Monday, 13 July 2020

Of Seeds and Socks and Other Things

President Ian Widdop, with the help of Julian Nagy, will soon be starting a strategic plan process to upgrade the club's goal setting and aims.
     This was last done a few years ago so the time seems ripe to relook at the things that make the club what it is and what members want it to be.
     The lockdown, social distancing and the barring of most meetings have made such a process a bit of a challenge, but Julian says members can soon expect a 2-page communication from him to set the ball rolling.
     This will start with a SWOT Analysis (what members see as the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the club), followed by a more general questionnaire about what your vision of the club and its activities is.
     Ian has stressed that it is important that everybody in the club gets involved.
     Hopefully it won't be too long before members can have a physical meeting so that we can have proper debate on what the future of the club should look like.
Socks for Africa ... Margaret Lediga, Sarah Sunker, myself and Pastor Mike Sunker with some of the socks we delivered to 5 Cees 
     This goes hand in hand with Abi Sligcher's taking on of social media for the club.
     In her new role Abi has pledged to try to get the word out about what New Dawn is, what the club's goals are and how we live up to those expectations.
     She says we'll get the most out of a presence on the ubiquitous Facebook as well as Instagram and we'll have a New Dawn presence on LinkedIn as well.
     At a minimum there will be postings on Wednesdays and Sundays, so keep an eye open for them and disseminate the posts as widely as possible.
     Ian wants to take a personal interest in the website, which has also been left behind a bit over the years.
The new-look website, thanks to Carol Stier and Steve du Plessis
     The website has recently been updated and its worth taking a look.
     It includes information on membership trends, highlights some of our projects and has links to other important Rotary sites such as Rotary International, the End Polio Campaign and District 9400.
     President Ian says we'll be hearing more about the strategic planning and social media at upcoming meetings.
     He was very excited by the quick whip-around to collect money from members for winter socks for the people at Woodside and the Christ Church Christian Care Centre (5 Cees).
Itumeleng Sekhu and Kgotso Pedi delivering the socks
     Joan Sainsbury was the contact person with Itumeleng Sekhu of the Itumeleng Sekhu Foundation, who are selling the socks to raise funds.
     Itumeleng is the author of a book about her recovery from almost life threatening burns she sustained as a child, titled What do you see?
Itumeleng's book
     She's also an internationally accredited motivational speaker, media personality and entrepreneur.
     The money members raised was enough to buy 82 pairs of socks, after initially aiming for 67 pairs to commemorate Nelson Mandela's birthday on 18 July.
Linda Vink handing socks over to Jane Mkhwanazi of Woodside Sanctuary
     Some were pledged to Woodside and some to 5 Cees.
     Pastor Mike Sunker thanked the club on behalf of the children and said they'd be handing the socks out today already. After a quick count he seemed to think there were enough for all the kids in Berea.
     Pastor Mike says the lockdown has come with many challenges for the Berea home and that two children have had to go into isolation already. Not all the schools that children attend are open yet, which also causes problems.
     The current load shedding is causing further headaches and he said the most pressing need they have is for a proper generator that can handle 3-phase power to keep the lights on and the children warm and safe.
     If anyone has a contact for such a beast, I can put you in touch with Pastor Mike.
Tamzin Botha with a packet of seeds for a pilot gardening project
     The Socks initiative came hard on the heels of the Seeds initiative spearheaded by Helene Bramwell and Joan Sainsbury. Money was collected from members to buy seeds and donate them to worthy causes.
     One of the beneficiaries was a group of volunteers who run a community garden in Parkhurst.
From seeds grow plants at the Parkhurst garden
     Elize Vara, one of the volunteers, wrote in an email to New Dawn: "The garden is situated on municipal land and accessible to the public, and we encourage people to help themselves to the vegetables that we grow there. The Parkhurst clinic is also situated on the precinct, and the patients and staff are amongst our regular 'customers'."
     Amongst other recipients of seeds was Tamzin Botha, who is working on a pilot gardening project with informal reclaimers in Brixton. She also thanked the club for the seeds that were donated.
     Helene Bramwell says seeds were also donated to Paul Channon for projects in Alexandra.
Lee Roebeck, who'll be speaking at the Zoom meeting on Wednesday
     The speaker on Wednesday is Lee Roebeck, a mindset coach and professional speaker and facilitator, who is going to speak on Thinking BIG and Goal Setting.
     A Thought for the Week: When one burns one's bridges what a very nice fire it makes. - Dylan Thomas (1914 - 1953)

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