Global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. By working together to respond to real community needs, clubs and districts strengthen their global partnerships. This is the story of our journey in applying for a Global Grant. 
by Al Sanderson
At the 2018 District 5370 Conference which our club organized, Spencer met with Doug Jackson, CEO of Project C.U.R.E. Project CURE is a US based non-profit organization that collects and refurbishes used medical equipment, and sends it by the container load to needy hospitals around the world. Centered in Denver Colorado, they have seven distribution centers and many collection centers.
Spencer spoke with Doug about our connection to Belize, and about the possibility of Project CURE supporting a project with us in Belize. Doug was enthusiastic about the idea!  
A Project CURE team conducted a Needs Assessment for the hospital in Corozal and 4 rural clinics associated with the hospital, and through discussions with the hospital staff identified a serious need for equipment and supplies. Our club began the process of developing a Global Grant through The Rotary Foundation to acquire the funds required for shipping and other project costs.
We got commitments to support a Global Grant from several sources: Edmonton West committed $10,000 US, our District 5370 matched our contribution with another $10,000 US, the Rotary Club of Highlands Ranch in Denver committed $1000 US, and we obtained $25,000 US from the Rotary Canada fund (part of the $5million provided to Rotary Canada by our Federal Government).
With these commitments, and based on the Needs Assessment and the support of the Rotary Club of Belize City, we forged ahead and prepared a Global Grant Application and submitted it to The Rotary Foundation. On January 14, 2020, while I was in Guatemala working with Ben and the team at the eye clinics, I received word from The Rotary Foundation that our application for a Global Grant was approved – much rejoicing all around! This grant provided an additional $26,575 US.
With the funds secured, Project CURE was now in a position to begin collecting the equipment and organizing the two containers for shipping to Belize. The containers were shipped in July and arrived in Belize in September, and the hospital staff were overjoyed to receive the equipment and supplies, as they were desperately short of essential equipment.
This was a great project, but as with any project, there were a few hiccups along the way. Project CURE had originally agreed to leave one of the containers at the hospital so it could be insulated, air conditioned and turned into a small vaccination clinic and pharmaceutical storage unit. Given the numerous changes of personnel at Project CURE and TRF along the way, that agreement did not survive; however, we had funds left so we authorized the Belize Club to secure another container for that purpose which they did.
Also, the project had included an amount for a training team from the US to travel to Belize to provide equipment training, but it turned out that the hospital staff did not require any training. As we still had funds in the account, we asked the hospital for suggestions for using the remaining funds, and they requested insulating and air conditioning the container as originally planned. We prepared a request to TRF, but after some back and forth, The Rotary Foundation would not agree with this plan. So back to the hospital and the Belize club. After many more months of back and forth and many emails, the hospital finally sent us an itemized, ranked list of additional equipment needs. Back to TRF and YAY TRF agreed with this proposed expenditure. Based on an agreement to work with the hospital and ensure we get receipts for the purchases, we have now sent the remaining funds to the Belize Club to manage on our behalf. And we hope the project will be completely wrapped up before the end of this calendar year.
Lessons learned:
  • When doing a Global Grant, be prepared for hundreds of emails. So far for this project I have 625 emails and those are just the ones I kept – I estimate at least 1000 in total!
  • Ensure you have a responsive organization – much time was lost waiting for replies, and reminding people about the need for answers to questions. The Belize club was very good, but we did a fair amount of waiting for replies from the hospital.
  • Be prepared for a good deal of interaction with TRF and ensure you read and understand the Global Grant process thoroughly. TRF rules are quite clear, but they adhere to them closely with little room for alterations even when the suggested changes may be completely logical.
  • Everything will take longer than you expect!
This has been quite a journey, but the good news is that the Corozal hospital and 4 rural clinics now have much better equipment to serve the residents of the area! Special thanks to club members who have provided excellent support including Spencer for kicking this off, Vicky for the many machinations of looking after all the complex banking, David for his support during his Presidency, Fred for helping with some sections of the Global Grant Application.