This is my last report for the Rotary Year, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank members of the International Committee;  David Virgin, Ken Buckley, Reg Arnold and Andrew Benson, for their support during 2012-13.  I appreciate very much that all are very experienced Rotarians particular in the area of International Service, and I was fortunate to receive their advice.

It was a relatively quiet year for International Service, but at the same time very successful with fund-raising and also raising awareness within the club of the tremendous breadth of work that can be undertaken to assist others less fortunate than ourselves throughout the world.

Donations from the International Budget

Our club can be proud of the financial support it has given this year to help improve the lives and living conditions of people living overseas in poverty-stricken circumstances.  In addition our sponsorship of a Rotary Shelter Box will provide invaluable shelter for a family requiring disaster relief. 

            Safe Sanitation & Water Saves Lives

            It has been suggested by senior personnel in SSWSL that our donation of $2,000 be directed to a specific project in Taupo Mahula village, near Loes, Timor Leste.  It is to refurbish some school toilets, the present sanitation being not only almost non-existent but frankly just shocking.  It is proposed that the $2,000 will be used for materials, and the labour will come from the villagers.  Our club will be kept fully informed as the project progresses.

Shelter Box Australia/New Zealand

            Our donation to Shelter Box of $1,000. enables the purchase of a complete box and we will be kept informed on where and when it is sent.  This will be a very rewarding exercise for our club, being able to identify the specific humanitarian contribution we have made.

            Nepal Orphanage for Dalit (untouchable) children

$500 has been sent to the managers of this project.  Our donation will assist with providing a safe, secure and loving home for about 100 poor, abandoned and orphaned Dalit (untouchable) girls and boys aged 3 to 17.  The Orphanage children currently attend a school that is situated near the Orphanage.  Many of them are treated very poorly by students and staff of the school, due to being “untouchable” children, and subsequently they do not realise their full educational potential. This is in stark contrast to the quality care that is offered to them at the Orphanage, where they are treated with dignity and respect.

            Again, our club will be kept informed of the progress made in assisting these needy children.

            New Life Africa International School

            This continues to be the main focus of our club, through the involvement of David and Janice Virgin.  David and Janice regularly visit the school and bring back to us stories of achievement and improvement within the school community.  It is very heartening to get this personal feedback on the small part our club plays in helping these students.

Finally I would like to share a quote from our current Rotary International President, Sakuji Tanaka.

Today, I tell you that there is nothing at all separating us from the people we help. We are all the same. Only the circumstances surrounding us are different.”

Marilyn Shaw

Director 2012-2013