GOMA ARTIFICIAL LIMB PROJECT
The Rotary Club of Balwyn’s Board has confirmed the Club’s funding contribution for the Jaipur Limb project in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).
Like so many developing countries there are many people in DR Congo who suffer because of amputated or deformed limbs. The causes of this misery are many, but include birth defects, communicable diseases such as leprosy and polio, non-communicable diseases such as vascular disorders and diabetes, snake bites, traumatic injuries, natural disasters and armed conflict. With severe limitations as to what they can do, people disabled in this way become a burden to families, who already have very meagre resources, and are often condemned to spend their lives begging on the streets.
The Goma Jaipur Limb project arose from a visit to the Club in 2014 by Tammy Shepherd. Tammy is a local physiotherapist who, for some years, has spent a couple of weeks a year, at her own cost, as a volunteer at the Heal Africa hospital in Goma. She was responsible for setting up a physiotherapy unit there and was keen to also set up a prosthetics unit, with a small workshop that could modify and fit artificial legs which are not available at affordable cost in DR Congo.
Contact was made with Rotary Jaipur Limb (RJL), a UK based Rotary organisation now a charity. RJL is very experienced in this work using the Jaipur Limb—a basic, but robust and medically sound, prosthesis, fabricated from durable, high-quality plastic costing something like $50 each.
Above-knee and below-knee versions are available. The prostheses are manufactured in bulk at locations in India and Uganda, but a local workshop is needed to modify them to suit each individual patient, fit them to the patient and further modify and adjust as needed. Local nurses will undergo a ten-week training course to enable them to do this work.
The project has progressed slowly and the Goma Project Committee has devoted considerable effort over three years. Project funding is complex; the partners include Rotary Club of Balwyn, Rotary Club of Camberwell, Rotary Jaipur Limb, UK, Inner Wheel District 11, UK and Rotary Club of Goma-Nyiragongo, DR Congo. Efforts to secure funding via Global and District grants has been challenging but the committee is still hopeful of some success.
Implementation of the project will depend on security in the region and logistical considerations.
The Committee are to be congratulated for the extraordinary effort in progressing this project and addressing the complex legal and logistical hurdles.
- Centenary Grant – Project Rainbow
Thu 23rd Feb
ROTARY CLUB OF ESSENDON - $50,000 GRANT RECEIVED FROM ROTARY CLUB OF BALWYN CENTENARY GRANTS TO SUPPORT BAHAY TULUYAN - PHILIPPINES Project Rainbow - Creating a Place of Healing for Child Survivors of Trauma is an exciting project that will be implemented by funding received from Rotary Club of Balwyn Centenary Grants supported by Rotary Clubs of Essendon and Leeton Central, in partnership with Filipino children’s rights organization, Bahay Tuluyan in a rural community in Batangas, Philippines. Rates of abuse and trauma for children in the Philippines are very high and the support available for their recovery is sparse. In a national survey conducted by UNICEF in 2015 it was found that 80% of Filipino children had experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. The impact of 2 years of pandemic lockdowns has compounded these rates of abuse. At the same time there are very limited services available to help Filipino children recover from and cope with trauma. Unresolved trauma has lifelong consequences on health, employment and wellbeing and often entrenches poverty across generations. (more…)
- Grants Awarded September 2022
Mon 2nd Oct
The second round of Balwyn Centenary Grants for 2022 has been announced. Rotary’s theme for this year is Imagine and it was very easy to imagine the difference that these small projects can make in a wide variety of countries within our region. These include: • Philippines refurbishment of a place of healing for child survivors of trauma • Congo construction & operation of a community hub in Lotumbe • Nepal Community Hospital Operating theatre in Dudhkoski • Bali Clean water project providing rainwater tanks in Kayu wit village • India Dairy program for the empowerment of women in MaduraiThe last project involves the introduction of a teenage • Mental Health First Aid course at a bayside Melbourne college in 2023. This project tackles the difficult issue of mental health and is targeted at teenagers in Years 9 & 10 and is very relevant post-COVID pandemic. Philippines RC Essendon – Leeton Central $50,000 Project to refurbish and equip an existing house as a place of healing for child survivors of trauma in a semi-rural area two hours from Manila.- these children have experienced abuse, violence & neglect in their short lives. A well-regarded third-party child’s rights organisation, Bahay Tuluyan, were gifted this house by a former street kid and will contribute $30,000 to the project. The project will be developed in stages and will be operational after stage one and fully operational after stage three. There will be a level of sustainability as produce will be grown and sold at markets and Bahay Tuluyan will maintain the property. Congo eClub of Greater Sydney $33,264 Project is construct and operate a community hub in Lotumbe, Democratic Republic of Congo. The hub will be a meeting space, an office space, a training space, a library, a community store and safe storage for a range of villager’s tools. It is obviously a much-needed community facility in Lotumbe. The community is remote and is only accessible by canoe and /or forest paths and up to 6,000 are likely to benefit from the creation of this hub. A third-party organisation called HandUp Congo is involved. This is a RAWCS project no 20 in 2013-14 Nepal RC Albury $10,000 Project is to complete the fit-out of the operating theatre in newly built hospital in Dudhkoshi which is in a remote area of Nepal and has no existing facilities. This activity will be managed by the RC Kathmandu who have been involved in several projects improving health facilities throughout Nepal. The funding request will supplement existing funds from the following Rotary clubs - Kathmandu, Albury, Katherine and South Wagga. Bali RC Seaford South Aust $10,080 Project to provide clean water to the Kayu Wit village in East Bali by supplying 56 rainwater tanks to 56 families living in the village. Access to clean water will have significant community benefits with health and the village economy. The project will be driven by local Rotary club Ubud Sunset and they will be involved with the installation and ongoing maintenance as they have done in a previous project. India RC Willetton, Western Australia $15,873 Project to empower 50 women from under-privileged families in Madurai in the southern part of India by giving them two cows – one pregnant and the other used in milk production. It will help poverty in the region and the milk supply will improve the health of the families. Aim to make the project self-sufficient by the sale of milk and heifers and using the proceeds to fund the next stage of the project. The project will be managed by RC Madurai and RC Willetton will supply veterinary assistance. The funding requested is part of wide-ranging group of supporting Rotary clubs and districts and our request represents 10%. They are also applying for a Global Grant. Local RC Brighton North $14,400 Project will provide Teen Mental Health First Aid training to 300 high school students in years 9 and 10 in 2023 at Sandringham College. The training is provided in conjunction with Youth Mental Health First Aid and the cost of the trainers represents over 80% of the project’s budget. This third-party has been in operation for over twenty years and has provided this training to four other schools in the past (part funded by Rotary and local councils). Rotary has formed a partnership with YMHFA and their programs have spread to 24 countries around the world.
- Community Service Award
Mon 2nd Oct
Balwyn Rotary is one of the three winners of the Community District Award for its From Tiny Seeds Mighty Trees Grow Project The devastating bushfires in the summer of 2020 left vast areas of East Gippsland in need of revegetation. Many of our club members volunteered to germinate seeds and nurture the seedlings for this project. 985 seedlings were delivered to Mallacoota in June 2021. This year we are aiming for 2000 seedlings. The seeds will be planted in Spring for an Autumn delivery. Some of our members even took their seedling trays on summer holidays.