Rotary Fellowship combines service with a passion for the sea

Rotary Fellowship combines service with a passion for the sea

Photo courtesy of Steven Ochieng

By Jesse Davis, RI Programs

To many people, the word “yachting” connotes a lifestyle of wealth that would seem at odds with the guiding principles of Rotary. But the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (IYFR) is more closely associated with humanitarian service that emphasizes the sea than it is to exclusivity and privilege.

For example, in the aftermath of the devastating November Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the fellowship not only raised over $61,800 for those affected by the tragedy but also transported emergency relief supplies and medicines from international sources to areas reachable only by boats with experienced navigators.

And in October, with assistance from Rotary District 2201 (Spain) and numerous clubs, IYFR members helped train and empower fishermen on Lake Turkana in Kenya. The project aims to serve as an economic catalyst for the region and as a way to improve the nutrition of local families.

Whether taking action in a humanitarian crisis or introducing the sea to young mariners or participating in a global expedition to raise funds for the End Polio Now campaign, IYFR members demonstrate that while they are passionate mariners, they are also Rotarians, committed to serve those in need.

Go to IYFR’s website to check out the impressive photos — taken by IFYR members Fernando Aguirre, Steven Ochieng, and Ezquiel Romarione — of scenes around Lake Turkana.