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The Official Magazine of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

ÂŁ2.95 October/November 2016

"CRAZY, MAD DREAMER" Ade Adepitan on his challenges and the triumphs at Rio

ShelterBox 10 Sheltering the world

Hand in Hand 16 Aid agency support in Syria

Polio in Pakistan 26 Efforts to stop virus transmission


CONTENTS 20

©Cover photo by Ian Wallman IWPhotographic

REGULARS 04

PRESIDENT MESSAGE

06

MEET AND GREET

14

News from Great Britain & Ireland

A Rotaractor’s view on Rotary

08 28 32 36 38

ROTARY INTERNATIONAL Polio in Pakistan Rotary around the World Atlanta Convention Rotary in China and North Korea

26 30 32 44

SPECIAL FEATURES

FROM THE TOP

Rotary International President John Germ

ROTARY IN ACTION World Polio Day Hoddeson Club Project Rotary Conference Stop Hunger Now Aberfan - 50 years on

ShelterBox 10 Hand in Hand for Syria 16 Ade Adepitan 20

10 26

RI DIRECTOR AND FOUNDATION 24 ROTARY EFFECT

40

IT’S GONE VIRAL

50

The latest news from clubs around Great Britain & Ireland What’s trending on social media?

36

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: Connor Banks t: 01354 818010 • e: connorb@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.

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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...

A once in a lifetime chance

I

n 1979, James Bomar Jr., the president of Rotary at the time, travelled to the Philippines as part of Rotary’s earliest work to immunise children against polio. After he had put drops of vaccine into one baby’s mouth, he felt a child’s hand tugging on his trouser leg to get his attention. Bomar looked down and saw the baby’s brother looking up at him, saying earnestly, “Thank you, thank you, Rotary.” Before Rotary took on the task of polio eradication, 350,000 people – nearly all of them children – were paralyzed by polio every year. That child in the Philippines knew exactly what polio was and understood exactly what Rotary had just done for his baby brother. Today, 31 years after the launch of PolioPlus, the children of the Philippines – and of nearly every other country in the world – are growing up without that knowledge, and that fear, of polio. Instead of 1,000 new cases of polio every day, we are averaging less than one per week. But as the fear of polio wanes, so does awareness of the disease. Now more than ever, it is vitally important to keep that awareness high and to push polio eradication to the top of the public agenda and our governments’ priorities. We need to make sure the world knows that our work to eradicate polio isn’t over yet, but that Rotary is in it to end it.

On 24 October, Rotary will mark World Polio Day to help raise the awareness and the funding we need to reach full eradication. I ask all of you to take part by holding an event in your club, in your community, or online. Ideas and materials are available for download in all Rotary languages at endpolio.org/worldpolioday, and you can register your event with Rotary at the same link. You can also join me and tens of thousands of your fellow Rotarians for a live-streamed global status update at 6pm Eastern time at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. I’ll be there along with CDC Director Tom Frieden, other experts, and inspirational presenters, sharing an inside look at the science, partnerships, and human stories of polio eradication. It is an incredibly exciting time to be a Rotarian. We are gathering momentum for the final race to the finish: to the end of PolioPlus and the beginning of a polio-free world. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance to End Polio Now, through Rotary Serving Humanity.

JOHN GERM

RI PRESIDENT

Bronze Sculpture depicting James Bomar Jr. Courtesy of Sculptor Tracy H. Sugg. facebook.com/TracyHSugg.Sculptor www.tracyHsugg.com

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What they say...

ROTARY PRESIDENT 2016/17 EVE CONWAY

The polio endgame

T

he disturbing news about two new cases of polio in Nigeria, just as we were about to mark the two year anniversary of no reported cases in the whole of Africa, shows that we can’t afford to be complacent and need to step up our efforts to eradicate this disease and achieve Rotary’s number one goal of a polio-free world. When Rotary started the global campaign to eradicate polio more than thirty years ago, there were about a thousand new cases a day in 125 countries This has been reduced by 99.9 per cent in 2016, with a total of fewer than 30 cases worldwide in the two countries where polio is still endemic Pakistan and Afghanistan - and in Nigeria. We are so close to ending polio now and forever and, as we stand on the brink of this historic milestone, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland’s Purple4Polio campaign is one way to raise awareness and funds. The campaign has taken off since it was officially launched when I became President of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland in July this year. We have received media coverage of the campaign and the involvement of our Rotary Purple4Polio Ambassadors, singer and songwriter Donovan, who contracted polio as a child, and TV Presenter Konnie Huq. As part of Rotary’s Purple4Polio campaign, we agreed a partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society that will involve Rotary clubs linking with the RHS’s community-based Bloom Groups to plant purple crocus corms in local areas to promote Rotary’s campaign to end polio. The original target was to plant five million corms but we have exceeded that and are now at more than six million. Rotary clubs are coming up with exciting purple-themed ideas, including Purple Pinkie events. Purple is the dye put on a child’s little finger (or pinkie) to show they have been immunised against polio.

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Rotary President Eve Conway with the Unite to End Polio students

Bear With Me! Taking a leaf out of “Dragon’s Den”, I also presented the team who lead the Rotary Districts in Great Britain and Ireland with Purple4Polio Rotary Polio Bears asking them to use them to promote the End Polio Now campaign. There have been some impressive and innovative results, already raising thousands of pounds for End Polio Now, including one little teddy bear doing a loop the loop in a plane and another going to abseil off Liverpool Anglican Cathedral – with their owners, of course, in tow! There are now more than five hundred Rotary Polio Bears out and about, helping deliver the polio message, including one bear that is going on tour with the Manchester Camarata Orchestra (who are accompanying Katherine Jenkins for our Saturday night concert at the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland Conference in Manchester from 7th to 9th April, 2017) and another two bears that have gone up Mount Kilimanjaro with Students Unite to End Polio (pictured). I was delighted to meet Students Unite to End Polio, a multinational group of postgraduate students studying global health at the University of Manchester. They are passionate about eradicating polio, so much so that they went up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds for Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. The group was started by two Rotary global scholars Cecilia Kern and Kasia Chaberski, who were motivated to involve fellow students because of Rotary’s

commitment to eradicating this disease. Among activities to mark World Polio Day on 24th October, Rotary clubs have been writing letters to their local MPs about Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign and some MPs have accepted invitations to go along to clubs to find out more. We need to keep the focus on polio in every way we can and this ties in with Rotary’s focus on peace because polio has continued to hide and survive where conflict, war and terror threaten the lives of children and health workers alike. The new cases of polio in Nigeria are in the troubled northern Borno state where Boko Haram operates making it difficult for vaccinators to reach all children. The Nigerian government, in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which Rotary is part of, has taken immediate steps to respond quickly to the outbreak to prevent further spread of the disease. In Pakistan, there is commitment from the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has made polio eradication a national cause saying “our priority is to reach out to each and every child so no child remains unvaccinated …we will not rest until polio is eradicated from our country.” In Afghanistan, Islamic leaders have stressed the importance of Islamic solidarity in the eradication of polio. The commitment is there so let’s make history happen and fulfil Rotary’s number one goal of a polio-free world.

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ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

World Polio Day

World Polio Day

Monday October 24, 2016 Celebrating success but taking stock of what next needs to be done to end this terrible disease in the world.

R

otary International and partners will be celebrating World Polio Day at 6:00PM on Monday October 24 2016 with a Livestream event from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta GA. Timed at 11:00pm British Summer Time the livestream will celebrate the global progress made against a disease that at its height crippled over 100 children a week and now has been reduced to a few cases per year. Whilst celebrating the progress made, World Polio Day also serves to remind us of the work yet to be done and is a reaffirmation of the global commitment to eradicate this childhood disease forever from the world. On October 24th the agencies working to eradicate polio from the world will come together as the GPEI (Global Polio Eradication Initiative). John Germ, Rotary International President, along with Dr Thomas Frieden, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Jeffrey Kluger, a senior writer for Time Magazine and author of ‘Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio’ along with representatives from WHO (World Health Organisation) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dennis Ogbe, a polio survivor and paralympian, will also be present to give his view of this terrible disease. Dennis explains,“As an athlete, I enjoy competition — but there is a battle happening off the field that is more important: the fight to end polio. “This fight is personal to me. I grew up in Nigeria, where I contracted polio at the age of 3. It was tough being the only kid on the playground in a wheelchair. For years I watched the other kids play, and when I tried to participate, they moved away from me…” Unfortunately polio has returned to Nigeria, however there are only two endemic countries fighting very hard to rid the world 8 // ROTARY

Polio vaccine

of polio and they are Afghanistan and Pakistan. World Polio Day will serve to assess progress and rally further help to finish the job. The Livestream event in 2015 was viewed by 54,000, engaged 22 polio ambassadors and through social media reached 145 million people across 20 channels with 622,662 engagements. Alongside this the event produced 80 stories in national media with features in Time, Forbes magazine and a slot on CNN. This year GPEI is aiming high and is on target to smash all these numbers around the globe. Rotary clubs across the world are being encouraged to hold their own events

to support this tremendous initiative and register their events on the 'End Polio Now' website. In Great Britain and Ireland Rotary clubs will be celebrating World Polio Day with local events to support this initiative with their ‘Purple4Polio’ projects. Many will be planting purple crocuses in green spaces across the country as well as selling purple lapel crocuses. Polio is on its way out and Rotary International with its partners is showing it the door. There have been some small setbacks along the way but this has made all the partners more determined than ever to succeed in the task to ‘End Polio Now’. l

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The empty chair in the room is for the beneficiary who does not yet know they will have to flee their home and every discussion we have, every decision we make and every penny we spend has to be focused on meeting the needs of the person in the empty chair.�

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Sheltering the world

ALLAN BERRY

I met up with the new CEO of ShelterBox to find out about him and the changes in the organisation.

I

t’s now over two years since I interviewed the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of ShelterBox. Since then we have seen a number of disasters happening in the world, some natural and others man made. Each time ShelterBox has been there with Rotary helping in any possible way to bring normality and shelter to families who are affected. To cement that working relationship this year Rotary International and ShelterBox renewed their partnership for another three years so it was time I revisited this humanitarian organisation to get an update. During the year ShelterBox has made some changes and key is a new CEO, Chris Warham. Chris and I met up to discuss the developments in the organisation and how they affected Rotary. We started by Chris telling me about his journey to become CEO of this much respected and renowned charity. rotarygbi.org

Chris told me, “It was Christmas 2009. I was just about to celebrate a birthday by running a marathon and one weekend I was visiting a garden centre with my son. Outside were Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Bramhall and Woodford with a green ShelterBox. We looked inside and one of the Rotarians came over and told us all about ShelterBox. As a result, I ran the marathon for ShelterBox and not only raised a lot of money but was also inspired to research them further, which led to me applying and training as an SRT (ShelterBox Response Team) member.” I ventured to say that the training is rigorous and Chris agreed, “It is rigorous, I completed the training and then went on to a number of deployments purely as a volunteer. The two significant ones were in the Philippines after hurricane Haiyan and in Congo-Brazzaville after an arms dump explosion. It was exciting to do that and it has given me a good insight into what it is

all about. When you look into the eyes of a mother in a displaced persons’ camp it brings all this stuff into perspective. As a result of all that I got further involved and using my professional background I got involved in some PR issues that were bouncing around and as the board renewed itself they did a skills audit looking for peak skill sets. The board looked at what skills it required in order to drive a strategic plan and now we have a really strong board.” Chris did spend the time with me going through the skills and experience of the board members and it is impressive. Each board member has a skill set in their specialisation and especially one with experience in humanitarian aid. We went on to determine how Chris made it to CEO, “I spent three years as a trustee and chaired the risk and audit committee and when Alison Wallace (the former CEO) left on February 29 I took on ROTARY // 11


the CEO role as interim whilst the board went through the due process of seeking a replacement. I was appointed as permanent CEO by the board on June 15. I suppose my credentials are that I have fundraised, deployed, I have been involved with the governance and I’ve had experience of running organisations and as I say to all the volunteers and workers - I am passionate about the mission.” This type of skill and experience by any standards for any organisation is a tremendous asset but add to that the passion and motivation that has obviously gripped Chris from his time in disaster zones and it is apparent ShelterBox has a highly driven CEO at the helm. I spent a couple of hours with him and his ideas and strategies are honed by his deployment experiences and as we moved on to talk further this was evident in the way he and his board have worked through their strategy. Basically Chris has been around the block a few times and has got the welldeserved T-shirt. Chris went on, “I have two mantras and the first is the empty chair in the room for the beneficiary who does not yet know they will have to flee their home and every discussion we have, every decision we make and every penny we spend has to be focused on meeting the needs of the person in the empty chair and that has to be absolutely in front of our minds all the time because why else do we exist?” So we were on to how ShelterBox gets funds for disasters and I put it to Chris that their income is based around disasters or tragedies of some sort or other. A disaster at some point in the world creates a response from Rotarians to do something to help and they react in any way possible to raise funds for ShelterBoxes to aid people who have been displaced from their homes. Chris explained, “If you give me £10 today for the disaster that happened this morning it’s very hard for me 12 // ROTARY

to spend that specific £10. I actually needed that £10 six weeks prior to it because we have lead times on equipment and we can’t hold 30,000 tents.” I asked Chris how they then overcome the peaks and troughs in funding. “It’s the key strategic challenge we have and why we need consistent regular support. We know that on that worst day that Rotarians up and down Britain will shake tins and they will do extraordinary work and for everything they do we thank them. Our income will increase rapidly and we have to organise ourselves so that we can get that money spent and we can move on very quickly to respond to that disaster. Then after a few weeks that income comes down again and we have to find ways to increase the base level of the funding we are getting so we can absolutely rely on it. It’s much more use to us to know that, for instance, 1,000 clubs commit to buying £1,500 of aid each year and we know that is going to happen.” I could see the reasoning on funding which is very important and I wanted to return to the aid and how they responded to meeting the needs of the person in the empty chair. “The aid world is changing and today we could not respond to the Philippines Haiyan disaster and the reason is that the Philippines government will not accept tents because tents are permanent and we are seeing this from governments across the world. They want people moving back to their home sites with communities staying together. Practically, in two contexts, ShelterKits become fundamentally important in an urban environment, where it is very hard to roll tents because you have nowhere to put them. If you can provide a kit, which allows the householder to fix his property to make it weather tight and therefore aids the process of recovery it is a more appropriate response than simply providing a tent. If you look at Nepal, there is no way you could use ShelterBoxes because of the transport issues.

We could not move ShelterBoxes up the hills so ShelterKits were used. We have just completed a response in Sri Lanka and Fiji and Malawi last year where ShelterBoxes were the answer but in other places we cannot use boxes because there is a predisposition against tents.” Chris wanted to really make the point and said, “We have to develop the aid offerings we’ve got there is no single set solution.” So I followed up with what sets ShelterBox apart from the rest of the aid organisations. Chris retorted, “All of the aid is delivered by volunteers there is a whole cost structure there, transparency, accountability and visibility is a really important thing. We are not moving away from the concept of the box but what goes in the box might change. Aid is of no use unless it meets the need.” As we wound up our session Chris wanted to make one big point and that was to thank Rotarians, Rotary clubs their friends, supporters and affiliates right across the world for all the work they have done for ShelterBox. It is a partnership that is thriving and with the enthusiasm of Chris and his team will continue to thrive to shelter misplaced people wherever they are.

Recent news from the field ShelterBox gears up an operation in Mosul, Iraq In the first phase of our joint response with ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development) we will be distributing essential emergency supplies such as a water carrier, cooking stove, pots and pans, solar lights and a light tarpaulin to provide some shade to households now living in displacement camps. In addition, ShelterBox is now developing another project with ACTED to prepare for the anticipated humanitarian impact of the expected displacement from Mosul. In coordination with other partners, ShelterBox and ACTED will focus on providing emergency shelter kits (tarpaulin, wood and tools) along with other essential aid of the type outlined. The emergency aid will be positioned as close to the frontline as security permits, to reach people as soon as they cross over to safe territory.

To learn more about ShelterBox go to: shelterbox.org rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Meet & Greet

Meet&Greet The Chair of Rotaract in Great Britain and Ireland gives his impressions of Rotary

FACT FILE Name: Luke Addison, 23 Club: Winchester Rotaract Rotaract Member since: 2013 Occupation: Carer

Q: What were your perceptions of

Rotary before you became involved in Rotaract? Before May 2013 I had never heard of Rotary or Rotaract, but after finding out about it I immediately became part of it.

Q: How did you find out about Rotary? I was in my second year at university and I was taking part in a leadership course in order to progress a career in teaching. During the course guest speakers from different areas of the community spoke and amongst them were two Winchester Rotarians. They mentioned they were running an event the following week called 'Kids Day Out' and needed help; I volunteered and found the day amazing. So I continued working with them and was invited to several meetings before helping to start a Rotaract club.

Q: You have attended Rotary club

meetings as well as Rotaract meetings, what first impressions did you take away? I was very lucky to be introduced to Winchester Rotary, the club has members of diverse backgrounds, occupations, nationalities and gender. Winchester has three types of meetings; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is conducted in a 'fast' way so that those who work can get away quickly, lunch meetings that are a lot more easy-going, and evening meetings – these usually have a guest speaker and all meetings are open for everyone. My first impressions remain as my current impressions, extremely welcoming and inviting. 14 // ROTARY

Q: How do you find the time to fit in

Rotary with other hobbies and interests? With some difficulty! I managed to start Rotaract during my second year at university, so although I had commitments they weren’t too pressing. I learnt organisation skills, delegation and time management, and it just clicked. I managed to complete university, my dissertation and go between several jobs all whilst working with Rotary. I now work as a part-time carer and I choose my working weeks so it is much more flexible.

Q: What do you personally get out of

being a member? I would say a sense of being so much more aware of what goes on within a community. When I moved to Winchester for university, I didn't know Winchester well, rarely ventured into town and certainly wasn't aware of any of the good things that went on. Since working with Rotary I've been lucky to work with homelessness projects, which has opened my eyes to the issues in my local area. I was introduced to the Winchester Talking Newspaper, a fantastic charity that provides those with visual challenges to get the local news, Naomi House, Winchester Youth Counselling, Friends of the Family and many more.

Q: What do you tell people who are

interested in the organisation and want to know more about it with a view to joining? That they absolutely should, it's less about 'joining an organisation' and more about having a platform to engage in positive local and global change with others who want to do the same.

Q: If we granted you a wish to change

something in the organisation what would it be? That we tell more people about the work we are doing and the openness of the organisation. Rotary convention are incredible. I've been everywhere from Plymouth to Calcutta and South Korea, but too often I see Rotary promoting Rotary back to Rotary. However really good progress is being made!

Q: What has been the most inspiring

Rotary event you have been involved with and how did you find the experience? There have been so many, but personally it was my trip to Uganda. I travelled with a member of Winchester Rotary Club John Wilkinson who runs Education Uganda. Very early on in my Rotaract life John delivered a presentation about the relationship with the Kasese Rotary Club and mentioned their Rotaract club. I contacted them, developed a great friendship with the President, twinned our clubs and in a matter of months John invited me along. I made some truly genuine friends who I am still working with.

Q: If I asked you so sum up the

organisation and your enjoyment of it in just a few words what would you say? It’s the solution to so many of the problems facing us around the globe today.

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


WHAT THEY SAY

The Big Interview ALLAN BERRY

Helping the innocent in Syria Hand in Hand for Syria is an aid agency working on the ground in Syria and they are really making a difference to people’s lives. A founder told me what they do.

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I

n my research and discussions with organisations concerned with humanitarian relief in Syria one name kept coming to the fore and that was Hand in Hand for Syria. If this charity was being mentioned by ShelterBox and praised by Aquabox then it was worth talking to them to find out about the operation and the work they do. It was an eye opener. Hand in Hand for Syria was set up on a temporary basis to get aid into various cities in Syria as the conflict erupted during February 2011. The founders thought the crisis would be over in a few months and the aid required would be small and they could leave the region once the crisis was ended. In February 2012 they started shipping in aid from Turkey in bulk and registered the charity. Their approach was slightly different from the main agencies in the region. They set up offices in Turkey close to the Syrian border, employed Syrians to work with them and steadily built up teams working from Nottingham to Turkey and then into Syria. I was fortunate enough to catch up with one of the founders on a visit to the UK from rotarygbi.org

What measures can we take to avoid IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices), car bombs and shelling from the air? I can lose and replace facilities but highly trained personnel cannot be replaced easily.” Turkey. Fadi Al-Dairi, the operations director was asked by Faddy Sahloul to join him in starting the organisation. We discussed what was originally viewed as a short conflict but five years later is still raging. As Fadi said, “We started our work in April/May 2011 and thought there was no point in setting up a charity - it would be a waste of time as we can walk away very soon when the work is done but five years later we are still working.” Fadi gave me an overview of their work in Syria and it is impressive: “We have two offices in Turkey and are looking at a third office in Jordan, Amman. All our operations focus on people inside Syria - we don’t want

them to leave their homes, we encourage them to stay. If somebody stays at home our duty is to support them by eliminating the need for them to go seeking help in neighbouring countries or even in Europe. We feel there is a need for support in Syria before they go seeking it outside.” I pointed out that it seemed to be a big objective as people are leaving because of the situation, and this is where Fadi’s motivation and passion kicked in. “People are leaving because of the security situation and that is the main part but if you give people security and safety trust me no one will leave. However, with organisations like Hand in Hand talking about it we can put the pressure on, political pressure. I don’t mean getting into politics, but by highlighting the challenges people are faced with I’m sure we can keep it in the news, because most of the time no one is talking about the chlorine and phosphoric attacks done by the Russians under the name of fighting terrorism,” Fadi told me. I did not want to get into a blame game and I got the impression neither did Fadi so we moved the discussion on to talk in depth about their operations in Syria. I was really interested in what was happening at the time in Aleppo ROTARY // 17


but Fadi went wider than that. Fadi told me, “We have between 300 and 350 people working for us in Syria depending on the contract. There are around 200 people working in medical teams and the other 100 to 150 work in food and water and sanitation. We have four hospitals xxxand are establishing another and we run them from A to Z.” I understood in my research that the organisation had built two hospitals and were about to build another and asked Fadi about this. “We wanted to develop the present facilities but could not go up or sideways but managed to obtain funding for a new hospital of 3 storeys which will be completed in January 2017. This is responding to a need and is as close to the border with Turkey as we could get. We always talk about quality of staff so we take safety and security into account before quality of care. What measures can we take to avoid IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices), car bombs and shelling from the air? I can lose and replace facilities but highly trained personnel cannot be replaced easily,” he said. I admitted to Fadi that these 18 // ROTARY

developments and criteria were a new perspective to me since all I had heard about Syria was destruction and people’s lives being lost or changed dramatically. I wanted to find out as much as I could about their work so I asked about partner organisations. He told me, “We work with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) who take in medical supplies and immunise the children, World Vision, UNICEF indirectly, World Water Works, School in a Bag and ShelterBox as well as Aquabox,” Fadi mentioned, “ShelterBox gives us the flexibility in an emergency. Sometimes it is quicker for my team to contact ShelterBox than myself and we are able to respond with tents very quickly and tents are scarce in Syria so we have been able to supply more than UNHCR.” I did speak with Aquabox who told me they have supplied over 1,000 boxes to Syria through Hand in Hand with Syria. “We do a needs assessment on the aid we get from ShelterBox and Aquabox and can go back to them and tell them that certain items are very useful but others not so much. We can ask them to tailor the aid to the requirement. They spend a lot of time

listening to us finding out what we need,” Fadi explained. I always ask the question, ‘how more can Rotary help you?’ Fadi replied, “First we want people to make a noise to keep the Syria conflict in the news since the more noise we can make the higher the political pressure becomes. Secondly, we need support for medical facilities; people can survive days without food but medical supplies are a necessity as well as trauma facilities. It is the women and children who need to be treated. Some people say ‘how do we know who is targeting these?’ but it does not matter. We need to reach besieged areas as well.” The interview came to an end with Fadi Al-Dairi telling me they are trying their best and in a very difficult situation. From his depth of knowledge his motivation coming across and his passion and enthusiasm they really are. It was a wake up call to me and a privilege to speak with him. l

To find out more go to: handinhandforsyria.org.uk shelterbox.org and aquabox.org rotarygbi.org


WHAT THEY SAY

The Big Interview

ALLAN BERRY

Unreported Ade Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan MBE talks to us about the Rio Paralympic Games, polio in Nigeria, his TV programmes and his upcoming appearance at the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Conference next April.

A

de Adepitan is always so busy that finding a chance to spend a little time with him can be a challenge. However, once he does find the time it’s always a pleasure to talk with someone who takes such a positive view of life and enjoys every minute of it. Having contracted polio in Nigeria at an early age the future in that country at the time must have seemed bleak so his mother moved the family to Plaistow in the UK when he was three - a few years later his father followed. Through his school life he wore callipers to help his paralysed left leg. However, in his late teenage years he switched from the callipers to a wheelchair to help him achieve his long held dream of playing basketball for Great Britain at a Paralympic Games. He has achieved that goal and a whole lot more. When I caught up with him he had just returned from presenting the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for Channel 4. We started by discussing the Rio Paralympics and his impressions of the achievements, Ade told me, “I don’t think it has ever happened before that a nation has hosted a games and at the following games surpassed their medal total. All the signs were there when you saw what the Olympic Team did 20 // ROTARY

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and the Paralympic Team has always historically done better, mind you we were helped with Russia not being there!” I joked about that but Ade went on to clear the point, “It just meant that more medals were up for grabs.” He went on to describe his impressions of Rio, “There was a wonderful atmosphere of euphoria out there and once the medals started rolling in we knew that viewers would keep watching and it made for a better show. It’s that fine line because you don’t want to appear so biased on the TV. We come from a nation that has many nationalities so you do have to have that sense of balance as well. But I’m sure people understand we are British and we are going to be cheering for our people.” I went on to ask Ade about the perceptions of disabled people in this country and if the Paralympic Games really help to change people’s view. He explained, “You are not going to feel any pity for the guys winning medals and the impression it is giving to the public is, look, you can have a disability but you can be strong, you can be independent and you can live a life as good as any able bodied person, if not better. These guys, the Paralympians, have become aspirational figures now. Young kids will be watching and think I’d like to be like Jonnie Peacock or Ellie Simmonds, they’ve become heroes now in their own right. When I was young able bodied athletes were my heroes, but now it’s Paralympic athletes and for me it’s like a dream come true. Now I’m presenting the games I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world.” Ade explained that he had been watching the Olympic Games since 1980 but got really into it when he was just 11 watching the Los Angeles Games. I had to ask what his stand out moment of the Rio Paralympic Games was, he thought for just a moment and said, “For me it was the first Sunday of the games being in the Olympic Park just seeing how many people were in there and I remember pushing through the park on my own to the IPC (International Press Centre) as I wanted to sample the atmosphere. The park was absolutely rammed and I remember seeing this young girl in a wheelchair being pushed by her parents through the park looking really excited and she saw me and looked at my wheelchair and myself and she saw I wasn’t being pushed rotarygbi.org

©Photo by Ian Wallman IWPhotographic


by a helper and you could see her thinking wow it could be me in years to come.” Ade continued, “For me the games are more than just about sport. A Telegraph writer presenting with us talked about the duality of the games, which is a really good phrase and he says the Paralympics are able to do two things: it is an elite sports event and also a beacon to change perceptions of able bodied people to disabled people. For me changing perceptions is a very big thing.” We then began to talk about polio and Nigeria as I know Ade Adepitan keeps a close eye on what is happening in his birth country. I put it to him it was a setback that three cases were reported this year. “I was so pleased to hear that Nigeria was polio free and this is now a setback and it feels like the air has been deflated out of it. I know how difficult it is to eradicate polio. I’m heartened by the fact it is only three cases, we had a setback like this in 2001 but this is not like that,” he said. Ade had visited the northern part of Nigeria to report on polio for a documentary programme a few years ago when I first met him. He continued, “I’m more concerned about the war torn areas like Syria because no one knows what is going on there and we have no idea what is happening there.” I informed Ade that Rotary had made a large grant to Nigeria to help with the vaccination campaign. “Rotary always does a lot of good work on polio you are one of the leading charities on polio if not the leading charity. Everybody knows and if they don’t they’ve 22 // ROTARY

The Paralympics is able to do two things, it is an elite sports event and also a beacon to change perceptions of able bodied people to disabled people. For me changing perceptions is a very big thing.”

been sleeping under a rock. For me in terms of what is happening in Nigeria now all the agencies must have a blueprint on how to tackle the issue. The last mile is always the toughest.” I told him jokingly he would know that better than I, since he was in such good humour and I would find out later why that was so. A short series Ade had done on New York City was broadcast a few weeks ago so we touched on that. I put it to him he seemed to be really enjoying himself there. He admitted he did enjoy it, “I had visited New York for just a couple of days in the past so really did not know it, but I have an analogy for it. If you look at cities in the world as parts of an orchestra, New York would be the brass and percussion section since it is really loud and raucous and London would be the strings. One thing that is really nice about New York is that the people are really varied with so many from all over the world, it’s really great.” Having dealt with his past TV documentaries Ade Adepitan told me about

an upcoming programme he had made titled, Vietnam’s Toxic Legacy, for the Unreported World series on Channel 4. “It’s about Agent Orange which is a herbicide the Americans dropped in the Vietnam war that had a massive impact causing cancer and horrible diseases with evidence that it is affecting a fourth generation of kids. I went there to talk with the families who are affected and it’s on in the next few weeks. I think it is one of the most powerful of my documentaries.” Looking to the future Ade then went on to tell me he would be one of the hosts of BBC’s Children in Need this year and that was the reason he was on a high since he had only found out a few hours before he was talking with me. I congratulated him and mentioned he must be really pleased to which he replied, “I’m over the moon, it’s such an institution and to be part of it is really great.” So we got onto the subject of the Manchester and Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Conference where he will be one of the headline speakers. I have no doubt he will as usual woo the audience with his life as a Paralympian, polio survivor and TV presenter and an all-round great guy. As ever it was a pleasure to speak with him and he is now on board as a polio ambassador for Rotary. His enthusiasm for life is infectious and the day was brighter for having spoken with him. l

To sign up to hear Ade Adepitan MBE speak at the conference go to: rotarygbi.org rotarygbi.org


What they say...

RI DIRECTOR 2015-17 I PETER OFFER

The news from the RI Director

O

n July 1st each year Rotary positions change with new Presidents being inducted in every club, and new District Governors. We also have a new President for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Eve Conway, and Rotary International President, John Germ from the United States. July 1st is also the start of a new Rotary year on membership and the good news is that in the first few weeks of this Rotary year 680 new members have been inducted and District Governors tell me they have plans for an additional 20 new Rotary clubs. This shows that although times are hard men and women still want to give service and join a Rotary club to help their communities. I hope that the changes made at the Council of Legislation giving clubs the choice of when they meet, what time they meet and how

often they meet in a month will encourage more young people to join as in the past they found the commitment of a weekly meeting too great. In 2015/16 RI President Ravi launched a new membership tool called the Rotary Global Rewards, this is for Rotarians and Rotaractors only and the idea is for Rotarians to log in to see numerous companies all over the world that offer discounts to them for their services, including hotels, car hire and travel. In addition to giving a discount the companies will also give a sum to Rotary International and, as agreed by the RI Board, all profits will go to The Rotary Foundation. Although I am writing this in August this will not land on your desk until October, there will still be time to register for our Institute in Madrid from November 25 to 27. Joining together with our friends in Europe

we have 99 Rotary Districts from 20 different countries. We start with a Foundation Seminar on Friday and then the Institute on Saturday and Sunday. Monday local Rotarians have organised a sightseeing tour of the area. Speakers already attending are RI President-Elect Ian Riseley, Vice RI President Jennifer Jones, Trustee Chairman Kalyan Banerjee and Trustees Kenneth Schuppert and Julio Sorjus, plus six Directors. Arrangements for the 2017 Institute are being made and this will be held in Latvia from October 13 to 15 and my successor Brian Stoyel has already been to look at the venue with fellow Swedish Director Mikael Ahlberg. But before that make plans to join your fellow Rotarians at the exciting Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, USA from June 10 to 14 2017 when we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Rotary Foundation.

TRUSTEE CHAIR 2016/17 I KALYAN BANERJEE

Celebrate World Polio Day on 24 October

I

n our work to end polio, we’ve noticed a disturbing development - people in many parts of the world think polio no longer exists. Even some of our members, especially younger Rotarians who were born after the development of the polio vaccine, assume that because the disease doesn’t afflict anyone in their country, it’s no longer a problem. To make everyone aware that this disease is just an aeroplane ride away, Rotary started World Polio Day. Held annually in October, we have marked this occasion in various ways over the years. Clubs have held fundraisers or lit up iconic structures in their country with the words “End Polio Now.” More recently, we created live-streamed events featuring prominent public health experts and

24 // ROTARY

journalists, along with some of our celebrity ambassadors. This year, we have partnered with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will host a live-streamed event at its headquarters in Atlanta. Taking into consideration different time zones, the event will be immediately archived so your club may watch it at a time that is convenient. Tom Frieden, the CDC’s director, and Jeffrey Kluger, Time magazine’s senior editor overseeing science and health reporting, will be joined by other public health experts to discuss the milestones, promising developments, and remaining challenges in the fight to eradicate polio. But we want Rotarians to observe

World Polio Day everywhere, not just in Atlanta. In fact, we would like to see at least 1,000 World Polio Day events take place throughout the world. I encourage you to host viewing parties of the livestreamed event and organise fundraisers. Be sure to register your event at endpolio. org/worldpolioday, where you can also find resources to help make it a success. Polio is still out there, even though the number of cases has dropped by more than 99.9 per cent since 1988. We’re almost there, but until the number of cases reaches zero, polio remains a threat to all of us. World Polio Day offers an opportunity to share that vital message with your club and your community.

rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Special feature

POLIO IN

PAKISTAN Failure is not an option

An update on a successful Rotary International delegation to Pakistan.

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he Technical Advisory Group for Polio in Pakistan (TAG) met in Islamabad in June to deliberate on efforts to stop transmission of the polio virus. Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, The Prime Minister’s focal person for Polio Eradication, assured the ninety polio eradication experts present, that failure is not an option. This determination to succeed was evident in every meeting attended by the Rotary International delegation to Pakistan. The delegation was led by Michael McGovern, Chair of Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee, accompanied Committee Director Dr Carol Pandak and Committee Member Judith Diment. The five days were masterminded by Aziz Memon, Chair of the National PolioPlus Committee in Pakistan, ably assisted by Asher Ali. First stop was in Karachi to meet Polio Ambassador Aseefa Bhutto Zardari who pledged her full commitment to a polio free Pakistan in 2016. Aseefa tweeted, “I believe in 26 // ROTARY

Child receiving the life changing polio vaccine

Rotary and Pakistan’s strong partnership to eradicate polio. I know we can succeed when we join together for a polio free world.” Vaccinating missed children is a vital component in the polio programme. We visited the Permanent Transit Post in Karachi to observe polio vaccines being administered to children in transit. We spoke with the vaccinators who said an average of 3,000 children are vaccinated every day. Buses coming from upcountry were stopped at the check post to ensure every child under five was given the polio drops. Karachi, is one of the two reservoirs of polio in Pakistan where we visited the Gulshan Town Resource Centre on the outskirts. It is a polio high risk area. Our partners from the World Health Organization (WHO) were able to provide details of the collaborative work with the Resource Centre. The focus was on the newly established cadre of Female Community Volunteers and their training. Plans were discussed, the challenges they face, and their crucial role in engaging the local communities.

Another important part of the strategy of the National PolioPlus Committee in Pakistan is the response to vaccinate displaced children, create strong emergency operations centres, and a robust plan, based on lessons learned, to access children in insecure areas. The National PolioPlus Committee has established 16 Permanent Transit Posts and nine Polio Resource Centres. This strategy was discussed at a meeting with the Karachi Commissioner Ejaz Ahmed Khan. Aziz Memon commented that we were lucky to have a Commissioner with a Pashtun background to enable better understanding of Pashtun culture. Aziz went on to say that “The Commissioner has experience of working with polio since 1995 in areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK)”. Michael McGovern emphasized the need for improved security to polio workers and the need to enhance the coverage of children in the high risk areas. Further briefings in Karachi were held with Dr Azra Pechuho, Chairperson Oversight & Coordination Committee on rotarygbi.org


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL

Polio in Pakistan

Vertical Projects, Health Department and the Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat ul Ebad. Dr Pechuho assured the delegation that the situation is improving with better monitoring and surveillance and more focus is being given to Northern Sindh where two cases were reported in 2016. Our next stop was a two-day TAG meeting in Islamabad. The meeting was convened by WHO and attended by Pakistan Federal Government Ministers, provincial government representatives, the leaders of the polio programme at WHO, UNICEF, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and diplomats from donor countries. The discussions focused on the polio eradication strategy in light of the current situation in high risk areas of Karachi, Northern Sindh, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), KPK and Quetta block. Updates were given on all aspects of the programme including a review of the Emergency Operations Centers. Heath Minister Muhammad Ayub Sheikh said, “Substantial progress has been made this year with a continued sharp decline in recorded polio cases and an increasing number of negative environmental samples across Pakistan. We remain on track to interrupt transmission and are fully aware of the remaining challenges.” Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq briefed the meeting about the implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan in the past year. “We as partners are now deeply entwined as we push towards zero. We will succeed or fail together but failure is not an option.” Michael McGovern reaffirmed Rotary’s commitment to polio eradication and Aziz Memon gave an update on Rotary activities in Pakistan. While in Islamabad we had the honour of meeting with the Acting President of Pakistan HH Senator Raza Rabbani at President’s House and separate meetings with Health Minister Sheikh, Senator Farooq and the High Commissioner for Canada. Acting President Rabbani has helped extend the outreach for polio to 600,000 children in the FATA area. In contrast the final day was spent in the field in KPK, a six hour drive from Islamabad. En route we stopped to inspect two Permanent Transit Posts ready to be installed in the FATA area bordering Peshawar to target children in transit. The buildings are converted from shipping containers for the purpose. Our next assignment was in Bara Banda, rotarygbi.org

Pakistan polio Aid workers

We as partners are now deeply entwined as we push towards zero. We will succeed or fail together but failure is not an option.” a village in Nowshera District in KPK where Carol Pandak was invited to inaugurate a new Permanent Immunisation Centre. The Centre is managed by Youth Catalyst Rotary’s local partner and overseen by the Rotary Club of Islamabad Metropolitan. The centre helps strengthen routine immunisation and increase awareness of the polio vaccine. We were greeted with garlands from local health workers and we went with children to visit their school where we met teachers and parents. The final stop was Mansehera City, a major stop for tourists on the Karakoram Highway, which leads to China. We went via Abbottabad (former home of Osama bin Laden) and Balakot where in recent months there has been an influx of Afghan refugees. We visited the Polio Resource Centre, which targets children in refugee camps and other children of nomads and transient population. Rotary works closely with Dr Shehzad Ali the District Health Officer in Mansehra who thanked Rotary for establishing the centre. We visited the district hospital in Mansehra for a meeting with 40 religious scholars and local Ulemas from the district. The ulemas

assured Rotary of their full support to help rid Pakistan of polio. We left Mansehra with a police escort to get flights home from Islamabad. We all felt humbled by the efforts of our colleagues in Pakistan and proud to be Rotarians. No Rotary trip would have been complete without great Rotary fellowship and we attended two memorable Rotary meetings in our honour in Karachi and Rawalpindi. During the five-day visit we witnessed the total commitment, dedication and resolve of Rotarians to rid Pakistan of polio, often in difficult, challenging and life threatening conditions. Everyone we met is working as a team to honour Rotary’s commitment to the children of the world to end polio forever. I urge Rotarians in Great Britain and Ireland to support their colleagues in Pakistan and elsewhere to make this a reality.

Judith is Chair of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force and a member of Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee For more information visit: endpolio.org ROTARY // 27


ROTARY IN ACTION

Rotary Club of Hoddesdon

Schools in Hoddesdon to a school in Nepal

When a deadly earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Kathmandu was all but destroyed. As a result a close working relationship has developed with a Rotary club and local schools.

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he outcome of the Rotary Club of Hoddesdon in working to rebuild a school in Nepal hit by the earthquake of 2015 has been a close working relationship with two local schools. Students from The John Warner School and Robert Barclay Academy (formerly Sheredes School) were enlisted to help with the ambitious project. The students have undertaken a project, named H2H (Hoddesdon to Himalaya) with the Rotary Club to visit Janasewa Higher Secondary School near Kathmandu and help with the rebuild. It’s been a long haul however with a fair amount of networking taking place across Rotary clubs around the world, from the Rotary Club of Kathmandu Mid Town to the Rotary Club of Landshut Germany, contributing funds along with a few philanthropic contributors, the project had been ongoing over a number of years but reached crisis when blocks were damaged in the earthquake. The devastating earthquake killed nearly 8,000 people, and the Janasewa Higher Secondary School, based in Kathmandu, was badly affected with one teaching block ruled unsafe for classes by government inspection officers. Yet despite the damage done to much of the school, the grounds still provided refuge and shelter for many of those who were rendered homeless by the earthquake, with over 40 families still residing in relief camps on the school’s football fields today. The Hoddesdon Club heard from a member of their partner club in Nepal Dr Chandra Lekha Tuladhar, “A portion of the school was damaged by the earthquake which was recently retrofitted and made safe. Since the day of the quake till now the school provided relief to the community as many wards were badly affected. Relief camps were set up and until today more than 40 families still reside in the football field.
Bringing the 28 // ROTARY

Devestation caused by Nepal earthquake in 2015

The results will be sustained in Nepal and in the local Hoddesdon community." school back to normality is a long drawn task.
Painting of furniture or classroom when the time draws near is what we thought would be suitable to get all the volunteers involved.” Some of the fund-raising events run by the Club with keen support by the students, include a Rotary vs. Hoddesdon Town football match, a quiz, a local dragon boat race, a virtual horse racing night and even a joke book that sold well last Christmas. Sponsorship was forthcoming from several businesses. Hoddesdon Rotarian David Johnston is leading this project from the front. David

commented, “It supports Rotary’s focus on education and helping local communities worldwide after disaster. The results will be sustained in Nepal and in the local Hoddesdon community.” The 10 young people taking part on the trip led by Rotarians from Hoddesdon Rotary Club will spend almost 3 weeks in Nepal undertaking a work programme at the school followed by a trek to Everest base camp. All participants have been in training with treks locally and there is a big test trek taking place shortly in the Welsh mountains. l

Kathmandu, Nepal

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.

Ghana

The Rotary Club of Accra-Labone, provides free ear and eye screening services to the communities in Winneba. The provision of the services, which was supported by the Audiology department of the University of Education (UEW), took place at the Methodist Rafiki Village at Gyaahadze in Winneba. More than 100 inhabitants of these two communities in Gyaahadze had their ears checked for wax, otitis externa, otitis media and other ailments. They were carefully examined and treated by medical practitioners from the Audiology department of UEW led by Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Dr Yaw Nyadu Offei, an audiologist. Dr Nyadu Offei explained to the attendees that the ear is a very vital part of the body and must not be taken lightly. He cautioned against abuse of their ears by inserting any unapproved objects inside. He entreated parents to closely monitor the ear defects of their wards particularly those of school going age. According to him the ear is a very delicate organ of the body and when a child gets ear defects, which impair his or her hearing in the classroom it affects the ward’s progress in class. He cautioned against the use of any ear drops into the ear saying when one identifies any ailment of the ear, a proper medical attention from a qualified audiologist must be made to diagnose properly what is wrong with the ear. The President of Rotary Club of AccraLabone, Lamtiig Apanga noted that the clinic was a step in progress against the backdrop of the donation of a mobile audiology van to the audiology department of UEW by UK Rotary clubs. l 30 // ROTARY

Philippines

The Rotary Club of Manila Bonifacio Drive helps Zambales school Born out of its desire to provide humanitarian services the “Rotary way”, the Rotary club of Manila Bonifacio Drive launched projects that are connected to Rotary’s mission of “enabling Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.” The Club has focused its services on education with an emphasis on literacy, and humanitarian services through adopting a community programme. The St. Francis Learning Center (for Aeta community) in Mangan-Vaca, Zambales has been officially adopted by the club in 2015 where different services were provided in partnership with the Red Cross as well as other groups and individuals. To benefit the club’s adopted community, a certain portion of the property was developed and has been transformed into a mini farm where communities can plant rice and different types of vegetables to further support and sustain the needs of the school. The programme was started by the club’s Immediate Past President Dr. Gwendolyn Pang in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross. The club’s newest All Star President, Minnie Reyes, continued this initiative by strengthening its partnership with the school and other stakeholders. In addition to planting rice, banana trees and an assortment of vegetable seedlings, the club gave away sacks of rice, and live ducks and chickens for the additional livelihood of the community. For health promotion and disease prevention of families, personal hygiene kits and pairs of slippers were distributed to the hundreds of members. l

Uganda

New Vision - Thousands grace Rotary Cancer Run Thousands of enthusiastic runners converged at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Sunday August 21 to participate in the annual Rotary Cancer Run aimed at raising money to buy a linear accelerator machine. A linear accelerator (LINAC) is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. The linear accelerator is used to treat all parts and organs of the body. Prince David Wasajja flagged off the 5, 10 and 21km races, which attracted children, students, corporates and Rotarians. Wasajja urged the public to continue donating with the kind heart, which they showed towards the 5th Rotary Cancer Run. He was speaking at the climax of the event flanked by the Centenary Bank CEO Fabian Kasi, the new Rotary Governor Elect Kenny Mugisha and Stephen Mwanje the founder and also the initiator of the Cancer Run. “I'm so delighted with this turn out today, I urge all the people who participated to continue with this gesture. Thank you for sparing your time to come and run for charity,” Wasajja said. General Katumba Wamala was one of the notable prominent persons among thousands of participants. Unlike past editions of the run, this year's run was held concurrently with similar runs in other districts of Masaka, Soroti, Mbarara, Kabale, Jinja, Tororo, Lira, Busia, Arua, Kanungu, Entebbe, Gulu, Kyenjojo, Bushenyi and Masindi. The chairperson Lydia Bujara, confirmed that the turnout countrywide was a success. “I think we have achieved our target,” Bujara said. l rotarygbi.org


ROTARY IN ACTION

Rotary Conference

The go-to events of the year

supporter of Alzheimer’s Society UK will inform attendees about his work and life. Virginia McKenna OBE and her son Will Travers OBE from the Born Free Foundation will also be there to report on saving endangered species in the wild. Flying in from the States will be motivational speaker and Rotarian Michael Angelo Caruso who will educate and entertain in his own inimitable style. All of this as well as the Hallé Youth Choir along with Manchester Camerata, the 10th anniversary of the Rotary Young Citizen Awards, topped off with what is promised to be a breathtaking performance by Katherine Jenkins OBE makes this conference a not to be missed event in the Rotary calendar. l

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anchester has revitalised, reinvented and revolutionised itself, and is the in place to be and be seen. We are sure you will want to be part of the whole buzz happening that weekend so it is essential you register now. The offering at the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Conference being held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex is wide and varied, appealing to all tastes. Joining in as part of this experience will be television presenter and Paralympian Ade Adepitan, who will relate his experiences living with the effects of polio, Russell Grant the TV astrologer, Strictly Come Dancing star and celebrity

ch

It’s the home of Tech City, Media City, Fashion City, Event City and on the weekend of April 7-9, 2017 Rotary City will be added to the list. There is only one city in this country that pulls in all this talent and that is Manchester.

If you don’t want to miss it visit: rotarygbi.org

Prepare for Rotary’s party of the century

32 // ROTARY

and more. A street party BBQ for thousands; a special showing of Gone With The Wind in the famous Fox Theatre; host hospitality night; and gala luncheons are just a few of the Host Organising Committee’s events. Rotary International President Arch Klumph’s idea for an endowment fund dedicated to ‘doing good in the world’ planted the seed for The Rotary Foundation in 1917. That idea set in motion a powerful force for good that has transformed millions of lives around the globe over the decades. Klumph is now seen as the architect of the modern-day Rotary Foundation. From Rotary’s battle against polio, to establishing the Rotary Peace Centers, The Rotary Foundation has a rich history endorsed by every Rotary club, which will be celebrated during the convention activities. So, it’s going to be the place to be for every Rotarian in June 2017. We look forward to seeing you there. l

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otary is hosting one of the greatest parties in its history – The Atlanta Convention (June 10-14, 2017), which will celebrate The Rotary Foundation’s Centenary and its one hundred years of service to communities, doing good in the world. The convention, in Atlanta, Georgia – the birthplace of the Rotary Foundation in 1917 - promises to be one of the best ever. Expect spectacular, jaw-dropping and emotive opening and closing ceremonies, plenary sessions featuring some of Rotary’s most eloquent speakers, breakout and workshop sessions on every conceivable theme and major project, a massive Hall of Friendship highlighting a multitude of activities, and the full-on Rotary experience that can only be enjoyed at a world convention. There is enough in the programme to satisfy even the most discerning Rotarian –

Register for this exciting Rotary event at: riconvention.org rotarygbi.org


Take action in your community

Join a winning team Join Team Rotary

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/RotaryinGBI

JOIN LEADERS, EXCHANGE IDEAS, TAKE ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY

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ROTARY IN ACTION

Stop Hunger Now

Feeding

100,000 After attending a meal-packing event in Sao Paulo last year, Irene Russell and her husband were inspired to bring this worthwhile cause back to the UK.

W Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

36 // ROTARY

ouldn’t it be an incredible achievement to say you had provided food for over 100,000 hungry people? Well that’s exactly what happened when 29 Rotary clubs recently came together to take part in the first ever Rotary sponsored meal-packing in the UK. Irene Russell, from the Rotary Club of Warrington, was attending the Rotary International Convention in June last year with her husband. Whilst out in Brazil they stumbled upon a meal-packing event being carried out by global organisation Stop Hunger Now and after getting involved in the event, they couldn’t help but think how effective something like this would be in the UK. After months of planning, their vision finally came to fruition during a two-day event, which was held at Chaigeley School in Thelwall, Warrington. President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Eve Conway opened the event on Friday and Cllr Faisal Rashid, Mayor of Warrington attended on the Saturday where over 500 volunteers aged from just 6 to 92 came together from all areas of the community including local churches, faith groups, charities, students from National Citizen Service, businesses and service organisations, as well as individuals and families.

Volunteers packed more than seven tonnes of ingredients over the two days, creating an incredible 102,128 meals, which were made up of rice, soy, vegetables and 22 essential vitamins and minerals. All of the meals packed in Warrington are now on route to three schools in Kibera, the largest slum area in Nairobi, Kenya. This is an area that has historically been hard to access with aid, with many of the half a million inhabitants living in single room mud huts and tin shacks which are crammed closely together. These meals will ensure that every pupil attending the school receives one hot meal per day, not only improving their health, but helping to ensure that the children rotarygbi.org


Volunteers help to pack the seven tonnes of ingredients

receive an education to help to lift them out of the cycle of poverty. Irene Russell, President of Warrington Rotary said “Rotary International’s theme for 2016/17 is ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’. I could not think of a better way for our club to demonstrate this than to pack 100,000 meals, which will feed hungry people across the world. This event brings our club, other Rotary clubs and the community as a whole together to celebrate what Rotary does best, Service above Self.” Founded in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has delivered aid and disaster relief supplies in the form of food, medical supplies,

clothing, school supplies and more to thousands of disaster victims and other hungry and vulnerable people in more than 70 countries. Around the world, nearly 805 million people lack adequate food and to try and help Stop Hunger Now operates mealpackaging locations in 19 cities throughout the U.S. and six international locations in South Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines, Italy, India and now the UK. More than 450,000 volunteers from Rotary clubs, companies, churches, schools and civic organisations have packaged Stop Hunger Now meals. Chris Jones, Rotary Relations Manager at Stop Hunger Now commented, “The Rotary Club of Warrington, being the first Rotary club in all of the U.K. to package meals with Stop Hunger Now, did so in an impactful manner. This event brought many happy feelings - from 29 Rotary clubs working together to make our world a better place; to seeing all of the local community members coming forward demonstrating Service Above Self; to all of the many smiling faces during the entire event; to the news media coming out to report on the

difference that this Rotary club is making; to the children in Kenya that will be fed because of the passion and vision that Irene and Eric Russell brought back with them from the Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Thank you Irene and Eric! All of this combines into a great start for Stop Hunger Now and Rotary within the U.K. “It is my belief that with the many service oriented Rotarians located throughout the British Isles, Rotary is a critical success factor in solving the global hunger issue. Hunger, like polio, is preventable. Rotarians have demonstrated that overcoming what seems to be an overwhelming issue can be done, one Rotary club at a time. We are like individual rain drops that when brought together create an ocean of success.” l

For more information on how to contribute to this worthy cause, contact: rotary.mealpacking@mail.com ROTARY // 37


ROTARY IN ACTION

Aberfan dissaster

Remembering Aberfan

We speak to Rotarian Dr Ganesh who was there when the disaster took place.

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ifty years ago at 9.15 am on Friday 21st October 1966 the slag heap at Aberfan in Wales collapsed onto the village school taking 144 lives including most of the town’s children. The local Rotary Club of Merthyr Tydfil was in the thick of the aftermath with its members being the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer. Of the 42 members, only 16 were left not actually fully engaged in the rescue so immediately this group set up a motor pool, organised a clothing bank including donated rainwear and wellington boots. The heavy rain, the original cause of the slippage, continued unabated. Next the club members found themselves providing food; local companies were very generous after calls from the club, for the many volunteers that appeared overnight. Within 72 hours there was a semblance of order as the public services took control. Rotary clubs around the UK and the world were sending in money, £3,350 then, which equates to £58,500 now in total, which helped instantly and was therefore much appreciated. The Rotary Club of East Elloe in Lincolnshire raised over £13,000 at current prices, a tremendous sum in a very short space of time. Rotary clubs around the UK set up credit facilities and a mayor’s fund went on to raise £1 million at the time, £17 million at current prices. There is no one around from the Rotary club to ask them “what was it like?” but we found a Dr Ganesh in the Merthyr Tydfil area who is now a Rotarian. Dr Ganesh obviously still finds it difficult to talk about the tragedy but he was especially appreciative of Rotary’s involvement at the time. “I was working as a registrar in the paediatric department of the local hospitals at that time. I was on holiday that week. Just after 10am I received a call from the hospital asking me if I was available to help as an incident had taken place down the valley and they were expecting a large number of casualties including children. 38 // ROTARY

The mountain of slag that poured onto the small town of Aberfan

“I went down to St Tydfil's Hospital. A number of injured children had already been brought there and were being treated. As there were enough doctors there I was asked to go to the site of the accident and help. “I reached Aberfan at about 11am. The rescue operation was in full swing and the place was crowded with hundreds of people digging and searching. I waited with a few other doctors in a hall nearby. From time to time a whistle would sound, the digging would stop and absolute silence would reign for a short while the rescuers strained to listen to see if they could hear a child crying. Unfortunately after I reached Aberfan no child was brought out alive. From time to time a body would be brought in and one of us would officially certify death. It was heart breaking to watch the look of despair on the faces of the rescuers when this happened. “I stayed there till mid-afternoon and when all hope of finding survivors was given up I returned to the hospital. It was very difficult for a few days to keep a dry eye in the ward where the children were being treated. Even to this day my throat tightens when I talk about ‘that day’”. There was a balance in the Rotary

funds after distribution so the Merthyr Tydfil Club went back to all those who contributed to gain approval for the setting up of an intensive care unit at Merthyr Tydfil Hospital which was unanimously approved and that is where Dr Ganesh stayed and eventually joined Rotary. So what was the aftermath? The National Coal Board (NCB) said that the other tips of slag were not dangerous but there was a massive campaign forcing the NCB to dismantle them. Eventually £150,000 was taken from the mayor’s fund. Some 30 years later the Labour government insisted on the NCB paying back the funds, which was duly done at £150,000, i.e. not with inflation, which should have been at around £2.6 million. A new school was built and today the children oblivious of the terrible tragedy play in the sun with a bright future. We wish them well and even today we congratulate the Merthyr Tydfil Club on a massive “Service above Self ” mission. Over 72 hours of tragedy that should never be forgotten. l This article was written by Paul Jackson, a contributor from the Rotary eClub of the South West. rotarygbi.org


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

Come fly with Rotary for Children in Need

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otary volunteers will once again be out in force in November to support one of the biggest fundraising events of the year, BBC Children In Need. Appeal day this year is 18th November and clubs across Great Britain and Ireland are busy preparing their activities which includes another huge collection at Heathrow Airport organised by the Rotary Club of Misbourne Matins. Volunteers will once again be collecting across all four of the airport’s terminals, including going airside to collect beyond the terminals’ security barriers. Last year Pudsey Bear was joined by over 260 volunteers from 30 Rotary, Rotaract and Interact clubs, who amassed over 1,000 hours of fundraising between them and collected a whopping £39,000. The team will be collecting from 6am until 8pm and are hoping to smash 2015’s total and achieve another record breaking year. As well as chatting to happy passengers and holidaymakers at Heathrow, Rotarians have also made an appearance at CarFest North and South, broadcaster Chris Evans’

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car and music festival held in aid of Children in Need. The Rotary Clubs of Sale and Basingstoke Deane were on hand to keep families, music lovers and petrolheads entertained throughout the day and raised over £80,000 across both events. As always with Rotary fundraising efforts, it is about more than just the money. Fundraising is just one way Rotarians help during Children In Need. Frequently they play ‘hands on’ roles in the projects which use the public’s donations to change the lives of disadvantaged children and their families in our local communities. Other activities such as jazz evenings, quiz nights and community parties are also taking place across the length and breadth of Great Britain and Ireland to bring people together in aid of a wonderful cause. There are so many opportunities for everyone to get involved. If you would like to get involved in Children in Need activities with Rotary, visit www.rotarycin.co.uk or contact volunteer@rotarycin.co.uk

Rotary gives Sierra Leone a dentist

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any would probably say going to the dentist was one of the things we least enjoy but is essential. In Sierra Leone in West Africa, access to rudimentary dental care is extremely rare. Dentist Harriet Carver first met Joseph Dumbuya in 2004 when they worked together on the Hospital Mercy Ship in the country’s capital, Freetown. At that time there were only five dentists in a country with a population of six million people. Joseph’s dream was to set up a clinic in Freetown to provide dental care for people from all walks of life. Joseph travelled with Harriet to meet members of Berkhamsted Bulbourne Rotary Club, and so impressed were they by his personality, ambition and commitment that they agreed to support him financially through his studies, to the tune of £11,500. Joseph graduated earlier this year and plans to return to Sierra Leone to start practicing and intends to set up a satellite clinic in the north of the country, where the need is even greater. Through Dentaid, a specialist charity, Joseph has received a sponsored Dentaid box comprising of a portable dental chair and all the key dental equipment and consumables to enable a dental professional to practice wherever there is a need. Rob Ferneyhough, member of the club commented, “This is a really good news story, demonstrating how Rotary can help improve the lives of others. We were so lucky that Harriet Carver gave us the introduction to such an impressive and committed person as Joseph. We all wish him the best of luck and will be following his progress.”

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Flying kites for the air ambulance

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Leap of faith

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t was mission accomplished for Erroll Bateman of Thame Rotary Club as he took the leap of faith and completed a charity skydive in aid of a local children’s centre. Red Kite Children’s Centre has been threatened with closure, making life difficult for the 1,500 clients for whom they provide parenting programmes, “stay and play” sessions, family health services, plus much needed help for young mothers and children with disabilities. Erroll described their work as absolutely essential to the wider community in and around Thame and the club have selected

Red Kite as their major charity for the year. Despite taking part in a sky dive before, the 45 second free fall still kept Erroll’s pulse racing: “The last free fall jump I did was in 1969, so before exiting the aircraft with my instructor LCpl Lee Crudgington, nerves were at high level! However, previous training clicked in, massively helped by Lance Corporal Lee, which made the whole experience very exciting.” To date, Erroll has raised over £600, which the club hopes will help allow Red Kite to continue to serve the local community.

he skies above Hertfordshire were full of weird and wonderful contraptions as the Rotary Club of Royston hosted their annual Kite Festival. Kites came in all colours, shapes and sizes, including a giant guitar, aeroplanes and even a Dalek. Children also had the chance to create and decorate their very own kites in the workshop tent, with a competition taking place for the best ones. After early concerns that the wind would be too strong, it was time for children to take their kites to the skies and create a dazzling spectacle in the summer sun. Over the last 10 years, the festival has raised over £45,000 for a range of local and national charities, while providing an exciting day out for people of all ages in the local community. Event manager and member of the Rotary Club of Royston Jonathan Berks was encouraged by the fundraising success this time around, and this year’s main beneficiary was Hertfordshire Air Ambulance. Jonathan commented: “We’ve raised over £6,000, so we’ll be able to make some generous charitable donations and help to keep the Air Ambulance saving lives in Hertfordshire.”

Swim, cycle and run for End Polio Now

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arry Hackett from the Rotary Club of Ashby-DeLa-Zouch put in a personal best time in this year’s London Triathlon, and raised £2,000 for End Polio Now. Barry visited India earlier this year with another 100 Rotarians from across Great Britain and Ireland to take part in a national immunisation day in the country and says that witnessing the impact that poverty and polio can have on communities first hand was a great motivator for him to help make a difference. The training for the 750 metre open water swim, 20 kilometre cycle ride and five kilometre run was extremely hard but Barry has always been spurred

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on by a sporting challenge, “I suppose it stems from my rugby playing career being cut short and that frustration has certainly been a driver. My first triathlon was London 2015, but I did two this summer locally in preparation for this year’s.” It is Barry’s dedication to training that helped him complete the course in one hour and 51 minutes, knocking over six minutes off his time from last year’s event and moving him a whopping 164 places up the rankings this time. Barry has his eye on some other tough sporting tests for 2017 and his message is clear, “If I can do it, anyone can!”

ROTARY // 41


ROTARY NEWS

Regional

Free eye care

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Bikes for Africa

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lmost a third of children in the Gambia do not go to primary school, with many of those that do having to walk over five miles to get there. For others, it is simply too far away. Pupils from Flint High School have teamed up with Flint and Holywell Rotary Club to help make children’s vital journey to and from school easier by refurbishing and donating bicycles. The project has been 18 months in the making, which included creating a portable workshop complete with tools being donated by the club and local businesses. Paul Wynne, a member of the school’s Design and Technology department said, “With the benefit of a bicycle these students’ aspirations can be dramatically changed. “They’ll be less tired so more likely to obtain better results which, in turn, leads to

a wider field of opportunities. For others, it gives them a chance to gain an education which otherwise would not be possible due to the distances involved. The support we’ve received from everyone involved has been fantastic and the students have really got behind the project and are enjoying learning new skills at the same time.” Martin Barker, a member of Flint and Holywell Rotary Club is making arrangements for the shipment of the bikes and has been delighted with the interest the pupils have shown in the project. One student commented, “It’s great that we have this opportunity to do something that helps children get to school every day and not have to walk such a long way. “I really enjoy cycling and it’s nice to think the bicycles will help these children and make a real difference to their lives.”

or the last 15 years, the Rotary Club of Aston have been providing free of charge eye care for vulnerable patients in Punjab, Northern India. The latest of the treatment camps, which took place earlier this year was able to help over 600 patients, who without the club’s help, may not have had access to funds to pay for this vital care. Treatments given can include anything from routine check-ups to more substantial operations, as well as providing resources such as glasses and eye drops. As Club President Iqbal Chana explains, none of this would be possible without the help of health workers on the ground: “We have frequent communication with local health workers and the doctors at the hospital in India to ensure that we maintain this relationship and the project can remain an ongoing success.” As well as treatment, the camps also offer patients accommodation should their stay require longer periods for treatment and recovery, all of which have been paid for by the club’s fundraising, which totals over £100,000 since the project began. Iqbal Chana went on to add, “I am so proud of the club’s progress with this project and I am sure and confident that within this year and beyond we will be able to treat more patients and continue the good work Rotary is doing.”

Creating magical moments

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fter years of planning and hard work, Ann Dieckmann and Caroline Richardson’s English teaching project is making a difference to hundreds of children at Unguja Ukuu Primary School in Zanzibar. Both Ann and Caroline are members of Brighton and Hove Soiree Rotary Club and after visiting Zanzibar in 2011 they decided this was the perfect place to base their next volunteering adventure. Many exams for pupils aged six and above are conducted in English, including those needed for children to progress to secondary school, but the pair spotted there was a huge requirement

42 // ROTARY

to improve the English language skills of the teachers themselves. Without the necessary standard of teaching, children’s prospects can be severely hampered, but by working with a member of the Rotary Club of Zanzibar Stone Town, Ann and Caroline were able to set the project’s wheels in motion. Over a few months, they helped to improve the teachers’ English and guided the school into unchartered territory as they began to implement new teaching techniques and use resources they had never even imagined. Classes of up to 100 pupils and adult learners

were, for the first time, able to read from the same book at the same time. They had access to technology, learning English by watching animated films and even using 40 tablet computers, specially adapted for use in the hot and dusty environment. Pupils were even able to practice their spoken English over Skype by having a video call with the Brighton based clubs who had helped contribute resources. On the project, Ann commented, “There were some magical moments. We feel that with the Zanzibar School’s project we’re building something special.”

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ROTARY NEWS

Regional

Newbury does Paris

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ewbury took on a Parisian feel this summer as the Rotary Club of Newbury hosted its annual boules tournament in the town square. Six boules pistes temporarily converted the market place into a French town centre, which hosted the head-to-head competition for 16 teams as well as a ‘Closest to the Jack’ contest for members of the public who wanted to throw themselves into the spirit. This year saw 16 teams representing both community groups and local businesses, including West Berkshire Mencap. The competition is growing in popularity year on year, and the community spirit of the event is evident on the day and in the difference the money raised is making to charities, which this year included West Berkshire Young Carers. Some of the £2,000 raised will go towards supporting young people between the ages of 5 and 19 who assist in caring for a relative or loved one, which often has an enormous impact on their school and social lives. Kath Nurse, the President of Newbury Rotary Club, said of the event, "We get great pleasure in running this event. We are particularly pleased to include the West Berks Young Carers group as a beneficiary this year. After enquiring about the situation here in West Berkshire we discovered that there is one paid coordinator, dealing with over 100 children. This number is slowly increasing as the project becomes better known."

Without Rotary it would not have been possible

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otary clubs across the South West of England have been thanked for helping an activity accommodation centre reach a symbolic milestone. Calvert Trust Exmoor is celebrating 20 years of challenging disability through outdoor adventure and as Tony Potter, Chief Executive of Calvert Trust Exmoor explained, Rotary clubs have played a vital role in assisting some of the 30,000 people to experience the centre, “So much of what we do at Calvert Trust Exmoor couldn’t happen without the support of people and organisations in the community like Rotary who share our vision, and play a vital role in helping us. We’re delighted that we’ve been able to assist at least 30,000 people in our first 20 years, a milestone we would not have been able to reach without Rotary support.” A number of clubs from across the region have assisted with bursaries for guests with disabilities in financial need, supported

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Young Carers breaks and funding facilities improvements and IT equipment, allowing the Trust to be able to provide the best experience possible for guests. The Calvert Trust Exmoor caters for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities of all ages and levels of ability, together with their families, friends and carers. Activities on offer include sailing, horse riding, wheelchair abseiling, accessible cycling, archery and many more. Brian Stoyel, who will take up the role of Rotary International Director in 2017 visited the Trust to celebrate their anniversary and commented, “The Calvert Trust means many things to many people. Opportunity, thrill, development, entertainment and patience, but above all satisfaction in knowing everyone can achieve something and this is certainly what Calvert Trust Exmoor does for all its visitors.”

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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


ROTARY IN ACTION

Special feature

Rotary

in China We first learned of Rotarians helping ShelterBox in North Korea but found a trail across the world. We tell you how it works.

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otary is a worldwide network with connections in many places from the slums of the underdeveloped countries to the wealth and extravagance of the highly developed western nations. Its connections reach into countries that are thought of as unreachable and one such country is North Korea. Through connections with China and reaching right across the world to Canada Rotarians have been able to work with North Koreans to make an impact and improve people’s lives. We were intrigued about DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) so we spoke with the person who has developed Rotary in China and made the connection into North Korea over quite a number of years, Randal Eastman. Randal was the 44 // ROTARY

Rotary International Representative in China until this year and we spoke with him from Shanghai. Randal explained, “Rotary in China has had a long, colourful and turbulent history. In October 1919 the first Chinese Rotary club was chartered and several followed taking the number to 43 in 39 cities. However in 1952 Rotary ceased to operate in China of its own volition - a decision taken by Rotary International. In 1996 Rotarians began meeting in Beijing regularly, and from 2006 the membership grew and clubs began to charter and in 2014 the Rotary International Board recognised new clubs in China.” I wanted to clear up with Randal the present situation in China in terms of people being allowed to join Rotary. He explained, “We have guidelines that the Rotary International Board has set for us

and the latest version is very clear in that only ex-patriots and Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau passport holders can be members of clubs and the reason for that is not that the Chinese government have passed any specific legislation against us but our organisations are not legally registered therefore for local people to join is a bit of a danger for them. To get round this we have invited locals to be Honorary Members for about three years now and we have no problem with that.” To get a feel of how Rotary is working in China we had to ask how many members and clubs there are. “We have a total of 18 clubs in China with around 450 members - four of the clubs are in Beijing and three are in Shanghai,” Randal told me before then reeling off a list of other towns covering mostly the eastern part of China. There are also other clubs in various stages of formation. rotarygbi.org


Randal had got involved with Rotary back in his native country Canada and after completing an MBA he joined the Rotary Club of London, Canada and was a member for two years before he moved to Shanghai. He told us, “Rotary was not strong in China but I was quite hooked and when I moved there were no clubs and I tried to change that.” And he has done that since his performance and the outcome speaks for itself.

Many doubted that this aid would reach the beneficiaries however with the connection in North Korea we know the aid is getting to the right people.” It is great that Rotary is prospering in China but we were also interested in North Korea and how people there were being helped so we ventured to find out by talking with Tom Wilkinson a member of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty on Prince Edward Island, Canada and mentioned by Randal several times. Tom explained, “It all came about when we were asked to host an agricultural delegation from DPRK. Just three delegates, and at that time they were the Director of International Trade and Economic Cooperation and Education, the Vice President of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a specialist involved with potato production and oilseed crops. They were all rotarygbi.org

Rotarians in China

senior officers within the DPRK regime and were hosted primarily by Rotarians across clubs on Prince Edward Island. “The relationship and connections were developed and a request to Randal Eastman in China to supply a large solar oven for an orphanage in the Pyongyang area as well as 500 children’s wheelchairs for victims of a major explosion in Rongchang was made and met. Soon after a network was established called ‘The Korean Friendship Network’ with the help and support extending even further.” Tom went on to tell us about more projects, “An operating theatre in South Pyongan Province was renovated when we worked with The Rotary Club of Shanghai alongside their Rotaract club. We have a long list of giving help over a period of time

working with Chinese Rotarians and the Korean Friendship Network. We packed and shipped 273,000 MannaPack Rice meals for 800 orphans in five centres. Many doubted that this aid would reach the beneficiaries however with the connection in North Korea we know the aid is getting to the right people. In 2012 after devastating typhoons and massive flooding we arranged for ShelterBox Response Teams to visit and deploy over 100 ShelterBoxes. We also worked with the Rotary International Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group and a colleague Dr Winston Johnson produced a report on the production of food crops in North Korea.” Tom mentioned many other projects and pointed out that not only his club but Rotary clubs across Canada were instrumental in helping Randal and his colleagues in China reach out to North Korea. As we were going to publication we learned about the recent flooding in North Korea and wondered what help was being made available. We were told that ShelterBox is trying to make contact to assess what is required and is working with Rotarian colleagues in the region. In talking with Randal Eastman and Tom Wilkinson we were encouraged by the humanitarian aid getting through to North Korea through the development of Rotary in China. It demonstrates the resolve of Rotarians who want to help and the way we can use the Rotary network and fellowship to achieve this. l

To find out more about Rotary in China go to: rotarychina.org ROTARY // 45


SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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Spotted in Syria

Going mobile Female health workers in Pakistan are implementing a revolutionary method of reporting health data for children and newborns, which includes recording polio immunisations. @EndPolioNow shared some stunning imagery from the process in action on Twitter, which were also featured in National Geographic. Check out the story at bit.ly/PolioPakistan.

Sheltering the world ShelterBox spends every day planning for the worst day ever. They respond to natural and humanitarian disasters, often within a matter of hours to get communities back on their feet. Visit the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Facebook page to watch their latest video and see the huge difference Rotarians and Rotaractors made when responding to another devastating disaster: the Nepal earthquake.

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Children on the move We recently saw harrowing footage of five-year-old Syrian boy Omran go viral across the world. His is just one of millions of stories about children caught in the refugee crisis. In UNICEF’s Children on the Move series, they capture stories from across the world. Check it out on their YouTube channel at bit.ly/ChildrenOnTheMove.

50 // ROTARY

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"Peace is in Rotary’s DNA"

A vital update

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Hand in Hand for Syria’s #SpottedInSyria series is looking to capture the rare moments of relief, joy and comfort in amongst the horror of war in Syria. Head to the Hand in Hand for Syria Facebook page or search #SpottedInSyria on Facebook to join in the social media buzz.

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Thousands tuned in to a live Facebook Q&A session with Dr Michel Zaffran, Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organisation following the news of new polio cases being discovered in Northern Nigeria. Dr Zaffran provided an update on how WHO and its polio eradication partners are responding to the outbreak. Watch the Q&A on their Facebook page at bit.ly/DrMichel.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

Those were the words of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland President Eve Conway, who joined peacemakers and activists in Peace One Day’s Facebook broadcast for #PeaceDay. Thousands tuned in live to hear Eve discuss Rotary’s role in grassroots activism. Catch up by visiting our Facebook page.

Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland

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Rotary Magazine October - November 2016  
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