Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A great example of Rotary clubs working together


(L to R)
Richard Parker - Hutt City
Leole Malama - Hutt River Valley
Jaye Howey - AG Hutt 2 (kneeling in front of Phil)
Phil Collett - Petone
Des Darby - Eastern Hutt
Paul Newsom - Past AG Hutt 1 (kneeling between Des and Barry)
Barry Girvan - Hutt Valley
 
The redevelopment of a central area of Lower Hutt, NZ adjacent to the Town Hall and Hutt City i-SITE Visitor Centre, meant the previous Rotary information sign was removed by contractors and condemned to the scrap heap.

While wondering ‘where has our sign gone’, the presidents of the Hutt clubs saw the opportunity to replace the Rotary sign.

Following some close collaboration between the clubs, and several meetings with the council and signage company, a new sign has been proudly installed. 

The eye-catching modern sign, carrying the message ‘Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, Take Action’, portrays Rotary in a vibrant way unlike the tired, wooden and rusty Rotary wheel signs that welcome visitors to many towns.

The cost of the new sign was shared between the local council and the participating Rotary clubs.

Enabling isolated rural communities in Tonga to fight against poverty


Rotary New Zealand World Community Service Ltd (RNZWCS) is NZ Rotarians acting globally. 

RNZWCS has established links with MORDI Tonga Trust. MORDI stands for Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovations Tonga Trust, and their motto is “Enable rural isolated communities to fight against poverty”. They work with poor, isolated, rural people to enable them to increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own development. Since 2007, MORDI Tonga Trust has invested more than TOP$3.3 million (approximately NZ$2 million) in funding projects and conducted training in 42 isolated communities in Tonga, improving the prospects of more than 629 households to fight against poverty, and giving communities a chance at a better life.

Through the NZ Government’s Disaster Response Partnership programme, RNZWCS received a $125,000 grant towards re-establishing the livelihoods of up to 431 households affected by Cyclone Ian in January 2014. This amount was bolstered by a further $30,000 from donations received from Rotary clubs and the New Zealand public.

After consultation with government agencies, a design for vegetable nurseries was produced.  Such nurseries contribute to sustainable development as natural disasters and climate change threaten Tongan communities. The project goal is rehabilitating the agricultural sector with vegetable nurseries to enhance food security. At the outset, the project encouraged small holders to enhance their agricultural livelihoods. The project involves construction of cyclone-proof nursery sheds, distribution of tools for planting and continued maintenance, along with vegetable seedlings. Tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, chili, broccoli and other vegetables are now being harvested. RNZWCS contributed 68% of the total of TOP $320,550 (approximately NZ$ 197,800) for this successful project. 

The project was recommended and endorsed by the Tongan Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries and implemented by Rotary’s partner MORDI Tonga Trust, which is endorsed by the Rotary Club of Nuku’alofa, Tonga, and supported by RNZWCS who provide oversight.   
Website for more information:  www.rnzwcs.org.nz

The excitement is mounting ...


 
On December 5-7, the largest gathering of Rotarians for some time will meet in Wellington, NZ.  Around 700 Rotarians, partners, family and friends from Australia, Pacific Islands and NZ will attend the Rotary Zones 7B and 8 Institute.  This weekend event will also accommodate the District 9940 Conference.  Local Governor Anthony Scott decided that the opportunity for Rotarians from his district to hear top speakers and to meet Rotary International President Elect Ravi Ravindran was too good to miss!

The list of speakers at this joint Institute and District Conference is impressive:
·         Suzanne Snively ONZM will speak on "Rotarians’ sound values lead the world through Just Business
·         PDG Geoff Mathis’ amazing story about the Tanzania dairy project that provides significant improvements in the lives of villagers.
·         “Water the next gold” is an address by Alan Watson whose company has reduced the huge deterioration of water quality, particularly in 3rd world countries.
·         Young entrepreneur Brook Turner accepted his mentor’s invitation to join Rotary. His story “Rotary and Youth – a Formidable Combination” has lessons for us all as we try to attract younger members!
·         Well-known New Zealand actress, Miranda Harcourt’s story includes coaching on story writing and telling to women in the local Arohata Women’s Prison.
·         Belinda Moore, CEO of the Australasian Society of Association Executives based in Brisbane is one of Australia’s top speakers. Her topic "Mastering the perfect storm; generational, cultural and economic change and Rotary" has lessons for us all!
·         Dr.. Swee Tan is one of NZ’s most recognized plastic surgeons and a world leader in the field of removing birthmarks. He has supported ROMAC by operating on young disfigured children. His story is riveting!

·         Post-polio syndrome is a growing issue faced by so many former polio sufferers. From perfect health to now moving with the assistance of a walker, Claudia Mushin will tell her story of the challenges she faces in her daily life.
·         Dr. John Thorne will tell us the story of incredible successes in helping impoverished communities source sustainable food through the work of the Rotary Action Group: Food Plant Solutions.
·         And many other speakers from ROMAC, Interplast, Books in Homes, Peace Scholars to name just a few.

On Friday morning is a Forum which has been organized by the Rotary Club of Wellington to which the public are invited. Those registered for the Institute or District Conference can attend this event at no extra cost. “Issues in Non-Governmental Organizations: Survival and Thriving Models”  has attracted top political and business leaders. If you are familiar with “Ted Talks” you will appreciate this event.

On Saturday morning, the Rotary Leadership Institute breakfast is for up to 140 people to hear Past Rotary International President Bill Boyd speak about leadership, followed by international and local panellists’ updates about RLI initiatives and successes around the world.   

All of this is being held at the Michael Fowler Centre which has the capacity to hold over 2,000. Organizing Committee Chair, Pat Waite and Anthony Scott have a goal to not only fill the venue, but to have Wellington join with Rotary.  Events being organized by Wellington clubs include Jumbo Tennis tournament in the Civic Centre on Friday morning, a Polio Walk around Wellington over the weekend for Rotarians, families and the community, a Box Cart derby and of course having displays in the MFC foyer for the public to see Rotary in Action!

To register go to: www.rotaryinstitute.org.nz

Rotary Neighbourhood Project gets the community together for an even better Canterbury

Sydenham School tree huts
The Rotary Neighbourhood Project Fund has been established to support locally initiated projects that contribute towards improving wellbeing and building resilient communities and neighbourhoods.  

It is important to assist communities in the post-earthquake recovery period so this project promotes relationships between community groups and their local Rotary clubs in Canterbury, NZ that can endure well beyond the life span of the project.

The project fund has been supported and promoted by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA).

The core focus is supporting ‘grass-root’ initiatives to encourage individuals to do something constructive in, and beneficial to, their community. The fundamental values of the project are:

•   Recognising that communities have strengths and assets

•   Engaging communities and/or connecting people to people

•   Strengthening community leadership

•   Doing things differently

•   Supporting parents, young children and families

•   Utilising community assets

•   Community-led recovery

The Neighbourhood Project is “not just about signing cheques”.  A Rotary club is linked with each project, whose members then work with the applicants to find out what they need and how they can help. This unique method assists Rotary clubs to become more engaged in their local communities, but also assists community groups to establish an on-going relationship with their local Rotary club.

The initial funding came from international and national Rotary districts. 

Applicants can apply for up to $500 for small neighbourhood events and up to $4,000 for larger community events.

The Rotary Neighbourhood Project Charitable Trust is a registered charity (CC49664) that was set up in April 2013 and has since donated $82,000 towards 90 diverse projects.  These range from Sydenham Preschool tree huts and Wainoni School breakfast club to the Birthright winter camp and Lyttleton street art.     

For more information visit www.rotaryneighbourhood.org.nz.  Any Rotary clubs that are able to support this worthwhile project can contact Jenny George via jenny.george@assurehealth.co.nz / +64 21 270 9651.

Monday, 25 August 2014

All girl work crew volunteers on Taveuni Island, Fiji


We were lucky enough to be given the opportunity of a lifetime, so we grabbed it with both hands. It involved voluntary service through the Rotary Clubs of Rotorua Sunrise, NZ and Taveuni Island, Fiji. Our volunteers consisted of Lynne Joseph, Sue Gunn, Rosie Waller, Rachel Warrender and Kay Clarke working on refurbishing the girls’ dormitory at Niusawa High School. This involved painting walls and ceilings, and varnishing built in bunks and wardrobes. 

Taveuni has a population of 14,000 and is known as the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’. Food is abundant, with plentiful supplies of coconuts, bananas, mango and bread fruit growing wild. It is famous for diving and snorkelling. Agriculture and tourism are the main industries. Power is by generator and not available to most islanders. Cars and four-wheel drive vehicles are few as most locals get around on foot.


Ready to roll – Sue Gunn, Rachel Warrender and
Kay Clarke at Niusawa High School, painting the dormitory. 
Niusawa High School has around 245 students. Some students board at the school in the dormitories, which were in quite a sorry state. Rotten floorboards, holes in the walls, and three students per single bed shocked us. “We could see why the girls were so excited about us completing their new dormitory – a bunk each was going to be a treat for them,” explained Lynne.

Work involved 8am to 4pm days, working alongside a local team of workers. They were completing building tasks ‘the old fashioned way’ with hammer and nail, hand saws and chisels, and an electric sander that was plugged into the generator.

“By 4pm we were ready for a beer at the local bar while watching the sun go down. The work itself was physical and enjoyable, and the team got on really well,” added Rachel.

Sightseeing on the island involved visiting local villages, the markets, going to church and the beach.  We also spent time visiting multiple Rotary projects that Rotorua Sunrise has contributed to, including Taveuni Hospital and the Eye Clinic, Lavena School and Bucalevu Secondary School.

Almost every development we saw from schools and preschools, to the hospital and local ambulance had Rotary plaques proudly displayed. You could clearly see the difference that Rotary and many helping hands was making to the livelihoods and education of the local people.    

Sue concluded, “For each of us it’s been a life changing experience. We went to help others and see further ways we could contribute, yet we gained so much in return. The hospitality from Geoffrey and Joey Amos was outstanding and the attitudes of the local people inspiring. We were welcomed with open arms, and blown away by the generosity of all involved. Taveuni is regarded as one of the jewels of Fiji, and put simply, we couldn’t agree more!”

 

And the winner is ...


These four words create anticipation for anyone who has spent many hours designing then making their fashion outfit for the Bernina Northland Fashion Awards, in Whangarei, New Zealand.
 
The Rotary Club of Whangarei South for the past seven years has been running the Bernina Northland Fashion Awards to create a threefold effect on their local Northland community.  Firstly, to encourage local fashion designers, to put their name out there, and to feature the talent that Northland has to offer the world.  Secondly, to provide a platform where the profits are distributed to local organisations, and lastly, to create a showcase what this Rotary club has been up to in the community, and why it is a great family to be part of. 
 
When the Rotary Club of Whangarei South took over the Fashion Awards, it was not making money for the community, so the organisers were looking for new direction.  Since then there have been several local designers who have competed on both national and worldwide platforms, showcasing that a small place like Northland can produce world quality wearable art and fashion.

Some of the local organisations that have benefited from this event include: the Whangarei Youth Orchestra, Northland Youth Theatre, Stoke Foundation, Brain Injury Trust, Sistema, Halberg Disability Trust, Rubicon Whangarei, Whangarei Casper and many more.

Every year, more and more local businesses are getting behind the event, with one sponsor commenting after the fashion awards, ”Next year I want to double my input into the event”.  Sponsors see the true potential of an event like this in Northland, a community that has a population of just over 160,000 within an area of 12,600 square kilometres, where the median wage is $20,900.  The more than $1500 main prize kick starts the career of a local designer. 

And the winner is... The Northland community, for when you have so many positives working together, it is great that the local Rotary club is right behind all of them.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

AN EXCITING AND SUCCESSFUL CONCEPT FOR ROTARY

The Rotary Associates are a group of first year University Students who enrol in a community programme at University and gain credits towards their degree for helping on Rotary programmes.

This program resulted from a 2011 Visioning exercise within Papanui Rotary that recognised the club was aging and need to revitalise by including a much younger age group.  However there was a problem in that the club had no direct appeal or access to young people, and youth in general were motivated to join causes not clubs. 

Fortunately at the time they had an Ambassadorial Scholar attached to the club who willingly worked with the club to devise a program that they felt would meet both the needs and expectations of young people and provide the club with the results that they were seeking.  Confidence in initiating the program came from the fact that it had been clearly demonstrated after the Christchurch earthquakes that there was a desire to contribute to the community by young people, and the example of this was the well documented outstanding performance of the Christchurch Student Volunteer Army.

The project was named the Rotary Associates Program

The first candidates were drawn from the Emerging Leaders’ Program at the university, and the test target was to be the Papanui greater community.

The concept was as follows:

    1)    The pilot program initially would select only four students from the university’s Emerging Leaders’ Program

    2)    They would commit to the program for the university year

    3)    They would attend a full Rotary meeting as our guests at least once every term minimum

    4)    During the year, they each would contribute a minimum of 20+ hours of community work under the direction and banner of the club 

    5)    During the year, each candidate would have a fireside meeting (an informal meal) at the home of a senior Rotarian to discuss the principals of Rotary, our community, and their views on the development and effectiveness of the program

    6)    At the end of the period, each candidate would address a full Rotary meeting, and give a full presentation of their involvement and experiences during their association with Rotary at work

In return, the club supported the candidates whenever possible, and this included:

    1)    Discussions and general mentoring

    2)    The club sent two candidates to the Aspiring Leaders’ Forum which is held annually in Wellington

    3)    The club nominated two students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award in January

    4)    Each candidate was formally presented at a Rotary meeting with a certificate jointly signed by the current university coordinator and the club President to recognise their contribution and achievement

The program has been great fun and terrifically successful and the original four candidates were used as coordinators and mentors for the subsequent years’ program.  It has proved to be a great partnership with approximately  20 students currently in the program and divided up amongst the Papanui and Bishopdale-Burnside clubs who mentor the students and keep contact with them by inviting them to meetings, community projects and any suitable Rotary functions. Some meetings have been changed to suit the students’ needs thereby becoming more relevant to younger people and they are encouraged to share their ideas with the clubs by running a meeting, providing some speakers.

Club members in particular have enjoyed working and socialising with the Associates, both at the club and in the community. There have been a wide variety of projects undertaken by the Associates with the most recent being the clean up by Rotary and Associates members of the Papanui rail corridor.

It is intended to expand the program and present it to the wider Rotary community as a successful working scheme that they can individually adopt and benefit from.  Hopefully, sometime in the future, the Associates will become active Rotarians and New Zealand's future leaders. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Bridging the Digital Divide

 
Students discovering the wonder and power of technology in Taveuni Islands

Some communities are being left behind and severely disadvantaged simply because they are digitally excluded. 
 
The Rotary Club of Newmarket in Auckland, NZ has developed two projects to accelerate and widen education in disadvantaged communities, in partnership with AUT University.
The initial pilot project was at the Refugee Centre in Auckland.
Following a demonstration of tablet-based education, Geoffrey Amos who is a past president of the Rotary Club of Taveuni Island in Fiji, championed having tablet-based education on Taveuni to improve employment opportunities.
 
A tablet-based system was developed suitable for two high schools there, where internet speed and power supply is limited.
 
This was funded by a Rotary Matching Grant with contributors including the Rotary Clubs of Newmarket, Ellerslie Sunrise and Botany East Tamaki throughout Auckland, and Taveuni Island, plus Rotary Districts 9920 and 9970 District Designated Funds.
 
Project Leader Dave Birch, of the Rotary Club of Newmarket, developed a partnership with AUT University and Rotary that combined the latest digital teaching techniques (pedagogy) to be combined with Rotary’s community reach.
 
Well researched apps were selected before a Joint Rotary / AUT team travelled to Taveuni in March to set up the system, then train the teachers and students. This was ably led by Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Kelsi Cox and supported by International Youth Exchange Student Jon Glendon.
The teachers were quick learners. The students seized on this new technology and were rapidly developing cultural videos.
 
A dedicated Digital Learning Room has been set aside at both schools for the tablets and their supporting equipment. Enthusiasm is high, so additional tablets have been supplied.
Training the teachers in digitally-based education is critical for sustainability.
 
This project was presented at the Sydney Convention. Already interest has been expressed from Armenia to Tanzania, and five sites in the Pacific are being considered for Digital Learning rooms.
 
Digital Learning Rooms tailored to the conditions, provide a break-through opportunity to lift educational outcomes.
What’s next?
 
The goal is Digital Learning Rooms used in 100 schools across the Pacific. 
 
A “Digital Learning Room” with 35 tablets, related equipment, setup and training costs around US$20,000.
Rotary International Video is about doing good in Fiji. With community engagement and support from a Rotary grant, a Digital Learning Room tablet technology became a reality for one school on Taveuni Island. 
 
Go to www.digitallearningroom.org to get involved in this Digital Learning Room project that is powered by Rotary by using your skills in Technology or Teaching, supporting financially via a donation or Rotary project, or nominating a potential Digital Learning Room site.

Rotary goes to the people

Rotary District 9920 World Community Service Committee organised a PR event to raise funds for Emergency Response Kits (ERKs) on behalf of Rotary NZ World Community Service Limited (RNZWCS). The theme was Rotary Helping the Pacific.

A Rotary display was arranged at Pacifica 2014 in Auckland which has the largest Pacific Island population in the world. It was manned by members and supporters of the 9920 and 9910 Rotary Clubs of Newmarket, Otahuhu, Ellerslie Sunrise and Western Springs.

An ERK and its contents were displayed along with videos of cyclone impact which drives the need for emergency responses.

Over 18,000 people visited over two days. There was good interest in the ERK and its contents, as well as interest in Rotary.

ERKs have become the preferred Disaster Response Kit in the Pacific Islands. They are now prepositioned in larger Pacific islands.

An ERK costs NZ$600 to supply and deliver. Each ERK holds over 60 items packed in a 78-litre container which can be used to treat drinking water. There are also purifying tablets for this purpose. With a little ingenuity, families can create a shelter from tarpaulins using the hammer and nails provided. There’s a folding shovel for digging trenches. Food is key, so there’s fishing gear, a hunting knife, and cooking equipment. As well as basic clothing, there are bed covers for warmth. Maintaining hygiene and treating minor injuries is important too, so a medical pack is included with basic items such as soap, painkillers and antiseptic cream.

An ERKs raffle for a trip for two to Rarotonga, Cook Islands was organised and promoted at Pacifica and across NZ Rotary clubs. The prize was kindly donated by Stars Travel Auckland. The raffle winner was Stew Wadey from the Rotary Club of Matamata.

Over $11,000 was raised for ERKs from 95 clubs across NZ, including $1500 raised at Pacifica.

Options Galore for Riders of all Capabilities in New Zealand’s Biggest Cycling Challenge

Riding NZ’s benchmark cycling event kicks off with a single turn of the pedal!

Fun and camaraderie are the order of the day at the
Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge –
Photo credit: Photo Supplied by NZ Road Cyclist,
Photographer Mead Norton
“Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a mountain bike enthusiast, an elite or enduro, cycle the café circuit with your mates, looking for some family fun or a weekend away with the girls, there’s a ride for you” says Event Director Kay Brake. The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is the country’s largest cycling event, but it has retained its unique community appeal, and among its many participants are several teams of Rotarian riders.
Now into its 20th year of Rotary stewardship owned and organised by the Rotary Club of Taupo Moana, this cycling challenge is refreshing its next event on November 29 by adding three new categories to its already exciting stable of cycling options. This event has come a long way since its first 26 participants 38 years ago! More than 8000 riders from NZ and 20 countries across the globe now take part each year.
Best known is the one lap 160-km Bike Barn Solo ride around Lake Taupo, the one lap circumnavigation of Lake Taupo, and this year’s new categories will add a new dimension and further options for even more cyclists to participate. The first newbie is the 73-km Half the Lake road relay for solo riders not quite up to the full round-the-lake who can hand-off to a team mate at the half way mark. Their bikes will be transported for them t ride the second half of the 160km circuit. The second of the new categories is the Urban Jungle MTB Challenge where riders can display their mountain bike skills on ramps and jumps. Third of the newbies for those wanting speed there is the novelty Time Trial event at a special, exciting track which will be held on the Friday afternoon before Cycle Challenge day which will be the perfect warm-up for the big ride on the Saturday.
Held on the last Saturday of every November, the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge event proceeds are returned to a range of community projects, with Heart Kids NZ (www.heartnz.org.nz) as the official charity.
Entries and further information are via www.cyclechallenge.com.


 

Rotary Crocus in New Zealand

The Rotary Club of Whangaparaoa, NZ has led the successful initiative to bring the Rotary Crocus pin to Auckland in time for World Polio Day on October 24. President Brian Mullan persevered and was able to overcome all the perceived administrative difficulties, including dealing with the GST and import duty issues, and has taken delivery of the first 200 Rotary Crocuses, in four boxes of 50. The per crocus cost, delivered in NZ, inclusive of all costs, is less than NZ$1 and the aim will be to offer these to the general public for a minimum donation of NZ$2.
The original idea was started in the UK in 2011 by Lynn Mitchell, a former governor of District 1120, who is the inspiration behind the fabric crocus buttonhole. Lynn developed the idea after picking a purple crocus from her garden and wearing it as a buttonhole, and the idea for the Rotary Crocus pin was born. Lynn’s vision is for the crocus to become the recognisable symbol of Rotary’s work in the eradication of polio. It is hoped that, in years to come, End Polio Now won’t be needed, but the crocus will remain as the symbol of Rotary’s greatest achievement; conquering polio.
When donors wear their Rotary Crocus, they become walking adverts for Rotary and End Polio Now. Each crocus comes with an information card, which tells the story of the polio eradication programme and Rotary’s pivotal role. The information card also provides the wearer with the answer to the question, “that’s a nice flower; what’s it for?”
The purple crocus was chosen because the colour matches the dye painted on the fingers of children who have been immunised against polio.
Currently, the Rotary Crocus pins are only available from the UK, but discussions are underway, with the aim of improving availability and at lower base costs in NZ.
Proactive and positive discussions are ongoing within District 9910 in NZ on the best way to roll out the Rotary Crocus across the district and further afield across all NZ Districts. Anyone wanting clear, unambiguous information about bringing the Rotary Crocus to NZ should contact Rotary Club of Whangaparaoa President Brian Mullan via brian@mullan.com.

Bright Shirt Day


New District Governor Paul Wright found a sight for sore eyes when he made his first official visit to the Rotary Club of Rotorua.

Paul is well known around district 9930 for wearing fancy shoes and brightly coloured shirts, and the club members decided to welcome him by hunting out their own bright shirts to mark the occasion. One of the other things Paul is known for is insisting that Rotary membership should be fun, so he and his wife Tups lined up with a selection of members for a picture after the meeting.

Bright Shirt Day  pic: From left, Peter Faulkner, Barry Lane, Deborah McCarthy, Bryce Dunn, Club President Russell Dale, Tony Baker (front), Paul and Tups Wright, Margriet Theron, Peter Spurdle, Garth Wilson, Kierin Irvine, Bruce Rykers, Katrina Allison, Fergus Cumming, Ally Gibbons.

Supplied by Kevin O’Connor

Rotary helps to establish a Research Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Auckland University


Rod and Patricia Duke, Cure Kids CEO Vicki Lee and University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Dean John Fraser celebrate the establishment of the Cure Kids Duke Family Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
A chain of events started 15 years ago by the Rotary Club of Downtown Auckland (RCDA) in NZ has led to the commencement of a search for a Research Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
In 1999, Downtown Auckland Rotarian Dr Bill Daniels was concerned at the lack of specialist help for children and young people with mental illnesses. He floated the idea of establishing this research position and initiated discussions with Sir Peter Gluckman, the then Dean of Auckland Medical School. Sir Peter asked for RCDA’s help in financing such an appointment. 
 
Over the next five years, the RCDA fundraised $140,000, which was inadequate to fund a permanent Chair, so it was therefore invested. By 2009, the fund had grown to $170,000 and the RCDA and the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences of the University of Auckland agreed to apply the funds to three initiatives over four years including:
 
Firstly a half-time Rotary research fellow focused on child and adolescent mental health, Dr Karolina Stasiak, who coordinated a number of important projects including: several technological innovations for use by adolescent patients; a computer-based game known as SPARX to treat depression; MEMO, a mobile phone programme to prevent depression; the evaluation of an Australian product called BRAVE to treat anxiety; and improving the delivery of mental health care through several other initiatives. SPARX was officially launched by Prime Minister John Key on April 28 and is available free online. It has been licensed by Uniservices for use in several overseas countries. SPARX has been found to be very effective in randomised trials and has received international recognition, winning the 2013 World Summit Award in the category of e-health and environment. It has also been covered in the British Medical Journal.
Secondly it funded annual visiting scholars Prof Cheryl McNeil from West Virginia University in 2011, Prof Stephen Scott from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London in 2013, and Prof John Weisz of Harvard University Medical School in 2014. Thirdly it has also funded an annual research forum.
This RCDA funding is due to run out at the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, in 2012, another Downtown Auckland Rotarian Peter Crellin attended a District 9920 Rotary Foundation dinner and started a conversation about the initiatives with Cure Kids Board Chair Roy Austin, a Remuera Rotarian.
Established by Rotary in NZ in 1971 as the Child Health Research Foundation, Cure Kids has to date raised $36 million for research into child health. Roy told Peter the organization had never targeted mental health and it was high time it did.
 
Cure Kids then commenced discussions with some of its established donors and received a particularly positive response from Rod Duke, Managing Director of the Briscoes chain of stores, and his wife Patricia. Following a private multi-million dollar donation by the Duke family, Cure Kids will establish a dedicated senior researcher - known as a Chair - attached to the University of Auckland. It will be called the Cure Kids Duke Family Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
 
This long-awaited appointment is supported by the valuable developments stemming from RCDA’s initial fundraising and dedication of resources.
Cure Kids CEO Vicki Lee, a Waiheke Rotarian, emphasises it is estimated that at least one in four Kiwi children and adolescents will experience a significant mental health issue impacting on their day to day life and that of their family. Conditions affecting children may include ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism, eating disorders.

Monday, 4 August 2014

36 given a future

2013 DUX (centre) and now on a scholarship to study medicine

“These past years could not have been successful without Rotary’s help and I sincerely thank their support and the great help provided to me from the club”.  Shama Naaz was one of 36 scholarship students of the BucaLevu Secondary School on Taveuni Island who have literally been given a future thanks to Rotary sponsorship by Taveuni Island Rotary.  All these students come from very poor backgrounds and disadvantage circumstances with 80% of them only having a single parent or a parent who is very ill or crippled.  As a result they know that without performing well in their studies they have little to fall back on to succeed in life.  Of the eight students completing their secondary education in 2013, seven have achieved high enough to receive Government scholarships to university of which one student will be studying medicine. The rest remain high achievers in the school with most receiving academic awards.

Secondary education is not compulsory in Fiji and without this financial assistance for school fees, books, uniforms and boarding these students would never have been able to continue their education and create a future that positively impacts their lives, their family and the wider community.  The scholarship established by Taveuni Island Rotary is ongoing with more assistance needed to continue to sponsor the students on scholarship. 

This is a story of two halves.  In 2014 the outside support has come from the Rotary Club of Auckland who in turn doubled the funds raised by their members with a district simplified grant from District 9920.  Such a grant is of course is only possible thanks to the support of clubs for The Rotary Foundation who in turn make grant funds available to the district for use in worthy projects such as this.  To complete the cycle, grant projects are encouraged to widely publicise the good work done although this is not required by the grant reporting structure.  This in turn creates support for The Rotary Foundation and the projects they support.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Rotary responds to need for hospital beds

Minister Sharma on the bed having his pulse taken
by AG Malini and Committee Rep Bob Niranjan
Members of Rotary in Fiji are providing urgently needed relief to the patients and staff of Fiji’s many medical facilities.

As a community-based organization made up of business and professional leaders in clubs across Fiji, Rotary now extends it’s already impressive partnership with the Ministry of Health.  

  • In 2012 and 2013 Rotary in Australia sent many beds to Fiji that were gratefully accepted and distributed around the hospitals and health centers.  

Early in 2014 a request was received from Minister Neil Sharma for more beds. This time his desire was to be able to receive enough to send beds not only to hospitals and health centers but out through the remote islands and interior to nursing stations.
On Tuesday 15 July 2014 the first of 330 beds and mattresses from Australia that will be distributed from the Valelevu Health Centre to 5 hospitals across Fiji.  Although most of these beds are for general ward use, there are other specialist types such as orthopedic, cardiac and baby cots.  

“Rotary in Fiji is helping as only it does best; connecting people and sharing resources for the benefit of those most in need. Rotarians give their time and money voluntarily to serve our community” said Malini Raghwan, Assistant District Governor for Suva. “We have seen the new hospitals and extensions and renovations and know how important it is to get nice beds for the patients” said Rick Eyre, Assistant District Governor for the West.
 
For more information:   Bob Niranjan +679 9992300 or bob@niranjans.com

Rotary hosts Buck Shelford


Buck Shelford with then Taumarunui Rotary President David Partis (left),
and Project organiser Simon Bradley (right)

It was a full house on March 3 when an audience of 250 people were entertained by a stirring address from former All Black Captain Wayne (Buck) Shelford. Organized by the Rotary Club of Taumarunui, NZ the theme of the evening at the Cosmopolitan Club focussed on men’s health, and there were many women present to see that their men got the message!
 
Buck was a member of the 1987 All Black team that won the inaugural World Rugby Cup in Auckland, and he became a successful All Black captain. He subsequently discovered he had cancer, the only symptom being a weeping eye, so it took some time to diagnose the problem.
 
Buck explained at length the processes he undertook to overcome the cancer, the way he dealt with losing the 40 kilograms of surplus weight he gained, and stressed how important a healthy diet, exercise and discipline is to maintaining good health. He now is an ambassador for several charities in the health field.
 
In an entertaining Q & A season, Buck talked predominantly about rugby.
 
Auctioneer Alan Hiscox successfully wheedled cash from guests by selling signed rugby balls at exorbitant prices, and with generous sponsorship from local businesses, a profit of $10,000 was raised.
 
The funds were distributed to sponsor four locals in the Sky Tower Stair Challenge (supporting Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Research), and the Taumarunui Hope Charitable Trust.
 
This is a classic example of what goes round comes round!

More information:  www.taumarunui.rotarysouthpacific.org

Beanies for Nepal - let the faces speak for themselves







Michael Scutt, from the Rotary Club of Whangarei City has done regular work at Kumbeshwar Technical School in Kathmandu and it was there that the first Beanies were donated many years ago, these being the familiar black variety with our silver fern logo.! Since then, he has delivered hundreds of hand knitted Woollies to the Children of Nepal. ! ”I have even given them out on the side of the road…just seeing the looks on their faces when you give out some of your Woollies. It seems such a small gesture on our part but to the Children it is priceless!”

Nearly every year Michael and other members of the Club have taken to the School Numerous Beanies, Jumpers,”Fish and Chip” Blankets and Scarves hand knitted by Donors. He has also helped liaise with other aide programmes sponsored by Rotary to help provide financial assistance for buildings and Course Books for the School.   
An international project of thje Rotary Club of Whangarei City - www.whangareicity.rotarysouthpacific.org

Celebrating 20 Years Of Endurance with Rotary


Garth Barfoot

It’s widely respected as New Zealand’s benchmark cycling event, and now in its 38th year, the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is celebrating a milestone in the events history. Since 1994 it has been owned and organised by the Rotary Club of Taupo Moana and involves over 800 local volunteers belonging to 25 groups who provide much needed support to the participants throughout the weekend.

It’s 20 years since the introduction of multiple lap enduro categories at the event. The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge began in 1977 with just 26 participants! Today, the event has grown into NZ’s premier and largest cycling event, but it still retains a unique community feel. Best known for its one lap 160km bike ride around Lake Taupo, event organisers will be celebrating its endurance riders, and hope everyone will join with them in applauding these committed bunch of individuals.

Over the 20 years, there have been an incredible 1347 riders who have taken on 2 or more laps of Lake Taupo, covering a distance of up to 1600km.

Event Director Kay Brake says, “This year’s entrants in the Barfoot & Thompson 2 lap Enduro, 4 lap Maxi Enduro and 8 lap Extreme Enduro will all receive a special anniversary memento, with plans well underway for a an extra special Enduro breakfast showcasing the past 20 years . The Barfoot & Thompson 2 lap Enduro will again be recognised as this year’s UMCA (Ultra Marathon Cycling Associations) 200 mile World Championship event, last year won by kiwis Jim McMurray and Kim Hurst.”

Long-time supporter, enduro rider and naming rights partner to the enduro categories, 76 year old Garth Barfoot of Barfoot & Thompson fame comments “Barfoot & Thompson is proud to be behind such an iconic event and to align ourselves with the Enduro race, a race that I have raced several times in the past. We are proud to be part of the 20 years celebrations this year and we look forward to watching it grow in the years to come”

Held on the last Saturday of every November around the shores of Lake Taupo, the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge will celebrate its 38th anniversary on Saturday the 29th of November 2014. Proceeds from the event are returned to a range of community projects with Heart Kids NZ (http://www.heartnz.org.nz) as the official charity


Entries are available now at: www.cyclechallenge.com