Fellowship at Basildon

Thu 28th August 2014 at 19.00 - 21.00

A fellowship visit, three weeks before our joint twining visit to Beausoleil and a talk by Harry Payne, Secretary of the "Rotarian Action Group against Child Slavery" which left us all moved!.

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Fellowship at Basildon

“Hello Club, Thanks for the Grub”
It's not often that you are treated to a succinct and humorous "Grace" like this, but this is what greeted us when five of our members and wives braved the roadworks on Lower Dunton Road to join Basildon Rotary Club for its Thursday evening meeting.

This was a fellowship visit, three weeks before our joint twinning visit to Beausoleil.

There was a warm welcome from President Peter Townsend, a great buffet dinner, and interesting and pleasant conversation - what more could you ask for?

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One mystery though .... who was Pa?

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But to turn more serious, the speaker for the evening, Harry Payne, is Secretary of "Rotarian Action Group against Child Slavery" and he made a moving, horrifying yet thoroughly thought provoking talk. 

The Action Group seeks to create awareness among Rotarians and the general public about the millions of children that are held captive for commercial gain and to help Rotarians take action to protect children through programs, campaigns, and projects.

Formed in 2009, it finally gained Rotary International recognition in 2013 and now has a presence in 62 countries with 1200 members worldwide. Harry horrified us with his 'take' on the recent revelations in Rotherham, and with statistics on the unbelievable scale of modern day slavery - 29.8 million slaves worldwide, 80% female, 50% children. (Compare this with slavery in the British Empire - in the history of the British Empire before slavery was abolished in 1834, there were only ever 12 million slaves traded).

Harry demonstrated his integrity, his dedication to the cause and his commitment to end this curse of the 21st Century.

More help is needed. We commend his talk to other clubs as an eye-opener to any group which wants to learn more about this scourge of our society.

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Independently of this presentation, District Governor Stan Keller has written to all Rotary Clubs about the work Rotary has done in connection with Anti-Slavery including establishing a Rotary Action Group (RAG). Much of this has been down to the efforts of Harry Payne as we reported above. Harry has identified an opportunity to make changes to the New Slavery Bill by a slight alteration to the wording to make the Bill more effective.

Dear fellow Members,
 
Rotarians [and friends] help needed to inform the 'New Slavery Bill's passage through Parliament
 
According to the recent Global Slavery Index, there are an estimated 30 million people held in servitude, generating