November 2020 Update
Zoom interaction from Born Free and a wonderful Thank You from SALVE to Jenny
Once again members joined via Zoom for this month’s meetings. Along with our monthly council and business updates we viewed the Rotary Together Talk ‘Creature Discomforts - Life in Lockdown from the Animals point of view’ by Will Travers & Virginia McKenna from the Born Free Foundation.
The presentation started with a short video called ‘Creature Discomforts – Life in Lockdown’ with animal animations using the real voices of people interviewed about their experiences of living under lockdown, bringing the plight of animals in captivity into focus.
This lead on to Virginia explaining how the experience of filming Born Free in 1964 led her and her husband Bill Travers to become active supporters for wild animal rights as well as the protection of their natural habitat. Many of us are familiar with the film which told the true story of conservationists Joy and George Adamson who rescued a lioness cub called Elsa and successfully returned her to the wild. They went on to make a number of wildlife films together, including in 1969 ‘An Elephant Called Slowly’ with an elephant calf called Pole Pole. When filming was over, Pole Pole was gifted to London Zoo by the Kenyan government. Following the death of Pole Pole in 1983 they launched Zoo Check which has evolved into the animal welfare and conservation charity the Born Free Foundation. At the time their son Will was just 5 years old and the charity was launched by 6 putting a £1 each in a hat as a start up fund! The organisations ethos is to ‘work to stop individual wild animal suffering, protect threatened species, promote compassionate conservation, help local communities co-exist with wild animals, and keep wildlife in the wild. The together talks ended with Will’s hope that Born Free could work with Rotarians around the world, to protect and conserve endangered species and their environment. A most interesting and informative talk.
Our final Zoom get together of November was arranged by Jenny Baker, who introduced us to Nicola Sansom from SALVE International. As explained in our Autumn Update SALVE is a UK and Ugandan based charity supporting children to stop living on the streets in Uganda. Nicola gave more insight into the work of SALVE and the importantance of their outreach and halfway homes, drug rehab centres and educational facilities. Following Jenny’s inspiring Bearathon walk around her garden the total raised from club members together with friends and family of Jenny has risen to a magnificent £1360.00. It was lovely to see that the children had already sent a picture of themselves congratulating Jenny with a most wonderful banner! Congratulations from us all Jenny - the smiling faces of all the children you have helped says it all! For more details of the charity do take a look at www.salveinternational.org
As we move into December with the uplifting news of a COVID vaccine ready for distribution we keep our fingers crossed that it won’t be too long before we are able once again to meet our Rotary members and friends in person.