Archive for the ‘Rotary International’ Category

The Rotary Club years part 2

The Rotary Club years part 2

The Rotary Club years part 2

The Rotary Club years part 2

In a previous entry, you got a general idea of the origins of this organization and a typical third world club as lived and understood. Noticed? I said organization, not an Order as I would say describing a group of people bind together by initiation and consequent revelations of rites and “secrets” going back in ages.

There isn’t such thing in Rotary. So do a favor to yourself and take off your mind any relation you think exist between them.

Are all Rotary clubs in the world equal? Depend on the angle you look at it. If you live, say, in the US, Australia or France it’s all clear and straight forward.

The Rotary Club years part 2

Waterless toilets, built by Dave Collins acting as the funds managing member of a matching Grant. I will tell you what happened in the next entry.

They invest a bit of their own money, they help in setting up fund raising events like barbecue, soirees and other get together payable events, slowly filling up their club bank account.

Is there anyone taking direct financial advantage of this?
Not really, at least not at the club level. The sums kept in these accounts aren’t that fat to trigger the temptation of fraud or misuse, provided most of the members are in good financial shape, no need to put their reputation at risk.

As said, the return on investment will be paid at some point down the road by the members helping each other in their respective business, (with no guarantee this will happen), or by the community at large that the Rotarian has been recognized as a man in good standing. At least that’s what he thinks and pray for… Excuse me? Why I mentioned man only? See it here.

Where the raised funds go? The Rotary Club years part 2 

Most of the  membership annual fees (Varies around the world) go to the Rotary global world administration in Evanston, Illinois and the Rotary districts the local club belongs. Don’t ask for more details, it might be out of subject and long to explain, don’t ask ordinary Rotarians either, they don’t know.
What is an ordinary Rotarian? Is just a member, he won’t stay long, a year at best, usually a couple of months, as opposed to one who is engaged in the organization, hoping to capitalize sooner or later from his efforts, some will, others not, eventually they will disappeared too.  You got it? Me neither!…

As for the raised funds by the club, they can choose to “invest it” the way they think is best and useful, in line with Rotary International guidelines, usually supporting a “Matching Grant” in partnership with a club located in the third world. This brings me to the subject I’m here today.

Rotary International Matching Grants. What it is? The Rotary Club years part 2

I’ll make it simple for you to understand. Rotarian or not, if you are a member living in the third world, chances are you have no idea what I’m talking about, chances are you don’t even know how you wind up being a member. Here we go: Below is a screenshot of a Roatry site  where clubs mostly from the third world put adds searching sponsoring clubs and districts  in the third world to finance a project in their community.

The Rotary Club years part 2

The Rotary Club years part 2

The applying club in this example is the Rotary club of Tarlac  in the Philippines. All they had in hand for an $18,149 project was 0nly $100. The Rotary Club years part 2
I’m asking? That’s all they had?  100 dollars? Prominent people, politicians, businessmen… It seems to me a bit low. Not everyone is poor in the poor countries and none in the rotary. But somehow they feel the first world has an obligation to help them without any effort on their part. They are here to collect the likes and congratulations. Utang na loob to our local leaders! The Rotary Club years part 2 The Rotary Club years part 2

 Has anyone seen something I didn’t? Like a few words from a newly installed president? Something about Rotary? About poor and destitute? All we see is her (President’s) ass on 3D! Front, right and left side. It’s more fun in the Philippines, even more in the Rotary… Who funded the rest of the project? The Rotary Club years part 2

The Rotary district they belong, (Philippines) 4,500, a rotary club in South Korea , a Rotary District in South Korea 2,000, the remaining 8.550 from the Rotary Foundation .  75% of the project was financed by the hard working members in the first world, these people that never expose themselves on Youtube with edited pictures and fake smiles. Talk about narcissism on the net… The Rotary Club years part 2
Next when I find the time:  Rotary Foundation Matching grants, building contractors, why the Rotary foundation and clubs around the world should review the criteria of sponsoring clubs in the third world, unless they kicked their ass as they do it on YouTube, to raise on their own at least 2 third of the money needed for the project.

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The Rotary International Years.

The Rotary International Years.

The Rotary International Years.

The Rotary International Years.

Some time in the year 2003 two American guys came to my house asking me to join the Rotary International club in Tagbilaran. It wasn’t the first time I was approached by this organization, it happened before in France and later in the US by Brothers Free Mason already members.

Honestly, the social clubs never attracted me, as much respect and admiration I had, and still have for the Lodge, the Rotary and other similar clubs never touched my heart, the status of these organizations was known to me in the first world as it was clearly defined by Paul Harris like this: The Rotary International Years.

“In 1905, Paul Harris organized the first Rotary Club “in fellowship and friendship” with three clients, Silvester Schele, Gustavus Loehr, and Hiram Shorey . His initial goal was to create a club of professional and business men for friendship and fellowship. 

Early on, Harris realized that Rotary needed a greater purpose. While Harris served as president of the Chicago Rotary Club in 1907, the club initiated its first public service project, the construction of public toilets in Chicago. This step transformed Rotary into the world’s first Service Club.[4][5]  If interested Read more The Rotary International Years.

The Rotary International Years.

The Rotary International Years. Bill Gates

It wasn’t perceivable to me how a group of  businessmen and prominent citizens in the third world can show compassion for their people, claiming to be a philanthropic organization while I believed it was nothing else than a source of closing business deals amongst members; Weaving at the same time that positive image in the community as givers and compassionate helping themselves to win trust, clients or votes or all of the above provided many had business, government positions and liberal professions all at the same time.

Unless your name is Bill Gates, you don’t need customers and more money, but just an image cleanup; To be known as a human, not as a financial tycoon and money hungry as he often is portrayed like these reporters of the LA Times told us the story. Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation – Los Angeles Times  It confirms what exactly I was thinking. The Rotary International Years.

The 2 Americans who offered me the membership had nothing of the usual Rotarian profile. One, Jack Galbreath, a retired Vietnam Veteran, married to a Filipino living in Bilar, Bohol for many years was known as helping poor and destitute in his community. But not really without having in mind some personal ambition and counting on the return of investment. The Rotary International Years.

His wife Ester Corazon Galbreath  was elected Mayor of the town of Bilar several times, later elected also as a Board member in the Provincial Government of Bohol. The poor and destitute are still hungry, the fish given once in a while was a day’s meal, then hungry again the next day. Poverty numbers in the Philippines go on the upside year after year with no reversal in the foreseeable future.

The other one, Dave Collins, also an American retiree from GE a Mechanical Engineer according to him, he also wasn’t the typical Rotarian as I knew them in the first world. Married to a rich Filipina owner of several pawn shops known in the country as sharks shops, because of predatory lending practices, also known as 5/6ers because of the interest rate they charge, 5 to 6% per month even up to 20% per month. 

During my first  contact visit to the club, looking at the members I was surprised by the diversity  of trades and professions composed of about 20, like a known career politician, a private hospital owner and his wife in their 80’s, veterans in years of membership, a nurse, one or two local branches bank managers, a low rank government worker, a couple of “foreigners’ wives” (Yes folks, that makes you important in the Philippines) a wife of a seaman, (That also makes you important), a German owner of a resort in Panglao, a Fil/American also owner of a resort in Dauis,

An American woman, teacher by profession who became a missionary managing an education camp in the north of the island financed by the donations to an American church ( go figure which one, their presence is mushrooming in the Philippines)  later, the children camp turned out to be a tourist resort. There was also this Born Again preacher known as Harrell the hallelueaj because of his frequent religious themes screaming even during the meetings! Here is the latest on Harrell.

Not really that impressive. One wonders what the give and take would be with a mosaic of trade and professions as I saw it, in a third world country that buying power is desperately low, such a small pie to share, who was who exactly and why they were there?

Digging a bit further in the constitution and bylaws of the organization discovered this:

OBJECT OF ROTARY The Rotary International Years.

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • FIRST: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • SECOND: High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • THIRD: The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
  • FOURTH: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

The first remark to myself was that probably they are kidding themselves. In the Philippines, hospitals are refusing patients’ discharge and exit the premise without paying the bill while still in. I have seen bodies decomposed in the hospital’s mortuary because no one of the relatives offered to pay the bill. High ethical standards? Where? When? The Rotary International Years.

Then this came up:

THE FOUR-WAY TEST

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:
Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Mysterious? Secret philosophical, deep meaning words only  Grand Masters of ancient Babylon can decipher?
Not at all. All it is, something to keep you busy with the interpretation. Make your own, as fit. If you don’t, no big loss to you. Somebody else understood it for you. As long as you paid your dues, you’re fine.

And the little cherry on the pie:

AVENUES OF SERVICE

We channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through five Avenues of Service, which are the foundation of club activity.

  • Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.
  • Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society. Learn more in An Introduction to Vocational Service and the Code of Conduct.
  • Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest. Learn more in Communities in Action: A Guide to Effective Projects and this Community Service presentation (PPT).
  • International Service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding. We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more.
  • Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as RotaractInteractRotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange.

No matter what I’m reading and seeing the mystery is deepening, often becoming senseless, can’t find the real “raison d’être” there, who these members are, how they benefit from the Rotary, how they amortizing their $300+ a year total cost of dues.  Certainly not philanthropists, not in the third world anyway, plenty of reasons to distinguish those “practicing” in the first world, raising money that is, for those in the third world recipients of the money.
 I’ll explain you all that in the next entries.