Rotary Club of Ojai
International Service
The mission of International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary's humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.
Active Projects
Ghana --
Update on Global Grant for Vocational Training for Street Girls in Accra, Ghana
We have accomplished a lot in the first year of implementing a $77,019 Global Grant sponsored by Rotary Clubs of Ojai, CA, and Accra Legon East (D9102).  Cooperating organization is Street Girls Aid (SAid), a Ghanaian NGO that has served young girls living and working on the streets of Accra since 1994.
Entrepreneurship training for street girls who are petty traders is a great success. 
  • Ten SAid social workers were trained in small-scale business management and how to impart that information to girls who have little or no formal education. 
  • 25 young women who have tiny businesses (i.e. selling fruit in the streets, hair products, etc.) were screened for their reliability, motivation, and likelihood of success.
  • After a brief formal training class, they continue to meet regularly with the social workers, which offer them suggestions and encouragement.
  • Upon completing their initial training, the girls got a “tool kit” relevant to their business that will help them expand. There will be 50 more girls who will go through the training through the grant, and the social workers will continue to use these skills.
  • The social workers are really excited about this program, and have seen significant gains in the participants.
Starting a training program in laundry skills while setting up a profitable laundry business is much more complex.  In the past year SAid has
  • Built a laundry facility in the SAid Young Mothers Support Centre compound (with funds from RC of Ojai, not through the global grant).
  • Purchased and installed professional laundry equipment; hired a laundry instructor and project manager.
  • Publicized the training program among street girls and selected the first 5 girls who are currently being trained.
  • Ojai Rotarian Mike Weaver, a business consultant specializing in small businesses and social entrepreneurship, conducted 6 training sessions with SAid staff via Skype to help them set up the laundry efficiently.  Training included management accounting, marketing and sales, process flow analysis, organization structure, financial management, and internal controls.
  • SAid is publicizing the new laundry service among local hotels and businesses, and have received their first orders.
  • Two more groups of 15 girls each will be trained in the coming year.
  • After the grant is finished and the laundry business is up and running, revenue will pay for ongoing vocational training for street girls.
Not only are street girls gaining vocational skills that lead to a more stable life, SAid staff has received business training that will be useful in future programs.
Thank you to the following clubs who contributed to this project:
Accra Legon East
Pismo Beach (Five Cities)
Westlake Village Sunrise
Simi Sunrise
Thousand Oaks
Santa Maria
Bakersfield Breakfast
Westlake Village
 E-Club of One World D5240
Ojai West
Cash contributions:  $16,175
NOTE:  Ojai also contributed $4,000 to build the laundry room that could not be funded through a Global Grant
District Designated Fund (DDF) 6600  $10,304
District Designated Fund (DDF) 5240  $16,075
DDF contributions:  $26,379
World Fund match (requested):  $34,467
Total financing: $ 77021
Kay Bliss
Global Grant Coordinator, Rotary Club of Ojai
Niger --
  • Click here to read the latest newsletter from the NOMAD Foundation.
  • Click here (or on the NIGER subpage) for the information on the Feb 2015 trip to Niger discussing the Maternal Health Project, the Earth Sandbag Building Project, and the start of an Economic Training Project.
  • Click here to read the Nomad Foundation Blog which has additional photographs and details on the Niger trip.
Honduras (Roatan)
Supporting Projects on other clubs
Matching Grant Projects -
Activities of this committee encompass matching grants initiated by our Club, those initiated by other Clubs, District Simplified Grants and larger projects such as 3 H Grants The committee reviews and submits matching grant applications to Rotary International.  They provide a final report to RI as well.  They also coordinate the fundraising effort with our RI Foundation Committee.
Youth Exchange Student -
Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures.  This plants the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.  Our Club has successfully hosted high school exchange students from many different countries.  Committee members assist with securing host families and coordinating the activities of our Youth Exchange Student.
Rotary Foundation Scholarships -
Promoting Rotary's goal of world peace, goodwill and understanding, the Rotary Foundation's Educational Programs include Ambassadorial Scholarships and World Peace Scholars.  These programs promote peace by building understanding through person-to-person contact, friendship and study via a cross-cultural exchange.  This committee is responsible for soliciting, screening, recommending and preparing the applicant for the district scholarship selection interviews held in the Spring.
Group Study Exchange -
For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's institutions and way of life, observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.  Committee members assist the District GSE Team Leader by coordinating the visit with our Club meeting and finding host families for their 2-4 day visit to our area.
Travel and Volunteer Service Grants -
Working with individual club members, this committee will submit applications to secure grants for travel and volunteer service on RI projects.