International Service


Rotary Club of Wahroonga
International Committee
Summary of Activities – 2018/19
Each year RC Wahroonga donates at least one Shelterbox.
Nepal Projects
RC Wahroonga continued its multiyear Nepal Schools Project. The project works to support existing government funded schools, on a fully sustainable basis, in a poor and remote part of Ghorka District Nepal. Areas of focus are teacher training, school rebuilding after the earthquakes in 2015. The major activities in 2017/18 were:
  1. RC Wahroonga member Assoc/Prof Anne Prescott, a teacher education professional at UTS, led a volunteer teacher training team to Dharapani and Manbu in January 2018. The 2018 teacher training program developed the skills introduced in seven prior teacher training teams. English, Science and Mathematics Professional Development classes were held for 80 teachers from the local schools. We still work in conjunction with Rtn Prem Khatry the Nepal Schools Project key partner in Nepal alongside the Nepali charity Sambhav Nepal .
  2. RC Wahroonga members supported complementary albeit non-Rotary volunteer team visits to the Nepal Schools Project schools by a volunteer team from the UNSW.
3.     Bhawani School Hostel
Bhawani Secondary School in Manbu village serves its surrounding villages including some beyond a sensible day return walk to school, so over 100 students aged between 8 and 20 years board during the week at the hostel. Manbu is towards the upper limit of the habitable zone in the Himalayas and is cold at night in winter, very cold for students trying to sleep in a tent or a room with no heating, no insulation, no ceiling, no glass in the windows and hard stone walls. The hostel was all but demolished in the earthquake in April, 2015. One 8 room building has been completed and furnished, with plans and money-raising underway so we can build another. We are also raising money for furnishing the rooms, especially bedding and floor coverings.
4.     Rebuilding schools.
Even though all the schools in the Gorkha region were badly damaged in the earthquakes, the government has only recently decided on the construction techniques to be used in rebuilding them. Classes are still being held in tents, half demolished buildings and even buildings that are so damaged they should be demolished. It is only now that we can use the money raised immediately after the earthquake to complete the refurbishment/rebuild. It is exciting to see building occurring all over Gorkha with students now learning in purpose-built classrooms rather than classrooms with dirt floors, a roof letting in the monsoonal rains and shutters that will keep out the cold but also the light as electricity is not available.
5.     Bhairabi School
we have been able to facilitate a large donation from a private individual which has gone directly to the Bhairabi school rebuilding program.  This kind donor accompanied Anne Prescott on her most recent trip to Nepal in January, 2018.
6.     Nepal BRAVE Centre
Since 2016 the Rotary Club of Wahroonga has been assisting the BRAVE Centre in Kathmandu, which was established after the earthquakes in April, 2015 to care for disabled young people who would, without assistance, be reduced to begging on the street. 
RC Wahroonga contributed $6,000 to a District Grant project in support of the BRAVE Centre in Kathmandu.
With the aid of a RC Uralla District Grant, the BRAVE Centre bought two treadle sewing machines and a treadle overlocker allowing the young people to learn how to sew including making the DAYS FOR GIRLS kits which are then distributed free of charge to students (and teachers) in the Ghorka schools.  This is called killing two birds with one stone, as the young disabled people have acquired skills that they did not previously have and the female students can remain at school during their periods each month.
 Jeevananda Orphanage Project
RC Wahroonga continued its multiyear Jeevananda Orphanage Project. A new and much expanded orphanage was constructed to replace one at Jeevananda Sri Lanka destroyed in the Boxing Day Tsunami. The orphanage provides a home for young orphan girls including many orphaned in the Tsumani. The orphanage is funded and staffed by a local religious order on a fully sustainable basis.
‘Didi’s Day’ 
RC Wahroonga members assisted in the organisation and running of another bridge day in support of an orphanage in Mongolia, raising over $230,000. The Didi’s support team has been led by two hardworking Wahroonga Rotarian spouses for the full 13 years. Specific Rotary projects have supported a range of enhancements to the orphanage over that period, helping to develop the orphanage from very modest beginnings. As the financial position of the orphanage is now secure and the future of the orphanage assured, the Didi’s support team has successfully concluded its work.
Cambodia - Indochina Starfish Foundation
This is a new project we are exploring.  The Indochina Starfish Foundation supports education for children in Cambodia. We are making an initial donation of $1,500.00 to this charity to support young people with their education and wider needs until their graduation by paying school fees and providing education materials, food, additional English and ICT lessons, as well as healthcare and a bicycle and helmet if students live more than 2km from their school. We are looking forward to forging firmer links when their representatives come to speak to the Club on 9 May, 2018 and, ultimately, giving the students the opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. 
Kopanang Women’s Co-operative
Last financial year saw the completion of one stage of our Club’s commitment to the Women of Kopanang, a collective of Women who produce merchandise for sale to support their families in Kopanang, an impoverished township 20 minutes from Johannesburg in an area ravaged by the Aids Virus. The first stage was in essence a succession plan to train up leaders from the Co-operative to take over management from Sister Sheila Flynn when she retired as Executive Director of the Project. Our Club funded the leadership and management training as well as essential skills such as driving lessons and computer use. Sister Sheila retired in December, 2016 and has been replaced by members of the Co-operative. Refilwe Mogane has become the Project Co-ordinator, Samantha Jones her Deputy Co-ordinator and Slindile Twala is responsible for HR and training. The whole leadership team has been trained in public relations and public speaking so that they can represent the Co-operative to potential markets and supporters. Jabulile Ndaba travelled to USA and Australia with Sister Sheila to promote Kopanang products in October, 2016. 
Anne Prescott
International Director