Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty tops the list of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. In addition, eliminating hunger is one of RI President Bill Boyd's key initiatives.
By Tonya Weger Rotary International News Photo by Alyce Henson/RI

13 October 2006

Rotarians have been working diligently to answer Jeffrey Sachs call to service at the 2006 RI Convention. Sachs, the special advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and head of the UN Millennium Project, told Rotarians that by 2015 we should be making decisive progress against hunger.

According to Boyd's appointed Health and Hunger Resource Group, hunger daily kills more than 25,000 people. Rotary clubs worldwide are fighting against hunger.

A sample of what some Rotary clubs are doing to combat hunger

The Philippines
Poverty persists in the Philippines, despite recent attempts to boost individual incomes through land reform and other social welfare programs. In the city of Calauag, farmers have neither the technical expertise nor the equipment needed to make their farms commercially viable.

The Rotary Club of Calauag asked local government agricultural experts to help train farmers in modern sustainable techniques for growing corn and other profitable crops. With government subsidized seeds, club members led volunteers in helping more than 100 farmers and their families to make a profit on their crops.

Through grants from The Rotary Foundation and the Philippine government, the program has expanded to include a microcredit loan system, improved farm infrastructure, livestock training programs, and marketing assistance.

The Rotary Club of Renukoot, India, operates a school for underprivileged children and, subsequently, provides nutritious meals for its students four days a week. Club members enthusiastically took part in the program, individually sponsoring food distribution for an entire day.

Their dedication attracted the local media, which spread the word to community members, who contributed by adding another day of meals and donating money for basic medical care. Additional food donations were made from an area banquet hall. The program flourished to the point where now Rotarians are able to reach out to the students' parents via an adult education program.

Teaming with a local milk factory enabled the Rotary Club of Jakarta-Gambir, Indonesia, to embark on a project that for the next two years distributes milk once a week to 150 students in the fishing village of Teluk Naga.

Because of its partnership with the milk factory, the club is able to provide milk at a heavily discounted price. Additionally, it has contributed US$1,300 to get the program started.

The Rotary Club of Mymensingh, Bangladesh, with the support of the Rotary Club of Brisbane, Australia, and a Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant, expanded a livestock and poultry development project. The effort boosted agriculture and livestock production, created fisheries, developed forestland, improved sanitation, and provided health-care and family-planning services.

A Rotary Community Corps, comprising 66 farmers and representatives of 16 villages, helps maintain community support for the project. Women received baby goats and tree saplings to raise for income. A credit fund aids farmers in purchasing supplies, with the request they pay the balance when their produce has been sold.

For more news about Rotary club projects

RVM: The Rotarian Video Magazine Volume 1 Issue 3, highlights District 9100's long-term solutions to West Africa's recurring food crisis. It also features efforts of Rotarians from Texas and Nicaragua as they combine resources to provide food and education to children of the Chinandega garbage dump.

Read more about how your club can alleviate hunger.

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