Maureen Duncan, International Service Director, led  a fireside to discuss the workings of the International Service Committee, and how it distributes funds to projects.  Results of the fireside will be used in drafting a new funding policy for the committee.  
Results of Harbourside Fireside on International Service
 June 6, 2016 -  Breakfast Meeting at the Union Club
  1.  Do you agree with the policy of supporting a few projects with leveraged TRF grants, while retaining a small portion of funds to support small, member-driven projects.  All groups said yes to this.
  1.  Do you agree with the policy of using RI’s six areas of service as a tool for funding RI, District and Direct Grants – All groups said yes to this.
  1.  How would you, as a member like to be involved? - Several members said they would like to serve on this committee.  
  1.  How can we improve our communications to members?  More presentations, email, other? 
  • Three groups wanted more information on the workings of grants and International Service.  
  • One group asked for 2 presentations per year to the club
  • One group wanted a graphic to show how funding worked on different types of grants, and what projects we are involved with.
  • Several members thought we should be communicating on the club’s Facebook page
  1. Would you like to join a club-organized trip to see projects in Central America or Africa?
  • Several indicated they would
  • Two groups were concerned about safety travelling in Central America or Africa
  • One member suggested it wasn’t that dangerous
  • ________________________________________________________________________
Other comments that came out in discussions
  • One group liked that we focus all our work in Central America so travel was centralized
  • One group thought we should be supporting the John Martin School in India
  • One group thought we should not support any projects that did not have a member involved in a hands-on way to act as champion for the project
  • One group wanted to see variety in our projects
  • One person recommended we send interested members of the committee to the District Conference in Victoria next spring, to learn more about International Service, and to establish contacts within the district with the same interests.
  • One member suggested we organized  a group friendship exchange and explore projects on the exchange. 
  • One group suggested we identify a time frame for a project at the outset, i.e. if we need a certain number of years to do the project, that we should identify that to the club in the beginning. 
  • In order to encourage participation by younger members, one group felt that if a member was proposing a project where they had connections, that the club consider funding or partial funding of travel if financing was an issue.  This should be done on a case by case basis, and be transparent to the club. 
  • One group felt the 30/70 split of funds was fair