Rotary news in brief from around the globe
Members of the Rotary Club of Juneau, Alaska, help build a greenhouse within the prison yard at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.
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:
The Rotary Club of Hobart organized a 10-day voyage in April on the brigantine Windeward Bound for teenagers who had experienced war in their home countries. The eight students – one from Sudan and seven from Nepal – were paired with mentors their own age. The trip aimed to bring together teens from different backgrounds to promote tolerance and cultural understanding and to teach ways to build peace in their communities. The Rotary clubs of Huon Valley, Queenstown, Smithton, and Ulverstone West and the Rotaract Club of Central Coast provided funds.
Rotarians in Egypt and the United States are helping doctors at a pediatric hospital in Cairo to save hundreds of premature babies each year. Through the $23,000 project, which received support from a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant, the Rotary clubs of Heliopolis and Minneapolis purchased equipment for the intensive care unit of the Abou El Reesh Children’s Hospital. The hospital treats one million patients annually, most of whom are from poor families. The Rotarians also advised hospital staff on using and maintaining the equipment, and plan to conduct monthly sessions on sanitation and nutrition.
The Rotary clubs of Calgary Heritage Park and Calgary Olympic, Alta., Canada, raised about US$18,000 for a project that included installing 50 bio-sand water filters and 50 fuel-efficient stoves in the community of Quiacquix. The Rotarians worked with Asociación Ajpu, a local nonprofit, and Help for the Highlands of Guatemala, a project launched in 2010 by Calgary Heritage Park club member Bill Skinner and fellow Calgary native Alan Sitter to bring clean-water technology to the country.
The literacy rate in India is 61 percent. The Rotary clubs of Pune Parvati and Culver City, Calif., USA, are working together to improve education in rural parts of the country by providing potable water, sanitation facilities, furniture and other materials, and teacher training to 18 schools around Pune. The Health, Hunger and Humanity Grant project, which launched in 2008, is expected to help 8,000 students every year.
Every year, Rotary clubs in Nairobi and the nearby towns of Machakos and Thika organize a rally for children with physical and mental disabilities. In February, a record 3,500 kids participated in the event, which was hosted by the Rotary clubs of Nairobi-East and Nairobi Parklands and featured music, entertainers, and rally cars and dirt bikes. The children also performed songs. Local Rotaractors helped out, and Henry Wanyoike, a visually impaired runner and three-time Paralympic gold medalist, spoke about overcoming life’s challenges.
Members of the Rotary clubs of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Peterborough, England, recently returned from Sierra Leone, where they provided support for the David School. Founded by David Wallwork, a member of the Rotary Club of Ramsey, England, in 2005, the school is located in a rural area near Freetown that was devastated by country’s 11-year civil war. The Edinburgh and Peterborough club members helped build an additional classroom, and the Edinburgh Rotarians also assisted with medical checkups, planting crops, and teaching sewing and basket-weaving.
At the Lemon Creek Correctional Center, the Rotary Club of Juneau, Alaska, has built a greenhouse within the prison yard. Inmates will be able to learn gardening skills as they grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, herbs, and other plants in the 40-by-15-foot greenhouse – a necessity in a climate too cool and rainy for many varieties. The Juneau club funded the $13,000 structure.
U.S. Virgin Islands
In December 2010, the Rotary Club of St. Thomas gave 49 virtual babies to four schools as part of Baby Think It Over, a program that aims to demonstrate the pressures and responsibilities of parenthood. The club raised more than $28,000 to provide the babies, which come equipped with computer chips that record how the students care for them over several days. The effort, which the St. Thomas club has sponsored since 1996, has received credit for helping to reduce the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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