A vocational training team (VTT) is a group of non-Rotarian professionals and Rotarians who travel to another country either to learn more about their profession or to teach local professionals about a particular field. Under Future Vision, Rotary Foundation district, global, and packaged grants all support VTTs, but each grant type has different requirements depending upon the goal of the training team. To apply, contact a Rotarian Club to be the sponsor of your idea for a training team and the Rotary Club can apply for funding depending on the vision and focus of the training team.
Benefits of VTTs
VTTs build on the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to vocational training, first formalized with the establishment of the Group Study Exchange program in 1965. VTTs take the GSE concept of enabling young professionals to observe their profession in another country a step further by offering participants the opportunity to use their skills to help others. Hands-on activities vary from one team to the next but may include training medical profes¬sionals on cardiac surgery and care, sharing best practices on early childhood education, or explaining new irrigation techniques to farmers. A successful VTT increases the capacity of the host community to solve problems and improve the quality of life.
VTTs have chalked up some notable achievements during their relatively short existence.
The following examples show how Rotarians are using district, global, and packaged grants to provide training that will have long-term impact on the host community’s well-being.
• Districts 6200 and 9600 exchanged teams focused on dealing with the environmental impact of oil spills, a disaster experienced by both districts.
• District 9800 sent a medical team to Timor-Leste to carry out a training program for midwives in an effort to reduce the mortality rate of mothers and infants during childbirth.
• A medical/legal team from District 2770 traveled to California, USA, for training in working with people with Alzheimer’s disease.
• U.S. District 5960 brought medical professionals from District 4855 in Argentina for training in procedures and practices involving both maternal and child health and disease prevention and treatment and in the use of equipment that the districts plan to provide using a global grant.
• A VTT from District 5340 in California, USA, traveled to Uganda twice to help kick-start a larger global grant adopt-a-village project. The team conducted training on business strategies, savings, and investments as they apply to family-size farming businesses. The VTT also laid the groundwork for a clean water system, trained health clinic staff, and renovated a computer room at a school, all of which spurred local government funding and a partnership with two organizations involved in microfinance.
• District 5170’s global grant VTT of two Rotarians and six other health care professionals from California, USA, conducted a weeklong workshop for 50 of their counterparts in Liberia on techniques for preventing transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children. Members of a local Rotary club are distributing nutritional supplements to malnourished HIV-infected women and children and taking them to public health clinics.
• VTTs from District 9400 in South Africa and District 7980 in Connecticut, USA, shared best practices in early childhood education in the face of poverty, disintegrating families, poor health, and low parental and childhood literacy. The global grant project will also include online teacher training.
Rotarian Heather Moretzsohn is coordinating our VTT participation. For more information, please contact Heather at email@example.com.