In March, as we observe Water and Sanitation Month, let's take a closer look at how Rotarian-led projects are providing millions of people with access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities. This area of focus has long been high on many Rotarians' service agendas, and for good reason – 663 million people do not have access to clean water, and one-third of the world's population live without access to a toilet.
Think about how different life would be if you had to spend hours each day fetching water or worry about the threat of dysentery, cholera, Guinea worm, and a host of other waterborne diseases.
Our efforts in providing clean water have far-reaching effects. An estimated 10,000 clubs participate in water- and sanitation-related projects, with strong support from our Foundation. In 2015-16 alone, The Rotary Foundation provided $19 million for global grants in this area of focus.
And that's just one of the six critically important issues that our Foundation is addressing today. In 2015-16, our Foundation provided $76 million for all global grants, which also fight disease, save mothers and children, promote peace, support education, and provide economic opportunities to many people worldwide. Your gifts are what make this good work possible.
Our Foundation was conceived in 1917 to "do good in the world, " and that is exactly what it has been doing for 100 years. To celebrate this milestone, I encourage all Rotarians to consider making a special centennial contribution to ensure that we continue our urgent and transformational work throughout the world.