International Service Committee

Of the things we think, do, or say, will it build goodwill and better friendships? This is the third element of the 4-Way Test and it drives International Service.  Our aim is to improve lives and meet human needs through humanitarianism, and thus advance world understanding, goodwill and peace.

Our club has been involved in numerous projects from eradicating polio; providing shelter, clean water and food, improving medical facilities and many more. Through our partnerships, we have made a positive impact on thousands of lives. 

Our areas of focus are: 


As we embrace these opportunities, we can also gain professional development and join networks of other Rotarians and humanitarian workers in support of initiatives far beyond our own local borders, reaching all corners of our world.

Rotary International encourages us to develop projects that address priority needs identified by the communities they serve, to help people help themselves, and to ensure projects are environmentally sustainable.

Currently Funded International Projects:

  • Jacana Honey Project, Chipata, Zambia 
  • Disaster Relief for Ukraine 
  • Maternal Health Project in Mali
  • Water Project in Mozambique 
  • Economic (Bead Making) Project in Kenya 
  • School Feeding Project Kenya/Ethiopia/Somalia
  • WASH Project in Malawi
  • Education Project, Jalapa Region, Guatemala

WASH Project in Chisimuka, Malawi
Chisimuka, Malawi
WASH Project Rumphi District, Malawi


NOTL Rotary undertakes a WASH project in Malawi


Ten Rotary Clubs Band Together to Fund Humanitarian Project in Malawi

Under the leadership of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club a total of 10 Rotary Clubs from both sides of the Niagara River have joined together in providing funding for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health Facilities (WASH) in Rumphi District, Malawi.

Interest in the project was inspired by The World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) recently released ‘WASH in Health Care Facilities - Global Baseline Report 2019’, a global assessment presenting the stark inadequacy of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in Health Care Facilities (HCFs).


In 2018, Transform International (TI) and their partner, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) were approached to undertake a program to develop a tool kit that would improve sustainability of WASH systems in HCFs.  

To date they have taken the following steps:

  • A global landscape review of literature on improving sustainability of WASH systems in HCFs
  • On-the-ground research in Rumphi District, Malawi, gathering data from 18 HCFs in the district (2 hospitals, a few outposts, and 13 clinics most of which offer maternity services and outpatient departments) on barriers to sustainability of the WASH systems

Transform International is working collaboratively with the Rumphi District Council to build a program addressing infrastructure shortcomings in these 18 HCFs, and this project will be the first element in this program - addressing WASH shortcomings at the Chisimuka Clinic.

Young also points out that “sustainability is of fundamental importance to ensure that the functioning of installed infrastructure is maintained in the future”.

About Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 50.7 percent of the population living below the poverty line and 25 percent living in extreme poverty.

Wash Project for the Pastoralists of the Maasai Mara

The main objective is to improve access to WASH facilities and training on hygiene and conservation skills for about 1600 primary school learners and staff. 

The project will construct RWH storage tanks complete with guttering and hand wash stands, build latrines and hygiene training for two schools in the Conservancies next to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. 

The schools are near an important ecologically sensitive area, we will include wildlife appreciation education and tree planting.

Participating Rotary Clubs

  • Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Rotary Club of St. Catharines
  • Rotary Club of Niagara Falls ON
  • Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise
  • Rotary Club of Simcoe
  • Rotary Club of St. Catharines South
  • Rotary Club of Buffalo Sunrise
  • Rotary Club of Fonthill
  • Rotary Club BNMC (Buffalo Medical Center)
  • Margaret Andrewes (Rotary Club of Lincoln)


Patrick MacNeill, Project Coordinator
tel: 905-468-3482,

Credit: Wells of Hope Guatemala  
Credit: Wells of Hope Guatemala  
Credit: Wells of Hope Guatemala  

El Carrizal Water Supply Project, Jalapa Region, Guatemala

Rotary Global Grant GG 1983568

This project was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Rotary Club of Guatemala del Este. The Grant was approved by The Rotary Foundation on 24th March 2020.

Work at the well site was started by Wells of Hope on 7th April and on 18th April they hit water at a depth of 900 ft.  On 20th April, after drilling a further 60 ft, a large volume of water was encountered. Despite a lot of difficulties with heavy rainfall, the Wells of Hope team completed casing of the well and managed to get their drilling rig safely back to their base at Campo Esperanza.  

The attached link shows a video of the moments after successfully hitting water:

Accounts of the difficulties encountered in getting their equipment back to camp along storm damaged muddy roads are shown in the Facebook postings on the attached link:

Ted Vanderzalm and his colleagues at the Wells of Hope deserve great credit for their perseverance in getting the well completed in these difficult circumstances.

A pump test was carried out which confirmed that the supply of water from the well is adequate for the needs of the community. Once this was confirmed, a separate contract was awarded by the local government for the construction of a water storage tank and distribution pipelines throughout the community. This work is currently being carried out.

Over the next year, under the Rotary sponsored project, training of the local water committee and education of teachers and children in the El Carrizal school on the importance of hygiene and sanitation, will be undertaken. In addition, 3 new toilets will be constructed at the school. However, the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the timing of these activities is not yet known.

We at the Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake are proud to be part of this difficult but very worthwhile project to bring clean drinking water to this community of about 4000 people in this impoverished part of Guatemala. We thank all those who contributed to this US $112,870 project, including The Rotary Foundation, Rotary District 7090, fourteen other Rotary Clubs, and the Elm Foundation.

Type caption here

Overview of Jacana Honey Project – Chipata, Zambia – March 2021

The Rotary Club of NOTL, with the assistance of a District 7090 District Grant, is providing funding to the Jacana Business Centre in Chipata, Zambia, for the purchase of Honey Processing Equipment. The Jacana Business Centre is a Zambian NGO started in 2015, and is supported by Transform International (Canada), of which Rotarian PDG Nancy Gilbert is Program Director.

The Jacana Business Centre is working with the Eastern Beekeepers Co-operative (EBC) to develop a beekeeping and honey producing business in the Chipata area of Zambia. Apiculture is among the sectors that have been identified with great potential to enhance economic growth and poverty reduction in Zambia.

The purchase of the honey processing equipment for US$6,600 was scheduled for 2020, Year 2 of the Jacana Five-Year Business Plan, and this fitted nicely with the timing of this District Grant cycle. The US$6,600 funding is made up of a contribution of US$3,600 from the Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and a 7090 District Grant of US$3000. 

This Project will support the Rotary Area of Focus aimed at Growing Local Economies. It will enhance economic and community development in the Chipata area, will create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old, men and women, and will strengthen local entrepreneurship. It will also support the Rotary Area of Focus Supporting Education by contributing to vocational education and training.

The aim of the Jacana Business Centre is to create opportunities for small entrepreneurs, so that they can grow economically and create better living conditions for themselves and their families. The Centre is based on the SMART philosophy:                                                                                                            



   Affordable and 



Having established the Eastern Beekeepers Co-operative (EBC) in 2019, Jacana has to date trained 160 promising beekeepers who want to expand their businesses. The biggest beekeeper has 50 hives. They all face the same problem: processing honey in a hygienic way and bottling for the local market. Jacana is guiding the group and is building a processing plant which will add value to the honey and will collect valuable wax that is now wasted. For the beekeepers it is too expensive to start their own processing plant at this stage and that is why they wish to use a clean processing room at the Jacana  Business Centre,  fitted out with the stainless steel equipment provided under this project. This processing room will be certified to meet food-grade standards by ZABS (Zambian Bureau of Standards). 

In summary, this project will help the beekeepers and their families to reduce poverty in a truly sustainable way in a poor area of Zambia, by supporting small business development.


School Feeding Project: Hadad Primary School in Kargi, Kenya

These photos are from John Boot's (International Committee Chair, Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake) trip there in October with an engineer to assess expanding a water supply to nearby villages, and to deliver much-needed food to the community. The club has been helping Kargi via global & direct grants over the last 10+ years. The delivery was at a crucial time. Due to a food shortage, the administration was considering a temporary closure for the school where students stay from Monday 'til Friday every week. 

From John's notes: 

"Kargi is on the front lines of the fight against global warming — 25 km from the expanding Chalbi desert. They have suffered through 4 years of drought and this year doesn’t look promising. On our 8-hour drive over incredibly rough roads we saw little wildlife. Most men are away herding with what is left of their cattle, camels and goats. There is competition (and conflict) for pasture with other tribes.

They stay because it's their home. They’re almost all from the Rendille tribe. They’ve been there for as long as they can remember. Also, there is a borehole near the town and people from neighbouring villages come there for water. Our Rainwater Harvesting Tank is now their water holding tank."

A picture below at the school includes a prominent message crediting the NOTL club for its support.

Hadad Primary School in Kargi, Kenya
Our Club name inscribed in the desk.
Hadad Primary School in Kargi, Kenya 
Hadad Primary School in Kargi, Kenya