The Rotary Club of Godalming Woolsack has a long record of supporting humanitarian work in the under developed world. Much of the Club’s international activity has been undertaken in partnership with other Rotary Clubs that has enabled a more cost effective delivery of projects and support of humanitarian work.
Some examples of the Club’s international committee’s work has been to financially support “gap year” students who have gone out to several African and South American countries to help with humanitarian projects while at the same time gaining experience and to broaden their own knowledge in the furtherance of their chosen careers.
Grants have been made to individuals and organisations and perhaps the most common has been the support of Shelterbox, following many of the disasters throughout the world including the Asian Tsunami. Woolsack has donated financial support to many humanitarian projects for example:
More recently, in cooperation with other local Rotary Clubs, Woolsack has raised and donated funds for the provision of 110 wheelchairs to a township near Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Since 2007 the Club has worked closely with Norman Coward and Carole Andrews, a couple who have devoted themselves to improving the lives of tens of thousands people in the remote Amhara region of northern Ethiopia by providing clean water (featured in the photos above), school and health facilities. Initially Woolsack donated funds for school furniture but during 2015/16 three clean water projects were completed through funding from Woolsack, New Malden, Midhurst and Petworth and Godalming clubs. In 2016, Norman and Carole were awarded Paul Harris Fellowships by this Club.
In 2017 Godalming Woolsack and it’s partner club in Holland, RC Goree-Overflakee, together with the New Malden and Midhurst and Petworth Clubs funded desks for two classrooms at the rebuilt Segno Gerba school in Lasta Woreda near Lalibela in Ethiopia. The original school was destroyed in a violent storm in 2015. This had a most detrimental effect on the education of over 100 schoolchildren who had to be accommodated in mud huts for their classes whilst the new four classroom school was built.
The rebuilt School was opened in October 2017 and the photos show what was achieved, the recognition of Rotary's contribution and how happy the children are as a result..
Following on from the funding of 100 new desks for the new school in Segno Gerba it emerged that the local Woreda (Council) is unable to fund pens and exercise books. The children are not allowed to attend lessons if parents cannot afford to purchase these materials that is often the case owing to severe poverty. In early 2018 the Club donated 1000 pens which were taken over to Ethiopia by Norman and Carole Coward. One of our partner Rotary Clubs, New Malden, has donated funds for exercise books.
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