Fellowship project hits all the right notes
Children at St. Andrew's Roman Catholic School in Grenville play with recorders donated by a member of the International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians. Photo courtesy of International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians.
Music is an integral part of Grenada’s culture, and children in Grenada start learning to play instruments at a young age. But when back-to-back hurricanes hit the Caribbean island nation in 2004 and 2005, an unfamiliar silence fell over devastated schools.
The International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians is bringing the music back. In its debut humanitarian project, it donated US$2,500 to help rebuild the music program at St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic School in Grenville. The school, which serves 500 students ages 5-15, lost all its musical instruments and books in the storms.
“Music inspires us all. It unites our children and enhances their feelings of self-worth and achievement,” says Sister Lucy Gabriel, the school’s director. The money helped purchase guitars, violins, music stands, and a partial set of steel pans, an important instrument in Caribbean music.
Fellowship member Peter Sotheran, of the Rotary Club of Guisborough & Great Ayton, Cleveland, England, presented the funds to the school in a ceremony last year. He also delivered an additional $3,000 and 36 secondhand recorders (wind instruments valued at about $28 each) that his club had collected from donors in England.
“Before I had finished unpacking, the children were experimenting to see what sounds they could produce,” says Sotheran, whose club worked with the Rotary Club of Grenada East to rebuild the school’s library.
The International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians was founded in 1972. Its 400 members organize musical performances at Rotary functions, including RI conventions. As part of its mission to promote musical literacy, the group has started funding other school and community projects similar to the one in Grenada.
Join a Rotary Fellowship
The International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians isn’t the only show in town. There are more than 80 Rotary Fellowships. From sports and hobbies to professional interests, these groups draw members from around the world. They’re just one more way Rotarians are promoting international fellowship, friendship, and service.
Here is a quick look at four Rotary Fellowships. To see a complete list, go to Global Networking Groups database .
International Fellowship of Rotarian Scuba Divers
Even if you’re not a scuba diver, check out this group’s Web site for some amazing underwater photos. Members travel the world exploring the wonders under the sea. At each location, they work with local Rotarians to organize a community service project.
International Home Exchange Fellowship of Rotarians
As a member of this group, you’ll have the opportunity to swap homes with other Rotarians and experience life as a native in a faraway city or country. Best of all, you’ll make new, lifelong friends.
International Fellowship of Rotarians of Amateur Radio
Tune into one of the fellowship’s 20 “nets” and find out what’s happening around the world. As a member, you can take part in these on-air roundtable discussions found on frequencies emanating from Australia, Europe, India, South Africa, and the United States.
International Fellowship of Rotarian Physicians
Use your skills to promote global health with other health care professionals. The group works with several partner organizations to provide medical assistance in underserved areas of the world.
This article appeared in the April issue of Rotary World .