ROTARY ROUND-UP: Rotary taking international action

Rotary ShelterBoxes provide for all basic needs in the event of a natural disaster and can reach the most inaccessible locations, especially when road and rail communications are damaged
Rotary ShelterBoxes provide for all basic needs in the event of a natural disaster and can reach the most inaccessible locations, especially when road and rail communications are damaged

This week, David Chapman, from the Rotary Club of West Worthing, gives an update on the latest and future goings-on.

Rotary International has a worldwide membership of more than 1.2 million men and women who work on a local, national and international level on a multitude of projects to help those in need.

They work to foster positive change and development, to raise people out of poverty, and to improve the quality of community life.

Through Rotary, our members exchange ideas, forge lifelong relationships and invest in projects that make a lasting impact.

Rotary focuses on what it sees as the six main areas of greatest importance.

These are the pursuit of peace through conflict resolution, the prevention and treatment of disease, the provision of healthy water and sanitary facilities, health care, especially for mothers and children, ensuring as many children as possible enjoy basic education, and the economic development of communities.

Rotary Clubs are particularly successful in working together in disaster hit areas across the world to assess what aid is needed and to trust that money raised does go directly to those in need.

When disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons or floods occur around the world, Rotary is quick to respond through support with survival kits such as ShelterBox, AquaBox and Water Survival Box, which provide the basic essentials required for survival in an emergency situation.

Rotarians from the medical professions use their expertise to run overseas clinics. These include providing much needed hearing aids, glasses and prosthetic limbs to those in areas of the world where these items are in short supply.

Many clubs have links with projects overseas. West Worthing Rotary Club has been instrumental in building a health clinic in Helji in the Lima Valley, Nepal, which is in one of the highest and inaccessible districts.

The health clinic means local communities can receive the care they need. Otherwise, most people would have to walk for days or even weeks to obtain any health care. Today the project is still ongoing and expanding via the Nepal Trust.

Another Rotary Club at Littlehampton has created the Friends of Mombasa trust and is supporting a school in the suburbs of Mombasa in Kenya.

They succeeded in ensuring that the school had a stable financial basis and were able to help with projects such as buying new desks, text books, school uniforms and shoes as well as helping to ensure the children were fed. They now have their own school, built on donated land that currently educates and supports around 250 pupils.

Probably the greatest Rotary project has been the effort to eradicate the dreadful polio disease from the world. Although polio has not been seen in Great Britain and Ireland for many years, there is always the risk that while it exists elsewhere in the world, it could return here.

Rotary clubs in Great Britain and Ireland have so far donated over £20million and have encouraged other wealthy businessmen, such as Bill Gates, to pour more money into the project.

The Bill Gates Foundation contributes £2 for every £1 raised by Rotary. We are now at the stage where only four cases of polio in the world were reported last year.

Rotary efforts to eradicate polio have been described as one of the finest humanitarian projects the world has ever known and Rotary has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts.

the total eradication of polio when completed will be one of the most significant achievements in public health since the eradication of smallpox.

Help us in this work and, in doing so, have fun by taking a stall at our fundraising car boot sale on Saturday from 6am to midday on Broadwater Green, Worthing.

Cars cost £10, MPV’s, £12 and vans £15, with all money raised going to Rotary funds. Just turn up on the day.

For any further enquiries, contact Jeremy Flaskett on 07977 579139. As you turn your attention to spring cleaning and de-cluttering the house, here is an opportunity for you to pass on your unwanted items and earn yourselves a few pounds towards the summer holidays by taking a stall.

Details of Worthing’s three Rotary clubs are:

• Worthing Rotary Club meets Monday, 12.55pm, at the Chatsworth Hotel, in The Steyne, Worthing, 01903 209564.

• West Worthing Rotary Club meets Tuesday evening at Tudor Close, Ferring, 01903 501961.

• Worthing Steyne Rotary Club meets Monday evening at The Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 07788 638757.

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