Rotary in Africa

THERE was an excellent turnout at Thursday’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Arbroath in the Meadowbank Inn to hear Alison Stedman speak on the topic of Nyumbani Scotland, the charity set up by Rotarians to raise funds and awareness of the plight of HIV+ orphans in Kenya.

She revealed that each day between 300 and 400 children die of the disease in Kenya and over 13 million African children have already been orphaned through AIDS. Every penny raised by the charity is administered by Rotarians and every penny then benefits the children.

Each year, Alison takes out teams of willing volunteers to help improve the living conditions of both the orphans and the ‘grannies’ and the few ‘grandads’ who help care for the children. The carers are all illiterate, and are the family members who are left when the wage earners have died of HIV/AIDS.

Alison’s volunteers have undertaken many projects over the years, including helping to build shelters, digging and planting, cleaning, painting and decorating, and general organisation of the many areas used by the carers and children.

In February, 13 more volunteers will go out with Alison to work on new projects. Volunteers take extras suitcases with them filled with clothes for the local people. Until then, all the volunteers are encouraged to raise as much money as possible to help fund the projects.

Santa’s team of little helpers met to make further arrangements for his arrival in December. Once again this year, he is to be in the Abbeygate Centre on Saturdays from December 8 and also on Sunday, December 23.