Rotary Districts Assist Friends of Moldova in Support of Ukrainian Refugees
23 July 2022
Rotary Clubs and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Affiliate Groups, such as the Friends of Moldova, have been helping Ukrainian refugees since the war began. As of February, these efforts have included matching grants, global grant applications, and fundraisers. Nearly half a million refugees have entered neighboring Moldova, which is where Rotary Clubs and RPCVs have stepped in to help.
Rotary District 7710 (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC) is one such group. Recently, they have stepped in to help with a $25,000 Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Grant (DRG). The money provides food and other resources for Ukrainian refugees in northern Moldova. A Rotary Club in Moldova will oversee the grant in collaboration with the Friends of Moldova, an NPCA Affiliate Group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and others who retain close ties to the small country.
“Moldova has been incredibly generous in welcoming refugees, but it’s one of Europe’s poorest countries and lacks the resources to do this on its own,” said Kim Dixon, a member of the Midtown Raleigh Rotary Club and president of Partnering for Peace. “After Rotary members in the district heard a talk about the situation from RPCV David Jarmul, who served in Moldova, Rotary was eager to help. We’ve had a very positive experience teaming up with the Friends of Moldova and our Rotary colleagues in Raleigh and there. And it was a quick turnaround: a short application and approval was in four days!”
Unlike other type grants, the DRG is Rotary District driven, not club driven. And Ukraine is an exception to the rule that the DRGs must originate in the affected area.
Here’s how can you help apply:
- Find a Rotary member where you live. If you can’t find one, Google “Find a Rotary Club near me” and put in your zip code. You will be amazed at all the clubs near you! Then, reach out to the contacts.
- Ask them to find out if they have an outstanding Disaster Response Grant in place. A District can only have one DRG open at a time.
- If you want to write one for Moldova, contact PFP (see below for one all filled out). Or, if you want one in another area affected by the Ukrainian war, you need to find a Rotary club in the area that will receive the goods needed, and a trusted vendor, and an NGO that will distribute the goods (if not Rotary). In other words, do a needs analysis or contact Ukraine below for some connections. Any club in the world can apply for funds to be directed to an impacted country.
- You can also see the Application and steps on the Rotary.org home page under Rotary Responds to Ukraine Crisis.
Rotarians in Oklahoma City have been pursuing a similar collaboration with RPCVs of Moldova. Together they are discussing how to expand their efforts and encourage other Rotary districts around the country to join them in assisting Moldova and Ukraine’s refugees as the war grinds on.
While the Peace Corps’ presence in Eastern Europe has been limited to Ukraine, Moldova and a few other countries, the refugee situation continues to be dire with millions of displaced people needing assistance in many different countries. This is a call to action for the entire Peace Corps Community, to connect with a nearby Rotary Club, make them aware of the Disaster Response Grants and ask if you can help facilitate connections.
As Ellen Young, PFP member, active advocate and past Rotary District Governor states, “The more RPCV’s that are able to make connections with local Rotary clubs, the more the impact. Rotary and the Peace Corps are united to bring peace to the world – together we can make a difference but we have to make the connection first.”
Here’s how to help. Usually applicants for Rotary’s Disaster Response Grants must come from the affected area. With Ukraine and its neighbors, however, any district in the world can apply for a grant to assist Ukrainian refugees if there is contact with local clubs and vendors in an affected area that identify the needs and validate the delivery. For more information on the grant process and a filled in applications for Moldova, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and write Ukrainian Support in the subject line.
For more information and connections in Ukraine, email: