Rotary Kids Health

Improving the lives of children is among the highest priorities for the Rotary Club of Sydney. Our programs are designed to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of young people; Programs that are literally life-changing.  This year, the Club’s major project is the “Rotary Take Charge of Your Life Program” (RTCYL) helping foster children leaving foster care.
Our major international program is Polio Plus which aims to eradicate this debilitating disease from the earth.   In addition, other international programs we currently support include

  • Opportunity Cambodia, providing education and training for Cambodia's poorest and most vulnerable children so they become healthy, self-empowered and self-sustaining members of their society; 
  • the Adrian Golding Gift of Life, funding major surgery in Australia on children from the Pacific region,
  • East Timor Health, a five year program to eradicate lymphatic filariasis from the country
  • Manjeri School and Hope Road School two education developments in Africa.

Our programs for Sydney children include

Since 1921 the Rotary Club of Sydney has created a number of services for children which flourish today.

Even more detail about Rotary Kids Health.

Opportunity Cambodia

Opportunity Cambodia (OC) provides education and training for Cambodia's poorest and most vulnerable children so they become healthy, self-empowered and self-sustaining members of their society. OC is progressing well and working on an extension to support 30 girls into the first 3 years of secondary school. There is also an outreach program to help a poor local community of 60 families. OC has purchased some land suitable for a pond to provide permanent clean drinking water for that community. During the last year the children at our Education Centre have continued to make great progress, despite the challenges and limitations of life and education in a traditional rural village far from a major city. The children have really benefited enormously from initiatives such as our hiring an English teacher from Siem Reap for several days a week, donation of computers and introduction of computer classes, retaining a sports teacher to train the children in football and volley ball so that they can compete with teams in Siem Reap, a vocational awareness program, and leadership training for a small group of years 8 and 9 students.  None of these facilities are available in our local commune and schools.  In September the four oldest of our children will go to Siem Reap to go to High School (years 10-12).  These children have been with us for 8 years so it is very exciting to see them now finally entering the senior years of their education and heading towards vocational training, college and university.

We recognise the critical role of girl’s education in breaking the cycle of poverty and child labour. The majority of rural girls who reach the end of primary school do not continue their schooling mainly due to poverty.   Over the last 18 months we have conducted a pilot program enabling nine girls to go to secondary school.  The pilot has been really successful with the girls getting great results at school, and determined to continue to high school and on to college for nursing, teaching and other vocations.   We are now seeking funding for an expanded program of secondary school support for girls. We have also continued to make great progress in working with one of the desperately poor communities where many of our children's families live.  This community had no clean drinking water or sanitation, and little water at all during the dry season.  We have just completed digging a large water storage dam adjacent to the community, and have now provided most of the families with water filters.  We plan to start an early childhood education program in this community and encourage the mothers take part in hygiene, nutrition and baby care training programs.

Adrian Golding Gift of Life

Through Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC), the Rotary Club of Sydney will fund surgery on a young East Timorese child. 8 year old FRINALIYA Soares dos Santos has a cardiac ASD (hole in the heart), and once she is examined by doctors, at The Children's Hospital, Randwick, a decision will be made as to whether repair can be made by catheter, or possibly open heart surgery. It is estimated that total costs, including hospitalisation, treatment and travel costs, will total somewhere around $35,000.

Manjeri School

The Manjeri School Project is a youth run international development organisation that seeks to empower rural Ugandan communities through education and sustainable development practices. The team has developed a 300 student primary school in the Buikwe district of Uganda and is simultaneously developing income generating businesses in the community to subsidise the school. The school provides access to high quality education to some of the poorest children in the area with 20% of the children being orphans. To date the team has established a 2500 bird chicken farm enterprise, a honey bee cooperative, a matatu taxi business and is presently implementing a 15 acre mixed farm. Sustainable development and local ownership is at the core of the organisation’s strategy and so with the community we are working towards 100% sustainability of this first school by 2018.

The Rotary Club of Sydney lit the school up in 2014 by purchasing a complete solar electricity unit which allows the classrooms to be illuminated and the recently acquired laptops to be charged. The addition of power to the school has had a profound impact on the education of the children as the school is now running after revision and homework sessions for students who do not have positive study environments at home. This also means that children are spending less time working on the family farm and more time learning and playing at school. The Manjeri School Project team humbly appreciate the support of the Club and the International Committee who have provided great support.

Hope Road School

The Hope Road South project, auspiced by Australian organisation Sudan Orphan Education Inc (SSOE), is building a primary school for girls “The Anek Mathiang School” in Abyei Ajok, a poor rural community in Cueibet County in the Lakes State of South Sudan. The plan is to build 8 classrooms, a teachers’ room, and separate blocks of latrines for girls and boys. Already a well and security fence have been funded and all of the bricks for the school have been made by the local community. The first classroom block will be constructed in the dry season, from late 2015 to early 2016.
The major activity this year was the Hope Road walk by the President of SSOE, Zacharia Mawat Machiek, between Tweed Heads and Sydney, to raise funds for the project and to connect with the South Sudanese communities on the North Coast of NSW. The walk was supported by Rotary Clubs along the route, commercial sponsors and a wide range of private individuals. Hope Road is supported by RCS and RAWCS.


Over the next three years, The Rotary Club of Sydney will provide a scholarship at the University of Technology, Sydney for an indigenous person to study a degree course.


RYPEN is a fantastic opportunity for young people aged 14 to 17 to rapidly transform their lives during a 3 day seminar. RYPEN is based on authentic relationships and trust, where participants step up to new personal challenges.


The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is a week-long residential personal development program for young, aspiring leaders aged 18 to 25, which focuses on yourself, leadership and community. Young people keen to exercise their leadership potential participate in a range of formal and informal activities, which promote leadership skills as desirable qualities.


Northcott was established as The NSW Society for Crippled Children in 1929 by the Rotary Club of Sydney in response to the growing number of children left with the effects of illnesses such as polio and tuberculosis. Today, Northcott helps more than 13,000 children and adults with disabilities, their families and carers across NSW and the ACT by providing more than 100 services and programs. Northcott's purpose is to build an inclusive society by assisting people with disabilities to develop their skills, achieve their goals - including their potential for independence and ability to participate in their communities.

PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Club) was established in 1937 by Police Commissioner William John Mackay and the Rotary Club of Sydney. It was a partnership forged with the community to provide young people with a safe and positive alternative to the streets. Over 75 years later that vision has grown and Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW is one of Australia's leading youth focussed organisations. An extensive and varied range of fun, safe activities are provided for young people and the wider community. The focus is the reduction of crime by and against young people and on the promotion of citizenship within communities across the state.