Carnforth Rotarians are enthusiastic, fun-loving and active volunteers who get together most weeks of the year for dinner, fellowship and professional networking. We have a varied programme of informative guest speakers and enjoy social events such as ladies nights, day trips to local attractions and theatre trips.
Our members give their time and talents to serve the local and international community, in order to help those less fortunate. The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self” which conveys the humanitarian spirit of over 1.2 million Rotarians throughout the world.
Rotary is a non-religious, non-political organisation that is one of the largest non-governmental providers of humanitarian, educational and cultural support programmes in the world. Rotarians encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help to build goodwill and peace.
The International Service Officer helps to promote worldwide goodwill. Rotary fundraising efforts are devoted to the provision of emergency boxes, eye camps, vocational training schools, text books, tools, water filtration units and many other items for areas of need.
Carnforth Rotary Club is this year donating funds to help support the following Projects:
Kitale School, Uganda - a primary school in rural Uganda founded in 2005 by Carnforth Rotarian, Mike Willetts, who first visited Uganda in 2002 as a birthday treat to see the famous gorillas. The trip involved walking several days through the countryside and the villages where he witnessed real poverty for the first time up close and personal. Despite the poverty, deprivation, hunger disease and hardship Mike saw more smiles and received warmer welcomes than he would ever get in the UK. It was heartwarming and at the same time heartbreaking and Mike decided that one day he would come back and try to do something different. By the time he decided to retire in 2005 he and his wife Linda had raised around £5,000 and wanted to see just how much could be done with that amount of money. Mike paid all his own expenses so that every penny donated would reach the end user, and that still applies today. He asked the villagers what the problems were and they identified the lack of clean water and education as the main sources of worry for them. He could only afford one project and the villagers chose education, so the children of the village could have a chance of a better life.
The Ugandan King generously gave land to build a school. Bricks were made locally and the villagers did much of the work, although Mike paid local tradesmen for their work as they had families to keep. Mike bought books, made desks and blackboards and within 3 months had a school started with just 75 kids - all orphans. In order to keep the school running Mike then started to enlist the help of his friends, and since joining Carnforth Rotary Club in 2009 has also received financial support from the club.
On 5th September 2014 former policeman Ian Johnston and his girlfriend personal trainer Amy Bhandari, together with their support team left Cape Wrath in Scotland to cycle 3000 miles to the top of Mount Etna in Sicily. In doing so they hope to attract enough sponsorship to help make Kitale school independent and self supporting forever. The money they raise will be used to create projects that will both supply the school with a sustainable income and provide employment for our school leavers. You can follow their blog at cycol4kitale.wordpress.com. Website: www. kitaleschooluganda.org
Mary’s Meals - Mary’s Meals began in 2002 as a one-off school feeding programme. Today the charity provide daily life changing meals to over 920,000 hungry children. During 1992 two brothers, Magnus and Fergus MacFarlane-Barrow from Scotland, watched the TV news from the Bosnian conflict with increasing horror. They were so moved that they decided to organise an appeal for food and blankets joined one of the convoys leaving the UK. On returning home to Argyll they expected to resume their jobs as fish farmers. However public donations continued to flood in, filling their parents’ shed with goods. Magnus decided to give up his job for a year to drive the aid out to Bosnia for as long as the public kept donating. The charity, Scottish International Relief (SIR) was set up and began to work in Romania, building homes for abandoned children, and in Liberia, helping returning refugees by setting up mobile clinics, while continuing to deliver material aid to Croatia and Bosnia, and funding additional projects.
In 2002, SIR was operating a simple famine relief project in Malawi when Magnus met a family where the mother was dying of AIDS. When Magnus asked her oldest son what he hoped for in life, his stark reply, “To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day”. This inspired the establishment of the Mary’s Meals campaign, which aims to provide chronically hungry children with one meal every school day where they are encouraged to gain the education that can lift them out of poverty in later life. Meals are now provided to impoverished children in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and South America. In 2012, Scottish International Relief changed its registered charity name to Mary’s Meals. Website: www.marysmeals.org.uk
R.E.M.I.T. - Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Tanzania which raises funds to provide chemically impregnated nets, insecticides and medicines as well as HaemaCue machines to check for malaria. Funding provides education and awareness through training of local workers who travel to villages to educate the villagers in regard to symptoms, treatments and prevention. Website: www.remit.org.uk/index.htm
International Students Night - Carnforth Rotary Club invites up to 20 international students from Lancaster University to join us for an annual dinner in February.