International Causes supported by Rotary in the Thames Valley
I have been impressed by the support the District has given in the times of need. This has been done in a variety of ways. A disaster occurs and Rotary Clubs swing into action and buy Shelterboxes and Aquaboxes. It was interesting hearing Shelterbox at District conference when they discussed how they assessed which equipment is required for the different situations. The same goes for the other disaster boxes.
So how does it work…?
A disaster occurs and a response team is sent out. Rotary plays a key role in the country affected as they highlight what support is available and work with them to provide relief to the local people. The information is fed back to Shelterbox for example and based on this they send out boxes or shelter kits.
Latest update from Rotary International Convention in Hamburg – there is a new Rotary Disaster Response Fund. Any area that is affected can get support up to $25,000. Districts that have been affected by natural disasters can use Rotary disaster response grants to launch their own projects or work with established relief organizations to help their communities recover. Grant funds can be used to provide basic items such as water, food, medicine, and clothing.
Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland have a Donations Trust and there is money available to support projects in Nepal, areas affected by the hurricane in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. The Donations Trust will do a matching Grant for any project under the 6 areas of focus, but they also include building.
Also, we do support people working in affected areas. Rotary Club of Marlow raised money for the people affected by the floods following the cyclone in Zimbabwe and sent it to Creating Better Futures which is a charity run by Rotarian Dorothy Dix in Zimbabwe in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Harare.
Oxygen Plant in Liberia
However I am delighted to hear that the Oxygen Plant in Liberia is completed. The impact on the country is significant. The oxygen plant will be capable of filling cylinders, and supplying oxygen for Operating Theatres, Emergency Room and treatment areas of the new ELWA hospital. The excess bottled oxygen not used by the hospital would be made available to other medical facilities in the Monrovia area at minimal cost. Just imagine if a patient requires oxygen and a hospital had to scramble around to get some or not as the case maybe. The support by Rotary Club of Marlow and their fundraising for the Ebola crisis made such a difference in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Monrovia.
Operating Theatre and Maternity Unit in Ngora Freda Carr
This is a project that is near to my heart as I lead a vocational training team to teach emergency birth skills. Imagine transferring a woman in labour who needs an emergency caesarean section on a trolley along a barely recognisable path. The work has been completed and the new operating theatre and maternity unit look stunning.
We will still be training staff in Uganda in how to deal with newborn life support which we have had positive reports on. Dealing with issues such as bleeding, breech deliveries and fitting in pregnancy. In October 2018 the team trained 248 health professionals in 4 days and we also had active engagement with one of the staff who supported us with training staff in newborn life support. 95% of babies born after 37 weeks are saved by using this technique if drying and wrapping a baby don’t work.