International Service
International service is a cornerstone of Rotary.
Rotary International began to focus on the eradication of Polio as early as the 1970s. In 1985, when Rotary International launched PolioPlus as a global effort to eradicate Polio, there were 350,000 new cases of Polio in over 120 countries.  Since then, we have welcomed The World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as full partners in the effort to eradicate Polio. And we are nearly done. In 2016, there were only 35 new cases in just two countries. We expect that number to dwindle to zero very soon.
The Rotary Club of San Francisco has been committed to this project since its earliest days. In 1988, our Club raised more money to fight Polio than any other Club in our District, which raised more money than any other Rotary District in the world that year. Several of our members have participated in National Immunization Days and other activities focused on the elimination of this dread disease.
Many Club members travel abroad to volunteer on a variety of international projects:
  • Water & Sanitation Projects: A Club member, and Professor of Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley, designed a water system for the barren landscape that is Remba Island, on Lake Victoria, Kenya. Other Club members have also worked on water and and sanitation projects in India and Marrakesh.
  • Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Members of our Club launched both Rotaplast and Alliance for Smiles, organizations that provide free corrective surgeries to children with cleft lip and cleft palate, while providing local practitioners with the skills and tools they need to continue the work.
  • Mines to Vines: Our Club partners with Roots of Peace to convert fields of land mines to fields of crops. Club members have traveled to Croatia to plant grape vines and to Vietnam to plant black pepper plants.