International Service

Tom Russell describes some of projects in which the Club Members are involved

INTERNATIONAL convener Tom Russell has been involved in a number of projects which have seen the Cowdenbeath Club send Shelter Boxes abroad to disaster zones and also provide backing for a young Indian man to assist him develop his talents.

Said Tom: "The Cowdenbeath club is part of a worldwide network of like minded people who meet together in friendship with the common aim of wishing to do some good in the local community and in the world at large.

"The success of Rotary projects is dependent on the support of fammilies, friends and the goodwill and donations of our local communities, organisations such as schools and churches and businesses along with individuals.

"The global charity of Rotary International is called Foundation which transforms all gifts and donations in to projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

"Through Foundation Rotary members worldwide are empowered to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, disease, malnutrition, as well as promoting World Peace with sustainable solutions that have a lasting impact.

"An example is to eradicate polio from every country in the world within the next three to four years.

"Regular supporters and friends of Cowdenbeath Rotary will be aware of some of the main international charity projects undertaken by the club each year which are dependent so much on community support."

Tom said that the Rotary Shoebox Project at Christmas and Easter provided orphans and families in need with clothing, toys, presents and household toiletries and essentials mainly in Eastern Europe who suffer depravation and conflict; and now in addition to the host of refugee families from, Syria seeking safety in Europe .

Vision Aid helps provide and restore the gift of sight to people of all ages throughout Africa and India by a simple process of recycling and restoring unwanted spectacles.

He went on: "Our local opticians are crucial partners in the donation and collection of specs which are then sorted and shipped by Rotary.

"Meanwhile Tools With A Mission, or TWAM as it is better known, likewise empowers people in African with the means to be trained in new skills and to earn a living while contributing to their communities through the donation of unwanted tools, equipment and haberdashery materials.

"The Rotary Club is happy to facilitate the collection for the refurbishment and shipment of goods via Twam's local depot in Cowdenbeath."

Looking at the Shelterbox mechanism which provides a disaster relief worldwide to areas of devastation and in dealing with the aftermath of human tragedy Tom went on: "Each Shelterbox contains the basic essentials for survival, sustaining the lives of stricken families, and this crucial aid is in the frontline of response via Rotary International Club members and their partner agencies in the affected areas.

"Shelterboxes cost around £600 each and Rotary sims to maintain a readiness of supplies to allow immediate response worldwide."

Tom said that the Joe Hoeman Education Trust has been supported by the Cowdenbeath club for many years and has done so thanks to the contributions from local people.

He said: "The project sponsors children from poor families in India throughout their entire school life and on to Higher and Further education to career qualification.

"Individual student beneficiaries keep in touch regularly to update their 'aunties and uncles' in Rotary of their progress and achievements.

"We have been supporting a young lad called Annakodi who is training to become a mechanic and he regularly sends us information about how he is doing through our support.

"Also of current community interest is the club's involvement in the Beath High School Malawi School Partnership.

"Club members were delighted to be invited by staff and pupils at Beath to support this bold and exciting project.

"The aim is to provide aid through collaboration and mutual exchange between schools through a range of curricular sharing and virtual communication which was facilitated by a visit by a part from the Cowdenbeath school during the October break.

"It is hoped to set up a Rotary Scholarship as part of the project."

Tom concluded: "None of these projects would be sustainable without the continued generosity and support of our local communities.

"The Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath thanks everyone for their support over the years.

"Not everyone has the time or inclination to become members of a Rotary Club, that doesn't matter, but please accept our invitation to 'join' with Rotary as 'friends' and to share in doing some good in the world."

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