Rotary Club of Finot were able to purchase an Oxygen Generator for 6 hospitals in Oromia while RC Nairobi were able to implement a water project that improves access to safe water in 6 schools in Vihiga County. With synergy from Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs, a lot can be achieved through collaborative effort in both mobilizing and pulling resources together as well as actively participating in the implementation of activities.

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So, this November, I make a passionate call to you, to change a life by donating to the Rotary Foundation. A small donation of 10 USDs can provide a safe peaceful night by providing a mosquito bed net to a needy family. $50 can provide clean water by providing a water filter, $ 26.50 can buy stationery to facilitate a student to sit for their exams, $100 can equip a mother with a sewing machine which becomes her source of income, $ 1,000 can support mid wives vocational training.

“…There are three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway. Why there’s not four of them, now I guess we know. It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you. It’s what you leave behind you when you go…” Randy Travis, 2002.

So Make an impact today. No one is too poor that they cannot give something. Donate something, no matter how big or small, to the Rotary Foundation. To donate, click on

Let’s donate and contribute towards the alleviation of poverty, in our District 9212 and by extension, the entire world.

By Elizabeth Ng’ang’a – Fund Development Specialist | Foundation Services ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

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