Hearts of Europe

Speeches Shim

USAID has partnered with Rotary to co-invest in communities across Europe and Eurasia through the new Hearts of Europe initiative. Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million professionals and community leaders, founded over 100 years ago, whose mission is to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. The partnership will draw upon Rotary’s substantial network of clubs across the region and the Rotarian spirit of generosity and expertise to empower Rotarians to address development challenges in their communities.

Through Hearts of Europe, USAID and The Rotary Foundation – Rotary’s philanthropic arm - have both committed to contribute up to $1 million to this jointly funded, three-year grant program (October 2019 - October 2022). The almost 200 Rotary clubs in the eligible Europe and Eurasia countries will jointly design and implement development projects across the region with Rotary clubs in the US. This new initiative will showcase the positive impact that grassroots citizen engagement and private enterprise can have on communities and strengthen the bond, built on shared history and values, between the U.S. and Europe.


Rotary clubs in select Europe and Eurasia countries will be eligible to design development projects and apply for grants based on the results of community needs assessments. The projects must take place in the following countries where both Rotary and USAID have a presence: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Eligible grant proposals will focus on one of six areas including:

  1. Community Economic Development supports investments in people and communities to alleviate poverty, creating measurable and enduring economic improvements in poor and underserved areas;
  2. Basic Education and Literacy supports activities and training to improve education for all children, and literacy for children and adults;
  3. Maternal and Child Health supports activities and training to improve maternal health and reduce mortality for children under five;
  4. Disease Prevention and Treatment supports activities that reduce the causes and effects of disease;
  5. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene supports activities that encourage the management and protection of freshwater resources and provide universal and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; and
  6. Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention supports training, education, and practices related to peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

Utilizing the results of these assessments, Rotary clubs in Europe and Eurasia will partner with clubs in the U.S. to codesign development projects based on the needs of their communities. Grants will start at a minimum of $30,000 and vary in size, depending on the nature of the development challenge identified by the Rotary club grant applicant.

This initiative will include opportunities for U.S., European and Eurasian clubs to share best practices and explore new approaches in community development. There will also be mentorship opportunities in which U.S., European and Eurasian clubs will integrate the young leaders of Rotaract into community engagement activities.


Through this partnership, USAID and Rotary will empower Rotary clubs in Europe and Eurasia to positively influence their communities by increasing opportunities for transatlantic networking, collaboration and friendship.

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 3:45am

Last updated: June 01, 2020