Rotary eClub One, District 5450
World's 1st eClub (Jan 2002)

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Cooperation between villages in rural France

Rural Transportation

A project pioneered by the Rotary Club of Salernes, France, D. 1730 with Rotary eClub One member Emmanuel.

The first (or second according to some sources) "Community Service" of any Rotary Club took place in 1906, when the Chicago Club bought a horse for a country doctor who lived near Joliet, Illinois, whose horse had died and - too poor to buy another one - was unable to make the rounds of his country patients.
Dr. Clark Wilder Hawley was the instigator of the initial "hat passing collection" of $150.00 at a 1906 Chicago Rotary Club meeting to provide a young MD with a much needed horse for his home visitations. Dr. Hawley, the eye and ear specialist, was a graduate of The University of Michigan and Rush Medical School in Chicago and from 1890 until his death maintained his medical office in Chicago.
One hundred-ten years later we are running into the same type of problems in some rural areas of France. The Beneficiaries are the Association of the small villages around the Lake Verdon [CCLGV], see, a fairly new association of the mayors of these small villages created 2 years ago.
The Terra Rotary Club of Salernes will receive the funds (see map bottom center)

All the inhabitants of the ten small villages around the Lake Verdon, see the list next to the maps.
The lack of public transportation and lack of stores and businesses creates a real sense of isolation for elderly and sick people. Additionally there is a lack of easy access to medications and basic health care.
The needs are currently being addressed by nurses, if and when they are available. Some people can afford Medicare-reimbursed taxis.

With this grant we financed part of a 14,000€ ($15,500) vehicle for the CCLGV who then in turn will serve the entire population in these villages with services such as:
• Anything that will help any transportation stranded citizens for tasks such as grocery shopping and/or delivery, connections with public services including buses and delivery of needed medication refills.
• Twice weekly visits to the shut-ins
Receiving $2,500 from the Rotary eClub One funds was really helpful and matching with the 5250 District for another $1,000 was tremendous. The services will be instigated by a medical professional (doctor, nurse), social workers, private associations helping handicapped and elderly and/or services of the mayor’s office in various villages. Any request for services will have to be validated by the village’s city hall.
Emmanuel has worked in the coordination of the project, is supporting the terra club in their venture and is writing this grant to assist them to get more funds.

The entire community of these small villages has been cooperating in the project. Every Mayor has signed an agreement of cooperation for the project.

The CCLGV is loaning the Rotary Club of Salernes their building for fundraising and display activities as well as any of the ten local city halls. They really are all behind the project and are promoting a raffle to raise most of the funds: They have involved the merchants of each isolated village to help them sell 7000 raffle tickets for $2 each to purchase the car.

The Village Association will own the vehicle and will pay for the salary of a person driving that car to respond to the demand of each of the villages mayors.

The CCLGV engaged themselves for the maintenance and the management of the car. Each town budgeted a monthly amount for that purpose.

Area of focus: Economic and Community Development

The letters of each and every one of the mayors of the ten villages wrote to the Rotary Club of Salernes says: “As the Mayor of xxx I authorize the members of the Rotary Club of Salernes to contact the businesses of my village to organize a raffle. The proceeds of this raffle will, in part, purchase and maintain a vehicle to be used as social links between the villages on the Lake and Verdon Canyon [CCLGV]”.


The car was delivered early January 2016. A newspaper article related the successful project. Here is a translation of the Salernes' Rotary Club bulletin:
[From the fundraising Committee Chair of Salernes Rotary Club] This very much-appreciated action and the numerous rotarians, members of the public and dignitaries welcomed this utilitarian gift for the people living in remote villages without transportation. The newspaper article was excellent. Thanks to all the members who sold so many raffle tickets, for the one who helped during the concert last summer in Cotignac. Our special thanks are going to
• Jean Paul for organizing a private classical concert in his home ($1500),
• Visiting member Emmanuel for a major contribution to this project from his Rotary eClub One of which he is President ($2500) and his club’s district 5450 ($1000) in Colorado, USA
• Our President Patrick for his constant reminder, probing and encouragements without which the project would have been successfully completed.

A bridge to break solitude  (from local newspaper)


As part of the social actions for the inhabitants of the small villages of the Verdon Area, a new program called “The Foot Bridge” has just been implemented.  Two young volunteers using an automobile totally financed by the Salernes Rotary Club, same car that was donated to the Small Village Association a month ago, will conduct this program.


The Association, as a pilot project for the entire France in order to break the old people isolation and to help them as well, developed an agreement.  The two young people Manon and Mathieu volunteered in this civic service for six to eight months in this area for a total of 28 hours per week. A county employee, Oceane, will be these two young people’s supervisor.   The mayor of Tourtour, one of the small villages in the project, was present for the signature of the agreement and handing out the keys to the two young drivers.


The main mission of this project is to visit either old or handicapped shut-ins residing in that area.  In order to make sure of the continuity of the project, the mayor asked for more drivers between the ages of 18 to 25 volunteers to sign up for this civic service.

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