Rotary news in brief from around the globe
The Rotary Club of Manama, Bahrain, donated a mobile diabetes unit to help combat type 2 diabetes among the country's youth. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Manama
The Rotary Club of Manama, Bahrain, donated a mobile diabetes unit to the Bahrain Diabetes Society as part of the club’s ongoing effort to combat type II diabetes among youth in the country, where the disease accounts for 12 percent of child and adult deaths.
The van, which cost US$111,400 to equip, travels to schools and neighborhoods across the nation to screen children for diabetes and educate families on prevention. The unit’s staff consists of volunteer doctors, nurses, and students from the Bahrain medical campus of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Early last year, the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora, Ont., Canada, worked with the Rotary Club of Bafoussam to install potable water systems in seven rural villages as part of Hand Up Cameroon, a project involving 34 clubs in Canada and the United States. One of the villages, called Bawouk, has 1,300 residents, who are mostly women and children; many of the working-age men have migrated to the nearby city of Bamenda to find work. The new water systems will benefit these families as well as the students and traders who come from neighboring villages for Bawouk’s primary school and market.
The 56 clubs in District 7070 (Ontario) set a new fundraising record in September for their annual Rotary Foundation Walk. More than 500 Rotarians, family members, and local residents helped bring in over $142,000 for the Foundation. District Governor Ted Koziel, Past District Governor Bob Wallace, and Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Wilfrid J. Wilkinson attended the event. In 2011, the district raised a total of $848,000 for the Foundation.
Twenty years ago, Grace Michiko Saito, of the Rotary Club of Tokyo Seijo Shin, founded Tokyo Grace, a charity that supports young musicians, children with disabilities, and the elderly. Since Saito began organizing biannual fundraising concerts for PolioPlus in 2002, Tokyo Grace has raised close to US$96,000 for polio eradication, disaster relief in Japan, and The Rotary Foundation. The concerts have featured distinguished vocalists, violinists, pianists, saxophonists, and flutists. The most recent event, held in November, raised more than $3,300.
Every November, the Rotary Club of Waterloo, Iowa, USA, sends Rotarians and other volunteers to impoverished areas of Nicaragua with two semitrucks full of donated Christmas gifts. Churches, school groups, and Rotarians from Iowa and seven other states work year-round to collect the goods. Since 2001, they’ve shipped about 2,400 “shoeboxes” – packages loaded with clothing, school supplies, and toiletries for kids – 790 layette bags filled with supplies for new mothers, 100 bicycles, and 12 tons of food.
District 3500 had an all-time record number of Rotary Foundation Major Donors (individuals or couples whose cumulative donations to the Foundation total at least US$10,000) in the 2011-12 Rotary year. A ceremony at the district conference in April recognized 82 Major Donors, including three who decided to donate on the spot. Inspired by the generosity of his district, Tony Hung-Ming Chang, then district governor, declared his intention on stage at the ceremony to become a member of the Arch C. Klumph Society; he was inducted with his wife, Julia, on 26 October, along with three other couples and one individual from Taiwan who have donated $250,000 or more to the Foundation. The district’s total contribution exceeded $1.5 million in 2011-12, another district record.
The Wekiva River Basin provides clean drinking water, habitats for indigenous plants and wildlife, and outdoor recreation venues across 380 square miles in central Florida, but excessive nitrates have degraded the water quality. To preserve the federally designated Wild and Scenic River and the local water supply, the Rotary Club of Seminole County South launched an initiative to promote river-friendly policies among homeowners and businesses. By signing on to the Wekiva River Promise, residents pledge to limit their use of fertilizer and pesticides, grow native plants, regularly inspect their septic tanks, and write letters to government officials in support of Wekiva River Basin conservation efforts.
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