Saturday, 30 May 2020

Million Bucks Projects

Busy weeks are what New Dawn feeds on it seems, whether we meet in person at the Parkview Golf Club (remember those days) or whether we meet, as has become the norm, on Zoom.
     The meeting this week started with a presentation by the Rotary Long-Term Exchange student Masego (MoMo) Matiko. Her parents, Nono and Jabu, also listened in and were rightfully proud of their daughter.
Momo on stage in Thailand speaking about the virus
     Momo matriculated from the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein last year and then went on exchange to Thailand at the beginning of the year on 8 January, so she's over halfway through her stay.
     She lost her grandmother, to whom she was very close, in February and had to make the tough decision to stay on in Thailand rather than returning home.
Some of her host families welcoming her to Thailand
     No sooner had that happened than the lockdowns began both in Thailand and in South Africa, with immediate border closures and all international flights cancelled.
     Momo says she's very happy that she decided to stay in Thailand for the duration and reckons the lockdown enhanced her experience of that country, its people and its culture.
     She's especially loving the food and the people she gets to share it with.
Some of her new schoolmates in another photo from her presentation
     Her parents live in Bramley, but Jabu said he regularly visits his parents and grandparents in Alexandra and the good news is that the exchange programme has got him interested in Rotary. Who knows, we could be inducting another new member soon.
President Judy Sligcher applauding the global emergency grant
     After the presentation President Judy Sligcher announced that the Global Emergency Grant of $25000 (well over R430 000) had been granted this past week for the inter-club taxi sanitisation project, Hlanza Izandla (Wash Your Hands) in which New Dawn is playing a big part, along with other D9400 clubs.
     With the original R500 000 donation from Standard Bank, plus further staff contributions matched by Standard Bank, this project has already netted almost R1 million and is being rolled out to other parts of the country.
A screen shot of the meeting. Paul Channon is in the third row, third from left, in the centre of things as he often is
     Another million rand success story is that of the Alexander Education Committee which, according to its chairman, Paul Channon, has already raised about R1,2 million to feed scholarship students and their families during the lockdown.
     About R150 000 of this has come from New Dawn, a truly stellar performance by the club.
     President Judy Sligcher announced that the meeting on 10 June will take place at 6pm rather than the usual 7am so that donors from overseas can take part and also so that the club can thank them publicly.
     She also told the club that the board had decided at a special meeting to divide the 100 blankets from the club, the proceeds from the Quiz Night, to four different charities.
     In no particular order the Christ Church Christian Care Centre, Woodside Sanctuary, the recipients of the Pieter Roos Park feeding scheme and the Rena Le Lona (We Are With You) Creative Centre for Children in Diepkloof, Soweto will get 25 blankets each.
Kids perform at the Rena Le Lona Centre in Diepkloof, Soweto
     Rena Le Lona was a project of the Rotary Club of Soweto, which has since disbanded. Their Community Corps has carried on the good work.
     It is good to remember that New Dawn made a pledge to the incumbent District Governor, Maurice Stander, to try to re-establish Rotary in the sprawling township.
     This is a great opportunity to do just that.
     The centre provides support for about 150 children who used to get a cooked meal every day. Because of the coronavirus this is no longer possible.
     The centre has appealed for donations of food and donations or sponsorships to help them get food to the children.
     Judy and Jankees Sligcher have said that any such donations can be dropped off at their home and they will see to it that it is delivered to the centre.
     The list includes:
     Cooking oil, maize meal, rice, samp, baked beans, Lucky Star Fish in Tomato, soup, onions, carrots, potatoes, sugar, cabbage, tea bags, milk, juice, chicken braai packs, salt, mayonnaise, tissues, sunlight bar soaps/washing powder, masks & sanitiser, Vaseline (kids), toothpaste and Dettol/Savlon.
     A Thought for the Week: Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)

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