If you were at the District 7070 Rotary Foundation Walk in Whitby, Ontario at the end of September or at the Rotary District 7070 Conference Oct 14-16, like many of us, you had the pleasure to meet Dr. Sam Brophy-Williams our Rotary Global Grant Scholar (from District 9705 in Western Australia) who is in Toronto for the year on his Global Grant Scholarship. Sam is available to speak to your club about his life, his experiences, his global grant and what it means to be a Global Grant Scholar. Thank you to Past District Governor Lynda  Ryder, Chair of our District Global Grant Scholars for asking Sam to introduce himself to everyone on our District. Here's Sam in his own words .....

To my Rotary family here in District 7070,

I was prompted recently to reflect on what it means to be a Global Grants scholar. 

To me, it means shouldering a responsibility to live up to the ideas and examples of Rotary, and to give a return on the generous investment made, especially being cognizant of the competing worthy funding priorities. It means carrying on a legacy, a tradition, with space for new directions within that.

I've been incredibly fortunate. Fortunate in the place and time, the security and family I was born into. Fortunate in the education I've received: my schooling and medical degree at the University of Western Australia, a Masters at Harvard, thanks to a General Sir John Monash Scholarship. Fortunate in the work I've been able to do - rich and rewarding learning experiences all over the world. The result of all this is a deep gratitude, a recognition of my privileged position, and a strong desire to give back, to make a difference, to give as many others as possible the start and support that I was and still am lucky enough to have. 

Where my passions, skills, training and sense of duty intersect is in global child health. The crudest measure of global child health - under 5mortality, the proportion of children who die before their 5th birthday - has fallen dramatically over the last 30 years. Globally, the Millennium Development Goals target of reducing under 5 mortality by two thirds from 1990 to 2015 was almost met. Cause for celebration! And yet...  5 million children still die under 5 each year. That's one every 6 seconds while you're reading this. Every two minutes, a child dies of malaria, which we know how to prevent and treat. Malnutrition contributes to 42% of childhood deaths. So - there's work to be done yet. 

The Global Grant scholarship is supporting my current role as a fellow at the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health. The Centre is involved with research, capacity building, and knowledge synthesis, translation and advocacy. We have international partners in academia, government and the NGO community, and work alongside colleagues all over the world. As examples, the centre has published agenda-setting research on reducing child mortality, has supported nursing education in Ghana, and hosts The Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health (The Coalition), the Global Sickle Cell Disease Network (GSCDN), and NCD Child. I will build skills and networks over the next two years that I hope will equip me to forge my own path in making a difference, as a clinician and beyond.

Thank you, Rotarians, for supporting Global Grants Scholars. I hope to live up to the investment!



If you wish Sam to speak to your club, please contact Past District Governor Lynda Ryder at Lynda.Ryder@silicates.com


Editor's Note: 

The Rotary Foundation and clubs invest in our future leaders and philanthropists by funding scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study.

Rotary clubs can apply to The Rotary Foundation for district and global grants to support scholarships.

Global grants are for graduate students studying abroad in one of Rotary’s six causes:

  1. Promoting peace
  2. Fighting disease
  3. Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  4. Saving mothers and children
  5. Supporting education
  6. Growing local economies

Scholarships last from one to four years and can include an entire degree program. Global grant scholarships are funded using cash or District Designated Funds matched by the World Fund.