International Programs

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As is embodied in the name of our organization, Rotary is an international service organization.  Our club has taken advantage of several opportunities to have an impact on the international level.
Belize Wheelchair Project. Our current project is the Belize Wheelchair Project. In conjunction with the Ellsworth Rotary Club, we are determined to fundraise at least 110 wheelchairs for people who need them in Belize. Club members will not only raise money for th wheelchairs, but some of them will journey to Belize and help fit the wheelchairs to the needy people. We are so excited about this project! 

Panama Wheelchair Project. In 2015, our club along with the Ellsworth Rotary Club distributed 110 wheelchairs to children and adults in Panama. 

Los Chillos Ecuador.  In program year 2001-02 our club sponsored and coordinated an effort in partnership with the Ellsworth Rotary club to provide assistance to an elementary school in Los Chillos, Ecuador.  Funds raised by out two clubs and matched by our District governor gave us the base for obtaining a Rotary International matching grant.  With the funds we raised and with the assistance of the Los Chillos club we were able to outfit a kitchen constructed earlier and attached to the village school, with a propane stove and refrigerator, pots, pans and other cooking utensils that would provide a hot meal each day to the 85 students of the school.  In addition we were able to outfit each student with sturdy boots and a uniform; and purchase reference materials for the school library.

Youth Exchange.  Beginning in program year 2000-01, the club supported both incoming and outgoing high school students in the Rotary Youth Exchange program.  This program allows a student from the US to spend the school year in a foreign country; and a student from overseas to spend the school year in Maine.  Over the years we have sponsored or hosted students to or from Brazil, France, the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Turkey and Romania.  For more information visit the Rotary International site at Youth Exchange.

Group Study Exchange.  In support of our district we have hosted the visit of several Group Study Exchange (GSE) participants - business people and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provided travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries.  Our club hosted several visiting GSE teams before the program ended in 2013.

Safe Passage.  Safe Passage is a refuge for children contending with situations marked by extreme poverty, neglect and abuse living at the edges of the Guatemala City garbage dump.  Our club has donated funds, quilts for the day care center, soccer balls and other athletic equipment and time -- with several club members visiting Guatemala and becoming sponsors of children living there.

Jambanjelly, the Gambia.  Support of $2000 was given to a local group who for many years have been going to Jambanjelly, in the Gambia in Africa. While some of us had worked closely with this group on former trips to build a library, this trip gave all members a chance to make a difference. We helped in purchasing solar panels and a pump for the town's well.

Le Grand Village, Quebec.  Since 2007, members of the Bar Harbor (MDI) Rotary Club have donned workclothes to join Quebec Rotarians in a “close–to–home” international project.  In 1965, the Quebec Rotary Club saw a need and founded a camp for people with disabilities. Today Le Grand Village, scenically located on the St. Lawrence River, is more than a camp; it provides extraordinary experiences to those who really need and deserve it.  In 2013 Rotarians Mike Bonsey (an original participant), Mike's spouse Diane, and ten year old dayghter Eva, Dick and Barbara Fox and Scott Hammond represented the MDI club and worked in the rain to prepare the camp for the coming season. There are many mundane jobs that need to be done, but even washing 200 chairs becomes fun while making new friends with the French speaking Rotarians working alongside them.   Part of the work project was clearing space and building a new addition for “La Petite Ferme.”  The small lean-to will thrill campers, aged 3-85, with the opportunity to see, walk, and pet sheep and pigs while spending a day in nearby tents. Three newly built dorms —each outfitted for different stages of disabilities, and recreation areas specifically designed for comfort and accessibility, can accommodate up to 72 people at a time. Campers enjoy inspiration, respect and a multitude of life experiences.