Career development opportunities for non-Rotarian professionals, funded by Rotary

Coordinator: Karen Eveleigh (Oxford Spires)

Vocational Training Teams – What are they?

The Vocational Training Team (VTT) is the Rotary Foundation scheme for teams of non-Rotarians to travel overseas with a Rotarian leader to take part in a training project that fits one of the Foundation’s Areas of Focus:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution,
  • Disease prevention and treatment,
  • Water and sanitation,
  • Maternal and child health,
  • Basic education and literacy,
  • Economic and community development

Vocational Training Teams are designed to deliver a sustainable benefit to a community in need of help, in addition to providing a fantastic opportunity for the professional development of the team members. The scheme replaces Group Study Exchange (GSE), which ran for over 45 years worldwide and for over 17 years in our District. While GSE was loved by many Rotarians and created a large body of GSE alumni who benefited greatly in terms of career and personal development, VTT has already proved a great hit in districts across the globe and we expect this scheme to create great opportunities in District 1090.

A VTT team will have a Rotarian team leader and could have a mix of Rotarian and non-Rotarian team members. A VTT can provide or receive training. Given the range of projects in low and middle-income countries that District 1090 clubs are involved with, it is likely that 1090 VTTs will be travelling overseas to provide training. However it does not have to follow this model. Since a VTT will normally be funded by a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, it is important that the training contributes to the sustainability of the project. For example, the team members may focus on supporting the local teachers or local nurse tutors to ensure that they can continue to deliver the new training to others after the team members have left.

Any Rotary club in District 1090 could propose a Vocational Training Team. If a club is planning a large overseas project and its members think that the project could benefit from a team of Rotarians and non-Rotarians providing training then members of the District Grants Committee would be happy to advise and discuss the opportunities. The VTT costs would be added to the project costs and all included in the Global Grant application, so it is important that details are discussed at the early stages of the project planning.

Examples of VTTs might be 

1. A team of education professionals visiting a school. This could be linked to the provision of teaching equipment or refurbishment of school buildings.

2. A team of engineers visiting a village where wells are being dug or solar panels being installed.

3. A team of medical professionals visiting a hospital to provide training on new equipment.

Teams may be made up of people from the same or from different disciplines.


The first District 1090 Vocational Training Team visited Kamuli Mission Hospital and its Nursing School in Uganda in April and September 2014. Read more about the success of the two visits.

Following the success of the 2013/14 visits, the District 1090 Executive agreed to support ongoing visits to Kamuli Mission Hospital and the Nursing School. These visits are following the same VTT model, but will not be funded by a global grant. It is hoped that clubs across the district will continue to support this venture. Read more about the programme and about how your club could get involved.