Our Approach

Our club evaluates the projects we support by some key principles, always with the underlying goal of supporting community leaders. We believe the solutions to the challenges communities face already exist in these communities, and so our work aims to support communities to be leaders in the initiatives they envision for their communities. 

Our approach follows best practice humanitarian principles. Supporting leaders in their communities increases impact and capacity. 

Ecuador Cataract Surgeries

In September 2022, Edmonton Rotarians from the YEG Passport Club and the Riverview Club, along with eye professionals, will travel to Cuenca Ecuador. Over a one-week period, the team will provide eye care to 100’s low-income Ecuadoreans.  The surgical team will provide up to 100 cataract surgeries while the optometry team (led by Rotary Member Kavitha Jayachandran) will provide eye exams and glasses for children, youth, and adults. This project was initiated in March of 2020 but was delayed several times due to Covid. These delays, although frustrating, also had a silver lining.  The extra time allowed the team to better understand the many details of a complex medical project and prepare accordingly.
One of the first things we learned is that cataract surgery on patients in developing countries is very different than typical surgery in Canada. Untreated cataracts lead to more dense lenses in the eye that require a different surgical technique. Not all Canadian ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) can perform the required surgery, so finding surgeons in the Edmonton area capable of performing the surgery was a challenge (but we did find two). For the project finances, we had multiple fundraising events (50/50, online cooking, etc.) and we successfully obtained a Rotary International Global Grant. A lot of time has been spent with our Ecuadorean Rotary and medical partners in the process of selecting and screening patients for both the surgery and optometry teams.  For the surgical team, the local ministry of public health has been instrumental in this task. They currently have 130 potential patients identified that will need eye exams, Covid tests, and blood tests after which patient-specific intra-ocular lenses (the lens that the surgeons will insert into the eye to restore vision) will be purchased.  All of this must be completed in less than 3 weeks.
The list of details is long, but the team is almost ready to go. Team members are getting some last things done before departing on September 15th. It will be a long travel day (and night) to get to Ecuador, via Montreal, Bogota (Colombia) to the Ecuadorean port city of Guayaquil. From Guayaquil, the team will travel by bus for 3 hours, high into the Andes to the city of Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador.  We’re all excited to finally get underway with this long-delayed work

The Balinda Children's Foundation - Uganda

YEG Passport Rotary supports the Balinda Children's Foundation in empowering girls and young women in Uganda. This foundation provides assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and vulnerable children in Uganda. We are dedicated to providing them with their basic needs such as food, clothing, healthcare and educational support so they can reach their fullest potential. The project is locally run and operated and truly encompasses the concept of community-focused solutions. 

Youth Power in Social Action - Tanzania

YEG Passport Rotary supports Youth Power in Social Action in Tanzania. This project aims to assist Women and Youth by giving them vocational training opportunities, where they can grow capacity in their local businesses. This project assists youth in providing them with educational support and emergency shelter. YEG Passport joins Rotary clubs in Alberta, New Zealand, and Moshi, Tanzania, in these efforts!