SML International

End polio now

SML Rotarians are helping to eradicate polio worldwide

Our community includes not just Smith Mountain Lake, but the world at large. Through our District and through Rotary International, we partner with other clubs to meet critical needs all over the globe.

Polio Eradication

pidge-morgan-polio-immuniza1.4 million Rotarians in 34,000 clubs worldwide have been working for 20 years to help eliminate polio from the face of the earth. Just one other disease has ever been eradicated: smallpox. Rotarians like us have personally donated more than $500 million to the fight, and thousands of us have personally administered vaccinations.

The world is now 99% polio-free, but the scourge persists in several countries. We’re finishing the fight; 100% of SML Rotarians personally donate every year. Your donation can also help!

Photo: SML Rotarian Pidge Morgan helps to immunize children in India.

South African School Supplies

Five Rotary Clubs, two Rotary Districts, and The Rotary Foundation are together funding educational, administrative and sports equipment for St. Mary Primary School in Grahamstown, South Africa. St. Mary educates 700 children from the Grahamstown Coloured (mixed race) and Black (Xhosa) Communities.

south-africa-school-studentsSmith Mountain Lake Rotary is the Lead Club in the 2013 five-club, $22,250 project that benefits children 8,369 miles from SML. The other clubs supporting the project are Bedford, Forest, Lynchburg Noon, and Grahamstown. The four local Rotary clubs contributed $4500; Grahamstown contributed $2000. Rotary Districts in the USA and South Africa matched with $5500, and The Rotary Foundation matched with $9250. A Rotary Interact Club of Kingswood College in Grahamstown added another $1000.

The Rotary Foundation and its Districts encourage local clubs to work together and to apply for matching funds for local, regional, national, and international projects. In this case, $4,500 in local funding seeded a $22,250 project. Volunteer labor in Grahamstown magnifies the project’s value to the community. In 2012, SML Rotarians Case Pieterman and Gary Doninger visited Grahamstown at their own expense to meet with beneficiaries of a previous Matching Grants project.

Photo: Students at the St. Mary Primary School, Grahamstown, S.A.

Vocational Training near Mount Kilimanjaro


Assisted by a matching grant from Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake partnered with the Rotary Club of Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania to furnish educational materials for the Hai Institute of Technology in Moshi, Tanzania. The grant provided tools and equipment to teach unskilled youth in the community specific trades and skills.

Tools were purchased for carpentry, masonry, electrical installation, automotive technology and repair, tailoring, welding and computer technology. Beneficiaries were the  students at Hai and eventually the community of the Hai District. About $12,000 was disbursed between November 2009 and January 2010.

Dozens of students have now graduated in motor vehicle technology, masonry and brick making. Welding students have constructed the anti-theft bars that cover the Institute’s windows. Students have worked together to construct work benches for the classes in automotive technology. All students take courses in English while at Hai.


In an area with high unemployment rates and few opportunities for secondary education, SML Rotary has helped the Hai Institute of Technology to provide community hope for the future, 7,829 miles away from us near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Hai Institute of Technology is a vocational school that trains young men and women to meet labor market needs in and around Arusha/Moshi, near Mount Kilimanjaro.

Smith Mountain Lake Rotarian Pidge Morgan headed the 2010 project. She continues to engage other lake-area donors and charitable organizations in support of the Hai Institute and other projects that improve lives in Arush/Moshi.


  1. Auto mechanics in training at the Hai Institute of Technology
  2. Entrance to the Institute