By:  Emma Bodwell, Chair, International Services Committee (DISC), RC of Bridgton-Lake Region
On Saturday, October 20, 2022, over 30 Rotarians attended the second International Café of the 2022/23 Rotary Year.  Those attending got an update on the Amani Kids project working to improve the lives of 200 kids per year who are living on the streets in Tanzania.  The project is in the process of applying for an RI Global Grant.  For more information or to contribute to the grant application, contact Chris Hamilton at (207) 242-2559 or by email
The Café provided a comprehensive update on the situation in Ukraine and the disaster relief grants being used by various Clubs and Districts to provide help through an RI InterCountry Committee (ICC).  Claudine Schooley, President, of ICC USA – Ukraine, provided information about the urgency of the situation in Ukraine. In total, $15 million has been dedicated by RI to further this work.  There is $3 million remaining which must be awarded by the end of December 2022.  The grants, in $25,000 increments, are being used to help Ukrainian people simply survive.  The Saco Bay Sunset Club was awarded $25,000 to install a new roof on a monastery that serves as a shelter for displaced Ukrainian women and children.  This grant received approval in a record three business days, according to Carolyn Johnson.  Waiting in the wings for the final expenditure of the Saco Bay grant is one prepared by Kathi Perkins of the Westbrook-Gorham Club supporting school supplies and more for Ukrainian children in Romania. In addition to Iryna Timanyuk and Volodymyr Pylypenko who joined the Café from Ukraine, Diana Nestorova from District 7910 in western Massachusetts participated too.  Diana mentioned that her district is on its third $25,000 grant.  For more information, contact Claudine Schooley at (805) 796-8351 or by email
In a related project, Bill DiBiasio spoke about how the Rotary Fellowship of Flying Rotarians is using over one hundred planes to fly perishable medical supplies from around Europe to Kraków, Poland, where they are assisted by the local Rotary Club.  From there they fly to the border with Ukraine where the supplies are loaded onto trucks for transport to medical facilities in Ukraine.
      Click here for the recording of this Café.
Every International Café brings important work being done throughout the world by RI and our District.  The next International Café will be on Saturday, December 10, 2022 from 9:30-11:00 a.m.  Put it on your calendar! Don’t miss out!