Posted by Bonnie Branciaroli on Feb 24, 2023
"With Ukraine in the Heart."  This recent online forum highlighted the various strategies and organizational work accomplished with international partners from around the world to provide aid, equipment, and volunteers to help ease the suffering of the people of Ukraine. With the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine and a second year on the horizon, Ukraine Rotary Clubs urge Rotarians worldwide to donate to the Disaster Response Fund for Ukraine.




PRESIDING TODAY IS: Bonnie Branciaroli, Secretary/Treasurer and D7545 DISC

Ding! We’re now in session.
Welcome, all – visitors, fellow Rotarians, and guests alike to this E-Club program!

Remember the Four-Way Test!

At the beginning of each meeting, we remind ourselves of The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always . . .

Of the things we think, say, or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

A Reflective Moment

“Stop calling it war, for war implies faults on both sides. It's an invasion, where the state of Russia is the aggressor and the people of Ukraine are the victim. And stop saying that your prayers are with the Ukrainian people, for prayers may give you comfort, but it does nothing to alleviate their suffering. Shred all hypocritical advocacy of human rights and be involved in a meaningful way that actually helps the victims of Russian imperialism.”
       – Abhijit Naskar, author, The Gentalist: There's No Social Work, Only Family Work

Leadership Quotes

“History in unfair. We are not the ones who have started this war. But we are the ones who have to finish it.”
       –  Volodymyr Zelenskyy President of Ukraine.

“Come, come and sit beside me and watch the Sun and Sunflowers toast each other and perceive that peace is just a drink away from the eternity.”
     – Bhuwan Thapaliya, Nepalese poet

"With Ukraine In The Heart"

I recently had the privilege to attend a Zoom meeting as part of a training seminar of the D2232 International Service Committee in Ukraine. The online forum highlighted the various strategies and organizational work accomplished with international partners from around the world that have been providing aid, equipment, and volunteers to help ease the suffering of the people of Ukraine. Eighty-seven Rotarian and Aid Organization officials came together on the eve of the first anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine to discuss what has been done to date and how to continue forward as the war stretches on into its second year.

Rotary Foundation through its global grant network and Disaster Response Fund for Ukraine has spent millions of dollars since March 2022. This, combined with Rotarian club and District donations and their private corporate partnerships, has provided millions more to that fund. But much more is needed.

Reports on the First Year of Aid

During the four-hour forum Rotary DISC delegates and PDGs representing clubs from the nearby neighboring countries of Austria, Poland, the Czech and Slavak Republics, plus neighbors further away such as Croatia, Italy and Great Britain, gave their District and Regional Cooperative reports on what their clubs, districts, and regions have done the past year in partnership with Ukraine and offered promises of what they will do in the future. The list was impressive.

At the onset of the war, District 2232 (Ukraine), through their International Service Committee, offered to Rotary Cubs around the world insight into how people affected by the war needed aid. It identified urgent needs, including medical supplies to help injured civilians. To gain insight into past communications see:


Top Aid Priorities

During the February 18, 2023 DISC forum, Olha Paliychuk, D2232 International Service Committee Chair, Rotary Club Cherkasy, Ukraine discussed Team priority areas of Rotary Service projects for the next 3-6-9-12 months in cooperation with their existing and new international partners.

Top of the list:

Children. Children in migration as refugees, children in need within Ukraine.

Medical Aid. (Supplies, Equipment)

Displacement Needs. (WASH, food, medicines, shelters, generators, warm goods, housing)

Humanitarian De-mining. (Ukraine is an agricultural country. Thousands of acres of growing fields and villages have been mined. De-mining is critical to keeping their economy alive and food on tables, not only in Ukraine, but other countries as well.)

A major concern to the D2232 DISC and many of the other delegates worldwide was the December 31, 2022 deadline for existing RI Disaster Response grants to Ukraine. The special RI fund has been extended to December 2023, but needs replenished so Clubs and Districts worldwide may continue their humanitarian projects. How?
Rotarian Donations and Partnerships.


How Are We Participating On A District Level?

Leveraging Rotary International’s special fund for Disaster Response grants to Ukraine to groups of districts wanting to work together for greater impact, District 7545 agreed to partner with District 7620 through the Metro Bethesda Rotary Club (MBR) and multiple other districts around the U.S. to provide support to Rotary Clubs in Ukraine.

An RI Disaster Response grant was the funding mechanism for this effort. As of September 2022 the Disaster Response Fund for Ukraine reached the $10 million mark. This fund is directly connected to donations from Rotarians specifically for support to Ukraine. RI approves the lead District; usually a specific club like MBR, which in turn coordinates the support and submits necessary reports. Earlier in the year, MBR coordinated a similar project with its home District 7620 for $57,000. Funding including $25,000 from RI, $25,000 from individual donations and $7,250 from D7620.

MBR partnered with the Lviv International Rotary Club in Ukraine and with a local non-profit, United Help Ukraine (UHU). Medical aid was ordered and packed by MBR, shipped by UHU and distributed within Ukraine by the Lviv International Rotary Club.

District 7545 participation enabled greater access to RI Disaster Response funds and contributed to MBR’s receipt of a September 2022 grant of $375,000 in additional supplies. Monthly rounds were planned until the December 31, 2022 RI deadline.

To learn more about how Rotary Clubs are helping, see:


What Can We Do On An Individual Level?

DONATE! As Individual Rotarians we can donate to the Disaster Response Fund to Ukraine. Just follow the link below and make sure you’re in Featured Causes, then scroll down to the bottom right box.



Special Note.

If a recording of the recent Zoom meeting is made available, I will add it to this program at a future date.

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