Working with Rotary International

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Rotary International is a world-wide organisation comprising 1.2 million neighbours, friends and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our differing occupations, cultures, and countries gives us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.

Our distinct point of view and approach gives us unique advantages:

  • We see differently: out multidisciplinary perspective helps us see challenges in unique ways
  • We think differently: we apply leadership and expertise to social issues finding unique solutions
  • We act responsibly: our passion and perseverance create lasting change
  • We make a difference at home and around the world: our members can be found in your community and across the globe

Our impact starts with our members – people work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities’ toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world.

We’ve been making history and bringing our world closer together for over 100 years. Since forming in 1909 we’ve taken on some of the world’s toughest challenges and helped a wide range of international and service organisations (e.g. helping create the UN charter) get started.

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We make the most of every donation we receive and have identified causes to target to maximise our local and global impact (e.g. our drive to eradicate polio from the world). At the same time, we understand that each community has its own unique needs and concerns. Through our network of resources and partners we help clubs focus on service efforts to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies. https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary

The mission of Creating Better Futures chimes nicely with these Rotary areas of focus. Dorothy, our CEO at Creating Better Futures, was aware of the active help provided by Rotary throughout her childhood. Indeed, whilst growing up in Zimbabwe she saw for herself the value of Rotary projects in providing for her education and well-being. Dorothy maintained links with Rotary through further education and is now a member of the Rotary Club of Reading Matins. Dorothy’s mother, Beverley Matondo, has recently joined the Rotary Club of Harare providing a direct link between Rotary and Creating Better Futures in both the UK and Zimbabwe.

We’re delighted that Rotary International President, K.R. Ravindran visited Zimbabwe in March 2016. He was warmly welcomed by Rotary Clubs in Harare and visited several of our joint projects.

KR Ravindran

The Rotary Club of Reading Matins has 30 members with equal numbers of men and women. We have a wide age range with our youngest member being 30 years old. Various members have school age children whilst others are grandparents and we have a mix of professional and business people and some community leaders. In recent months many of us attended our district conference in Windsor Great Park, collected for charity whilst helping parking at the Green Park Triathlon, and attended a social at the Whitley Community Centre. In February we had our anniversary celebration (24 years since our formation) with a dinner and talk from the Commander of the Queen’s Flight and in the same month we presented dictionaries to Year 3 children at two local schools. In April we have a Barn Dance (raising money for CBF) and will be running a Stroke Awareness clinic in Broad Street Mall.

In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $9 billion to the effort. In 2014 the Rotary Club of Reading Matins linked up with The Yogscast, a group of you tube broadcasters who provide game related video, and through their Christmas ‘Jingle Jam’ raised £140,000. This sum was trebled by the Bill & Malinda Gates Foundation meaning that £420,000 was made available to the Polio Plus campaign and all because of the tenacity of one of our younger members who forged the partnership some months earlier.

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David fluck presenting the material to CBF on behalf of the Rotary club

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Children from Cheza standing next to the old and new toilets

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In 2015 Dorothy spoke at the District Conference for the Rotary Clubs of the Thames Valley and since that time various Rotary Clubs have helped CBF in various ways. Reading Matins Club have provided donations to refurbish the toilets at Cheza School. We did this by raising half the money from a Barn Dance in 2015 and got a Rotary Matching Grant from our district for the other £1,500. This year, together with the Rotary Clubs of Marlow Thames and Maidenhead Bridge we have provided money to drill a borehole at Mutake School which will help the whole community. Quite a number of Rotarians also help through individual child sponsorship and other donations.

The Rotary Club of Reading Matins meet every Wednesday morning at 7.30am at Zest, Lime Square, Green Park (just after Costco behind the football stadium). Find out more at www.facebook.com/RotaryReadingMatins and www.rotaryreadingmatins.org.uk  We’re one of six Rotary Clubs in Reading and details of other clubs can be found at www.rotary-in-reading.org.uk

If you’re interested in coming to a meeting, please contact Dorothy at dorothy@creatingbetterfutures.org.uk or Greg at greg@creatingbetterfutures.org.uk or ring 07850 791324.

If you’d like to make a difference to children we support, you can;

  • Volunteer in the UK and Zimbabwe
  • Help with admin, digital marketing and fundraising in our Reading office
  • Help teach, construct boreholes, classrooms and toilets in Zimbabwe
  • Promote us at your church, club, school and work
  • Organise activities and events using our fundraising ideas
  • Fundraise for us or donate at JustGiving
  • Ask people who support your fundraising event to sign a Gift Aid form; the government gives 25p extra for every £1 you raise so we get £1.25
  • Sponsor a child for £15 a month to give them skills, vision and motivation
  • Have fun choosing items to fill a shoebox and the joy of opening one lasts forever
  • Purchase from retailers at easyfundraising; we get a percentage of what you spend
  • Take advantage of retailer discounts at Savoo and we get a donation from every purchase you make
  • Use easysearch to search the Internet, instead of Google, so we benefit
  • Promote us by liking and sharing our blogsFacebookLinkedin and Twitter posts
  • We work with Rotary International and our projects are overseen by Rotary Club of Harare