Posted on Nov 20, 2017

The Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA was a sponsor of USA/Mexico Friendship Conference and Global Grants Exchange held at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, US.  This year’s event had the largest attendance in the 18-year history of this gathering of Rotarians.  Members from 32 Rotary Clubs in the US and Mexico reviewed and approved funding for nearly 353,000 USD for Doing Good In The World using your donations to The Rotary Foundation.

In addition to sponsoring a table at the breakfast on Sunday morning, ReCSWUSA Youth Services Director John Wintersteen attended the event.  After reviewing the myriad of possible worthy projects, your Club will be supporting the following projects.

  1. Rainwater Capture, sponsored by Cuernavaca Juarez Rotary Club.  The project includes safe drinking water fountains, community gardens with a major educational component.  This project is resulting in bringing together the indigenous people who live on a shrinking forest preserve allocated to them that has a small lake, with the non-native Mexican people on one side of the preserve who moved into tract homes -- they are now mingling, having tours of the forest preserve, working together.
  2. Uganda Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, sponsored by Sun City Rotary Club.  The residents of Kansiri, Mwereerwe, UG are faced with the lack of adequate water – potable and non-potable, good sanitation, electrical power, equal access to education, economic opportunity, and access to equal gender opportunity.  To address these deficiencies, this project consists of a 3-componet clean water plan.  These components are three new boreholes, rainwater collection, and construction of Eco-San latrine.  Project partners will provide WASH education so that these benefits will be passed to future generations.
  3. Kenya Mother-Child Health, sponsored by Sun City West Rotary Club.  This project provides training and critically needed delivery ward birthing and support equipment to 3 county-owned public hospitals in rural Kenya. The receiving hospitals are in Kiambu, Kangema, and Karatina counties.  They are all within a 2-hour drive from Nairobi.  The equipment supplied in this project includes warmers, incubators, photo therapy units, adjustable delivery beds, scales, thermometers, and resuscitation equipment.  Countless lives will be saved, both mothers and newborns, from the efficient use of this much needed equipment.
  4. Sonora Rural Health Care, sponsored by Catalina Rotary Club (Tucson).  This grant will be formally submitted on the new Foundation grant application forms in March 2018, to be accomplished starting October 2018 over a period of 2 years.  This is a broad rural health initiative to address the needs caused by the extreme distances from care facilities and the lack of available transportation.  Our ReCSWUSA members in Monterrey, Nuevo León, MX are working on similar project in their state.  In addition to providing needed healthcare, we may be use the lessons learned in this grant application in seeking funding for a similar project elsewhere in Mexico.

Jim Bissonett moderating one of the project presentations.You can learn more about these and the other thirteen TRF Global Grant project funded at this event on the District website,

ReCSWUSA member Jim Bissonett was a member of the conference committee that was chaired by PDG Abe Feder.  Jim and the other committee commitment of long hours leading up to the conference was critical in its success.  Please check out the conference photos at