Friday, 17 April 2020

'Sondla Abantwana' Fund Kicks Off

After a special board meeting on Tuesday and the normal Wednesday meeting (the new normal is Zoom!) the Rotary Club of Johannesburg New Dawn swung into action to create a new fund with which we could help Paul Channon and his Alexandra Education Committee with feeding needy schoolchildren in Alexandra township in Sandton.
     Alex is a volatile community and the needs in this township, next to the Sandton CBD, the richest area in the country, are great.
A screen grab from the AEC home page (
      The board decided that by supporting the AEC we would be able to help where the need is greatest in a speedy and orderly manner.
     Because the township is in such need, the AEC has arranged a scheme whereby they transfer money by EFT into identified pupils' bank accounts who can then purchase food for themselves and their families or carers and supply receipts as proof of their purchases.
     When the club met on Wednesday Paul spoke of about 70 pupils who could be helped in this way. He says many more have joined the ranks since then, a reflection of the great need for support in these trying lockdown times.
Jankees, Judy, Adriaen and Abby Sligcher donated
 R10000 through their company, Pas Reform
Carol Stier also gave R10000
     Three members of the club, the Sligcher family (they're actually four members!), Carol Stier and Hannes Dressler each gave R10000 to the new fund. There have also been numerous other contributions, mostly by club members, totalling another more than R5000.
     This has enabled the club to pay over R35000 within only three days from when the initial decision was made. It will hopefully be the first of many payments to the ARC to help them do their work.
     An appeal will now go to overseas clubs and contacts to also help.
A screen shot of the meeting on Wednesday
     In order to help this process along, the club decided that the fund must, in branding and intention, be intimately linked to Rotary New Dawn.
     To facilitate this, our fund will go under the name of the Rotary New Dawn Sondla Abantwana (Taking Care of Children) Project, or just Sondla Abantwana. This slogan in Zulu captures the essence of the project and hopefully New Dawn's involvement.
     It is the work of PP Graham Donet, who double checked with PP Paul Kasango.
Our latest recruit ... Christoff Plate of the Konra Adenauer
 Stiftung was inducted online
Christoff invited Nikolaus Turner to the meeting, here holding up a
banner from his German club
     In another first for the club, President Judy Sligcher inducted two new members, Sarah de La Pasture and Christoff Plate, on Wednesday. Welcome to you both!
     Christoff is Head of the Media Programme of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung based in Johannesburg and was introduced to the club by fellow journalist Amina Frense. His wife, Sylvia, is also a journalist.
     He is transferring from the Rotary Club of Lindau Westallgäu in Southern Germany and he and Jankees invited fellow club member Nikolaus Turner to join the meeting.
     This was very fortuitous, as Nikolaus, who expressed the hope that Christoff would rejoin their club once he returns to Germany, could listen in on and eventually take part in the discussion around the Sondla Abantwana project.
     He has promised to take the discussion and decisions made, further with their club and district in Germany.
Sarah de La Pasture at the last meeting at the Parkview Golf Club
 before the lockdown started
     Karlien Kruger introduced Sarah to the club following business collaboration between them. Sarah has been a visitor for a number of weeks and is already making a mark.
     During her recent fireside chat Sarah told the panel that she lives in Parktown and has two sons and a daughter. Her eldest, Charlie, works as a hedge fund manager in Johannesburg. Her middle son, Louis, has a Masters specialising in water desalination and her daughter, Georgia, who went to school at Roedean in Johannesburg, is studying for a Masters in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol.
     Sarah is a registered Morrisby Profile practitioner, an HR tool to assess mental functions.
Rudi and his wife, Carina
     The speaker next week is Rudi Swanepoel of the NG Kerk Andrew Murray in Orchards, an English church within the NG family.
     Rudi has chosen as a broad theme Corona: Crisis and Opportunity for his talk.
     This will be a milestone for New Dawn, as it will be the first time we have a speaker for an online meeting.
A recent poem on Rudi's Facebook page
     Apart from his spiritual life Rudi is also an author, poet, blogger, jogger, foodie, philosopher and according to his Facebook profile makes a mean lasagne and bakes sourdough (and many other kinds of) bread the old-fashioned way.
     A Thought for the Week: There are those that give with joy and that joy is their reward.  - Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

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