The goal of our International Service Committee is to bring the Rotarian values of Fellowship, Friendship and Service to the world by ACTIVELY engaging our members in the world community.
An international project, unique to our club, is the annual World Affairs Seminar. The seminar presents a current topic of international importance to some 100 to 150 high school students from Jefferson, Berkeley and Washington counties. Usually held at either the National Conservation Training Center orShepherd University, the seminar consists of initial speaker presentations, followed by small group break-out sessions to encourage active debate and student participation. We emphasize, in these discussions, what importance actions and policies in distant locations have on their daily lives and what they can do to take action at home.
Recent topics have included: Alternative Energy (from the perspective of WV, USA, Germany and India); Global Climate Change; Islam and the modern world; China's Economic and Cultural Impacts; Democracy in South America, and immigration. We partner with the Martinsburg Rotary in implementing the World Affairs Seminar and have been fortunate in attracting speakers from a wide range of countries including Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, China, and India.
In May, 2017 we sponsored Doctors Overseas Lending a Helping Hand during their medical mission trip to Iquitos, Peru. This organization includes two of our members, including Dr. J. Richard Casuccio a surgeon who is Board Certified in both ENT and Plastic Surgery.
Iquitos is a large but very secluded city and many patients travelled 5 days or more along the Amazon in hopes of receiving medical care for themselves or their young children. Thirty surgeries were successfully performed, including 15 surgeries correcting cleft lips and/or cleft palates.
Another trip for 2018 is already in the planning stages in order to return and further serve the almost overwhelming need they found in the community.
In 2006/2007, we sponsored Shepherd University student Pamela Scorza for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. Pamela was the top applicant in our district 7350 (which is made up 40+ Rotary clubs). As a result, Ms. Scorza was able to spend a year in Ghana, pursuing a Master's degree in public health and the University of Ghana in Accra. As part of her Master's program, Pamela help to set up AIDS awareness and prevention policies and programs in Accra. Pamela later went on for her Doctorate in Public Health at Harvard.
Future projects include establishing a mentoring program matching Rotarians with foreign students at Shepherd University and creating a community/university based microlending organization.