Rotary continues to assist refugees

Published 6:49 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

As mentioned previously, more than 28,000 people are uprooted from their homes each day as a result of war, oppression and poverty. That’s nearly 20 people per minute. By the end of 2016, an unprecedented 68.5 million people, from West Africa to South Asia, have been forcibly displaced, making it the world’s worst migrant crisis in history.

The wave of migrants and refugees has overwhelmed the international community, putting a particular strain on neighboring countries and Europe.

Rotary clubs are doing their part to help alleviate the global refugee crisis with projects that help bring water and health care to refugee camps, funds for families to move to safer countries and more. Over the last several years, clubs and districts have used roughly $3 million of global grant funds toward refugee-related projects and scholarships.

In Nova Scotia, Canada, the Rotary Club of Amherst brought two families from war-torn Syria to their country, where the refugees are starting a new life. The club galvanized other community groups to help the families assimilate with the town and culture. The Rotary Club of Merritt, British Columbia, also pooled resources to bring a family from Syria to Canada.

The Rotaract Club of Nakivale, Uganda, is raising funds to help residents of a huge refugee settlement start their own businesses. The club, based inside the settlement, also provided refugees with sugar, soap and clothes. Such examples of refugee assistance, by themselves, may seem rather modest. But when combined with similar small efforts around the world, Rotarians everywhere are working together to make a difference in this crisis.