RFPD History

Rotarian Action Group for Population Growth and Sustainable Development

Founded in 1996, the 20,000+ members of the Rotarian Action Group for Population Growth and Sustainable Development (RFPD), Inc. work to address the population crisis around the world. RFPD is dedicated to educating and motivating the 1.2 million Rotarians around the world about developing and implementing projects that directly address the population issue.   

Rotary International’s charitable arm, the Rotary Foundation (TRF), grants over $70 million dollars each year to Rotary sponsored projects around the world.  Within this framework, RFPD plays an important role in developing, promoting, obtaining financial support and coordinating projects that specifically address population and development issues. RFPD serves as liaison between the local Rotary Club applying for funds and the Rotary Foundation to ensure that the proper paperwork is completed in a timely manner.

We have established and will continue to maintain a database of Population based projects. All of our projects were developed to meet the standards necessary to receive a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.  Since the database’s inception in July of 2000, we have distributed $10,755,572 to 267 projects and in 2008-09, at total of $6,955,686 for 58 projects.  Our 3-H grant and New Opportunity Grant List total over 1.75 million dollars.  RFPD keeps a list and the paperwork of Matching Grant applications that have been developed by Rotary Clubs in developing countries.  These applications have all the budgets, pro forma invoices, and the signatures needed from the co-sponsor in the project country.    Rotary Clubs who would like to sponsor a project need to get a committee for the project, their president’s signature and District Designated Funds with the District Governor’s signature.  World Community Service Coordinators look to us a vital resource in helping develop their club’s projects.  

A number of Rotary population projects have already been completed which provide direct benefit to less developed parts of the world.  Two exemplary Rotary projects conceived and implemented by RFPD members are the Integrated Family Welfare Centers (IFWP) in India and the Child Spacing Project in Nigeria.   The IFWP has served over 50,000 families by offering them family planning and AIDS awareness training, vocational and literacy centers as well as daycare for the women participating in the programs.  Rotarians in Nigeria initiated and implemented together with their counterparts from Germany a project on 'Child-spacing and family health' in six Northern states of Nigeria.  The project started as a pilot project with a $35,000 Matching Grant from the Rotary Foundation. The German government also supported this pilot project.  Its success then led to a $500,000 3-H Grant also from the Rotary Foundation.  The successful expansion achieved through the 3-H Grant, facilitated additional 1.2million dollar grant from the Lucille and David Packard Foundation and a European Union grant of USD $200,000.

Rotarians are encouraged speak out on population and development issues and commit resources and effort toward solving the population problem.  In most communities, Rotarians are seen as the leaders in all professions and vacations, and as multipliers in society.  When sufficiently convinced of the merit of population advocacy, Rotarians can be most effective in spreading the message to their clubs and community with the use of a specially developed CD power point presentation for Rotary clubs.

Eight highly qualified and dedicated leaders from the four corners of the world head RFPD:  Harald Marschner of Austria, Robert Zinser of Germany, Buck Lindsay and Frank Wargo of the United States, Luis Serra of Argentina, Rekha Shetty of India, Salem Mashhour of Egypt and Emmanuel Adedolapo Lufadeju of Nigeria.  Each has served in various leadership roles in Rotary International and has a vast network of Rotary contacts and resources.

Membership dues and donations as well as grants from various foundations currently fund RFPD. 

Display of Booth: We would use posters, pictures, brochures, and videos to display our work.  

For more information contact:

Rotarian Action Group for Population Growth and Sustainable Development
344 West Pike Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Phone:  770-407-5633
Fax:  770-822-9492
E-mail: rfpd.hq@rifpd.org 
Website: www.rifpd.org

Chronological History

It All Began..

This section describes chronologically the many steps taken by the leaders of RFPD as well as the Officers and Board of Directors of Rotary International to arrive at today's acceptance of population and sustainable development as a critical area for humanitarian service


United Nations ICPD

For Rotary International, the Population focus began in Cairo, 1994 at the United Nations International Conference on Population & Development. Over 180 nations participated in this global forum, attempting to identify a common strategy to address the population problem. Rotary International sent an official representative, Past Director Umberto Laffi of Italy, to participate in the discussion.

Unanimous agreement by all nations was reached on the following:

The Need to:

  1. Extend & improve reproductive health & family planning services
  2. Expand population policy to include economic development
  3. Improve the status of women
  4. Link environmental & sustainable development to population growth
  5. Invest in health & development of children - especially girls
  6. Emphasize male responsibility for sexual, reproductive, and parenting behavior 


Trustees of the Rotary Foundation

Recognized that Population & Development was a potential area of humanitarian concern. Since the Rotary Foundation encourages and supports humanitarian work by Rotary Clubs where the need exists, it convened:

The Rotary Peace Program on Population & Development

On May 11, 1995 in Dakar, Senegal, Africa, 300 Rotarians from around the world met. Meeting organizers and conference leaders were PDG's Buck Lindsay and David Stovall of District 6910 in the USA, and PDG Allassane Mar and Amadou Nam of District 9100 in Senegal. Conference participants discussed ways in which Rotary International might begin to address the population challenge.

From this garden grew:


International Fellowship on Population & Development of Rotary International (IFP&D)

The participants of the Dakar Peace Forum searched for ways to continue its important dialogue on Population & Development, and in February, 1996 was granted status as one of the 75 Recreational and Vocational Fellowships of Rotary International.

In just 3 years, IFP&D grew to be the largest of Rotary Fellowships, with over 12,000 members and with Country Chairman in over 55 countries. Country Chairmen represent their country and promote Rotary action related to Population & Development challenges in their area.


  1. Completion of many World Community Service Projects (See WCS Projects)
  2. Participation through exhibits and programs at last four Rotary International Conventions
  3. Support in membership to more than 1 1/2 % of Rotarians worldwide (18,000) in more than 55 countries 



Council on Legislation
New Delhi, India January 1998

The defining moment for Rotary International for this major new area of humanitarian service

By an overwhelming vote, the Council on Legislation, the legislative body of Rotary International, stated that it was time for Rotary International to turn its humanitarian attention to the Population & Development issue.


Committee on Population Growth & Development

On July 1, 1999 the Rotary Committee on Population Growth & Development was appointed by 1999-00 President Carlo Ravizza and was chaired by Past RI Vice President, Robert Scott of Canada to study this issue. This committee served for one year.

Rotarian Initiative for Population & Development (RFPD)

Recognition of the International Fellowship on Population & Development (IFPD) as a Fellowship was rescinded at the August 1999 Board of Directors meeting. The rationale for this action was that the IFPD was neither Recreational or Vocational. The Fellowship Rotarians, representing over 1% of Rotary's total membership, elected to continue their humanitarian focus under a new banner as the "Rotarian Initiative for Population and Development"( RFPD). RFPD has continued the work of the Fellowship in the same way as in the past.


Population and Development Steering Committee

On July 1, 2000, this committee, chaired by Past RI Director, William Cadwallader, was formed to provide support and guidance to the Population and Development Task Force established by RI President Frank Devlyn. This committee replaced the Committee on Population Growth & Development above and served until June 30, 2001.


The Committee provided support and guidance to the Population and Development Task Force. It also provided guidance and advice to the RI Board on how to create awareness among Rotarians of the impact of continued population growth on sustainable human and economic development and the environment.

Chairman: William B.P.Cadwallader,Jr. (vet.med.) (spouse: Jean), 87 S. Main St., Homer NY 13077, USA. Bus.: 1-607 7497223, Res.: 1-607-7493144, E-mail: williamc@clarityconnect.com (Member, Rotary Club of Cortland.)

Vice-Chairman: Edgar C. Hatcher (dentistry) (spouse: Jo Ann), P.O. Box 878, Bristol VA 24203, USA. 1-423-6521984, Fax: 1-423-6522364, E-mail: ehatcher@preferred.com


Winford V. Lindsay (arch.) (spouse: Cindy), 344 West Pike St. Lawrenceville, Ga 30046, USA Bus.: 1-770-9638989, Res.: 1-770-9630191, E-mail: BLindsay@rifpd.org (Member, Rotary Club of Gwinnett County.)

E. Adedolapo Lufadeju (livestock prod.) (spouse: Stella), 9 Fl., Cocoa Hse. Complex, 1 Oba Adebimpe Ave., Ibadan, Nigeria. Bus.: 234-90-807300, Res.: 234-69-51411, Fax: 234-62-239200, E-mail: dolaluf@mail.skannet.com (Member, Rotary Club of Zaria.)

Salem A.Mashhour (agr. mach. rtl.) (spouse: Safinaz), 12 A, Hassan Sabri St., 11 211 Cairo-Zamalek, Egypt Bus.: 20-2-340347, Res.: 20-2-3322606, Fax: 20-2-3411582, E-mail: mash@intouch.com

Robert S. Scott (med. gen. pract.) (spouse: Ann), 239 Queen St., Coburg, ON Canada K9A 1N4. 1-905-3725078: Fax: 1-905-3720820, E-mail: bobscott@eagle.ca

Antonio M. Serrano (freight trans.) (spouse: Marie), P.O. Box 1416, Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa 2008. 27-11-6164595, Fax: 27-11-6154918, E-mail: etta@briankahn.co.za

Rekha Shetty (mgmt. consult.) (spouse: Jai) 359 N. Main Rd., Anna Nagar West. Madras. Tamil Nadu, India 600 101. Bus.: 91-44-6264611 Res: 91-44-6283658, Fax: 91-44-6283659. E-mail: arjuns@glasmda.vsnl.net.in (Member, Rotary Club of Madras Temple City.)

Luis F. Valenzuela (arch.) (spouse: Chiqui), 13 Av. 20-99, Zone 10, Guatemala, Guatemala 01010. Bus.: 502-3621442, Res.: 502-3682833, Fax 502-3316296, E-mail: ifvalen@intelnet.net.gt (Member, Ruatemala Sur.)

Robert Zinser (export) (spouse: Marion), Marbacher Str. 3, DE-67071 Ludwigshafen, Germany. 49-621-682882, Fax: 49-621-682872. E-mail: robert.zinser@t-online.de (Member Rotary Club of Ludwigshafen=Rheinschanze.)

Rajendra K. Saboo (needle mfg.) (spouse: Usha), Kamla Centre, SCO 88-89, Sector 8-C, Chandigarh, Union Territory, India 160-018. Bus.: 91-172-548223, Res.: 92-172-740332, Fax: 91-172-548302, E-mail: kddlcmd@91.net.in

Liason Director: Donald E. Osburn
Liason Trustee: James L. Lacy



Rotary International Task Force on Population and Development

On July 1, 2000 the RI Task Force on Population and Development was formed by President Frank Devlyn and Chaired by PRID Bill Cadwallader. This Task Force served until June 30, 2001.


Create Awareness of critical Issues related to world population growth and sustainable development and implement relevant projects.

Working Goal: To encourage Rotary clubs and districts, working as appropriate with government agencies, non-governmental organizations and local leadership, to increase awareness and undertake even more projects that directly impact population growth and sustainable development. Projects would include those that promote education on the issue of population, access to family health care, adequate nutrition and enable individuals to make informed and responsible decisions about issues such as child spacing in a way that is in keeping with their personal values and cultural and religious considerations. (The Rotarian: February 2000; p. 34.)

During the term of President Frank Devlyn (2000-01), major progress was achieved in Creating Awareness and in Taking Action as a result of three Presidential Population Summit Conferences held in Zurich, July 2000, in New Delhi, September2000 and in Brasilia, March, 2001. Over 200 population-based Matching Grants were generated from these conferences. See Results Population Summit Conferences and Project Countries.




Rotarian Fellowship for Population & Development (RFPD)

The RI Board of Directors approved the creation of the Rotarian Fellowship for Population & Development (RFPD). This replaces the Rotarian Initiative for Population & Development. The new Rotarian Fellowship will continue its work the same way as in the past.


Rotarian Action Group for Population & Development

The name of our organization was changed to Rotarian Action Group for Population & Development and now falls under the new Rotary category of Global Networking Groups. Rotarian Action Groups unite Rotarians worldwide with a particular project or service focus. Our work, directly related to population and sustainable development, will continue the same way as in the past.



RFPD Board of Directors attended the Rotary International convention in Salt Lake City, Utah where they presented two break out sessions entitled "RFPD's Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals" and "A Comprehensive Solution to Reduce Maternal and Mortality".


RFPD Board of Directors attened the Rotary International convention in Los Angeles, California where they presented two break out sessions entitled "Reduction of Child & Materanl Mortality" and "Skillful Implementation of World Community Service Projects". 


RFPD Board of Directors attended the Rotary International convention in Birmingham, England where they presented three  break out seesions entitled "Rotary Projects - Reducing Child & Maternal Mortality", Saheli Centers - Women Helping Women", and "Promotion of Child Health by Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV". 


RFPD Board of Directors atteneded the Rotary Internation convention in Montreal, Canada where they presented two break out sessions entitled "Successful Co-funding of World Community Service Projects with Funds from Other Sources", and "How to Make the World Community Service Projects Sustainable". 


RFPD Board of Directors attended the Rotary Interantional convention in New Orleans, Louisiana where they presented a break out session entitled "Maternal and Child Health".


RFPD Board of Directors attended the Rotary International convention in Bangkok where they presented a break out session entitled "Preventing Maternal & Child Health". 


RFPD Board of Directors attended the Rotary Interantional convention in Lisbon, Portugal where they presented three break out sessions entitled "Contribute to Maternal and Child Health with Single Interventions or a Comprehensive Approach", "Anatomy of an Effective VTT", and "Focus on Maternal and Child Health". 


RFPD Board of Directors attended the Rotary International convention in Sydney, Austrailia where they presented two break out sessions entitled "A Well Woman Program" and "Sustainable Project Ideas for the Maternal and Child Health Area of Focus". 




Many challenges remain, however considerable progress has been made

  • The Council on Legislation has acted with Resolution 98-231- January 1998 in New Delhi, India,
  • The RI Board has issued its Statement of Policy regarding Population & Development - August 1999,
  • The Population Summit Conferences under Past President Frank Devlyn provided strong evidence of demand for humanitarian service from Rotarians worldwide.
  • The Memorandum of Cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) cements a working relationship with Rotary International to work towards population stabilization and sustainable development.
  • Over 1500 Rotarians attended the Presidential Celebration on Population Concerns held in Abuja, Nigeria in August, 2003 by RI President Jonathan Majiyagbe.
  • The Cairo Conference on Sustainable Development in December 2004 was well attended by Rotarians and outside experts.
  • Our new status as a Rotarian Action Group provides recognition, support and publicity from Rotary International.
  • On 2-3 November, 2006 the Ft. Lee, New Jersey, the Conference on "Fundamental Challenges to Human Development" in conjunction with RI/UN Day on November 2 2006 was well attended by Rotarians from 16 countries and 27 districts. Organized and sponsored by RFPD, experts from the UN and RI spoke on
  • Women's Empowerment, Education, Maternal Health, and HIV/AIDS.


Rotarian Action Group for Population & Development
344 West Pike Street
Lawrenceville, Georgia

Phone: 770-367-7655
E-mail: Mwillis@rifpd.org 

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Rotarian Action Group for Population & Development — 344 West Pike Street, Lawrenceville, Georgia, 30046
Phone: 770-367-7655, E-mail: Mwillis@rifpd.org