Foundation awards 30,000th Matching Grant
Children, recipients of a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant to correct heart irregularities, are all smiles at the Padre Francisco Da Motta school in Brazil. In December, the Foundation approved the 30,000th Matching Grant. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson
More than 20 children in India with congenital heart defects will soon benefit from the 30,000th Matching Grant awarded by The Rotary Foundation.
The Foundation approved a grant of US$15,000 in December for the project, a collaboration between the Rotary clubs of Cochin Midtown, Kerala, India, and Sandbach, Cheshire, England. The grant will help fund surgeries to correct heart irregularities in children between the ages of three months and 18 years in southern and northern India.
The clubs have each contributed $5,000 toward the project. Their districts, 3201 (India) and 1050 (England), have both provided $5,000 from their District Designated Fund, for a total of $35,000.
The project is being coordinated through Gift of Life International, an organization supported by Rotary clubs worldwide. It's the latest development in the ongoing efforts of the Cochin Midtown club and District 3201 to provide open-heart surgeries to 105 children from indigent families by 2010, Rotary's 105th year.
During the past two years, clubs in District 3201 have organized four other Matching Grant projects for surgeries, and have independently funded several other surgeries as well.
"A child with heart disease who is born to poor parents puts an entire family of five or six persons in financial disarray," says Cochin Midtown club president V.J. John, explaining his district's decision to make the surgeries a priority.
Through the Matching Grants program, the Foundation provides a dollar-for-dollar match for every District Designated Fund contribution to a project, and a 50-cent match for every dollar of additional contributions.
Since 1965, the Foundation has matched contributions for international service projects in 199 countries at a cost of more than $335 million. In 2007-08 alone, the Foundation approved $43.8 million for 2,424 Matching Grant projects in 137 countries.