The Rotary Club of Glenferrie has partnered with the Rotary Foundation and other clubs to deliver some truly inspiring projects over the past few years. Those projects include the establishment of the Hawthorn Men's Shed, the  Clean Water and Sanitation Project in Timor Leste, the Bike Rescue Project with the Yiyili Aboriginal School in northern Western Australia, and the clubs Rotary 100 project to build a unique interactive playground feature at Yarra Bank Reserve Hawthorn. This incredible story about a recycling project in Brazil speaks volumes about the power of Rotary and the value of the Rotary Foundation.

Community economic development

Relatively few towns in Brazil have official recycling programs, so most bottles, metals, and other materials are collected by waste pickers known as catadores. They sort through the trash for items that can be recycled or reused. 

The Brazilian government works with organized catadores to improve waste management systems.

The Rotary Club of São Paulo-Vila Alpina has long supported Cooperativa ReciFavela, a recycling cooperative that began by sorting recyclables under a viaduct with just one van.

In 2015, ReciFavela’s 20 members could process 1.5 tons of waste per day, but Rotarians and ReciFavela members knew that they could improve the catadores’ working conditions and increase their output. ReciFavela also wanted to provide more jobs and process waste more efficiently to increase the members’ incomes. 

They partnered with a club in Australia, the Rotary Club of Bordertown, South Australia, on a global grant project to support ReciFavela’s recycling efforts. The grant paid for industrial waste-sorting equipment and extensive training in cooperative management, financial administration, and safety procedures.

The cooperative added 20 jobs, and the members can now sort 4.2 tons of waste per day — nearly triple their previous capacity. 

Projects such as this are funded by Global Grants from the World Fund, and contributions from Rotary Districts through their allocation of District Designated Funds (DDF),  funded from member's contributions to the Annual Fund. 

To contribute to the Rotary Foundation click on this link. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.