Page 1

The Official Magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

£2.95 August/September 2016

LITERACY

OPENS THE WORLD Discovering the work of Sarah Brown’s charity

eClubs 16

Connecting with Rotary

Katherine Jenkins 20

An audience with the Welsh starlet

Literacy Mission 26

How Rotary is supporting literacy in India


CONTENTS 20

REGULARS FROM THE TOP

04

PRESIDENT MESSAGE

28

MEET AND GREET

30

Rotary Effect

40

MEMBERSHIP

44

RI DIRECTOR AND FOUNDATION

45

IT’S GONE VIRAL

50

Rotary International President John Germ The Power of Rotary A fresh perspective on Rotary

The latest news from clubs Being part of Rotary

What’s trending on social media?

ROTARY IN ACTION Rotary Ride Peace Fellows Bringing water to Bimma Dictionary4Life Purple 4 Polio A Hundred Years of Roald Dahl Literacy in a Box Youth Competitions

06 08 14 22 20 32 34 36

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL Round the World Rotary’s Literacy Mission

24 26

SPECIAL FEATURES

Theirworld Rotary eClubs Katherine Jenkins

10 16 20

10

06

14

Get in touch... Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, Kinwarton Road, Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PB t: 01789 765 411 Got a story for us? Send it in (with a good quality picture) to editor@rotarygbi.org Managing Editor: Allan Berry e: editor@rotarygbi.org PR Officer: e: pr@rotarygbi.org Designer: Martin Tandy e: martin.tandy@rotarygbi.org

Advertising: Media Shed (Agents for Rotary) Contact: Adam Faber t: 01354 818010 • e: adamf@media-shed.co.uk

Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the editors or Rotary. Every effort is made to ensure that the magazine’s content is accurate. Information is published in good faith but no liability can be accepted for loss or inconvenience arising from error or omission. Advertisements are accepted at face value and no liability can be accepted for the actions of advertisers. The editors welcome contributions of articles, news items, photographs and letters but are under no obligation to publish unsolicited material. The editors reserve the right to edit for clarity or length. Contributors must ensure that all material submitted is not in breach of copyright or that if such material is submitted they have obtained any necessary permission, in writing, for its reproduction. While every care will be taken with material submitted to Rotary magazine, no responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage.

rotarygbi.org

ROTARY ONLINE rotarygbi.org or follow us on Facebook: /RotaryinGBI Twitter: @RotaryGBI LinkedIn: Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

ROTARY // 3


Talk from the top...

Rotary for the st 21 century

F

orty years ago, a man named George Campbell, the owner of the company I worked for, invited me to join Rotary. Back then, that was a common practice in the United States. Your boss invited you to join Rotary because he thought it would be good for business and good for the community, and you said yes. It’s not surprising that our membership surged during that period. George warned me not to use Rotary as an excuse to slack off at work. Even so, I always had time to attend lunch meetings and serve on committees. I never had to worry that taking a long lunch once a week would hurt my advancement, or what my boss would think about the occasional Rotary phone call at work. Today, things are different. Companies are less generous about time, and not every manager looks favourably on community service. It’s hard to enjoy a Rotary meeting when you’ve got emails piling up on your phone. It’s harder than ever to balance work with Rotary – and the model that gave us so much growth a few decades ago is part of what’s holding back our growth now. That’s why the recent Council on Legislation adopted some innovative measures that allow clubs to vary their meeting times and expand their pool of prospective members. Clubs have more

4 // ROTARY

flexibility now to respond to the needs of their members and to clear away as many barriers to membership as they can. But there’s one barrier to membership that only you can remove, one thing that every prospective member needs to become a Rotarian: an invitation to join a Rotary club. Whenever I tell a group of Rotarians that we need more willing hands, more caring hearts, and more bright minds to move our work forward, everyone applauds. But those hands, hearts, and minds won’t magically appear in our clubs. We have to ask them to join. And an invitation to Rotary is something that only you can give. An invitation is a gift. It’s saying to someone, “I think you have the skills, the talent, and the character to make our community better, and I want you to join me in doing that.” I’m the President of Rotary International, but the only club I can invite someone to join is the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, Tennessee my own club. I can’t make your club or your community stronger. Only you can do that – by inviting the qualified people you know to join you in Rotary Serving Humanity.

JOHN GERM

RI PRESIDENT

rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Rotary Ride

Back in the saddle for the Rotary Ride The Rotary Ride was back for its second year this June and it was even bigger and better than before.

O

ver 250 Rotary clubs have been involved nationwide, the sponsored collective Rotary Ride raised money and awareness for the four main prostate cancer charities across Great Britain and Ireland including Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Scotland, the Irish Cancer Society and Prostate Cymru. The ride attracted people from a whole range of local communities, from the young to the not so young, thousands of people getting involved. Rotary ensured that everyone was catered for, holding static rides on exercise bikes, family fun days and even cross country events for the more advanced cyclists. Rotarians stopped at nothing this year to help the cause, with one club even riding across the Irish Sea on static bikes aboard a ferry in the name of prostate cancer. Worsley Rotary Club even had a VIP guest in attendance in the form of Welsh International footballing legend and ex-Manchester United player Ryan Giggs OBE who stopped by to lend his support for the static bike ride. Behind the fun of the day there was a serious message being promoted and that was to raise awareness of this tragic disease, which currently affects one in eight men in the UK, with 26 men receiving a diagnosis every day. There are over 330,000 men in the UK living with the condition, so Rotary selected the Father’s Day weekend to hold 6 // ROTARY

the event in honour of all of the fathers who have fallen victim to prostate cancer. Robin Collins, of the Lancaster Loyne Rotary Club, works with Prostate Cancer UK to raise awareness of the disease and even attended Rotary’s conference on behalf of the charity to promote the Rotary Ride amongst attendees and explain why the event was so significant.

I was inspired by the great response by fellow Rotarians and the fantastic events taking place across the country. Robin himself was diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer 10 years ago, when he made a deal with his wife that he would go for a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test in return for her going for a mammogram. The doctor soon found that Robin had a serious case of prostate cancer, and his symptoms became severe. Robin comments, “My doctor told me my diagnosis was very serious, and I’ve spent years going through treatment to prevent my condition getting worse, I was able to finish my treatment a year ago and I’ve been doing my bit for Prostate Cancer UK ever since.”

To support the charity that has helped him through his condition, Robin has travelled across the country to give talks to a variety of audiences about his condition. He was also keen to ensure he did his bit for the Rotary Ride, and with him not being able to take part in an organised outdoor cycle event he hit his local gym. He told us, “I was inspired by the great response by fellow Rotarians and the fantastic events taking place across the country. I wanted to get involved so I spent five to ten minutes a day on an exercise bike and encouraged my fellow Rotarians to join. I’ve raised over £100 and I’m delighted to present my donation to the charity.” We asked Robin why he was so keen to get on the bike, when he was more than doing his bit by raising awareness with Prostate Cancer UK, he explained, “It’s simply because I believe it is for a good cause and neither age nor ill health, generally speaking, need be a barrier that stops us from taking part.” The donations are still rolling in for the Rotary Ride, and It Looks like last year’s total of £100,000 will be smashed. With plans for Rotary Ride 2017 currently underway the event will just keep rolling along. l For more information on the Rotary Ride visit: rotaryride.co.uk rotarygbi.org


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

Bill Huntley

Peace Fellows

in communities

Rotary Peace Fellows are usually present wherever peace and conflict is being brokered in the world. We highlight one who is embarking on this course in his life.

T

he Rotary Foundation is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in this Rotary year and one of the six Areas of Focus of The Rotary Foundation is peace and conflict resolution. To further that aim in 1999 Rotary Peace Centres were founded and each year 100 Rotary Peace Fellows attend the Peace Centres across the world to learn about and develop their skills in peace and conflict resolution. As a result anywhere in the world where peace and conflict resolution negotiations are taking place a Rotary Peace Fellow is there, helping to broker an outcome acceptable to both parties. One Rotarian who was instrumental in bringing this programme to Rotary was Bill Huntley MBE. Bill passed away in 2006 but his legacy lives on. He held many posts within Rotary and was Rotary International President in 1994/5. Bill was a member of the Rotary Club of Alford and Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire and in six years they have worked hard to raise the funds to establish an endowment in his memory. The club has achieved the remarkable target of raising $534,000 to fund a Rotary Peace Fellow every four years in perpetuity. This is unusual since Peace Fellows are usually funded by the Rotary Foundation but since this endowment is supported by Bill’s club they have their own ‘Huntley Peace Fellow’, Francis Rothery. Francis is a freelance writer and has a lifelong involvement in professional social work, alcohol counselling and psychotherapy as a practitioner and in management. In late July Francis attended a club meeting before travelling across the world to study for a master’s degree at the International Christian University in Tokyo. To get a feel of what had motivated him to take this big leap in his life we asked him why he had chosen to be a Rotary Peace Fellow. Francis explained, “I went on a peace studies course at Lancaster University last year and it motivated me to start thinking about peace

8 // ROTARY

Francis Rothery third from left with friends

in communities. The course was on political theology for peace and I want to develop this and use it not merely in an academic way.” We then asked what he thought he would get out of the two year course and how he would use it in the way he had described, “I want to be able to use the material in community causes such as emerging communities.” We were interested to hear if this would be at a local level since most Rotary Peace Fellows use their acquired expertise in the international arena, to which Francis replied, “Yes at a local level it will be in local communities and not necessarily religious ones.”

I want to be able to use the material in community causes such as emerging communities, at a local level it will be in local communities.” Although Francis is attending a Peace Centre in Tokyo it is only one of seven across the world the others being based in Thailand, Australia, Sweden, two in the USA and one

here in Bradford. David Black from the Rotary Club of Alford and Mablethorpe commenting on the endowment said, “This has been a great achievement for a small rural club; Francis is the first of many who will be able to help make the world a more peaceful place. The club thanks all those who have made this possible and we urge everyone to support the Rotary Peace Centres.” Each year the work of Bill Huntley is celebrated at Bradford University, with a weekend seminar where Rotary Peace Fellows are invited. This year the seminar will be held over the weekend of October 29-30 and present and past Peace Fellows will be attending. It is fitting that in this the centennial year of The Rotary Foundation that one of the prime motivators can be celebrated by his own club in a practical way and the work of Peace Fellows across the world is recognized as trying to make the world a more peaceful place.

For more information visit: centennial.rotary.org rotarygbi.org


Rotary eClubs ALLAN BERRY

Education

is the key to a better world It is some time since I met Sarah Brown to discuss the work of the organisation she fronts, so we met up to discuss the progress made recently.


Sarah Brown visiting Lebanon

A

brighter future for all our children is an objective all of us desire and many of us work to achieve. That is the target for an organisation that is headed by Sarah Brown the wife of the former Prime Minister. I interviewed Sarah Brown when the charity was titled ‘A World at School’ and we did this in a rush in a small cupboard at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. At that time she was just coming to the end of a meeting and speaking schedule that had taken her all over the world in a week. This time the interview was a little more measured, however Sarah was just as enthusiastic as ever getting her points across and such was her enthusiasm getting a secondary question in proved a challenge. We started by discussing how the organisation had developed and Sarah explained, “We started 14 years ago as a small UK charity called PiggyBankKids and since then we have done an awful lot of work in the UK and founded the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory at Edinburgh University. They have done extraordinary work and it’s now funding a groundbreaking cohort study, tracking babies all through their childhood. rotarygbi.org

It’s very much their world and it seems very timely now with all the events going on.” Although that sounds a long way from supporting Syrian children into school or creating safe schools in Northern Nigeria we are creating or looking for transformative projects that unlock or take down the barriers that stop children fulfilling their potential. As we’ve grown we have taken on more global work and then I’m afraid the pig was no longer the right symbol and would not go global so we had to take a couple of steps back and take a look at what we wanted to be called and how we see ourselves – hence ‘Theirworld’ was born. We see the work that we are doing as investing forwards into the next generation and that’s who we are.” The organisation, when I met Sarah Brown 2 years ago, was working on getting as many children across the world into school, Sarah explained, “We co-ordinated with other groups across the world and collected over 10 million signatures to take to the United Nations to show the support for getting children into school and this was done by ‘A World at School’ being one

of a partnership, which is when we met just over 2 years ago.” It was explained to me that the main thrust is now through ‘Theirworld’. I mentioned to Sarah that it is their world and she retorted, “It’s very much their world and it seems very timely now with all the events going on.” This interview was carried out before the various events and tragedies occurring in the world in the middle of July. It is intriguing to think what Sarah would make of it all now. Sarah went on to explain more of their work in relation to the UN Development Goals and now the Sustainable Goals, which are aligned to The Rotary Foundation Areas of Focus, “When we started the project there were 120 million children not in school and when we presented the petition at the UN it was down to 60 million. The figures are difficult to ascertain because the world is a fragile place. For instance no one could foresee the Syrian war going on for 6 years.” I admit to being taken aback by the time span given to me but mentioned it is a long time. Sarah quite rightly remarked, “When you are a child out of school it is a very long time.” We then went on to discuss their work now since in my investigations I had got the impression that the work xx ROTARY // 11


zxxhad moved from a concentration in the African countries to the crisis countries in the Middle East, Sarah was able to put all this into context explaining. “Our work in Africa, particularly in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria with the faith schools is very much continuing. We work in making the journey to and from school safe, especially for girls, and also the school environment. We help to offer after school coding clubs until safe transport home is available.” Sarah did mention the schoolgirls from Chibok in Northern Nigeria and it is events like this they wish to prevent. Being able to offer safe schooling even in areas where there is danger is one of ‘Theirworld’s’ objectives. Sarah went on to explain, “Another area we have looked at is child marriage where girls are forced to stay away from school or finish school and these are all important areas and there was a golden opportunity this year with the Humanitarian Summit to look at the other side of where children are not going to school. Of the 60 million, half will not be at school because of poverty but with the other 30 million it will be because their worlds have been disrupted by natural disasters or conflict and turned upside down. There is no mechanism in the humanitarian aid system to put in schooling. Rightly, emergency supplies, shelter and essential requirements get 12 // ROTARY

there very fast. Quite often these children are away from their homes and schools for years. The Humanitarian Summit has agreed that with large donors to the ‘Education Cannot Wait’ fund.” Sarah cited as examples countries like Syria and Lebanon. We went on to discuss bringing children out of poverty through education and Sarah quite openly said it is a new concept being put around at the moment so we went on to develop this. It is also impressive how she has her finger on the pulse and could give me first hand examples easily. “With families who are displaced they are requesting things like the essentials and they go on to say they want a bit of stability and they want their children to go to school and we hear this over and over again. We see people on boats seeking a better life but if they had some stability and their kids are in school they are not going to risk everything and take them on a dangerous boat journey.” I did ask about the refugees fleeing the war countries and Sarah is full of praise for countries like Turkey and Lebanon where they have ambassadors and also Jordan. These countries are schooling over half of the displaced children. Sarah knows how Rotarians get involved in humanitarian work and

mentioned immediately the work that has been done to eradicate polio when asked about the involvement of Rotary. She asks of Rotarians, “It’s all about being creative and listening to what is required across the other side of the world. If it’s a well or a building like a school lavatory I would always remember that once it is built it is worth keeping up the relationship to ensure it is working after a year and the year after that. The other area is to be part of the movement for change that exists and there is a real opportunity at the moment to further girls’ rights to education and to prevent child slavery and child marriage. Rotarians have a large authoritarian voice and when they use it people listen. As far as ‘Theirworld’ is concerned we would like Rotarians to follow our work and help wherever they can.” We finished the interview talking briefly about the next thing after polio that Rotary should tackle and Sarah Brown reckons it should be child education and she fervently believes it is the key to unlocking many issues in the world today and in the future. I think she could be right. l For information visit: theirworld.org rotarygbi.org


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

Providing clean water

Taking action in the community A chance meeting led to a big project that helped turn around the inhabitants of a village in Ghana.

R

otary clubs often help turn around the lives of communities, and that is what happened when a member of the Rotary Club of Leigh, Lancashire and his wife visited Bimma a village in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Barry Coates and his wife Joan came across Bimma on a visit to the region and found a village of 2,500 people where farmers were scratching a living in terrible conditions. As a result of polluted water and bad sanitation the survival rate of babies under two years was low and those who did survive often suffered from malnutrition. A chance meeting of a Rotarian close to the Leigh Rotary Club led to a tie up with a Ghanaian charity Ashanti Development, which worked in the region. Barry Coates decided to visit the region and see for himself what was needed. As a result Barry and the Rotary Club of Leigh went into action after his visit to the village in 2008 as Barry explains, “Our aim was to make everyone’s life tolerable, if possible even comfortable. We wanted to put them in a position where they could work themselves out of poverty.” A big push for money to make all the changes needed to happen and was made and with the help of the Rotary Club of Newtonle-Willows, donations from a number of other Rotary clubs, friends and a plethora of other organisations including an Interact Club in Ramsbottom plus a Millennium Development Grant, a total of £80,000 was raised. The Leigh Rotary Club partnered with the Rotary Club of Kumasi and the project started to become reality. As a result Bimma now has clean water to drink and every household has its own household latrine and some rudimentary understanding of germs. Diarrhoea, which people previously regarded as a way of life, has all but disappeared, leading to much better health and energy levels. There are fewer mosquito born illnesses because nets have been distributed to every family and they have been trained to use them. Nowadays, there is no hunger in the village and every child goes to school. There are small shops everywhere and plenty of 14 // ROTARY

Children of Bimma, Ghana using their new well

building work is underway. People have more spare time and keep the village cleaner than before - rubbish tips are tidier and footpaths are cleared.

We wanted to put them in a position where they could work themselves out of poverty.” Since Bimma as a village is prospering people from less fortunate areas have asked to move and the population has doubled. The Chief of Bimma has organised the flood of immigrants well, so old and new communities live peacefully with each other. He stipulates that newcomers must learn health and hygiene and must construct their own latrines. “We understand now that latrines keep us healthy,” he says. “We don’t want newcomers to lower our standards.” The work of Rotary has earned the undying gratitude of the village. In a collective letter of thanks, the Chief, Elders, Assemblyman and citizens wrote to express their profound appreciation of the numerous ways in which Rotary has improved their lives. They asked Rotary to continue working in the area, since surrounding villages still suffer hardship, and they sent their blessings for all of Rotary’s undertakings. “We cannot find words to thank you adequately. We thank you forever for adopting Bimma as your second home,” they said. l

Bimma, Ghana

To find out more visit: ashantidevelopment.org rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Rotary eClub

It’s Rotary,

but not as you know it Organisations across the world are embracing ways of engaging members and Rotary is no exception. We take a look at a novel and interesting way of Rotarians meeting.

R

otarians like to get involved and as a result are usually busy people. Because they like to get involved there is the impression that joining a Rotary Club is a big commitment. We often hear it said attending a meeting at a set time every week and setting aside a couple of hours in a busy schedule is not always easily done. However many like to and do find the time and make the effort to support worthwhile causes. So the dilemma is, “How do you achieve both of these commitments?” Rotary has developed an answer to this conundrum and it has been developed and worked on since the millennium. Using technology, which is still progressing, Rotarians across the world have set up eClubs and they are growing fast. Trying to find out when the first eClub was set up is quite a task since the embryos of eClubs were being split off from what are termed ‘traditional clubs’ or ‘land based clubs’ almost as an underground movement. The first Rotary eClub was chartered on January 4, 2002 as Rotary eClub One in Denver Colorado. The idea took off and eClubs began to charter across the world. Most of them have no boundaries as I found out, they have original ways of meeting and all are making use of modern technology. eClubs have also come in from the cold since at the triennial governing body of Rotary International The College On Legislation in Chicago earlier this 16 // ROTARY

year an enactment was passed removing the distinction between eClubs and traditional clubs. Therefore Rotary has jumped with one leap into the 21st century meeting the requirements of busy people, fitting in and enabling them a balance with their family, work and leisure time. eClubs meet in a number of ways and at times to suit their members. Since I am a member of the eClub of East Anglia but live in the West of England my membership demonstrates the flexibility of the boundaries. The Rotary eClub of East Anglia based in Norfolk and Suffolk is a great example of a Rotary club with members across the United Kingdom and the world. However, I wanted to find out how other eClubs operate so I connected with a few around the world and spoke with their members. Since I had worked for short periods in the Bay Area of San Francisco I chose for my first interview the President of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley, Mitty Chang. Mitty explained, “We chartered in January 2015 and now have 35 members of all ages, gender and professions but many are in the educational field. Over half of our members live and work in the Bay Area but we do have members in South Africa, Canada and Japan.” We then went on to talk about meetings and this eClub meets online live at times agreed with members, “We then have what is termed asynchronous meetings so a speaker uses a video to present on a subject

and that goes on our website each Monday and is current to the following Sunday,” Mitty told me. Having spent time talking with Mitty in the Bay Area of the States, technology allowed me to jump to South Africa and Durban to speak with Gerald Sieberhagen from the Rotary eClub of South Africa One. I knew Gerald already since occasionally he has attended my own club meetings. Gerald told me, “We chartered in November 2010 and we have an ideal number of 38 members of all ages. Our members come from the Durban area in the main but we do have some from the USA, UK, Australia and the western part of South Africa.” We were using Citrix GoToMeeting for our discussion and to my amazement a member from Australia saw we were online and joined us to listen in. This club meets fortnightly using GoToMeeting and usually has a speaker with a ‘Topic of the Week’. To get an Asian flavour of eClubs I then connected with Narasinha Joshi from the Rotary eClub of Belgaum 3170, India. This eClub meets quite differently from most clubs since they meet on Facebook on Wednesdays around midday British Summer Time. They have 35 members ranging from doctors, tax consultants and teachers. Meeting on Facebook seemed the easy way since for me to connect with Narasinha, however it took almost an hour using mobile phones and landlines but we made it in the end. Narasinha told me, “We have members rotarygbi.org


Any speaker can meet the members from the comfort of their own home or office”

predominantly in India with some members in the USA, New Zealand and Australia and we chartered in June 2012.” Narasinha went on to tell me, “There are six Rotary clubs in Mumbai, which is the nearest large town.” Since I had not heard of Belgaum I checked the map and found Mumbai is some distance away, a mere eight hour drive. Since eClubs meet online and use social media I was curious about an aspect of Rotary that land based clubs put a lot of emphasis on and that is fellowship. I’m pleased to report that it is alive and flourishing. The members who meet each week clearly get to know each other and a few clubs have what they term hybrid meetings where they do physically meet up. The eClub of Silicon Valley meet quite often. Since most members of eClubs know each other there are no inhibitions when they meet, they have no need to go through formalities they have rotarygbi.org

seen and talked with each other on their smartphone, tablet or PC many times. The other matter I wished to clear up is how each club got involved in projects and to my amazement and encouragement all of the clubs I spoke with are getting involved in projects to either improve their local community, help someone a lot less fortunate than themselves and even large international projects. In the Bay Area of San Francisco they use ‘mini-grants’ to help with member projects. South Africa are involved in adult literacy and child education with Global Grants from the Rotary Foundation and India get involved in health projects. Back here in the United Kingdom and Ireland eClubs are growing and adapting to their members needs, connecting right across our islands and beyond. They all connect using modern technology and quite often have high profile speakers to their meetings.

After all is said and done any speaker can meet the members from the comfort of their own home or office anywhere in the world. The only limiting factor is the time difference. Members can choose how they make the meetings. I know of one Rotarian who uses his smartphone for the meeting as he leaves work. He sits on the bus as he listens to the speaker or members speaking and when he arrives at his stop and gets to his house settles down to join in the rest of the meeting. He truly demonstrates the times in which we live and how Rotary has adapted to peoples needs. As it is said Rotary eClubs can meet any time, any place and anywhere. Rotary now fits in with modern family life and it does not get better than that. l To find out more visit: rotarygbi.org ROTARY // 17


ROTARY IN ACTION

Dictionary 4 Life

A small act,

worth a million words Why get involved as a volunteer? What is the motivation for people to take their time, money and talent to become involved? What does it take for volunteers to get involved and stay involved?

R

otarian Colin Bryant from the Rotary Club of Battersea, Brixton and Clapham founded The Dictionary 4 Life Project, which helps children to discover a new world of literacy at home and overseas. The initiative has seen thousands of brightly coloured books donated to primary school children to help stimulate an interest in language, books and reading, and ultimately, help change their lives. Colin set the project up after being a Rotarian for 40 years and he still had the drive to help others, he explains, “Two of my earlier individual memories showed how giving Rotary is. The club bought a new raised height armchair for an elderly, local lady and gave a grant to a bereaved 14-yearold school girl, then orphaned, who had no money to pay for a traditional wake at the burial of her recently deceased mother. “When I visited the Rotary Convention in the USA, I learnt about clubs donating small pocket dictionaries to primary school children. I reflected on my own childhood, a motherless family of five in a bookless household, and by good fortune I had won a grammar school place. I graduated as an adult after military service and during college breaks I worked as a local brewery deliveryman and this was where I met my first non-literate adult. “Due to the absence of regular staff I was upgraded to driver for the day. Charlie, my driver’s mate, and I went to our cab to start our deliveries around the pubs dotted throughout the Quantock Hills. En route to our cab I offered the clipboard and invoices to Charlie, he shrugged and to his and my embarrassment he told me that he could neither read nor write. 18 // ROTARY

“I moved on after college and taught in inner city London, and in due course I realised I was in a position perhaps to help with literacy. Here in Britain as many as one in five young people enter the workforce with below average levels of literacy and England is ranked 27th in the world. Since the 21st century and the new technology revolution, literacy is very important to employment, unlike during the 20th century with the agricultural revolution.

Rotary donors buy the books from The D4L Project and after inserting the individual name of the recipient in a dictionary, hand them out at a formal presentation usually attended by the local press.” “In 2006 I began the planning of The Dictionary 4 Life Project. I had to think about where I would get the dictionaries, how much they would cost, and how much would a Rotary club be prepared to pay? Other considerations included cash float, storage, deliveries, communication, identity, etc. I identified a publisher, agreed an acceptable price for a minimum order of 20,000 books. I then organised the warehousing and distribution and made a commitment to pay a minimum cost of £20,000 from my own pocket whatever minimum number I had advance sales for. I designed, printed and funded publisher samples and flyers and persuaded a friend to design and host a website – by now I had decided that the project would only supply online with minimum orders of 32 books, which equalled

four cartons each of eight books. The project title was agreed with my friend Sid between “Dictionary for Life” and “Dictionary 4 Life” – we thought D4L was more modern. After some two years in gestation the project launched. The minimum sales were reached and the house did not have to be mortgaged to pay the bill. “D4L was a success from the beginning, and the original project is supplying over 60,000 dictionaries annually mainly in the UK and has two independent offshoots in New Zealand and South Africa. In total the project has generated about 800,000 dictionaries from Rotarians in these countries and a number of other African countries, Canada and Grand Cayman. “Rotary donors buy the books from The D4L Project and after inserting the individual name of the recipient in a dictionary, hand them out at a formal presentation usually attended by the local press. “Overall perhaps 50% of clubs in the UK and Ireland have supported the project since its inception – some support it every year. We believe that, like many teachers, a personal copy of a dictionary raises awareness of vocabulary in the children and also other family members in second language families in the UK. Many teachers also appreciate that the donation is a high quality, bespoke book being placed in the hands of many children in “bookless” homes.” l IT ALL ADDS UP In total the project has generated about 800,000 dictionaries

800,000

To find out more visit: dictionary4life.com rotarygbi.org


WHAT THEY SAY

The Big Interview

ALLAN BERRY

She’ll raise you up We met up with Katherine Jenkins OBE to discuss family, performances and her upcoming concert for Rotary.

T

he headline act as part of the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland conference in Manchester next year will be Katherine Jenkins OBE. On Saturday April 8 the audience, consisting mainly of Rotarians, will settle down to listen to the mezzo soprano sing a repertoire of songs from her 11 albums. We spoke with Katherine Jenkins about the upcoming event and asked her about the concert, since it is the third time she has performed to such an audience, previous times in Birmingham, “They are an easy audience and so lovely! I had a thoroughly brilliant time performing for Rotary and I can’t wait to return! Many wonderful, stand out memories for me,” she remarked. Over the past few months and weeks Katherine Jenkins has been in high demand with concerts celebrating the 90th birthday of HRH The Queen and we asked how important those concerts were to her, she replied, “It’s been an incredible few months. Being part of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday Concert in Windsor Castle was actually quite overwhelming. I felt a very small part of this huge production with all the amazing cavalries, horses and carriages. It was a huge honour to be asked and I will never forget that night. My family are massive fans of Her Majesty so it was wonderful to be able to take my Mum, husband and baby daughter along too.” Since we had moved to the subject of family we then went on to ask her how she fits in her busy working schedule with her family life, she answered, “Like all working mums, it’s a bit of a juggle and takes forward

20 // ROTARY

planning. My husband is an artist, professor and filmmaker so we try to always make sure that we travel together as a family and support each other’s careers. One of us is with Aaliyah whilst the other one works. Also, she’s so teeny tiny at the moment that she’s very portable and can come to work with mummy.” Whilst briefly touching on family life we went on to ask about her latest album ‘Celebration’ released in March. The album contains a song written for her daughter, Aaliyah, called ‘The Mother’s Heart’ so we asked how special this was for her. “This song was written as a tribute to Her Majesty. I wrote it with Brendan Graham, who wrote You Raise Me Up, and Jon Cohen and it’s meant to think of The Queen as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and mother to her people. Of course, being a first time mum, this song is extremely poignant for me. I recorded it when Aaliyah was five months old and I took her into the vocal booth and sang it to her. I could never get all the way through without bursting into tears,” Katherine replied. We did the interview just as Wales were competing in UEFA Euro 2016 so we had to ask about her home country since she is such an ambassador for Wales. Her reply was very much as we would have expected, “I am a very proud Welsh girl; I grew up in a place that was very supportive of music, with many opportunities for young singers. I don’t think I would have been able to follow this path without the amazing support I received from home.” Katherine Jenkins is also renowned for her support of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and since this must have been

“This song was written as a tribute to Her Majesty. I wrote it with Brendan Graham, who wrote You Raise Me Up, and Jon Cohen and it’s meant to think of The Queen as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and mother to her people.” a tremendous privilege and a moving experience we had to ask her about that and this is where her modesty shone through. She replied, “The shows in the war zones are some of my proudest moments. The very first show I did was in Basra, Iraq in 2005. The stage was created with the use of two flat bed trucks back to back in an empty aircraft hanger. Four thousand squaddies sat cross legged on the floor and behind them, I could see a constant stream of military aircrafts landing and taking off. These shows are not glamorous in the slightest but I believe it’s important to show our appreciation to the wonderful men and women of our armed forces who risk their lives for us every day.” This type of spirit shines through in her work with charities and she supports quite a few so we asked her which ones were really close to her heart. Her reply was not surprising given her personal circumstances, “I support many charities but the ones closest to my heart are Macmillan Cancer Support, my father passed away to lung cancer when I was 15, and he was looked after at home by rotarygbi.org


the Macmillan nurses, The British Forces Foundation and Care After Combat since I have been involved with performing for the troops since 2005, and The Wilderness Foundation as my husband and I are appalled at the current crisis of rhino and elephant poaching in order to obtain horn and ivory.” Well we could not let the opportunity pass without asking about a release of a new album, possibly before her performance in Manchester in April but it seems it is not on the cards, “I’m not sure there’ll be a new album by then but I will be performing all the most requested songs from my 11 albums - a real mix of classical, opera, songs from the shows, folk and modern day songs.” Katherine Jenkins has stolen many a heart with her special selection of songs and her heartfelt performances. When she steps on stage at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester we know she will delight her audience with her singing. She is a true professional and it shines through in all that she does. She will ensure that Rotarians and friends will have a great evening.

The Katherine Jenkins CD Celebration is available on Decca Classics and also downloadable on iTunes.

For more information visit: rotarygbi.org/what-we-do /conference/ rotarygbi.org

ROTARY // 21


ROTARY IN ACTION

Purple 4 Polio

Purple is the ‘in’ colour Rotary International continues the long campaign to eradicate polio from the world and in early July an exciting campaign was launched to give the project a further boost.

W

e stand on the brink of a historic milestone, a polio free world with just 17 cases recorded this year. To make this a reality, Rotary, who started the campaign to rid the world of polio more than 30 years ago and has spearheaded this major health initiative ever since, is determined to raise awareness and funds to finish off the job. The Purple4Polio campaign was launched at a prestigious event aboard the replica paddle steamer Queen Dixie on the banks of the River Thames. The campaign, which has the backing of singer-songwriter Donovan and former TV presenter Konnie Huq, is encouraging everyone to join together in the final push to eradicate polio worldwide. This campaign will see Rotary clubs across Britain and Ireland taking part in wide, varied and fun activities highlighting the End Polio Now campaign. One such project has Rotary teaming up with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom community groups to transform public spaces and brighten up local communities by planting five million purple crocus corms across Britain and Ireland. Purple has long been the colour that has been associated with polio, and more specifically immunisation programmes, as it is the colour of the dye used on a child’s left little finger during immunisation to signify that they have received the vaccine. During National Immunisation Days (NID’s) literally millions of children are vaccinated and the colouring of the left little finger aids the teams on the ground to identify children who need immunising. The campaign has the backing of two celebrity Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassadors, who both have had first-hand experiences with polio. It is particularly a role close to Donovan’s heart as he himself contracted the disease as a young child. Speaking at the event he said, “I’m proud of this polio campaign because I had polio myself when I was a wee child in Glasgow.” Also, the TV Presenter, Konnie Huq, saw the devastation that polio can cause when 22 // ROTARY

Children with purple dyed fingers to show that they have been vaccinated

travelling to India with Rotary to take part in administering immunisations against the crippling disease. Konnie comments, “I saw the fantastic work being done by Rotarians to rid the world of polio first hand when I went to India to make a film about Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. I joined British Rotarians who had travelled there to take part in a mass polio immunisation of children and I was really impressed by their dedication and determination to eradicate polio. That is why I am so pleased to be supporting the Purple4Polio campaign being launched by Rotary. “I remember when the news came through that India was polio free and it felt like such an amazing milestone. Imagine if that extended to the whole world being polio free, that would just be such a brilliant achievement. We are so close right now to ridding the world of this crippling disease.” The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own charity has played a key role in making polio eradication a prime focus and as a result we are close to the reality of succeeding. The Rotary Foundation has reached it 100th anniversary this year and supports the End Polio Now campaign along with other humanitarian projects both locally in Great

Britain and Ireland and internationally The Rotary Foundation recently released $35 million of funding to further finance the campaign. Even though polio is eradicated in all countries except Afghanistan and Pakistan, immunisation of children across the world must be continued until the polio virus is eradicated completely. President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Eve Conway added: “The world stands on the brink of an historic milestone and we must focus our efforts on the final push to eradicate this disease to ensure a polio-free world. Let’s join together to make history and End Polio Now and forever.” Whilst the world stands on this historical brink the work must be continued and Rotarians across the world maintain their support until the job is finished. l

For more information visit: rotarygbi.org /what-we-do/purple4polio rotarygbi.org


Rotary around the world Rotarians across the world join with their communities to make a difference. We highlight just a few events helping to change lives for the better.

USA

Canada

New Zealand

Whiteville Rotary Club to Hold 5th Annual Cardboard Boat Championships

Tune in to Radio Rotary

Rotary gift a new high for rescue chopper

During May the Rotary Club of Kapuskasing hosted its annual Rotary Radio Day in support of their youth programs. Youth Services Chair Chantal Dussault is a former exchange student to Germany. She joined the Kap Club two years ago in hopes to provide life-changing opportunities to our youths for many more years. “We currently offer three youth programs,” says Dussault, “the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and the short-term as well as long-term exchange programs.” The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, or RYLA, is a leadership training camp where high school students learn about leadership fundamentals and ethics, communication skills, problem solving and conflict management as well as community and global citizenship. The Short-Term Exchange Program, or STEP, offers the opportunity for qualified students to experience a family-to-family cultural exchange during the summer months. During the Long-Term Exchange Program, or YEX, students spend a year in another country living with different host families and attending classes at the local school. “We will start recruiting candidates from all three local high schools in Kap come September,” explains Dussault. The Rotary Radio Day is the Kap Club’s biggest fundraising event for their youth programs. All listeners are invited to hear ads from local businesses, to get to know Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Kapuskasing, to hear stories from guest speakers as well as to play the Rotary trivia game. l

Fundraising soared to new heights, with $94,000 given to the lifesaving Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust. Held at 1024 restaurant, applause rang out as the Hastings Karamu Rotary Club presented a $94,000 cheque to the trust, operators of the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service. Hastings Karamu Rotary Club President Nick Story said their $94,000 contribution was almost a 30 per cent increase from 2015, bringing the total contribution made by the club over the 25 years to over $1.2 million. “We all know the critical role the Rescue Helicopter plays in our community and our members are passionate about ensuring it continues to fly high in the sky and provide its much-needed and greatly valued service,” Mr Story said. The Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust General Manager Ian Wilmot said the large contribution was significant, and they were incredibly grateful to the club for its ongoing support. “Every year the Rescue Helicopter carries out approximately 300 missions, which include rescue as well as transportation of patients so it plays a vital role in our community. Funding for the running costs of the helicopter is paramount as we need to raise $1.3 million every year so the club’s contribution is greatly appreciated,” Mr Wilmot said. l

The North Carolina Cardboard Boat Championships were held at the Waccamaw Sailing Club in Lake Waccamaw. The race challenge was to design and build a human-powered, cardboard boat that’s capable of finishing a 200-yard course. This was the 5th year the Whiteville Rotary Club has held the event. “We have Lake Waccamaw, which is one of the most beautiful parts of North Carolina you could imagine, so we thought it’d be a great idea to try to hold an event out there and do something fun to raise money and do something on Father’s Day weekend,” Whiteville Rotary Club President Jonathan Medford said. “This year’s kind of new,” Medford said. “We’re building boats for our sponsors and then a lot of people build their own boats. We already have 21 boat entries this year. Last year we had 12 boat entries, so there’s going to be a lot more people out there this year.” Organisers are expecting the event to draw over 400 spectators. “If you’ve built a really good boat, it’ll last,” Medford said. “We have one guy who’s actually reusing a boat that he built last year.” Proceeds from the event will go to the Whiteville Rotary Club’s Good Works Fund, which supports local charities, non-profit organisations and scholarships throughout Columbus County. l

24 // ROTARY

rotarygbi.org


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

Literacy Mission

Happy schools is the aim

We learnt of a Rotary project taking Asia by storm helping to give children a better future so we made contact to find out more.

W

hat if every child under the age of 14 in India was literate? That is the aim of one Rotarian who has set up an organisation across the country embracing help from all the Rotarians who share his vision. It has certainly captured the hearts and minds of many people and is storming to success wherever the programme is introduced. The project, TEACH, the brainchild of Rotarian Shekhar Mehta from the Rotary Club of Kolkata-Mananagar is achieving great success across the country so I thought it useful to speak with Shekhar to find out a little bit more about it and we discussed it on a very bad line from Kolkata. I started by asking Shekhar about the project, a simple question, since I did not realise its enormity. He explained, “It is an assignment from Rotary International and it is called ‘The South Asia Initiative.” South Asia covers a vast area of the world so we had to clear this statement up, “We operate the programme in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Sri Lanka is considered to be literate,” he told me. I was immediately impressed and curious. I wondered what is meant when the statement is made that a country is literate. The information is hard to find but Sri Lanka, according to the World Bank figures, had an adult literacy rate of 91% in 2014, impressive by any standard. India’s figure was 75% in 2011. We went on

26 // ROTARY

to talk more about the project, Shekhar told me, “I want really to talk about India since this is where the project is maturing but it is being duplicated in the other countries. I am the Chair of the Rotary India Literacy Mission and the programme there is called TEACH and was started in 2014.” He went on to explain how the programme had developed since its inception, “We have all 100 Rotary districts in India involved on the programme supported by 10 co-ordinators on 4 committees who are represented in the clubs and the people taking part in the campaign.” It would seem that Rotarians and clubs across India are all involved in teaching children from 7 to 14 years, 2 million of them. The set-up is vast and covers not only reading but other essential skills that children need as part of literacy and of course mathematics

rotarygbi.org


is one such subject all of which are aimed at stimulating a child’s need to learn. I had to ask if professional teachers or volunteers staffed the programme. Shekhar told me, “We have our own structure of implementing the programme and fortunately the project has been endorsed by the government and other None Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and corporates all of whom are flocking to join us on this programme.” This is by any standards an enormous project that has had buy in across India and all this costs money to develop and support, also Shekhar had mentioned corporate support, so I asked him how the project is financed, to which he answered, “We have support from such companies as the Bank of India, Aircel a telephone conglomerate and Coca-Cola.” My next question had to be, ‘how much?’ and I must admit to being taken aback by the figure, “We have at the moment $7m as part of companies' corporate social responsibility with the Bank of India contributing $1.5m of the $7m and at least 5 other companies are making offers. It’s really caught on well.” As the programme is proving such a success with support across all sectors I asked Shekhar why he thought it was being so successful, and he replied, “It is because we take a holistic approach looking and addressing teaching, the child and the school looking at a quality education. Our theme is total literacy and quality education but we rotarygbi.org

We have support from such companies as the Bank of India, Aircel a telephone conglomerate and Coca-Cola.” do not input to the curriculum but embrace different ways of teaching such as eLearning which we use enormously.” I had to touch once again how this very ambitious project was being financed and if The Rotary Foundation had contributed and clubs had donated with Global Grants and local grants. For instance the eLearning requires animation on tablets and this is financed in some way by The Rotary Foundation. There are so many facets to this project that I was finding it a challenge to keep up with all the various aspects as Shekhar was introducing yet another area but I had to ask as ever how Rotarians in the United Kingdom and Ireland could help and play an active part. Shekhar thought for a few moments and then explained, “We would encourage Rotarians and clubs to help with Global Grants from the Rotary Foundation and we want more people to help so Voluntary Training Teams (VTT) made up of teachers would be useful. Anyone who wishes to offer us help can come to India and help us.” Shekhar informed me that Nobel

Laureate Kailash Satyarthi had endorsed the campaign saying, “The moment the door of a classroom opens for a child, millions of doors of opportunities open for that child.” He went on to say, “Now begin a newer and better challenge to fight the polio of illiteracy that is a mental, social and economic ailment.” All the way through our call Rotarian Shekhar Mehta emphasised happy schools, which is what they aim for through the literacy programme and one such example is Seethalakshmi, a student of class VIII in Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Higher Secondary School, who is so happy to get a bench to sit on, she breaks into a smile. The credit of her smile goes to Rotary Club Rajapalayam who stepped into this tiny school in Meenakshipuram village of Tamil Nadu. They constructed a new block in the school for senior classes including toilet blocks, provided drinking water facilities and other requisite infrastructure like seating arrangements. As I discussed the TEACH programme with Shekhar his full commitment was apparent and the programme he has pioneered in India may soon be adopted in some of the African countries. Getting children into education is one of The Rotary Foundation’s Areas of Focus and this programme in South East Asia is a great example of Rotary at work. l To find out more visit: rotaryteach.org ROTARY // 27


What they say... A huge thank you

ROTARY PRESIDENT 2016/17 I EVE CONWAY

The power of Rotary

P

utting two drops of polio vaccine into a child’s mouth during a mass immunisation campaign in India in 2009, I realise now that I was taking part in a moment of history. India was certified free of polio in 2014 and we are now on the brink of a historic milestone as we are so close to achieving Rotary’s number one goal of a polio-free world. With just a small number of cases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two countries where polio is still endemic, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative hopes that we could see the last new case of polio later this year. We need three years of no new cases to declare the world polio-free and Rotary is determined to achieve this goal. That is why we have launched the Rotary Purple4Polio campaign in Britain and Ireland to raise awareness and funds. Purple is the colour of the dye put on a child’s little finger to show that they have been immunised against polio. I am delighted that the legendary singer and songwriter Donovan, who contracted polio when he was three, has agreed to become a Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassador along with TV Presenter Konnie Huq. Konnie joined British Rotarians to make a film that I produced about Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign in India in 2009. As part of the campaign, we have agreed a partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society that will involve Rotary clubs linking with the RHS’s community-based “Bloom” groups to promote the Rotary campaign to end polio by planting around five million purple crocus corms in local areas. It is significant that we are reaching this polio milestone in the year that we celebrate the Centenary of The Rotary Foundation, marking one hundred years of our Rotary charity “doing good in the world”, from fighting polio, to carrying out our countless humanitarian projects, to funding peace fellows and global scholars. My life was changed thanks to The Rotary Foundation when I was selected as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and gained 28 // ROTARY

Eve administering the polio vaccine

a Master of Science Degree in Broadcast Journalism at Northwestern University based in Evanston, Illinois - the home of Rotary International. Back then I never dreamt that I would one day be elected as President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and like so many others who are grateful to Rotary for the opportunities given to us, I am honoured that I have been given the opportunity to give back to Rotary. Ten years ago, I started the Rotary Young Citizen Awards to recognise positive young role models and I am delighted that as President, the first person that I inducted as a Rotarian was Maciej Szukala, a Rotary Young Citizen Award winner from 2010. Maciej was then aged 15 and had moved to Wrexham as a Polish migrant and found it such an isolating experience, he became determined to help other young migrants settle into a new way of life, teaching English to new pupils at his school and helping young refugees. He now runs his own business. Maciej is a member of one of two vibrant new Rotary clubs whose charters I attended in the first fortnight of being President, Wrexham Glyndwr and Marlow Bridge. As I entered the venue for one of the club meetings, I was asked “Are you with the Rotary club?” My answer: “Yes I am”. I am so proud to be a Rotarian and to be part of an inspirational global network of community volunteers who together are able to save and change lives at home and overseas and, in the process, our lives are changed for the better too.

O

ver the last festive period large areas of Lancashire and Cumbria suffered some of the worst flooding they have seen in decades. Rotary clubs in and around the area responded in force to provide practical support and help the victims of the disaster. Their work is ongoing. Leaders of Rotary in the areas affected wish to thank all those involved since the response was overwhelming, and Rotarians and supporters were there to help. This help consisted of providing practical support such as ripping out soaked carpets to setting up a ‘one stop shop’ where victims could go to get the help they needed. Added to this hands on help, Rotarians across the UK and Ireland made donations to the Lancashire and Cumbria district flood appeal resulting in a total of £201,000 being received, much of which has been distributed via local Rotary clubs to meet immediate needs and to provide recovery in helping keep communities together and functioning. This funding has helped to improve resilience in particularly vulnerable areas. In addition the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland disaster fund supported medium to long term recovery by donating £35,000 via Rotary clubs in Keswick and Kendal to ensure that community assets are restored in order that the particular community facility is maintained. All funds have been distributed through a local club that has the responsibility of managing the project and to report on completion. Many clubs raised extra funding to supplement the main flood fund and the whole exercise, although it is regrettable that the disaster occurred, has seen local Rotary clubs achieve closer contact within the communities. Rotarian, Arthur Jones, said at the time, “I would like to formerly say a huge thank you to all Rotarians and clubs and organisations who responded to my appeal for funding and equipment. The response is what Rotary does, taking action in its community.”

IT ALL ADDS UP Donations made to Lancashire and Cumbria district flood appeal over:

£200,000

rotarygbi.org


Meet&Greet

It’s always interesting to speak with a new young Rotarian who presents a fresh vision of the organisation. FACT FILE Name: Jessica Shailes, 31 Club: The Rotary Club of Welland Valley Rotary Member since: 2014 Occupation: Head of Digital Marketing

Q:

What were your perceptions of Rotary before you joined? I grew up hearing about Rotaract before Rotary because my mum was involved in the local club before she met my Dad. I knew that Rotaract was a big part of her life and she really enjoyed it, so I saw it as a way to make a difference while being sociable.

Q:

How did you find out about the organisation? When I moved back to Market Harborough, my Mum had joined the newly formed Welland Valley club and invited me. She thought it would be a good way for me to settle back into the area after years away instead of focusing on work and I didn’t see the harm.

Q:

After your first club meeting what impressions of Rotary did you take away with you? I didn’t really know what to make of it, as a new club everyone was finding their feet. Members of our mother club, Market Harborough, were so supportive and welcoming, that I was happy to stick it out and we soon picked up momentum.

Q:

Have you got involved in a club event and how did you find the experience? Yes, we have had a few club events that I have been involved in but I most enjoyed assisting our sponsor club with their Santa grotto project in the local ice cream parlour. I was able to use my professional skills while being creative and having a bit of fun dressing up.

30 // ROTARY

Q:

What do you personally get out of being a member? I like contributing to something bigger than myself and feeling like I’ve helped to make a difference. As most of my weeks are filled with paid work, it’s refreshing to see the value that time and effort can mean to someone else, especially when you’re working with others.

Q: How do you think we should project

the plus things about Rotary especially some of the things you enjoy about it? I think the overall impact of Rotary as an organisation isn’t something that is widely recognised by the people on the street. I like the feeling of being involved in projects on a local level but also being part of a much, much larger whole. An example was when my sister mentioned Bill Gates contributing to ending Polio, but she didn’t know anything about the involvement of Rotary. I was proud to be able to tell her that Rotary made a significant difference.

Q:

If you could change something in the organisation, which you think would be for the better, what would it be? I’d like to see Rotary become more approachable for busy professionals, in terms of the financial and time requirements. I know this is not a new idea, I’ve heard it enough times, but the time commitment of Rotary is often too much for someone who’s working, or with a young family to manage. However, they would still benefit from Rotary, as would Rotary benefit from them. I have noticed eClubs and more flexible

clubs sprouting up which appear to be part of a turning tide, so I hope they continue to flourish.

Q:

How do you find the time to fit in Rotary with other hobbies and interests? Sometimes Rotary does just have to take a back seat because I have bigger commitments, but I find it easier to do little and often and schedule in the larger things. As with most things, expecting to just ‘find time’ doesn’t happen, so I make a commitment ahead of time if tasks won’t fit into a half hour slot.

Q:

If I asked you to sum up the organisation and your enjoyment of it in a few words what would you say? You’ll never feel more significant as a small cog in a large machine, than as part of Rotary. Editor’s note: Since receiving the replies to the questions Rotary International has relaxed club meeting requirements to allow for clubs to be flexible in meeting arrangements.

To find a club near you visit: rotarygbi.org/club-finder rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Roald Dahl

Dahl’s

phizz-whizzing words Along with all Rotarians the magazine team like a bit of fun so we decided to take a look at an entertaining book based on the words of Roald Dahl.

R

oald Dahl is reckoned to be the world’s number one storyteller and this year marks the centenary of his birth. What better way to celebrate that auspicious event than for the world’s leading language experts at Oxford University Press to publish a dictionary of the words Dahl used and invented in his writings. His use of words and play on them have enthralled and delighted children and adults over many years since they stretch the imagination. The dictionary has most, if not all of them, from aardvark to zozimus. Some need to be read backwards, others upside down and some he just invented and are what Roald Dahl called ‘Gobblefunk’. Scrumdiddlyumptious was his word he invented used in The BFG together with ‘extra-usual’ words, others include words such as Loompaland from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Loompaland is the place where Oompa-Loompas come from. It is a country full of dense jungles and dangerous beasts such as snozzwangers and hornswogglers. We then had to look those words up. They sound frightening and they are. That was intended by Dahl since he wanted readers to work out what the words meant. Children love the sound of words like squishous and 32 // ROTARY

squizzle or fizzlecrump and fizzwiggler. As we have already identified he loved using onomatopoeia where the word sound gives the reader the clue with such words as lickwishy describing something as gloriously delicious. The word is made up of lick and swish, which brings to mind licking your lips when you eat something really delicious; as one can imagine with the word delumptious, combining delicious and scrumptious. But what about uckyslush describing something as disgusting and revolting and then there is rotsome another adjective where the word gives the meaning and in this case something which is rotten and moudly with a disgusting taste. Quite a few of these words are from one of Dahl’s best known stories, The BFG. We dipped into the dictionary to find a few words at random that we thought were fun, like the Roly-Poly Bird from the Twits and the Enormous Crocodile. This bird is magnificent and likes to travel, although he comes from Africa. He speaks the same language as the Muggle-Wumps who are a family of ex-circus monkeys that Mr and Mrs Twit keep in a cage overlooking the garden. They speak an African language, which is understood by the Roly-Poly Bird. Dr Susan Rennie the lexicographer who researched and explained the words says, “Roald Dahl once said that he didn’t want his readers to get so bored they decided to close the book and watch television instead. We don’t want readers of our dictionary to do that either. We want them to feel the joy of browsing in a dictionary, and discovering something they didn’t know before. It is a dictionary to be read, not just consulted. Of course it is a rite of passage in every youngster’s life to look up rude words in a dictionary. Roald Dahl was so brilliant at writing from a child’s level, and was not averse to creating his own fruity diction. Readers of the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary will

be delighted to learn and then use on unsuspecting grownups such naughty sounding terms as bopmuggered, gunzleswiped and fluckgungled.”

Roald Dahl once said that he didn’t want his readers to get so bored they decided to close the book and watch television instead.” We looked them up, and if a giant is bopmuggered, he is in a very bad situation. It is very rude to say you are bopmuggered, which is why giants like to say it. The same definition applies to gunzleswiped and also to fluckgungled since if this happens to a giant he is in a hopeless situation. All of these words and more are used in Dahl’s The BFG. This book is being made into a film directed by Steven Spielberg and is being released in late July. It was a pleasure to work on this article and with the late Roald Dahl’s estate and we would describe it as fantabulous, phizzwhizzing, squiffling and wondercrump. l

The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary is published by Oxford University Press and is priced at £14.99.

To find out more visit: roalddahl.com rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Literacy in a Box Trust

An opportunity for education

Earlier this year we introduced Literacy in a Box Trust, now we take a look at some examples of how the project has helped change lives.

I

n the UK it is often easy to take education for granted, but for many across the globe the opportunity of education isn’t one that comes around very often. That is where Literacy in a Box comes in. When Roborough Plymouth Rotarians originally became aware of the problem of poor literacy and lack of educational resources in Zambia, they contacted Operation Sunshine, a local charity already working in Zambia, to see how they could help. They agreed to send two boxes of educational materials on the charity’s next container to Zambia as a pilot to support schools and the Literacy in a Box Trust was born. Since then over 800 boxes containing enough school supplies for over 16,000 children have been sent out. Boxes contain everything from pens, pencils, exercise books and backpacks to more recreational items like skipping ropes and footballs. One way of raising funds and awareness of the plight of children in such countries in Zambia was the charity’s Walk4Hope, and children from Hyde Park Infant School in Plymouth took part in a sponsored walk in the grounds of Buckland Abbey. The walk, although carried out in an English climate demonstrated the distances children in Zambia have to walk to get to school. Half way around the course the children stopped off in a barn for a typical Zambian child’s lunch of maize porridge which is the staple diet of the children. The event raised enough money to fund 3 boxes but above all the children participating acquired a little understanding of life as a child in Zambia. In Zambia one school that acts as a 34 // ROTARY

Children recite poems of thanks to the Literacy Box team

shining example of the difference Literacy in a Box can make is the Holy Hill Community School in Msoro, found way out in the bush of the Eastern Province of Zambia. The school received one of the first two Literacy Boxes sent out in 2006 as a pilot and since then has received a regular supply of Literacy Boxes along with two deliveries of Zambian curriculum textbooks. During a recent visit, half a dozen of the pupils presented poems of thanks to the Literacy in a Box team, poems that of course would never have been able to be created without the vital help and supplies which had been provided. Manager of the school, Florence Mwayopa, commented, “Thanks to Literacy in a Box all of my pupils will be completing their primary education, which is incredible considering the average completion rate for community schools in these rural areas is around 50%.” Grace Lutanda, a mother from Taonga Community School in Lusaka, who was another recipient of the boxes can also account first hand for the difference the

project makes, as she explains, “We feel so lucky to have Literacy in a Box helping our school. Most of us as parents would never to be able to provide the necessary equipment and there are also a high number of orphans here so words cannot describe how grateful we are. God bless you all.” l

Zambia

To find out more visit: literacyboxtrust.org.uk rotarygbi.org


rotarygbi.org

ROTARY // 35


ROTARY IN ACTION

Youth Competitions

Our world is beautiful

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland celebrates the aspiring young people we have in our communities, and each year it holds youth competitions to champion the amazing upcoming talents of these individuals.

L

ucy Jones, aged 14, was named victorious in this year’s Rotary Young Writer competition. Here at Rotary magazine we understand the time and careful thought process it takes to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. The Young Writer competition helps to unveil the amazing talents yet to be uncovered, revealing a wealth of fantastic stories from the minds of our young people. For this special article we asked senior winner Lucy, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Knowle and Dorridge, to share with us her experiences of taking part in the competition and how she believes it will help her future development.

“Elation was my immediate feeling after hearing that I had won the senior age category in the Rotary Young Writer competition. I was delighted to hear that not only had I been selected for the local prize but, additionally, for the national title. Originally, I had heard about the competition via my English t eacher and was struck by the title, ‘Our World is Beautiful’; and it intrigued me, as I knew that it was open to a host of different interpretations. “The staff at Arden Academy, Solihull have been incredibly supportive and encouraging during my time at the school. However, it is of great benefit to receive feedback from a wider body of independent experts. Through entering this competition, I know that my work has been evaluated against an extensive

range of young writers at a national level, rather than just against my peer group. Furthermore, I felt privileged to receive comments from the judges of this competition, who are themselves exceptional writers. “After considering various concepts, I decided upon describing the four seasons. I have a wide appreciation of the natural world and thought that I could express this through a piece of creative writing. My intention was to illustrate and share my interpretation of nature in an individual way and I am glad I was able to achieve this. I intend to participate in this competition again next year and look forward to crafting a new piece of creative writing.”

Extract from Lucy Jones story

Effortlessly emerging from its chrysalis, the butterfly glides through the placid breeze and finds a minute of solitude on a stable leaf; after traipsing through the foliage, the ladybird extends its wings for the first time and embarks on its voyage into the air. Revitalized, the bee departs from the foxglove with an ample supply of pollen. Apart from the intriguing creatures that summer brings, the equatorial climate encourages fatigued businessmen, uptight mothers and restless children into the open air. The open air inspires cheerful picnics and periodic BBQs. Periodic BBQs connect families. Connected families bring jubilation and laughter.

36 // ROTARY

rotarygbi.org


Senior Winner Megan McCulloch

Intermediate Winner Piotr Libera

Junior Winner Charlotte Jackson-Stark

This year there were over 70 submissions to the competition, all of which drew upon the theme ‘Our World is Beautiful’, where entrants explore why they thought the world was an attractive place. The competition was made up of three categories junior, intermediate and senior, and was open to young people aged seven to seventeen. The winner of the junior category was 9-year-old Isabella Fleming, and nominated by The Rotary Club of St. Neots St. Marys. Feedback from the judges stated that Isabella’s prose showed maturity for her young age and was beautifully written with clever progression. 13-year-old Ella Kyle, and nominated by The Rotary Club of Truro Boscawen, came first in the intermediate category after the judges praised her for her thoughtful, stunning and mature précis, showing wisdom beyond her years. It wasn’t just fantastic words that explored our beautiful world, but also pictures in Rotary’s Young Photographer competition. Thousands of applicants sent in their images of their local communities and three youngsters were crowned the winner. 10-year-old Charlotte Jackson-Stark, was the winner of the junior category; 13-year-old Piotr Libera took home the intermediate prize whilst 16-year-old

Megan McCulloch was awarded top spot for the seniors. We caught up with one of the victors to find out how he feels about winning and what it is that inspired him to take part. Piotr has always had a keen interest in photography, since he was given his first compact camera as a present at four years old. He won his first photography competition when he was just nine and has been snapping his surroundings at every opportunity ever since. His winning shot shows a stunning scene of a yawning leopard, which he captured when he travelled to the Parc des Félins just outside Paris. He explains, “I have always loved cats and when we visited the park, there were so many beautiful cats I could shoot including cheetahs, leopards and even white tigers. When I came across these leopards yawning, I thought they looked so cute and would make for a great photograph if I could get it right, so I took my time to get the perfect shot, which is the one I chose to enter for the competition.” We were interested to hear how Piotr interpreted the theme ‘Our World is Beautiful’ and he explained, “What I loved about this shot in particular is that it shows a different side to the leopard. Looking at how cute and calm it looks there, you would never think it is the ferocious hunter it can be in reality. That is one of the things I love about

photography – that it can capture a side to life you may not see by freezing a moment in time. It can highlight beautiful parts of our world that otherwise may go unnoticed.” Piotr is clearly a very talented young man and we were keen to hear where he takes his inspiration from for his photography. His dad is also a photographer by profession and Piotr explained how being able to travel with his dad to photoshoots whilst he was growing up sparked his interest in the hobby. “I am incredibly grateful to my dad for teaching me how to take amazing photographs – I definitely owe all I know to him!” Piotr confessed. He concluded, “It still hasn’t quite sunk in that I am the winner, but I am very honoured to receive the award. I hope lots of other people my age will get involved next year, because it is a great way to get away from our screens and interact with the world around us in a creative way. I am already thinking about my entry for next year!” The Rotary Young Photographer competition is open to any young person in full time education between the ages of 7 – 17. The theme for next year’s competition is ‘Reflection’. l If you are interested in taking part, visit rotarygbi.org/what-we-do/youthcompetitions/ or get in touch wit h your local club who may be hosting a competition.

rotarygbi.org

ROTARY // 37


RASHEEDA BHAGAT: EDITOR ROTARY NEWS, INDIA

President’s mother saved Members of Rotary Internationl gather each year to enjoy fellowship, celebrate their successes and lay the foundations for their year ahead. We hear from an enthused first time attendee.

I

t’s not every day that an RI President decides to go public at a convention with something he has closely guarded, but President Ravi did just that, “Fifty three years ago, my mother’s life was perhaps the very first to be saved from polio by Rotarians.” With an emotional story of how his paralysed, dying mother was nursed back to health thanks to a group of Rotarians assembled in his grandfather’s house in Colombo for a Rotary meet, Ravindran moved the huge gathering of 43,000plus Rotarians assembled for the 2016 Convention at the gigantic hi-tech Kintex complex in Seoul. A ventilator was urgently required, the few available in Sri Lanka were already hooked to other patients, and his mother faced certain death. The Rotarians acted quickly; one, a bank manager, got the required foreign exchange cleared, another a Swiss Air manager, arranged to fly the ventilator the following day. “There was so much red tape at that time in Sri Lanka, but somehow, those Rotarians made it fall away. By the following morning, the machine was on a plane, and by evening, in the hospital helping my mother to breathe.” She survived, lived for another 48 years, and passed away five years ago. This moving story added to the carnival like atmosphere that defines every Convention, along with an explosion of colours, cultures and languages and fellowship reigned supreme. Hundreds of stalls in the House of Friendship facilitated exchange of ideas, information, visiting cards, triggering new friendships and collaborations. An array of distinguished speakers were lined up, such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. Congratulating the Rotarians on their polio eradication drive, Ban Ki-moon said, “ Some 16 million people, who would otherwise have been paralysed by polio, can walk now. About 1.5 million children are alive today thanks to Polio Plus. And, over the next 20 years, polio eradication will save over 50 million lives.” 38 // ROTARY

RI Convention, Seoul

30 years of hard work, 1.85 billion Rotary dollars and over 2.5 billion immunised children was a remarkable legacy.” Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said thanks helping to stop a raging ethnic war to immunise Sri Lanka’s children, the country has been free from polio for 20 years. There was fun, frolics and dancing at the Convention when Psy, the Korean singing sensation of Gangnam fame, performed live to enthral the crowd, who went wild to his moves. Incoming RI President John Germ said that Rotary was about to begin “the most progressive year in its history, and had become more flexible to attract younger members, recent retirees, and working people. The vigil on polio needed to continue. Polio advocacy would have to be relentless; 30 years of hard work, 1.85 billion Rotary dollars and over 2.5 billion immunised children was a remarkable legacy.” When the moment of triumph comes

“we have to ensure that we are recognised for that success, and leverage it for more partnerships,” Germ added. Rotary was on a path of innovation and was getting positive media coverage from publications such as Time Magazine, New York Times, Forbes, BBC, CNN, and its End Polio Now campaign was a winner of a Silver Anvil award, the Oscars of Public Relations. The live streaming of the last World Polio Day event had reached 145 million people through Twitter, Instagram, and FB. The April Jubilee at St Peter’s Square on invitation of Pope Francis, attended by 9,000 Rotarians, not only got great media coverage, just one FB post with the Pope’s message got 87,000 likes and reached 1.3 million people within 48 hours. The Convention ended with a sterling call to reassemble in Atlanta for the landmark Rotary Foundation Centennial next June. l rotarygbi.org


ROTARY NEWS

Regional

The Rotary Effect Catching up with all the news from Rotary clubs

Seagulls flying again

L

Rainbow run

A

fter the Interact Club of Tiverton High School paid a visit to Little Bridge House, a facility run by Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) that provides care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families, the members came away inspired to help. The club, which is made up of 50 pupils aged 12-16, decided to raise money by taking part in the CHSW Rainbow Run, where entrants are engulfed in explosions of colour as they tackle the 5 kilometre course. Two members of the club, Caitlin Davies and Beth Padfield were joined by their teachers and Rotarians from their sponsoring club the Rotary Club of Tiverton and raised

Making progress

T

he Rotary Club of Braunton Caen, Devon has provided a boost to a local school by supporting the introduction of a new literacy programme to help children who are falling behind with their reading and writing. As club member Patrick Farrelly explains, the project has had a huge impact on pupils at Caen Community Primary School, “It’s been

40 // ROTARY

over £500. “It was a great experience and a successful fundraiser. We were even able to invite a representative from CHSW to our celebration lunch and find out even more about how the money will help, which was so rewarding,” Caitlin commented. Since being formed in the spring of 2013, the club has raised more than £11,000 for charities and good causes which are meaningful to the pupils, as well as engaging with the Tiverton community. The club were also the group winners at this year’s Rotary Young Citizen Awards, which recognises the selfless and generous activities of young people. extremely successful in South Devon and we were inspired by the successful project run by the Rotary Club of Paignton, so now we’re bringing it to North Devon for the first time. The children came on in leaps and bounds with individual, intensive 30 minute sessions, Monday to Friday. In eight weeks the children made a year’s progress.” The school already has a thriving RotaKids club, and thanks to the support of the Rotary club, the school has been able to hire a Literacy Consultant to run the programme and provide essential educational support. In addition to their literacy skills immediately improving, the school has also noticed a change in the pupils’ behaviour, meaning their longer term engagement with education is seeing their prospects improve as well.

eeds-based social enterprise Seagulls was one of the hundreds of businesses affected by the floods to hit the region earlier in the year, and thanks to the Rotary Club of Leeds, it has now reopened its doors. When the River Aire burst its banks in Kirkstall Valley, Seagulls’ store room and its accompanying community workshop, Mosaic, found themselves under a metre of water. Seagulls started as a community and environment focused group collecting unwanted paint, preventing it from going to landfill and offering it to local people, many of whom live in disadvantaged areas of the city. A £5,000 donation from the club has helped to restore the damage to Seagulls’ workshop, meaning they can continue to not only provide residents with access to a splash of colour, but also offer a volunteer programme to support young people, those suffering from mental health or learning difficulties and the long term unemployed. Founding Director of Seagulls Kate Moree said “We are very grateful for the support we have received from the Rotary Club of Leeds. It will now enable us to replace equipment lost and also to buy a second hand forklift truck which is required as we have had to relocate our paint store to a higher level to prevent any future flood damage.” Former President of The Rotary Club of Leeds, Keith Harbage, said “We are delighted to support such a worthwhile project which not only helps with environmental protection but assists the disadvantaged in so many ways within the city of Leeds.”

rotarygbi.org


ROTARY NEWS

Regional

Gift horse

D

KidsOut is one of the reasons we joined

M

embers of the Rotary Club of Wylde Green were in action helping at the annual KidsOut Day at Drayton Manor Park. The Park has participated in the special event for over 20 years, with its CEO Colin Bryan acting as a KidsOut patron. He commented: “This event holds a really special place in our hearts and we look forward to it every single year. It means a lot to be able to provide these children with a memorable day out, especially as so many of them have never been to a theme park before. It’s fantastic to see the smiles on all their faces and we’re honoured to be a part of this great initiative.” Members of the Wylde Green Rotary Club have been active KidsOut supporters for many years, working closely with staff and pupils at Wilson Stuart School and Sports College, in Perry Common Road, Erdington. This year they took 30 children from the

school to the theme park. Sharon Hughes, Head of Early Years at Wilson Stuart School, said: “Bees, Butterflies and Caterpillars Classes from Wilson Stuart School had a fantastic visit to Drayton Manor. We were able to go on a range of different rides with something to suit everyone. The children absolutely loved the whole day out and didn’t want to leave at the end of it. A massive thank you to all the Wylde Green Rotary Club volunteers for making it all possible.” The Rotary club member, Penny Thurston added, “Rotary is all about working for communities and it is one of the reasons we join. Wylde Green Rotarians have been very keen supporters of this annual event for many years, working in partnership with pupils and staff at Wilson Stuart School in Erdington. KidsOut is something we all look forward to!”

isabled adults and young people will have the chance to experience the thrill and enjoyment of horse riding, thanks to a four-legged gift from the Rotary Club of St. Albans-Verulamium. The club raised £4,000 to buy a specialist, weight bearing horse which they have donated to the local branch of the charity Riding for the Disabled (RDA), which gives 28,000 people a year across the country a chance to saddle up and take part in an activity which many think they will never get the chance to experience. Cathy Leahy, a trustee of RDA, said, “We are amazed and stunned; we have wanted to acquire a weight bearing horse to cater for some of our adult riders and this gift will let us achieve that.” Ten-year-old Chloe Morrison was able to demonstrate to members of the club what a huge difference the charity makes to the lives of disabled people at one of RDA’s 500 activity centres. Club member Stephen Potter said, “She was beaming, smiling and so confident. Her mother told me that riding had been the best possible therapy for her daughter. You can’t look a gift horse in the mouth but not everyone can do what we have done, yet all donations big and small help support their work.”

Crossing the atlantic

T

wo twinned Rotary clubs from the same town, but on different sides of the Atlantic have continued their partnership and boosted a charity which supports families and alleviates hunger. The Rotary Club of Ipswich East in Suffolk and the Rotary Club of Ipswich in Massachusetts, USA have been twinned together for almost 40 years, and this summer it was the English club’s turn to travel stateside. To mark the trip, Ipswich East has provided

rotarygbi.org

The Open Door Community Food Pantry, a foodbank-style charity based in their American namesake’s local area, with a wheeled checkout counter. The Open Door’s Executive Director, Julie LaFontaine, said that the counter will act as a vital resource to remove the stigma that is sometimes attached to using a food pantry, and creates a more positive experience for visitors as it more closely resembles a trip to your local shop. The Open Door currently serves around

100 families per week with essential staple food items, and in addition to the checkout, Ipswich East has also contributed a $1,000 donation for the charity to continue to make a difference to its community. Mark Murphy, a member of the Rotary Club of Ipswich East explained that it is more than just a partnership and is also “a really strong friendship.”

ROTARY // 41


ROTARY NEWS

Regional

Alexia dreams a dream

M

The call of the wild

T

he Rotary Club of Comber, County Down, has teamed up with local schools in order to provide a much needed boost to the fortunes of the area’s wildlife. As part of conservation charity Ulster Wildlife’s “Homes for Wildlife” project, over 200 children from seven schools have taken part over the last six months, building nests and dwellings for a range of birds and animals, particularly the barn owl. Kevin McAlpin, a member of the club and keen conservationist who played a key role in the project explained the fate of the graceful bird which has been under threat, “The barn owl, once a common sight in rural Northern Ireland, has suffered a dramatic decline in recent years. Its survival depends on positive

action from conservationists, landowners and the public.” It is estimated there are only between 30 and 40 breeding pairs remaining in Northern Ireland, after the United Kingdom suffered its worst breeding season on record. The club has supplied the materials for the construction and distribution of more than 20 barn owl boxes, which will offer new hope for the endangered bird and allow conservationists to more easily track breeding patterns. As well as barn owls other birds, red squirrels and hedgehogs have also been given new homes, with many schools transforming their grounds into wildlife-friendly areas and encouraging pupils to discover the wonders of the great outdoors.

Fashion fix

F

emale members of Rotary and friends will soon have the option of donning a scarf designed by students from a college in Wales. The idea was launched by Mary Adams, a member of the Rotary Club of Narberth and Whitland, and will give female Rotary members across Great Britain and Ireland a distinctive and fashionable Rotary-themed accessory. Mary explained, “We identified a gap in the market when the ladies of our club were looking for a scarf to wear to community events representing Rotary.”

42 // ROTARY

embers of Clacton Rotary Club stepped up to the mic and have raised thousands of pounds for a disabled youngster by launching their own CD. St James’ Church choirmaster Paul Siddall helped them to get their voices up to scratch, and the hard work was worth it with more than 700 copies of the CD sold and thousands of pounds raised so far. Members were inspired to take on the challenge to help Alexia-Rose Sinclair – a young child from Weeley who was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The condition severely limits Alexia’s movement and co-ordination, and her parents are trying to raise enough cash to fund a life-changing operation in America, costing between £28,000 and £36,000. Rotary club members admitted their singing talent was “limited”, but sang their hearts out. The CD, “Songs For Alexia” contains the tracks You’ll Never Walk Alone, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I Dreamed a Dream. They have handed over a grand total of £6,000. Rotary club spokesman Mike Bareham said: “When one of our members, Trevor Norris, first suggested it, everybody looked at him like he was mad. But it is amazing what you can achieve when you try. Everyone had a great deal of fun and we are delighted to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause. We just hope that the family is able to reach the target and get Alexia over to the USA for the operation, which could be a real turning point for her.”

The club has partnered with Pembrokeshire College, whose graphic design and fashion and textile students have been enlisted with the challenge of designing the scarf and manufacturing samples. The process will also give the students a chance to investigate topics and subjects they may encounter in their future careers, including producing detailed costing information and exploring the procedure for patent law. Cath Brooks, Pembrokeshire College’s Art and Design Curriculum Manager, commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for our students to be able to work on a real brief that has the potential to see their designs turned into a viable commercial product.”

rotarygbi.org


ROTARY NEWS

Regional

Thriving against adversity

R

Giving the gift of water

O

ver 4,000 miles separates Brackley and Machakos in Kenya, but that hasn’t stopped the Rotary clubs in each of the towns working together to deliver vital resources to a Kenyan community. Mithuluni, a rural village east of Machakos, and its population of 2,500 had to make a daily two-hour journey to dig for water in a dry riverbed. “Water is the most basic of necessities, something that we all take for granted”, commented Stephen Vanns, Former President of The Rotary Club of Brackley, “and when we learned about the hardship this village was going through, particularly the children who often fetch the water, we felt

A garden for all

C

hildren at the East Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre at John Jamieson School, Leeds will be able to explore and learn in a new sensory garden built by the Rotary Club of Roundhay. The school caters for young people between the ages of 2 and 19 who have learning difficulties. The opportunity for them to experience colours, textures, smells and sounds in a calming and safe natural environment is important for providing a varied and beneficial experience for the children. The garden includes five raised beds, where young people with mobility issues can get their fingers green by helping with growing and nurturing plants and vegetables, along with wind chimes, whirligigs and mirrors to add to the sensory experience. Derek Davidson, Secretary of the club commented: “Our members got huge pleasure

rotarygbi.org

compelled to do what we could.” The village now has a wellhead, pumping station and storage tanks installed, meaning the village is now enjoying a plentiful water supply. The installation has brought numerous benefits, with new education programmes in place to inform the community about water management and hygiene, as well as giving the children more free time to further their education. The club was able to support the project to the tune of £31,000 thanks to their fundraising and a series of grants, including a Global Grant from The Rotary Foundation.

otary clubs are not ones to shirk a challenge, and when the Rotary Club of Mounts Bay had the opportunity to help Shree Navajyoti Tham Secondary School in rural Nepal, it jumped at the chance. Thanks to the club’s efforts the school, which serves children in five neighbouring communities, was able to be partially rebuilt revitalising dilapidated classrooms and equip them with desks, carpets and text books. The new classrooms were built using reinforced concrete strong enough to withstand earthquakes and severe weather conditions and, as a result, it suffered no damage from the devastating earthquake which struck the region in 2015 causing so many other buildings to collapse including the headmaster’s own house. Rod Varlow, member of the Rotary Club of Mounts Bay commented, “Getting an education in rural Nepal is hard enough without having the classroom roof blow off in a gale.” The almost £11,000 which has been raised to support the school, which includes funds from a Rotary Foundation Grant, has allowed the school and its pupils to thrive in the face of adversity, also enabling greater support and financial help being made available for disabled students.

in seeing the delighted looks of the children when they saw the garden.” This is the latest of a series of installations at John Jamieson which have been possible with the club’s support having previously contributed a polytunnel, enabling older pupils to grow their own produce which could then be sold at local markets, teaching them values of work ethic and building up their skills for adult life.

GET IN TOUCH...

Got a story for us? Send it in (with a good quality picture) to editor@rotarygbi.org

Also: Look for us online at rotarygbi.org or follow us on Facebook: /RotaryinGBI Twitter: @RotaryGBI and LinkedIn: Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

ROTARY // 43


Membership of Rotary is fun and rewarding Membership of Rotary is fun and rewarding, and there are many ways to participate. Here’s what recent members say and the ways of belonging to Rotary “I always say the same thing, get involved in the local community and join an amazing organisation.” Tricia Bell, Rotary Club of Washington “After going to a few meetings my perception of Rotary was enhanced, as I had found a club that met my need and underlined for me what Rotary is all about, service above self.” Brett Turton, Rotary Club of Cambridge South. These are ordinary men and women from all walks of life who have a desire to give something back to their community as Rotarians whether it is locally or at an international level. There are myriads of ways to offer service within the Rotary organisation and many ways of being a member to suit your lifestyle, fitting in family and work.

Associate Membership

Associate Membership is a way of sampling Rotary, allowing you to find out about the organisation and the club within a period of time with the intent of becoming a full member over time.

Corporate Membership

Corporate Membership is for a group within a company to become members of Rotary. This is a good way of networking within the community and for employees to help in community matters and concerns, meeting companies’ corporate social responsibility commitments.

Satellite Clubs

Satellite Clubs are springing up across the UK and Ireland and these are clubs attached loosely to an existing club and have flexible arrangements for meetings at times and venues to suit their members.

Membership of an eClub

eClubs allow the prospective member to attend meetings online and meet fellow members all over the world at any time of your choosing. Meetings are held to suit all the members and many are recorded for viewing later. Projects are also run online. This is a good way of getting into Rotary at a time to suit family, work and modern lifestyle.

JOIN LEADERS, EXCHANGE IDEAS, TAKE ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY To find out more about Rotary go to: rotarygbi.org


What they say... TRUSTEE CHAIR 2016/17 KALYAN BANERJEE

RI DIRECTOR 2015-17 I PETER OFFER

I believe I should like to be a Rotarian

I

have just returned from a very successful World Convention in Korea and we now progress to plan for the 2017 Convention in Atlanta, 10-14 June. It is said that if you have a good convention then it goes well for the next one and Korea put on a wonderful event in Seoul. Starting with great entertainment and the opening speakers, being headed by the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon and the Presidents of Korea and Sri Lanka. The 45,000 attendees were treated to a great programme, which flowed with good entertainment, interesting speakers and wonderful fellowship. The Atlanta Convention will be just as exciting as we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of our own charity, The Rotary Foundation. Back in 1917 Rotarian Arch Klumph gave an inspired speech at the convention in Atlanta, Georgia and put forward the idea of a Rotary Foundation, later that year the first contribution of $26.50 was received. Today our Foundation has $1 billion in assets; what’s more impressive is that throughout its 100 year history The Rotary Foundation has spent more than $3 billion on programmes and projects. Those projects and the $3 billion has brought clean water to hundreds of thousands of people and provided access to health care services to countless others. Arch Klumph was no stranger to these islands as he crossed the pond from the US several times. In 1921 he attended the Rotary International Convention in Edinburgh, while there he was invited with a few other Rotarians to an audience in Buckingham Palace with King George V and Queen Mary. When Klumph was presented to the King the two men got into a long conversation about Rotary. Well Mr Klumph said the King commented, “I believe I should like to be a Rotarian,” Klumph replied saying “I see no reason why you can’t as we don’t have anyone in the classification of ‘King’ in the London clubs at the moment.” Klumph also visited Stratford-uponAvon and when in the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Gallery he noted all the paintings of famous Shakespearean actors from around

rotarygbi.org

More members mean a stronger Foundation

O Opening ceremony at Seoul Rotary Convention

the world but not one from America. On his return he raised the funds to buy such a painting and on August 24th 1922 the Rotary Club of New York presented a painting of famous American Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, painted by J.A.Mohite. Klumph returned to the UK on 29th September 1922 and a large parade took place in Stratford-upon-Avon with the Mayor and many Rotary and Civic Dignitaries, and he presented the painting to the Mayor who in return gave him a full set of Shakespeare’s works. The painting was refurbished by the Host Organising Committee of the 2009 Rotary International Convention and was on show in Birmingham and later in our HQ at Alcester. July heralded the Rotary Year 2016/17 and it will be an exciting one for Rotary. The last year membership worldwide was 1,235,669, an increase of 26,178 on July 2015. It will be exciting to see how membership improves with the new rules giving choice of venue, date, times and format back to the Rotary clubs to decide. Growing our membership is of great importance to us and it was a delight to attend the Charter of a new club in North Wales, The Rotary Club of Wrexham Glyndwr, on July 4th with Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President Eve Conway and Rotary International President-Elect Ian Riseley. This was the idea of the District Governor Molly Youd’s daughter Fiona after she was so impressed with Rotary having attended the International Assembly in San Diego CA with her mother in January. Well done to them and good luck to the new Rotary club.

ur Rotary Foundation depends on a strong and thriving Rotary membership. It is, after all, our members who provide the generous support that enables our Foundation to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. The Rotary Foundation has an unusual business model. Like many charities, we receive donations that we use to address a host of critical issues. Unlike most other nonprofit organisations, we depend on our members to develop relevant and effective service projects. Your volunteer labour stretches our contribution dollars and helps The Rotary Foundation to do much more with less. The typical Global Grant requires hours of planning and budgeting before even one dollar is received or spent. Then the sponsors must purchase supplies, seek donated goods, set up bank accounts, organise volunteers, write reports, and monitor the project’s progress, all while working with Rotarians in another part of the world. Smaller clubs may not have the financial or human resources to sponsor a Global Grant, even if their members share a strong commitment to the Foundation’s mission. Imagine what those clubs could accomplish with two or three times as many members. As we celebrate Membership and New Club Development Month in August, let’s not forget the importance of quickly engaging new members in Rotary service. Make sure they know about the many opportunities our Foundation offers members to pursue their service interests, from promoting better health to providing training and education to bringing peace and stability to communities in need. Through The Rotary Foundation, our members have a chance to use their skills to make a real difference. First, we need to bring those talented people into our ranks and engage them in our Foundation’s vital work to create a better world.

ROTARY // 45


Turn your community purple Help Rotary and the The Royal Horticultural Society plant five million crocuses to End Polio Now. Visit rotarygbi.org to get involved.


SOCIAL MEDIA

IT'S GONE VIRAL What is being watched, posted, liked, shared and tweeted around Rotary in the world of social media.

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Storify | Instagram

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Storify | Instagram

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Storify | Instagram

A jar of dreams

Standing up for education Ten million people have signed up to the #UpForSchool movement, supported by A World At School to campaign for the right for children to have access to education in a safe environment. Search the hashtag or visit the @aworldatschool Twitter account to discover the difference the movement is making to children’s lives all over the world, including Nagham, whose dream it was to wear a school uniform.

Saddle up! Thousands of you saddled up for the #RotaryRide and tens of thousands of you saw us talking about the Rotary Ride on social media! Check our Storify page to relive the event. Even Manchester United and Welsh football legend Ryan Giggs popped into Worsley Rotary Club’s ride! bit.ly/RotaryRide

Famous faces the world over, including The Duchess of Cornwall, have been letting their imaginations run wild to celebrate #RoaldDahl100. A celebration of one of Dahl’s most famous works, the BFG has been immortalised in a series of jam jars, where celebrities share their dreams for the world. The Duchess’ dream is that every child will learn to read. Visit @clarencehouse or search #BFGDreamJars on Instagram to check them out.

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Storify | Instagram Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Storify | Instagram

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Storify | Instagram

A walk in Theirworld

Fight Unfair Disease defeating data Collecting and sharing data and information is a key element in achieving polio eradication. Check out this YouTube video at bit.ly/DiseaseDeafeatingData from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on how modern technology is helping us to fight the disease more effectively, and respond to polio outbreaks in less than 72 hours in some of the world’s hardest to reach communities.

FOLLOW US 50 // ROTARY

@RotaryGBI

/RotaryinGBI

What would you do if you were approached by a homeless child? Over six million Facebook users have viewed UNICEF’s latest video to put themselves in the position of a lonely, vulnerable child. Watch it for yourself on the UNICEF Facebook page and learn more about their campaign to #fightunfair and protect children from poverty.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

The wake of a disaster is often too horrifying for us to imagine, but thousands of Facebook users have been given a glimpse into the devastation that followed the Nepal earthquake. The 360 degree virtual reality film immerses you in the lives of school children, whose lives have been turned upside down. Watch the video by heading to the Theirworld Facebook page.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

rotarygbi.org


rotarygbi.org

ROTARY // 51


Rotary Magazine August - September 2016  
Rotary Magazine August - September 2016  
Advertisement