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Cooperation between villages in rural France
A project pioneered by the Rotary Club of Salernes, France, D. 1730 with Rotary eClub One member Emmanuel.
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
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.
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
http://www.cc-lacsgorgesverdon.fr/, 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)
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.
All the inhabitants of the ten small villages around the Lake Verdon, see the list next to the maps.
needs are currently being addressed by nurses, if and when they are
available. Some people can afford Medicare-reimbursed taxis.
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
$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.
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
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.
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
The CCLGV engaged themselves for the maintenance and
the management of the car. Each town budgeted a monthly amount for that
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
FINAL REPORT OF THE PROJECT:
[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
The car was
delivered early January 2016. A newspaper article related the
successful project. Here is a translation of the Salernes' Rotary Club
• 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
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
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