Ancillary Projects

What is an Ancillary Project?
You and your Rotary District 5370 Club could play an important role in the Belize Literacy Program by creating or participating in an Ancillary Project. Ancillary projects may be described as “Rotarians working with Rotarians helping schools and communities in Belize.”
Ancillary projects involve Rotarians helping other Rotarians to build schools and playgrounds, to improve current schools, to provide teachers with books and equipment, and to meet other local needs. Clubs have opportunities to work directly with schools and communities. This work often includes hands-on work by District 5370 Rotarians and their families.
As is indicated on the Ancillary Projects Information Updates page, several District 5370 Clubs, including the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Glenora, and Edmonton West, have already established such projects in Belize in cooperation with the Belize Literacy Program. However, there are many more opportunities to serve by creating new projects. In each ancillary project a local Belize Rotary Club works directly with a club or several clubs in District 5370. All locations can be viewed on Google Earth. We are asking clubs to consider committing to visiting the schools, working with a school for a three-year period and to consider working with the community while working with the school since the school in some instances is the primary resource for the whole community. 
The Belize Literacy Project committee will provide District 5370 clubs with information on schools, items needed and basic budgets for ancillary projects. The committee, which includes Canadian and Belizean Rotarians,  can also help with purchasing project items that are available in Belize.
One of the benefits of Rotary is that clubs share their knowledge and experience with other clubs. District 5370 clubs that have sponsored ancillary projects are available to assist other clubs in planning and coordinating new projects. 
Our club would like to do more hands-on projects. Would this program make that possible?
Yes, indeed. Most of the projects that are currently underway and those that are being planned involve District 5370 Rotarians going to Belize to build playgrounds and other facilities, to teach, and to work with local schools and Rotarians from Belize.
Transportation and accommodation will be assisted by a committee to facilitate economical transportation and comfortable accommodation. There will be a chance to relax on the beach during the stay, should the visiting Rotarians wish.
Are there grants available for clubs to create Ancillary Projects?
Funds are available to help establish Ancillary Projects.The District Simplified Grant and the Community Initiatives Program may be used as partial funding for these projects. 
Since there is a significant demand for the funds from the province, clubs should consider a maximum of $10,000.00 in matching funds. If a club wishes to use TRF Matching Grants we will arrange for a Pilot District Club to partner as we are a Non-Pilot Rotary District.
How can I get more information on how to create an Ancillary Project?
Members of the Belize Literacy Program would be pleased to help you. Please contact PDG David Taylor RC Camrose (, Brenda McCullough RC Edmonton - Strathcona (, Harry Sandhu RC Grande Prairie ( ),  and Kirby Marshall RC Yellowknife - True North (
Committee members will help your club complete the applications, if required. We will also put you in contact with District 5370 Rotarians who have been involved in Ancillary Projects in Belize. Your club will be introduced to a Rotary Club in Belize.



Municipal Quality playgrounds provided to District 5370 Rotary Clubs by the Emmanuel Foundation are shipped to Belize to enhance the play opportunities for the children. The original thought was to have the playgrounds attached to past or existing Rotary school projects in Belize. Most of the playgrounds have been placed in Community wide locations and managed by the respective Community Councils.

Our Partners

The equipment has been carefully removed from Alberta sites, restored and updated in Alberta by our partner, the Emmanuel Foundation.  These newly restored playgrounds are purchased at a low cost to be placed in appropriate projects in Belize.

The role of the Emmanuel Foundation is to secure, refurbish, and design the playground for each project. They do preparation for shipping and supervise the installation of the playground on site. Their staff also trains community leaders to maintain the equipment.  Tools for each playground are left behind with the Community Council representatives.

In addition to Rotary Clubs from District 5370 and 5360, Belize Rotary clubs and the Emmanuel Foundation, we have Interact Clubs involved raising money for this project and travelling with the clubs to Belize to help install the playgrounds.

Village Councils become the most important partners in the project as they prepare the site to receive the playground, supply lunches, cement, and machinery such as tractors and wheelbarrows and shovels and generally take ownership of the installation in their community. They ensure an adequate number of local volunteers are available for the installation of the equipment. Further, members secure the services of private companies as necessary. The local Village Councils take ownership of the playgrounds.


  • Playgrounds provide a source of fun and physical activity that will give the children hope and happiness.
  • The placement of the playgrounds with existing school projects enhances the original educational projects sponsored by the Districts and clubs in Canada and Belize.
  • A playground forms the center of these small communities where mothers come to visit and meet. It helps connect new mothers and children and is a community development resource.

Playground leaders are trained to manage and run an after-school program. This ensures that the site is supervised and a safe place for children to play. 

Check out this link to see the results of our program's work at Bullett Tree Park.



Q. What is a school / community needs assessment?
A. A school and/or community needs assessment is a way of gathering information about the opinions, needs, challenges, and assets used to determine which project(s)will meet the real needs.
Q. How should a needs assessment be conducted?
A. Your club should ask the visiting team to Belize to act as an assessment committee. The team committee should use needs assessment tools:
  • Interviews: Collect information from who are in a position to know the school and community needs. These people might be the school principal, teachers, parent groups, community leaders, professionals, or other individuals who have affiliations with particular organizations or agencies.
  • Public Forum:  Bring a wide range of community members together at public meetings to gather information via group discussions.
  • Focus group: Obtain opinions and ideas from a small, targeted group of parent and community members.
  • Survey: Use a formal survey or questionnaire to collect information from a wide range of community members.
  • Secondary data analysis: Review and analyze data that has already been collected regarding community issues and needs.
  • Asset mapping: Gather information about existing community assets and resources.

Some factors that might influence the type of assessment selected include time, costs, target audience, and available manpower. Ideally a school/community needs assessment should include a combination of tools.

Q. What are the steps involved in conducting a community assessment?
A. Here are the basic steps:
  • Determine the school/community to be assessed
  • Select a school/community needs assessment tool(s)
  • Develop a plan for the assessment (who, what, when, where, how)
  • Implement the assessment using the selected tool(s)
  • Analyze the results
  • Prepare report detailing the results
  • Use the report to determine club intervention(s)
Q. What type of information should be gathered?
A. This will depend on the individual school/community and its specific needs. However, the following information should be gathered in all community needs assessments:
  • Description of the school/community and applicable statistics
  • Needs identified by school/community and leaders and members
  • Current action being taken to meet school/community needs
  • Local resources available to help meet school/community needs
  • Opportunities for projects
  • Challenges to projects
  • Involvement of the community of in the project
  • Long-term sustainability of the project by the school/community
Q. What should be done with the information once it is gathered?
A. The information should be analyzed and compiled into a report and shared with the clubs board, all project partners, and community members that were particularly involved in providing information for the assessment. In an effort to assist Rotarians, TRF has prepared a Community Needs Assessment form that provides a template for recording information gathered during the assessment. This form is available for download from the RI website and should be completed and attached to the Matching Grant application for grant requests of US$25,001 and above.
Q. How does a school/community needs assessment assist clubs in the selection of a project?
A. Based on the needs identified during the assessment, clubs can select areas where they would like to become involved. The selection of a project should be based on the needs of a community as well as the resources available to the club and its partners.

If your club requires additional information or logistical support the following Committee Members will be pleased to assist you.  If you would like to have a club presentation Committee members will be pleased to help.


Brenda McCullough RC Edmonton-Strathcona (

Harry Sandhu RC Grande Prairie (   

Kirby Marshal RC Yellowknife – True North (

David Taylor RC Camrose (

Stan Bissell RC Edmonton-Whyte Avenue (