District News

Zimbabwe Eye Project     

Life in Zimbabwe, where more people have HIV than full-time jobs, would hardly be recognizable to many in the towns and suburbs of North Carolina Rotary District 7710.

But the Morrisville Rotary Club is trying to connect the two. A former native of Zimbabwe, Keith Holshausen is spearheading the Morrisville Rotary Club’s push to raise money for a medical project that serves the impoverished country in southern Africa.

“Those people are very marginalized,” Holshausen said. “So if we don’t help them, who will?”

The Morrisville Rotary Club is partnering with the Rotary Club of Victoria Falls, where Holshausen has contacts from his travel business.

The clubs hope to raise funding in time for the Zimbabwe Eye Project trip, in July 2015.

“We’re expecting to see 1,000 to 2,000 patients,” Holshausen said. “It’s quite a substantial project.”

The team of six will include five doctors from the USA. Volunteers will assist as they dispense thousands of pairs of donated glasses and give vitamin A supplements to children.

“There are tremendous vitamin A deficiencies (VAD) there, and the children get corneal scars and go blind,” Holshausen said which is a humanitarian concern with a huge socioeconomic impact too.

The high education rate in Zimbabwe does give him hope, he said, for another goal of the medical project – to train local doctors and nurses so the country’s medical needs aren’t as reliant on Western charity and the project can meet Rotary’s goals of sustainability.

Zimbabwe Eye Project: OBJECTIVES

  • To work towards eradication of diseases, such as preventable blindness, that devastates families
  • To partner with Zimbabwean doctors and nurses in the training of medical personnel to improve the treatment of eye diseases and to provide basic training for the dispensing of eye glasses.

To learn more about the Morrisville Rotary Club go to www.morrisville.rotary-clubs.org or email Rotarian Keith Holshausen at keith@lazylizardtravel.com  (Credit to Cary News for extracts from a recent interview).

Boys and Girls Home Receives Donation from Rotary

At the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina’s annual Rotary Day, they received almost $24,000 in donations from Districts 7710 and 7730. Numerous clubs lined up to present their donations to Gary Faircloth, the president and CEO.  The Clayton Morning Club made the largest single club donation of $5,000 from the proceeds of their Derby Day fundraiser held last May.

Since 1966 Rotary has supported a house at the Boys and Girls Home campus, located at Lake Waccamaw. Over almost five decades, hundreds of young people suffering from physical and verbal abuse, neglect and even sexual abuse have found refuge and a new, brighter future at this facility.

Most of these funds will go towards supporting Flemington Academy, a public charter middle and high school associated with the Boys and Girls Home campus that provides a unique educational opportunity for 75 students, of which 45 are from the Home.

Update from Our Global Scholar in Edinburgh

Over the holidays, Edinburgh looked very festive. The Christmas markets (a tradition imported from Germany) have been up since the end of November, there’s a nightly light show in the New Town, and there’s a caroling concert nearly every weekend. The semester has flown by!

global scholar 1

All is well here. Classes have officially ended and we’re all in the middle of writing final papers and studying for essays. The workload is unbelievable, but I’m getting through it, one assignment at a time. To break up the monotony of reading and researching, my program organized an international food night. I helped some coursemates prepare a Lebanese feast, and at the dinner we learned a little Arabic, a traditional Lebanese dance, and played games.

In Rotary news, I attended the Edinburgh club’s International Night with the other scholars, and it was really good fun! We introduced ourselves and talked a little about what we’re studying and what we hope to do after our program. It was nice to get to know the club members a bit better, and for entertainment they hired a belly dancer, which was a first for me. I was meant to go the district conference a couple weekends later, but unfortunately I came down with a stomach bug and missed it.

Next semester I will have Thursdays free to attend the Tranent club’s lunch meetings. The other ladies and I have also been invited to other clubs in the area, so after the New Year we’ll get together to plan where we’ll go and when.

And I have some more travel recommendations for you all! The Cairngorms National Park is stunning, snowy, and definitely worth a visit. There’s a not a lot to do in Inverness, but the country-side is beautiful, and it’s close to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. I believe I caught a glimpse of Nessie, the Loch Monster, but I can’t be sure it wasn’t just a big wave…

Hope all is well.

Best,

Micaela Arneson

Peace Fellow in Australia

peace fellow 2

Young men help their father unearth the lovo, a feast of local foods cooked in an underground pit.

Greetings from Fiji! We are back in the capital city of Suva, after having spent a month in a rural settlement on one of Fiji’s 332 outlying islands.

My field experience was originally intended to have me working in northern areas, which were ravaged by the category 5 Cyclone Winston last February. Unfortunately, the placement fell through (as is rather common in humanitarian work, I learned) and I was able to design a two-part program that has me working with the Peace and Conflict Studies Institute of Australia (PaCSIA), as well as coming to the isles of Fiji to engage in community expedition and needs-assessment.

Kadavu Island is the most spectacular place I have ever visited. Lush rainforest mountains rise over the crystal sea waters, and beckon you to splash in one of the many waterfalls or snack form the many pineapple, mango and papaya trees. After the rains (which are frequent this time of year), the sea blasts a brilliant turquoise that fades into the sky with more shades of blue than my eyes could register at once. The sunsets set the sky ablaze with color and fade to a vast night sky that is endless with constellations and shooting stars.My field experience was originally intended to have me working in northern areas, which were ravaged by the category 5 Cyclone Winston last February. Unfortunately, the placement fell through (as is rather common in humanitarian work, I learned) and I was able to design a two-part program that has me working with the Peace and Conflict Studies Institute of Australia (PaCSIA), as well as coming to the isles of Fiji to engage in community expedition and needs-assessment.

But, like all places, there are both good things and bad. Living in a remote area means that people are often cut off from necessary supplies. Despite the availability of some fruits and staple foods such as cassava and taro, may people suffer from malnutrition. The typical foods eaten are porridge, white bread, tinned meats, and crackers. Fresh vegetables sometimes come in on the weekly cargo ship, and are limited to onions, potatoes, carrots, and a few others that travel well. It has become a bit of a joke there that the fishermen sell their catches and use the money to buy canned sardines to feed their own families- one I found hard to laugh along with.

There is a hospital, and they seem to have adequate medicine and equipment- as we found when both my husband and one of our sons needed to go for treatment of barnacle-wound infections. The nurses there told me that what they need most is vitamin supplements for pregnant women and children. Major nutritional deficiencies here are iron, Vitamin A, iodine, and zinc. Upon my return to Australia, I intend to appeal to local Rotary groups to fundraise to provide seeds and  educational programming to promote home gardening in Fijian communities. There is a large effort by the Fijian government to boost the nation as a leader in organic farming, and I will explore opportunities for families that grow produce to receive subsidies for local distribution.

Next week, I will be back in Brisbane, continuing my work with PaCSIA. In December, we began a training series for staff at a children’s shelter and community service agency. I will continue and expand on that by aiding in the facilitation of adolescent-adult mediation sessions and doing direct mediation-coaching and preparedness with at-risk and delinquent youth.

A young girl organizes canned goods at her family's store

A young girl organizes canned goods at her family’s store

My other work with PaCSIA will include copy-editing and design for a transcultural mediation workbook developed by my supervisor. His focus has been mediation and reconciliation work in the island state of Bougainville, an autonomous region on Papua New Guinea. From 1988 – 1998, a civil war there killed 25% of the population and suffered some of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations in history. Though they are now considered one of the crowning achievements of post-conflict recovery, the work there is ongoing and reliant on a combination of international peace efforts merging with local traditions. I am thrilled to be a part of the team (though in a minor role) engaging in this important work.

As always, I would like to end this by professing my undying gratitude to Rotary and all its members and supporters for allowing me and my family this opportunity. I have met so many brilliant and talented people, and know that- because of this fellowship- doors are opening for me to follow my call to help people in concrete and meaningful ways.My other work with PaCSIA will include copy-editing and design for a transcultural mediation workbook developed by my supervisor. His focus has been mediation and reconciliation work in the island state of Bougainville, an autonomous region on Papua New Guinea. From 1988 – 1998, a civil war there killed 25% of the population and suffered some of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations in history. Though they are now considered one of the crowning achievements of post-conflict recovery, the work there is ongoing and reliant on a combination of international peace efforts merging with local traditions. I am thrilled to be a part of the team (though in a minor role) engaging in this important work.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Leanne

Kadavu's agricultural department signs. The island has received money to plant 1,000 coconut trees to replace those lost in various storms.

Kadavu’s agricultural department signs. The island has received money to plant 1,000 coconut trees to replace those lost in various storms.

Christmas with Crabtree Rotary

The photos are from Holiday Express, Crabtree Rotary’s major annual fundraiser, sponsored jointly with the City of Raleigh’s Parks & Recreation Department at PullenPark.

Event dates this year were Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 7-11. It was a sold-out event from the moment Parks & Rec put an announcement on their web page in July. Held from 4-9 pm on selected dates, the park became a holiday wonderland of lights and entertainment for thousands of young children and their families.  Activities included rides on the train and carrousel, a visit with Santa, arts and crafts, a swift ride down a “snowy” hill and games.

Monies raised from sponsorships and ticket sales go to the Crabtree Rotary Foundation.  This is the third year that the Foundation will make a significant donation to the Ronald McDonald Houses of North Carolina, an amount to be determined when final accounting is completed.

Rotary Leadership Institute

The RLI district committee is excited to announce the Rotary Leadership Institute Parts I, II, and III event on Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at Wake Tech Community College located on 3434 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary.  Registration begins at 8:30 AM, sessions start at 9:00 AM and conclude at 4:30 PM.

The course fee is $95 for each part, which includes lunch and breaks.  Only one part can be taken at a time.

Part I will focus on what being a “Rotarian” really means. The session includes insights into Leadership, My Rotary, Engaging Members, Our Foundation, Ethics–Vocational Service, and Service Projects.

Part II will focus on your role in your Rotary club.

Part III builds on what you have learned and focuses on programs, techniques, and collaboration essential to continue your “Rotary Journey”.

As a participant, you will develop closer relationships with other Rotarians in the area and have an opportunity to discuss ideas and challenges facing your club. Come join us so that you can be energized and ready to put your RLI experience to work!  

RLI-logoWho should attend?

  • Club Leaders- President, President-Elect, President-Nominee, Secretary, Treasurer, Foundation Chair, Committee Chairs, etc.
  • New Rotarians, to become fully engaged in Rotary right from the start.
  • Seasoned Rotarians that could use an infusion of Rotary spirit!
  • Young professionals that wish to improve their leadership skills
  • ALL Rotarians!

Register HereRegistration will end on January 6th.Please visit the Rotary Leadership Institute site for more information: www.rli33.org.

Paul Harris Society

The Paul Harris Society is a commitment by Rotarians to give $1000 per year to The Rotary Foundation. On November 17th, PDG Matthew Kane presented two Rotarians, husband and wife Andy Wright and Sherry Nelson of the Cary-Kildaire Club recognition of their individual pledges of $1000 to The Rotary Foundation.

Wright explained why each had decided to make this commitment, “There is so much need in the world. We are bombarded by requests almost daily, especially this time of year. With our donations to Rotary, we know the effectiveness of the organization allows for the maximum amount of our donations to go to work and we can see the real difference it makes to the world whether through clean water, sanitation, education or the elimination of Polio. Add to that, the benefit that we will see part of that donation come back to the District for use in District Grants, Global Grants and the Rotary Peace Center make it all the more rewarding.”

Andy Wright is currently President Elect and Sherry Nelson Club Service Chair of the Cary-Kildaire Club.

Bigger, Better, Bolder – Together

Thirty-one Rotarians, nearly 100 community volunteers, more than 25,700 meals packed in a little more than two hours.  That was the scene recently in Oxford as the Oxford, Henderson, Roxboro and Kerr Tar Rotary clubs came together for an Emergency Food Box packing event.  And they plan to do it again in January!

This kind of collaborative effort isn’t a surprise to the Rotarians of Area 1 clubs.  For more than a year the presidents and presidents-elect have been meeting regularly with their assistant governor, Marie Howard, to brainstorm and discuss how the clubs can join together to have an even bigger impact in the rural north end of District 7710.

In addition to the food packing events, the six Area 1 clubs have nearly completed planning for a joint Foundation Centennial dinner in February 2017.  With a former Peace Fellow as keynote speaker, the evening will feature AG Marie and the club presidents talking about the history of the Foundation and the impact it has had in the local area, and the world.  In addition to Area 1 Rotarians, local dignitaries and potential Rotarians will be invited to join us for an informative and fun evening.

The newest and boldest collaborative project is still in the very early stages of development.  Several years ago Rotarians in District 6400 launched a micro-lending program in Detroit called Launch Detroit (http://launchdetroit.org/). More recently, the North Raleigh Club has initiated a similar program in Raleigh (http://launchraleigh.org/). For several months the six Area 1 clubs have been considering a similar program for the four counties in Area 1.  We have interest from local government, have an excellent community college that can provide support, and through Rotary we can provide the necessary mentoring and networking support.

In addition to large projects, the relationships developed through Area-wide leadership meetings have led to smaller collaborations.  The South Granville and Oxford Rotary Clubs recently joined forces to provide apparel to orphaned and needy children in Granville County.  The two clubs worked with the local social services department to identify children in need and shared the cost of providing the apparel.  In the planning stages, is an Emergency Food Box packing event including the J.F. Webb Interact Club, the Oxford Preparatory Interact Club (not yet chartered) and the Oxford and Kerr Tar Rotary Clubs.

Developing relationships among the leadership teams of Area 1 clubs has allowed the clubs to more effectively serve their communities.  Now, projects are Bigger, Better, Bolder – Together