Established in 1965-66, the Group Study Exchange Program was an educational program that promoted international understanding through organized travel and personal contact. The program evolved as Rotary updated its grant model and placed this activity within global grants. Vocational training under global grants builds skills within a community by offering local training or by supporting groups of professionals traveling abroad for rigorous study in their profession or to teach local professionals about a particular field. This type of training is often effective in conjunction with a humanitarian project.
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“In Warsaw, Woijeich Sierpinski, a Rotary Club President, took me on a tour that I will never forget. We visited his parent’s house – where they lived during World War II. There in the kitchen, under a dusty stack of crates was a secret wood panel in the floor. Woijeich removed the panel to reveal a tiny room underneath the kitchen floor where his parents hid their neighbors – a Jewish family – during the war. As I stood speechless, listening to Woijeich describe how they evaded the Nazis, I realized the full value of the Group Study Exchange program.”