The Rotary Foundation Trustees have reached an agreement with Aga Khan University to form a strategic partnership under the Foundation's Future Vision Plan.
The private, nonsectarian university promotes human welfare and development through research, teaching, and community service. It is the second strategic partner under the Future Vision Plan. In mid-April, the Trustees reached an agreement with Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based cooperative financial institution that supports socially responsible investing. (click below to read more)
Through the partnership with Aga Khan University, the Foundation will offer packaged grants for Rotary clubs and districts to establish vocational training teams. The teams will enhance the clinical and administrative skills of health educators at the university's campuses in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Team members will also work with local Rotary clubs and the university to carry out service projects related to the training. Rotary grants will fund nursing and midwifery scholarships at the three campuses for students selected and mentored by District 9200 (Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda).
“Our Rotary clubs in East Africa are eager to partner with the top-notch professionals at Aga Khan University to help ensure that mothers and their infants receive the best health care possible,” says RI Director Samuel F. Owori, of Kampala, Uganda. “This partnership represents an immense contribution to the health and well-being of families throughout our region."
Foundation Trustee Chair Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar adds that the partnership “is an important step toward meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for maternal and child health.”
The UN Millennium Goals call for a 75 percent reduction in the maternal mortality ratio -- and a 66 percent reduction in the mortality rate of children under five -- by 2015.
According the the United Nations, developing countries account for 99 percent of the more than 350,000 women who die each year from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 30 women is at risk, compared with 1 in 5,600 in developed countries. The region also records the highest child mortality rates, with one in seven children dying before age five.
What does Aga Khan University offer Rotary?
Chartered in 1983 in Pakistan, Aga Khan University operates facilities in eight countries, including teaching hospitals, nursing schools, medical colleges and teach training institutes. The university's curricula reflect the unique needs of the communities and countries where its schools operate, so that students and graduates can immediately apply their training where it will have the most impact.
Rotary Foundation Global Grants support large, international projects with sustainable, high-impact outcomes in Rotary’s areas of focus. Packaged global grants developed by the Foundation and Aga Khan align with the area of maternal and child health. Because the administrative work of designing the project and finding a cooperating organization has already been done, Rotary clubs and districts can focus on identifying beneficiaries, providing technical expertise or direct service, and publicizing the project.
One hundred districts are participating in the Future Vision pilot, a three-year test of the Foundation's streamlined grant structure, which began 1 July. All districts will begin using the model on 1 July 2013.
Information on how pilot clubs and districts can apply for packaged global grants to work with either Aga Khan or Oikocredit will be available soon at www.rotary.org.