DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD by PDG Lara Quentrall-Thomas

Mrs. Lara Quentrall-Thomas was the keynote speaker during the recent inauguration Charter Night of the brand new Rotary Club of Portsmouth, DM. She was so kind to give us a copy of her speech an so we can present you the full version below.

She starts by a giving us a short history of the Rotary Foundation and then explains the 6 Areas of Focus. In closing she indicates how these areas are in line with the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

ImageFellow Rotarians and guests

PORTSMOUTH : My home town in Hampshire, UK.


At the 1917 Rotary International convention, outgoing RI President Arch C. Klumph proposed to set up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” In 1928, it was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International.

In 1929, the Foundation made its first gift of $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. The organization, created by Rotarian Edgar F. “Daddy” Allen, later grew into Easter Seals.

When Rotary founder Paul Harris died in 1947, contributions began pouring in to Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created to build the Foundation.


1947: The Foundation established its first program, Fellowships for Advance Study, later known as Ambassadorial Scholarships.


1965-66: Three programs were launched: Group Study Exchange, Awards for Technical Training, and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary Foundation, which was later called Matching Grants.

1978: Rotary introduced the Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grants. The first 3-H Grant funded a project to immunize 6 million Philippine children against polio.


1985: The PolioPlus program was launched to eradicate polio worldwide.


1987-88: The first peace forums were held, leading to Rotary Peace Fellowships.

Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Foundation has received contributions totaling more than $1 billion.


In 2011, under Future Vision, new district, global, and packaged grants were designed to enable Rotarians around the world to respond to the world’s greatest needs. The Foundation identified specific causes to target to maximize our local and global impact, while understanding that each community has its own unique needs and concerns. 


ImageThese have been categorised as Six Areas of Focus:

Through global grants and other resources, Rotary helps clubs focus their service efforts in the following areas.


Today, 42 million people are displaced by armed conflict or persecution. Through our partnerships with several leading universities, Rotary Peace Fellows develop the skills to strengthen peace efforts, train local leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, and support long-term peace building in areas affected by conflict. Rotary provides up to 100 peace fellowships per year at Rotary Peace Centers.

Additionally, Rotary:

- Facilitates conflict resolution workshops related to topics addressing community needs such as policy development, business activities across conflict lines, educational reform, and peace journalism

- Supports initiatives addressing psychological effects of conflict

- Educates youth on preventive measures to avoid conflict

- Provides training programs to address negative social dynamics in a community, including anti-gang efforts and campaigns to overcome radical differences


More than 100 million people are pushed into poverty each year because of medical costs. Rotary aims to improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in underdeveloped areas. Our members educate and mobilize communities to help prevent the spread of major diseases such as polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. Many Rotary projects ensure that medical training facilities are located where the workforce lives.

Our programs:

- Improve the capacity of local health care professionals;

- Promote disease prevention programs, with the goal of limiting the spread of communicable diseases and reducing the incidences of and complications from non-communicable diseases;

- Educate and mobilize communities to help prevent the spread of major diseases;

-  Support studies for career-minded professionals related to disease prevention and treatment.

 -  Provide scholarships for graduate-level study in programs related to disease prevention and treatment;


More than 2.5 million people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. At least 3,000 children die each day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water. Rotary projects give communities the ability to develop and maintain sustainable water and sanitation systems and support studies related to water and sanitation.

Rotary projects

- provide access to safe drinking water (i.e. supply and quality) and improved sanitation

- focus on community development and management of systems for sustainability

- train in Watershed management and food security plans that depend on adequate water supply;

- provide Water for production (i.e. crops, livestock, etc.)

-  offer Scholarships for graduate-level study in programs related to water and sanitation.


At least 7 million children under the age of five die each year due to malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. To help reduce this rate, Rotary provides immunizations and antibiotics to babies, improve access to essential medical services, and support trained health care providers for mothers and their children. Rotary projects ensure sustainability by empowering the local community to take ownership of health care training programs.

Rotary projects include:

1. Prenatal care for pregnant women;

2. Providing medical equipment to underserved clinics and hospital maternity wards, when provided in conjunction with prenatal care educational activities;

3. Training and/or “train the trainer” initiatives for maternal and child health professionals and leaders (i.e. doctors, nurses, community health workers, and midwives);

4. Prenatal and child care educational activities for parents and families;

5. Initiatives that build upon and/or improve capacity of existing community initiatives and/or local women’s groups pertaining to maternal and child health;

6. Education about and access to birth control, family planning and/or disease prevention and reduction initiatives, inclusive of HIV/AIDS and human papillomavirus (HPV);

7. Education and training on sexual health, particularly for adolescent girls

8. Relevant immunization for children under five including against Polio


Sixty-seven million children worldwide have no access to education and more than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Rotary’s goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.

Our projects:

1. Access to quality basic primary and secondary education;

2. Educating adults in literacy;

3. Providing training in teaching literacy, curriculum development and school administration;

4. Strengthening educational experience through improved materials and facilities;

5. Community management of education systems;

6. Vocational training teams supporting the above activities;

7. School desk purchases, when accompanied by a detailed and verifiable plan to improve basic education and literacy;

8. Scholarships for graduate-level study in programs related to basic education and literacy.


Nearly 1.4 billion employed people live on less than $1.25 a day. Rotary carries out service projects that enhance economic and community development and develop opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also help strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.

Our programs:

1. Access to financial services for the poor, which may include but are not limited to microcredit, savings, or insurance;

2. Training related to economic and community development including but not limited to entrepreneurship, community leadership, vocational, and financial literacy;

3. Small business/cooperative/social enterprise development and income-generating activities for the poor, including but not limited to the organization of village-wide businesses that provide employment;

4. Agricultural development for subsistence and small farmers, including but not limited to the facilitation of access to markets;

5. Community-led and coordinated adopt-a-village or comprehensive community development activities;

Rotary’s 6 Areas of Focus are in line with the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest. 

Rotary is a key partner in this fight , in particular our global efforts to eradicate polio. The Rotary Club of Portsmouth is the latest in a more than 100 year proud history of committed professionals giving of their time, talent and treasure to do good in the world.

Welcome to our family and congratulations.