Dunbar Rotary Project - Robin Hamilton & John Brand

Wed 29th May 2019 at 19.00 - 20.30


Robin Hamilton and John Brand of Dunbar Rotary Club presented their Club’s project, Phases 1 and 2, at Kalimpong, a city and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas at an average elevation of 1,250 metres (4,101 ft).

Phase 1 funded with a Global Grant and support from a number of Rotary Clubs and others was the establishment of a Vocational Training Centre to tackle the problems of vulnerability in the community and from trafficking, slavery, prostitution or marriage. The project started from a chance meeting in 2011 and was developed over a number of years predominately by email. This was not easy as communications were subject to long interruptions from earthquakes, strikes and disputes in the region. A Global grant was obtained in 2014 and led to the official opening of the centre in September 2016 attended by a party of nine - Dunbar Rotarians and wives. They were surprised by the extent of the opening ceremony – a pipe band, 2,500 school pupils, Rotarians and local dignitaries.

Our speakers further explained that, in both city and rural life, education is the key way out for vulnerable people – unemployed, school drop outs, domestic abuse, trafficking, the last of those being tackled by prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, leading to integration into a sustainable livelihood.

The centre provides free vocational training for, this year, over 1,000 people, subjects including electrical engineering, tailoring, dairy farming.

Phase 2 is currently being planned and funding has reached £12,000 to date. It will result in the provision of a women’s crisis centre and a women’s hostel as an integral part of the Vocational Training Centre.

Following questions from Club members the vote of thanks to our speakers was given by Mike Latimer.
For a full report on the project and the opening of the Vocational Training Centre from Dunbar Rotary's web site Click here