By: PP Carol Marcotte, RC Saco Bay Sunset
A Disaster Response Grant from The Rotary Foundation was received by D7780 and overseen by RC Saco Bay Sunset in partnership with RC Lublin Centrum (Poland).  The clubs received $25,000 to repair the roof of the convent housing the Congregation of Sisters of St. Anne in Brzuchowice (Bryukhovichi) (now called the Peace Shelter). The monies were also used to add a corridor with extra rooms to the building to house refugees. RC Saco Bay Sunset and RC Lublin Centrum and RC Ukraine Unity Lviv partnered to oversee the transporting of materials across the border from Poland into Ukraine as well as repairing the structure. Currently, 32 Ukrainian refugees (mothers, children and grandparents) live at the Peace Shelter. 
I decided to visit Poland and Ukraine after receiving an invitation from Mateo Karczmarczuk - President Elect of RC Lublin Centrum in June. I stayed in Lublin and was hosted by members of the RC Lublin Centrum, RC Warsaw and RC Ukraine Unity Lviv. One of the visits included touring and staying overnight at the Peace Shelter where I was able to view the new roof and rooms. During the visit I was able to play soccer with the children, talk to the refugees and Sisters at the Peace Shelter, and be entertained by a child singer who sang songs to raise funds for the Ukrainian solders. At this point, the RC Lublin Centrum is looking for sponsors to rebuild the fire escape of the Peace Shelter.
Some of the projects visited included the following:
RC Lublin Centrum projects: 
  • The Little Prince Hospice
  • Paul Harris Music School for Disabled Children
  • ARKA (Non-Public Youth Sociology Center)
RC Ukraine Unity (Passport)
  • Humanitarian supplies for Ukrainians 
RC Warsaw
  • Ukrainian Refugees Center
For more information or if you would like me to share my powerpoint presentation about the visit, please email me at or cell 207-284-3680. Thank you all for contributing to the Rotary Foundation and the Disaster Response Grant! These funds allowed the Peace Shelter project to occur!