Rotary Corner: A simple bar of soap can save lives

Community news and events from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Community news and events from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
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A weekly round-up of news and views from Rotary clubs in the Peterborough area...

Well done – what a fantastic achievement. Our great British public has risen to the occasion once again raising over £26million for BBC Children in Need - the highest ‘on-the-night’ total ever. Rotarians are always proud to help young people – locally, nationally and across the world. Wherever there is a need we do our utmost to respond, not just once a year but every day, every year.

Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are made homeless following natural disasters. Thousands more are innocent victims of wars. Rotarians throughout the world raise thousands of pounds every year to help fund our partner, UK charity ShelterBox. Each ShelterBox provides a large tent and essentials for water purification, blankets, cooking implements and solar powered lighting. Perhaps less well known are our SchoolBoxes.

In any disaster a large number of people without shelter will inevitably be children. Schools will often have been destroyed along with homes and other buildings. Distinctive red and blue SchoolBoxes contain essential supplies for teachers and school equipment for 50 children. They include blackboard paint and a brush –two items that can transform any flat surface into a focus for learning. School packs, in bright yellow material bags, contain stationery, pens, calculators, drawing and maths equipment. These are a source of pride for young people who have lost most of their personal possessions.

Children whose families are on the run from conflict in Syria have been described as a generation lost to education. ShelterBox is helping to bring these refugee children back into the classroom. In the last four years a fifth of Syria’s school buildings have been destroyed, militarised, or pressed into service as refugee shelters for families displaced from their homes.

ShelterBox Chief Executive Alison Wallace says, “One can only imagine what life is like for families in Aleppo and elsewhere across war-torn Syria. Their youngest children have known nothing but war in their short lives.

The David School in Sierra Leone, set up and run by Ramsey Rotarian David Wallwork, faces a desperate situation due to the threat of Ebola. So far teachers and children are clear of infection but basic medical supplies (protective clothing, antiseptics, etc) and 900 bars of soap have been sent out. Regular hand-washing is vital so a soap collection has been set up. A basic bar of soap costs less than 20p but could save lives. To donate - Barclays Bank, Ramsey, Sort Code 20-43-63, Account No. 33469395, Account Name: The David School Trust.

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