International Service
Rotary Club of Wahroonga
International Committee
Summary of Activities – 2020-2021
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. The major activities in Nepal are:
  1. Teacher Professional Development
RC Wahroonga member Assoc/Prof Anne Prescott, a teacher education professional at UTS, led a volunteer teacher training team to Dharapani and Manbu each January since 2011. The teacher training programs develops the skills introduced in the prior teacher training teams. English, Science and Mathematics Professional Development classes are held for 60-80 teachers from the local schools. We work in conjunction with Rtn Prem Khatry the Nepal Schools Project key partner in Nepal alongside the Nepali charity Sambhav Nepal .
  1. Other volunteers.
RC Wahroonga members supported complementary albeit non-Rotary volunteer team visits to the Nepal Schools Project schools by volunteer teams from the UNSW and from St Augustines College, Brookvale. A number of UTS Teacher Education students participated in the Teacher Education programs. Some of these students conducted research into the education system in Nepal as part of an elective in their Master of Teaching course.
  1. 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 housing nearly 50 students was all but demolished in the earthquake in April 2015. Three 8 room buildings have 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 two recent trips to Nepal.
Jeevananda Orphanage Project, Sri Lanka
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’, Mongolia
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 – Joan Giacometti and Jan Cameron - 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.
Indochina Starfish Foundation, Cambodia
This is a new project. The Indochina Starfish Foundation supports education for children in Cambodia. We have made donations of $1500 to this charity each year 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.
Kopanang Women’s Co-operative, South Africa
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. 
Water Project, Nigeria
We are seeking a Global Grant to establish a water project in Toni-Pirima Ama Community, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Rotary Club of Port Harcourt is the local partner in this project. The essential part of the project is organising a maintenance schedule so that the project is sustainable.
Cheshire Homes, Coorg, India
This project works with children with intellectual disabilities – 950 people in 38 villages – supporting the following ventures:
  • A Day Centre with special educational support
  • A Vocational Centre with 23 students undertaking vocation training in a sheltered workshop
  • Self-help groups for micro-finance and advocacy
  • Recycling of plastic to make goods to sell.
Anne Prescott
International Director