International Service

The Rotary motto Service Above Self conveys the humanitarian spirit of the organization’s more than 1.2 million members. Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international service projects characterize Rotary worldwide. The Rotary Club of Northfield constantly strives to provide service on both levels, with projects as diverse as building a serology lab in Togo to providing Meals-On-Wheels drivers in our own community. We are currently in the process of selecting major international and local projects that will fulfill our mission and become our focal point over the next few years.

Rotary provides countless opportunities for clubs across the globe to work with each other. These are some of the areas in which the Rotary Club of Northfield has participated:

Youth Exchange

Our club has had over 50 incoming YE students since 1969 and over 60 outbound students.

Group Study Exchange

We have hosted GSE teams for multi-day and one day visits as well as many farewell evenings for departing GSE teams.

Ambassadorial/Peace Scholars

Over the years our club has nominated 8 students who went on to win ambassadorial scholarships in Germany, France, Norway, Switzerland, Scotland, Denmark and Mexico.

Matching Club Project

Since 2003, we have led two National Immunization Day teams to Togo, Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso and have been the lead sponsorsing club for matching grants to Africa that total over $100,000 as well as leading efforts that raised over $25,000 for PolioPlus.

International Service Projects

Project: Solar panels for rural medical clinic in Togo.
Partners: Cambrai-Fendon, France Rotary Club
Grant: $20,000 match
Project: Children’s village library in Tema, Ghana
Partners: District 5590
Grant: $8,000
This project included a brick-making machine, rice thresher, modern toilets, computers, desks and academic materials. Recipients were a school and orphanage in Baan Mai Phattana in the hills of Thailand on the Myanmar boarder.
Partners: Chaingmai Thin-Thai-Ngam Rotary club (an all women club) in Chaingmai, Thailand of District 3360.
Global grant of $35,000.
Project: Provided 56 beds to the Association of Charity Benemerita Old People’s Home of Guanambi.  The Home was built by our partner club.
Partners: with the Rotary Clube De Guanambi in Bahia state Brazil, district 4550
District grant of $8,100.
Project: Books for Africa container of books and shoes valued at $165,000 of books and $12,000 of school supplies to villages across Democratic Republic of Congo.
Partners: U.S. State Department, local schools and Cilong Foundation
Grant: Inkind – Books and shoes valued at $165,000, school supplies valued at $12,000.
Project: Books for Africa for Monrovia, Liberia
Partner: Project Blackboard
District Grant: $12,000
Other recent investments
Northfield Rotary supports many projects originated by others, either through the District or through direct grants to organizations doing service. Recent grants have gone to Mali(Diabetes education), Guatemala (elementary music education), Argentina (Neonatal medical equipment), Sierra Leone (School), Uganda (books), Nepal (repair wells … although the effort was foiled by international money transfer failures), Ghana (education materials), Chili for wildfire relief, disaster relief shelters (can not recall the organization),
Going Forward:
Project: A major clean water project in Guatemala, which will make a difference in the lives of residents living in some 50 villages in the region, is just now being formulated. It may require something on the order of $200,000. We are looking for partners to make this a reality.

Ambassadorial Scholarships

Global Grant Fellowship
Each your Rotary District 5960 selects an individual for a Global Grant Fellowship up to $35,000 toward graduate study in a foreign country.  The course of study must have a long-term impact and support and promote one or more areas of focus of the Rotary Foundation, which are:
  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development
Fellowship funds may be used to support tuition, room, board, books, travel expenses, visas, inoculations, and any related humanitarian projects.  Typically, the course of study is one year and would be completely covered by the grant.  However, multi-year programs are allowed, but the applicant will need to pay for the rest of the degree.  It is also important to understand there is a gap year before the funding starts.  For instance, an applicant in March 2017 would have an entry date of Fall  2018.
To be eligible, a candidate is required to have a permanent or student residence in Rotary District 5960 , but the Northfield Rotary Club will typically only sponsor a candidate in the Northfield area.
The annual process timeline is typically the following:
  • January and February – information sessions at St Olaf College and Carleton College
  • Mid-March – application is due to the Northfield Rotary Club for review
  • Mid-March to Mid-April –  feedback is given and the applicant can make a final revision
  • Mid-April —  final application is due to Rotary District 5960 from the Northfield Rotary Club
  • Early May – invitation-only interview in the Twin Cities
  • Early May – decision by District 5960
For more information, visit the Rotary District 5960 Global Grant Fellowship page.