WE DID IT! – raised the £2,830 needed for phase 1 of the Batwa Project in just over 12 months.
The Batwa Project was the District 6 international charity for 2016/17 and an enormous thank you goes to everyone who helped in any way to chieve our fundraising target. The Bees Abroad Batwa Project will be the District International charity for District 6 again this year, so watch this space to see how we can continue to help the Batwa.
Over 150 members thorougly enjoyed Afternoon Tea and a fascinating presentation at the recent International Service Rally. The main speaker was Richard Ridler from Bees Abroad, a charity which sets up beekeeping enterprises in areas of extreme poverty. District 6 is supporting a specific project to provide materials, training and equipment to a Batwa tribe on the Ugandan Border and enjoyed seeing pictures of how the project is progressing.
The International Service Committee ran a very successful Stall at the District Meeting, raising money in support of the Batwa bees project.
This will be followed up with a stall at the market in Stratford upon Avon on 28th April, an opportunity to buy some lovely goods and raise money for a worthwhile cause.
Three members of the Inner Wheel Club of Stratford upon Avon and their husbands visited the School in a Bag Headquarters recently. All were impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work of Luke and his staff of three very dedicated ladies. They all had an opportunity to help with some packing and see the latest footage of Luke’s trip with Ann Acaster (Association International Service Chairman) to Nepal. SIAB were presented with a cheque from the Club and Valerie Redfern, past International Service Chairman, presented a cheque from District. They were also able to pass on some money that the Great Alne Primary School had raised for the charity following Luke’s visit there in February.
Our new International Service Chairman Sandra has selected Bees Abroad as the International Charity for District 6.
Bees Abroad are a small UK-registered charity seeking to reduce poverty through beekeeping. Volunteer Project Managers assess and support beekeeping projects in developing countries worldwide. They use their expertise, working in the local community group to develop a viable project using indigenous bees and techniques appropriate for each location. Bees Abroad projects are normally self-sustaining after five years and no longer dependent on external finance and mentoring.
The project District 6 is sponsoring will support groups of Batwa pigmies living in extreme poverty who have been evicted from their ancestral forest homeland. They desperately need the income that beekeeping can provide to improve their circumstances.
The Batwa tribe were evicted from the Bwindi Impenetrable rainforest in 1980 to protect one of the only two remaining populations of mountain gorillas in the world. Until their eviction this tribe of pygmies had lived as hunter gatherers largely untouched the modern world. Amongst other things they used to hunt for and gather honey from bees in the forest. The Ugandan government provided no land or support following the eviction.
The project is expected to last some two to three years and the budget is £2,830. There is ample opportunity to extend the project once the first stages are completed successfully.
Sandra is sure all District 6 members will give their time, energy and commitment to improve the lives of the Batwa people. So let’s get busy…….
The International Rally at Westmead Hotel in Hopwood on 26th May started off with a sumptuous afternoon tea and the room featured a colourful array of items donated by Inner Wheel members.
Members welcomed Roger Cassidy from Aquabox who explained that the charity was started 24 years ago by the Rotary Club of Wirksworth and is run by volunteers. Essentially it aims to provide safe drinking water to communities affected by man-made and natural disasters, working with the local partners in the areas affected.
Greetings were then given by the Rotary District Governor Elect, Peter Roberts, and by Association International Service Chairman Ann Acaster who thanked District 6 members for all their hard work and contribution. The Association International Charity this year has been School in a Bag, which has received incredible support. She gave greetings from the Association Executive and congratulated Valerie on her successful nomination to the Association International Service Committee.
Jane Kaye Bailey from the Butterfly Tree then provided an update on the charity's work. Malaria is still the biggest killer in Zambia and she was delighted to report on the success the charity is having in helping combat this.
The raffle was then drawn which had raised enough for a Community Aquabox.
International Service Chairman Valerie Redfern has been visiting clubs again and collecting knitted goods for the Amasango School South Africa, The Butterfly Tree in Zambia and also an orphanage in Uganda. Pictured are some knitted items from Hall Green.
The invitation has also gone out to Clubs for the International Service Rally on Thursday 26th May. Don’t miss it!
International Chairman Valerie Redfern has been absolutely delighted at the items that have been donated as she has visited Clubs around the District. Pictured are some of the wonderful knitted items from Alcester and Edgbaston Clubs.
At the District Meeting recently £169 was raised on the Sales Table and Valerie returned home with 21 Butterfly Tree jumpers, 15 jumpers, 14 jumpers and matching hats, 49 teddies plus more things for International Aid. A great effort!
The International Service Rally at Drayton Manor Park was a wonderful event attended by over 140 people. Members enjoyed listening to Jane Kaye Bailey give an update on the Butterfly Tree Charity including the work being carried out to eradicate malaria. Luke Simon gave an inspiring presentation about next year’s District 6 International Charity, School in a Bag. Luke’s project arose out of the fundraising done in commemoration of his brother’s death in the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and has helped over 50,000 children in deprived and disaster struck areas with essential school materials. Members at the Rally also admired the many items donated to International Aid icluding knitted items, pasta and rice. We were delighted to hear Jane and Luke announce an intention to work together on a joint project.
International Service Chairman Valerie Redfern had a most enjoyable visit to the Hall Green Club on the 17th February and returned with her car absolutely full.
There was a sewing machine and tool which went to TWAM, the white baby clothes and mittens went to Warwick Premature Baby Unit and the jumpers and hats and blankets are being delivered by volunteers at the end of the month. The Amasango green and yellow will be delivered by Linda, the Head of the School, in July.
This article featured on the BBC Somerset website.
There is a direct link to the article posted by Barbara
'A charity set up in the name of a Somerset man who died in the Asian tsunami 10 years ago has been given the backing of a national fundraiser. Piers Simon, from Chilthorne Domer, was among more than 230,000 people killed in the tsunami on 26 December 2004. His family set up a charity which founded the School in a Bag project for children in extreme poverty.
The Inner Wheel, a division of the Rotary organisation, has now made the charity its main benefactor next year.
Mr Simon was 33 when the tsunami hit a cafe where he was breakfasting with friends on Koh Phi Phi island, Thailand.
He was swept out to sea and his brother Luke, who was also in Thailand at the time, co-ordinated the search for him. Piers' body was discovered on New Year's Eve that year. His family set up the Piers Simon Appeal which has so far donated 47,000 rucksacks filled with pens, pencils, exercise books, lunch boxes and other school equipment to poor, orphaned and disaster-affected children around the world.
Luke Simon said of his brother: "I think he was always proud of his little brother because I was always trying to emulate what he did because he did things so well. "So, I think he would have a big smile on his face and be proud of what we've achieved in his memory."
He said they hoped to distribute 10,000 more filled rucksacks next year.
Luke Simon said he hoped to distribute 3,000 more school rucksacks in the charity's 10th year. "We are really excited about the partnership with Inner Wheel and we are really hoping that we might be able to raise enough to fund almost 3,000 [of the 10,000] school bags over the course of that year which also happens to be our 10th anniversary of losing Piers and running the charity."
The money raised by Inner Wheel will also help the charity to instigate its new initiatives of Class in a Bag and Sport in a Bag. "If we can raise that sum of money then we really can identify a fairly big project around the world to get stuck into," Mr Simon said. "We're still a relatively small charity so this exposure will help spread the word, and therefore the work we do, enormously."
Christine Hollis, president of the Inner Wheel Club in Yeovil, said: "We had always thought that it was a small, local charity, but now the whole country is going to be raising money next year for them so that's great."'
District Chairman Pamela has selected Burnaid and Dogs for Good as her Charities for the year.
The District 6 International Charity is Bees Abroad.
The National President, Liz Thomas, has chosen Children's Hospices for her charity.
The International President, Dr Kapila,
has chosen 'Leave a Lasting Legacy' as her theme.