Cathy Booth & Patrick Kea
The founder of the Umoja Orphanage in Kenya, Cathy Booth, and Kenyan Project Manager, Patrick Kea, spoke of the immense challenges involved in creating the orphanage.
When Cathy Booth, school teacher and mother, saw the difference that intervention and a safe environment can make to orphaned children she was compelled to begin her own non-profit organisation. Her empathy for children, outstanding work ethic, and unwavering passion to help those who are less fortunate drives her team to achieve the extraordinary.
Patrick Kea is a proud Kenyan who witnesses and lives every day the struggles of his culture. His advice and local knowledge have been immeasurable, and his honesty and hard work are an asset to the Umoja Project. Patrick speaks 4 languages: English, Swahili-his tribal language-and German. Finding a better safari driver in Kenya would indeed be a very difficult. Patrick’s knowledge of his country and his firm belief in the outcomes of the Umoja Orphanage Kenya project are to be admired.
- KEEPING GIRLS IN CLASS—ONE PAD AT A TIME
Thu 16th Aug
Girls living in poverty in Africa often miss up to a week of school every month once they reach puberty because of their menstrual period. The reason for their absence from school is multifactorial and includes lack of appropriate sanitary products and cultural beliefs associated with menstruation. This absence severely affects their education as schools are seldom responsive to the situation and offer little or no opportunity for the young women to catch up the work they miss. Global School Partners (GSP) ran a trial Young Women’s Program in 2017 in three schools and an orphanage and the program reduced absenteeism due to menstruation by an average of 88%; it increased understanding of menstruation as a natural part of a women’s life and increased the self confidence and wellbeing of the young women involved. GSP have partnered with Pad Heaven who manufacture the washable sanitary pads and have developed the education and training program and resources. Pad Heaven is a Kenyan solution developed by a Kenyan entrepreneur for Kenyan women. The Rotary Club of Balwyn has provided funds towards this valuable initiative.
- Sustainable Communities Cambodia-Fish Farm
Fri 15th Jun
The Rotary Club of Balwyn provided funds to de-silt an ancient water storage in the Varin area of Cambodia, to allow stocking with fish, thus making it a commercial sustainable project. The proposed arrangements were discussed with community leaders in a meeting that lasted over two hours. They understood and agreed with the concept, but were concerned that theft of fish by locals was likely. They proposed a regime of night-time security patrols to overcome this problem. The proceeds from the sale of fish will be used to both pay down the community loan and be invested in the community for the benefit of the community.
- EAST TIMOR ROTARY LIAISON OFFICE
Thu 16th Aug
The Rotary Club of Balwyn has been involved in funding the East Timor Rotary Liaison office since 2003. Daryl Mills was the officer for 12 years. We recommended to Daryl that he needed to train some Locals to run the office for when he finished as the officer. Judite Martins and Mario de Jesus filled that role and have done a fantastic job for the past 18 months running the office. All Rotary (and other non-Rotary activities) Clubs involved with projects in Timor Leste (TL) utilise the Liaison Office (LO) to coordinate their activities. Containers & Shipments: The LO is responsible for accepting and then distributing the contents of containers that are sent to Timor Leste from Australia. In 2017 DIK in Melbourne sent 5 x 40 foot containers. ROMAC: This is a rotary project where sick children are sent to Australia for life saving surgery that could not be done in their country. The LO is responsible for coordinating all the ROMAC cases that go from TL to Australian and New Zealand hospitals. Humanitarian Projects: The LO does the local organisation for overseas groups (Rotary and non-Rotary) who undertake projects in TL. For example:
- Prof Jeremy Oats training for midwives at Health Centres in TL
- The Timor Leste Dental Program run by Dr Blanch Tsetong
- Being responsible for the Remexio Maternity Ambulance
- Student Sponsorship: The LO office engage in Fund raising to provide scholarships to enable financially disadvantaged students to continue their education