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President Thaya's Message

17 November 2021

My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,

How is our club benefiting from The Rotary Foundation this year?

There's a reason Rotarians donate to The Rotary Foundation: It's a simple way to achieve your philanthropic goals - whether it's supporting clean water, the eradication of polio or a particular global grant. Any gift can be donated to a specific fund - End Polio Now, an individual global grant or one of Rotary's focus areas. You can also leave your gift unrestricted so that the Foundation has the flexibility to use the money where it is needed most. 

When the Foundation awards a grant to fund a project, how does it ensure that your money will have a lasting impact? "Sustainability begins with the community assessment," explains Philip J. Silvers, a past RI director and chair of the Foundation's Cadre of Technical Advisers.

Six elements of sustainability must be addressed in the design of a global grant project:

  • Start with the community

  • Encourage local ownership

  • Provide training

  • Buy local

  • Find local funding

  • Measure your success

The Rotary Club of Strathfield uses The Foundation funding for four of our great projects this year.

  • The Strathfield Rotary Club aims to empower communities to support fundamental disparity in education and increase adult literacy. We are embarking on a program by PREPARING INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES FOR THE WORKFORCE through the Technical and Life-skills Training Program to achieve our goal. The Foundation provides the necessary funding from a philanthropist donor who has given The Foundation a Direct Gift of AUD 50,000 for this particular worthy project for the indigenous community.


  • Global Grant Project on COVID-19 and Maternal Health in Northern Sri Lanka to provide medical equipment worth USD 90,000 for an Operation Theatre and Covid-19 Treatment Centre at Chavakachcheri Base Hospital.


  • Global Grant Project on COVID-19 and Basic Health in Southern India. Due to COVID, pregnant women cannot travel to Tiruvannamalai General Hospital; as such, they are equipped with these remote primary health care centres to save lives. Primary Health centres will be provided with medical equipment such as Ultrasound, Fetal Doppler, Autoclave, Multi-parameter etc. The total cost of the project would be approximately USD 45,000.


  • The late Peter Smith scholarship is to commemorate Peter's life work and his tireless support for young people. Our District 9675 is providing the District Grant this year to provide the necessary funding for this significant new project. The award aims to promote youth empowerment and community service. It will be granted to outstanding individuals who demonstrate leadership in their fields and offer significant contributions to the community. Nominations are open to any youth under the age of 25.

We have a longing to be significant. We want to make a contribution, to be a part of something noble and purposeful. But many people assume significance is unattainable. They worry that it is too big for them to achieve. They think that they have to have a fantastic idea, be a certain age, have a lot of money, or be powerful and famous to make a real difference.

The good news is that none of those things is necessary to achieve significance and create a lasting legacy. The only thing you need to achieve significance is to be intentional. And to do that, all you need to do is, start. You can't make an impact sitting still and doing nothing. Every major accomplishment that's ever been achieved started with a first step. Sometimes it's hard; other times, it's easy; but no matter what, you have to start somewhere if you want to get anywhere in life.

An unintentional life accepts everything and does nothing. An intentional life embraces only the things that will add to the mission of significance.  - John C Maxwell


Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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Last Update Wednesday December 01, 2021