The purpose of this committee is twofold. Firstly we raise money to support overseas charities, large and small, to help fight not only poverty and disease but also to provide technology, equipment and education to promote self-sufficiency. Secondly we organise social events, with a mainly international flavour.
We have many ongoing, long-term commitments, for which we must budget each year. The Rotary Club of Sidcup International Committee has, for many years, paid for the education of 2 children in Africa and 2 in India and since last year this has increased by a further 2 children. This is a rolling programme, so as each child completes their sponsored education others are added to begin theirs. Read a letter from the young man by clicking on the photograph.
Every disaster brings calls for immediate help, not simply for money but also equipment. Shelterbox and LifeStraw are two charities founded and run by Rotarians in the UK that do just this. Our club has raised considerable sums of money to help these charities over the last few years
The club has supported a number of other overseas projects recently. In November 2018, a quiz was held that raised £2,400 for ‘Operation Smile’, a charity that provides life changing surgery to rectify the problems associated with cleft palates. Another initiative was the funding of micro-finance for embryonic businesses in the developing world. This is an efficient way of helping a lot of people as the benefits trickle down to many in the communities as businesses expand. Other donations have been made to charities involved in education and business development and improving sanitation in schools.
One of our very good friends and a regular visitor to Sidcup RC, Martin Steel, works out in Rwanda for Veterinaires Sans Frontiéres (VSF) on a project financed by the Belgian Government. Martin is fully involved in the life of the Butare RC in Huye District in Southern Rwanda. Martin is also a Sidcup man, having attended Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School. He approached Sidcup RC to initiate a joint project to provide biodigesters to 100 very poor farmers living in poor conditions on less than $1.7 a day (supporting a family, too). Click on the photograph to find out more.
On the fun side of the committee's work is arranging both to visit and to host members of our two foreign contact clubs - Kungsbacka club in Sweden and the Delft club in Holland. Each year we either visit them or they visit us - usually for a long weekend