Balwyn Centenary Grants continue creating hope

The latest round of the Rotary Club of Balwyn Centenary Grants has just been announced. This round saw a total of $119,000 awarded to five projects in four countries. Prior to this round a total of $252,744 has been awarded to 10 projects – so the total contribution to-date has now reached $371,744 after two years of operation. The Balwyn Centenary Grants program was started in 2021 with the objective of delivering one million dollars of grants to Australian Rotary clubs over a five-year period. Here is a short overview of the five projects, all of which are working hard to Create Hope in the World.

Restoring classrooms in Uganda

$50,000 awarded to the Rotary Club of Canberra, ACT

Supported by the Rotary Club of Canberra, the Assisi Centre for Social Justice and Peace is working to repair and restore dilapidated and incomplete classroom structures in the greater Masaka region of Uganda. The structures will be transformed into safe, effective and secure learning/teaching spaces and include WASH facilities. There are many primary schools in rural Uganda that have no water or sanitation, which means female students spend many hours in the school day walking to a river and back to the school for water. The lack of toilet facilities also means that girls do not attend school one week a month.

Vision care and blindness prevention in Bangladesh

$24,000 awarded to the Rotary Club of Rowville -Lysterfield, Vic

Spearheaded by club member Dr Sharif, the grant will help establish 25 day-long community-based eye camps in northern Bangladesh, which will screen over 3000 people. The camps will be conducted by a specialist ophthalmologist aided by a professional nurse and other support staffs. There will be free screening for refractory errors, cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy for all attending participants. A simultaneous awareness campaign targeting 30,000 people will be undertaken through the distribution of leaflets at community gatherings.

Water and sanitation in Nepal

$15,000 awarded to the Rotary Club of Northbridge, NSW

WHO-standard toilet facilities will be built in a K to 12 school in Dhulikhel, Nepal, along with delivering hygiene training to the students and training in basic maintenance of the facilities. Currently, there are 214 boys and 143 girls utilising one toilet and one open urinal in the same building, with limited or no privacy for girls during menstruation. Dhulikhel is a major town 30km from Kathmandu with a population of 34,000. It has ample good water supply but, as in Nepal generally, toilets are a rarity. Open defecation is common, as is absenteeism of girls during menstruation.

Equipping a birthing centre in Nepal

$10,000 awarded to the Rotary Club of Richmond, Vic

The grant will help equip a birthing centre as part of a recently built facility in Kangel, a remote area in eastern Nepal. The project will convert and equip three existing rooms in the Health Post. One room will be equipped for assessment and preparation; the second room as a birthing area; and the third for postnatal care and rest. Other planned activities in the centre include education for new mothers about proper nutrition for themselves and their babies, postnatal education and care of their babies.

Washrooms for disabled children in Cambodia

$20,000 awarded to the Rotary Club of Albert Park, Vic

Twenty washrooms will be built for disabled children who live in rural villages in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia. The children have been diagnosed with various health conditions, including cerebral palsy, by Safe Haven Medical Outreach in Siem Reap. The cost is $1,000 per washroom, each of which will be customised to the child’s needs by the Cambodia Clean Water & Toilet Project, a charity managed by a member of the Rotary Passport Club of Melbourne.

Looking for a grant? Applications for the next round of Balwyn Centenary Grants close on September 30, 2023. Don’t miss the chance for your project to receive some much-needed funding. For more information and to download the application form, visit