Two of the oldest and largest clubs in district 1210 come together to
Celebrate Rotary Day
February 23rd 2021 marked the 116th anniversary of the founding of Rotary, commemerating the day when Paul Harris called 3 friends together in his downtown Chicago office with the idea of forming a club to do good in the world. The Walsall and City of Wolverhampton clubs decided to hold a joint Zoom meeting to mark the occasion.
At this extremely well attended event the guest speaker was Rotarian Jannine Birtwistle who gave us an enlightening and absorbing talk about the great achievements of the Rotary Foundation including its flagship project – the elimination of polio.
Jannine, from Guernsey, heads up the EndPolo campaign throughout Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland. She told us that from the start of the campaign in 1985 when there were 1000 new cases of polio throughout the world every day, Rotary, with its partners, the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others, has seen India and Africa become polio free and reach a stage were the disease occurs in only 2 countries – Pakistan and Aghanistan. In 2020, there was just a small handful of new cases, confined to these 2 countries.Telling us about the Rotary Foundation – ‘our’ Foundation as she emphasised, we heard that over $4 billion has been granted to clubs throughout the world to carry out humanitarian projects within 6 areas of focus, which include Peace and Conflict Resolution, Child and Maternal Health and providing Clean Water and Sanitation. A seventh of focus – supporting the environment – will come into being in the new Rotary year beginning on July 1st.
Jannine also told us about the Rotary Peace Centres based at universities around the world – including one in the UK at Bradford – where students benefit from Rotary Scholarships and gain Masters Degrees in peace studies which equip them to progress to extraordinary careers in such organisations as the United Nations.
We learned that for the 13th year running, the Rotary Foundation has been awarded a four star rating (the highest available) by Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator that assesses the effectiveness, good management and governance of worldwide charities.
Concluding by telling us about Vocational Training Teams, Jannine had given us a valuable insight and update into the remarkable achievements of the Rotary Foundation which came into being shortly after the momentous day in 1905 when Paul Harris formed the first Rotary club.
Major Change to Wolverhampton Young Citizen of the year Awards 2021
The 2021 Awards have been extended to include the 19 – 25 age range. Therefore, in 2021 there will be awards for 13 – 18 year olds and the 19-25 age group. This is to bring it in line with the Rotary National awards which are televised on B.B.C.
Anyone can nominate and nominations are invited for young people who have gone the extra mile to help others by visiting- www.wolverhamptonyoungcitizen.org.uk
The web site opens on 1st March and closes on 31 May. Subject to Covid 19 restrictions the awards ceremony will be held in early July.
The 2020 awards had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. We have decided to go ahead in 2021 and modify arrangements as restrictions allow.
Don’t forget to nominate any young person who deserves to be recognised for helping others during the pandemic.
Organising Committee Chairman
One of the projects that the club has supported for some years now is the Kanyama Free Baptist Cummunity School in Lusaka, Zambia.
Background information can be seen by clicking HERE
For a relatively small amount, we helped turn boxes of rice into meaningful meals for the youngsters who attend the school.
Some words from the school principle, Beston Chilemalema;
Education is a necessary step toward a bright future. Free Baptist Community School is there to make sure that we have a community where it’s citizens are enlightened and knowledgeable thereby making a positive contribution to the developmental effort of our community. The feeding programme attracts a lot of children to the school because in the Kanyama compound, the provision of regular food is difficult. Here at the Kanyama Free Baptist Community School, we nourish them by giving them food and the education they need.
Beston and his team of teachers are doing an amazing job in difficult circumstances.
Former Wolves player and member of the Rotary Club of the City of Wolverhampton Mel Eves learned that Wolverhampton Samaritans were inundated with enquiries regarding stress and anxiety as a direct result of pandemic lockdown measures.
Many of the calls being received were from people with thoughts of suicide concerning themselves or someone close to them. November alone saw a huge increase in calls to 1065. Not all the calls were from people feeling suicidal – many felt lonely and isolated, worried about their families, especially about the effects of Covid 19, and feeling angry at the situation they found themselves in.
The Samaritanservice is run by volunteers, but there are substantial overheads such as rental costs to be met.
So Mel and the club decided to raise money for this essential service by organising an online raffle of a signed Wolverhampton Wanderers team shirt. An initial target of £500 was set and this was quickly reached. The target was then increased to £1000.
The draw for the shirt, which was made by Rotary club President Brian Bailey, took place on the 1st. of February and the winner was keen Wolves supporter John Wakefield of Stafford.
On receiving the telephone call from Mel Eves to say he was the winner, John was so delighted that he immediately made an additional donation taking the final total to a remarkable £1205.
John said “What a worthy cause. My Mum called the Samaritans when I was a young boy, so I know at first hand what a great service they provide.”
On hearing the news of the amount raised, Anne from Samaritans said “on behalf of the volunteers at Wolverhampton Samaritans I would like to thank Wolverhampton Rotary Club and in particular Mel Eves for all their hard work and generosity in raising the fantastic sum of £1205 with their project involving a signed Wolves shirt. I would also like to thank the 74 people who supported the project. The money raised will ensure that our hard working volunteers will be able to support the increasing number of callers who are in need of emotional support for at least a month.