Rotary news in brief from around the globe
Working with the United Church of Zambia Mission Partners, the Rotary Club of Livingstone is helping families by replacing 31 deteriorating huts with more stable, traditional African mud houses.
R otary clubs around the globe have many things in common, including a commitment to service. All year long, clubs are taking action to make a difference in their communities. Here’s a roundup of recent club activities worldwide:
In August, Districts 1910 and 1920 (parts of Austria; Bosnia-Herzegovina) hosted 24 students and two Rotarians from Japan who were affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Many of the students had lost their homes or had to evacuate, or lost parents or other relatives. Japanese and Austrian Rotarians covered the cost of the flights (Lufthansa provided discounted tickets), accommodations, and other expenses, and the governments of both countries offered additional financial support.
Members of the Rotary Club of Ladner, B.C., have been instrumental in a campaign to rid the province’s coast of spartina anglica, or common cordgrass, a noxious weed that was planted to control erosion but whose spread now poses a danger to wetland areas. This fall, club members put in 58 hours of work, hand-pulling 250 bags, or 5 tons, of the weed. They finished that stretch of shoreline in October.
The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti left thousands of people with injuries that required amputations. This October, members of the Rotary Club of Willemstad brought 10 amputees to Curaçao, where each patient was fitted with a prosthetic leg and underwent six weeks of physical therapy. The club worked with the Royal Netherlands Navy, which provided accommodations in its barracks, and with local companies Insel Air and ABC Bus Company, which covered travel expenses.
Through a mobile clinic, medics from a hospital in Yogyakarta have provided care to 3,636 homeless children who lost their families in the 2006 eruption of Mount Merapi. After a Group Study Exchange trip to District 3400, team leader Hugo Pike, of the Rotary Club of Chelwood Bridge, England, worked with his district to develop the idea. The US$20,000 Rotary Foundation Matching Grant project got underway in September 2010, but another eruption of Mount Merapi that October halted progress for several months. After the effort resumed, it expanded to 22 locations.
Rotarians in Karachi used a van emblazoned with messages in English and Urdu to share information about polio during Subnational Immunization Days in December. Club members also visited a school in the nearby town of Korangi, where they gave drops of vaccine to 238 children and worked with administrator Naushaba Burney to distribute fliers about the disease to students and teachers.
Rotarians in District 3830 carried out two dozen projects after an environmental conference in November 2010. They far exceeded their goal of planting 5,000 trees, or two for every Rotarian in the district. By the end of 2010-11, they had planted 23,000 trees and expected to add another 25,000 in 2011-12.
The Rotary Club of Honeoye Falls-Mendon, N.Y., created a self-guided audio tour of 12 local sites, including the Lower Mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the 1837 Mendon town hall; and a one-room schoolhouse that’s now a museum. Visitors can use their cell phones to listen to information about the stops on the tour. Instructions are posted at each location and are available in brochures and at www.hfmrotary.org/tour.html .
The village of Mwandi is home to hundreds of AIDS orphans whose caregivers are elderly relatives. Working with the United Church of Zambia Mission Partners, the nearby Rotary Club of Livingstone is helping these families by replacing 31 deteriorating huts with more stable, traditional African mud houses, and aims to build 25 more. Rotarians from District 6000 (Iowa, USA) have participated in the project, which has benefited 64 families and 200 orphans as of November.
Read more stories from The Rotarian or sign up for the digital edition