• Club Number 18039
  • District 9685
  • Chartered 1946

Club News

Rotary Club of Ryde Days for Girls Ryde Team and SewAID combine to empower girls and women in Cambodia

SewAID is a program which offers selected women in very poor countries the opportunity to not only learn to sew, but to also provide them with the machines, equipment and skills they need to start a small home business in dressmaking or alterations and repair.
The program is run by founder Tony Castley, and closely supported by his family business Sewgroup International. Additionally most programs are run in conjunction with Rotary International as Tony is very involved with Rotary and has found that the Rotary connection is vital to the success of the programs in Third World countries.
Earlier this month SewAID sent a team to Cambodia. The team included Rotarians and 2 members of Days for Girls Ryde Team.
Their objective was twofold, firstly to teach the sewers there how to make Days for Girls kits, and start them on their way to making an order of 500 DFG kits being financed by the Rotary Club of Ryde and Rotary District 9685, secondly to show the sewers how to make market goods that can be sold in the top tourist shops and to also assist them to establish a sales outlet in Siem Reap.

Support St Judes by Treating Yourself

The amazing people at the Red Rose Fund in Toowoomba are hosting an online auction that will help us continue to provide a free, high-quality education to the poorest and brightest students here in Arusha. 

From a 2017 St Jude’s Form 6 Graduation & Safaris-R-Us package, tickets to the finals of the Australian Open, to exquisite designer jewellery – there’s something for everyone. One of our generous donors has even agreed to match every dollar donated up to $20,000!

This means so much to all of us here at St Jude’s, we really do hope you can get behind the Red Rose Fund and support our students! 

All funds raised will come to St Jude’s, where we are educating 1,800 future leaders of Tanzania. 

View and bid on items here: galabid.com/auction/longlunch or text longlunch followed by your full name to +61458678678, then follow the registration link to log in. 

I hope you find something you like and can help us fight poverty through education! 


Kelvin Graduates from School of St Jude

On Saturday 28th May 2016, Kelvin graduated from Form 6 here at The School of St Jude.
Early Saturday morning, the familiar St Jude’s buses traveled the streets of Arusha, collecting the families of this year’s graduands, as well as visitors joining us for this special occasion. After a colorful graduation ceremony, our Class of 2016 proudly paraded out of the hall as only the second group of St Jude’s students to have graduated from Form 6.
Completing the final year of high school is a milestone in the life of any young adult, and here in Tanzania it is an achievement attained by all too few young people. Kelvin would not have made it this far without his hard work and the great opportunities you have helped make possible.
Attached are some photos of Kelvin from the day. We hope you enjoy the pictures.
When final results are out here in Tanzania, we will be in touch again to share the news with you. For now, thank you All at The Rotary Club of Ryde Inc for your support and well done to Kelvin!
Best wishes,
Tracey Pahor
Sponsor Relations Team
PO Box 11875, Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa
Website: www.schoolofstjude.org

Pope Francis thanks Rotary for its efforts to end polio

Vatican City (30 April 2016) — Nearly 9,000 members of Rotary​ from across the globe attended the Jubilee Audience at the Vatican in St. Peter’s Square on 30 April 2016 at the invitation of Pope Francis.  At the end of the Audience, a delegation of Rotary members - led by Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran - met Pope Francis where he emphasized the importance of vaccinations against polio and urged Rotary to continue. 

Pope Francis follows Paul VI and John Paul II in connecting with Rotary to encourage their support of a more peaceful and compassionate world.  

“It is a tremendous honor to be part of this Jubilee Audience,” said Ravindran. “Pope Francis has inspired men and women throughout the world – regardless of their faith – with his humble acts of kindness. His call to alleviate the root causes of extreme poverty and human suffering transcends religion, age, nationalism and politics. Rotary members from every religion, nation and creed share Pope Francis’ spirit of mercy and compassion, which inspires us to act boldly to address the most difficult challenges facing our world today.”

By promoting peace, fighting disease, ending polio​ , providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene, supporting education, saving mothers and children and growing local economies, Rotary members are improving lives and bringing positive, lasting change to communities around the world.

Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative​   are on the brink of making global health history as polio is slated to become the second human disease ever to be eliminated.  Cases of this paralyzing but vaccine preventable disease have plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year in 1988, to 74 confirmed in 2015. Since launching its PolioPlus​ program in 1985, Rotary has donated US$1.5 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from polio. More than 13 million people are able to walk today, who would otherwise have been paralyzed from polio.

Pope Francis personally vaccinated a child against polio in Mexico this past February. While he was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis was named an honorary member of Rotary – making him the first known pope to receive and accept a Rotary club membership.

Pope Francis thanks Rotary for its efforts to end polio and urges Rotary members to continue vaccination campaigns.

2016 Rotaract Outstanding Project Award goes to Uganda

Though they were a long way from home, members of the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi, Uganda, felt confident they could tackle problems in rural Kanabulemu during their annual 1000 Smiles project. Their original plan focused on curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS. It's in the Rakai District, where the first case of AIDS in Uganda was uncovered in 1982 and about 12 percent of the population has been infected with HIV in recent years. But the Rotaractors discovered that problems in the village extended far beyond the disease.

"The community lacked water, the school was in a sorry state, and the medical center was in an even sorrier state, especially the maternity ward," says Anitah Munkudane, president of the Bugolobi club. "The condition was worse than we had imagined."

The Rotaractors still weren't prepared for what they found when they launched the project with the Uganda Health Marketing Group. They expected to treat 700 at the medical camp in Kanabulemu. More than 1,000 patients came. Volunteers, including Rotaractors from other clubs and members of the club's sponsor, the Rotary Club of Bugolobi, provided comprehensive medical exams, dental screenings, medication, birth control, and more. And the troubled maternity ward? It got new mattresses to make childbirth more comfortable.

They presented benches and desks to the Keyebe Primary School and school supplies and uniforms to its pupils, many of whom are orphans. The team also helped install a borehole to bring much-needed water to the village.

For all of its exemplary work on the 1000 Smiles Kanabulemu Edition project, the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi was named the International Winner of the Rotaract Outstanding Project Award. Members will be honored at the Korea convention in June and will receive $500 to apply to a future project. The club will use it to help women suffering from fistula, says Munkudane.

Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards recognized other clubs for projects -- one in each of six regions and an international multidistrict project -- for their excellent humanitarian work.

International multidistrict project: Twelve Rotaract clubs from five districts in Turkey and Russia for the Just Like You With an (+1) Extra! project. Members collaborated with the Down Syndrome Association to organize training for children and adults with Down syndrome. Participants learned how to apply effective communication and cooperation strategies to improve their daily lives and hone job skills.

Asia Pacific: The Rotaract Club of Metro Cebu-CIT Chapter in the Philippines for Project WASHEd-UP, which transformed the lives of kids at Tagatay Elementary School in a remote area in the Philippines. Club members constructed a tank to safely store rainwater, taught the importance of hygiene and sanitation, and treated students who had skin infections and intestinal parasites.

South Asia: The Rotaract Club of The Caduceus in Maharashtra, India, for the Jana Swasthya Project. Members established a digital disease surveillance system to study epidemiological trends. Harnessing the power of mobile technology, they replaced a paper data-tracking system, allowing government officials and experts to access live data with a few clicks.

Europe, Middle East, Central Asia: The Rotaract Club of Istanbul-Dolmabahçe in Turkey for Still Child! Rotaractors organized conferences in rural areas, where local experts, psychologists, and doctors educated residents about how underage girls who are married are, statistically, undereducated and prone to medical and psychological problems.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Rotaract Club of Lagune de Cotonou in Benin for Notre Bibliotheque. Rotaractors and Rotary members converted an abandoned building into a library for the nearly 400 children who attend Zogbadjè Primary Public School. Not only did Rotaractors design, fundraise, and implement construction plans, they stocked the new library with more than 500 books.

Latin America: The Rotaract Club of Nova Geração Itabaiana in Brazil for Projeto Sergipe. Rotaractors enrolled 100 students in literacy and professional development courses. The club developed a network of community partners and volunteers that donated meeting space for classes and lectures, developed training based on volunteers' professional expertise, and distributed educational materials and resources to students.

United States, Canada, and Caribbean: The Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA, for Ready 2 Succeed. The project t matches high school juniors and seniors with Rotaract mentors to better prepare students for college. Over 75 percent of the program's participants, many first-generation college students, have enrolled in college programs.
By David Sweet – Rotary News

Photo: Members of the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi, Uganda, participate in their annual 1000 Smiles project, which has been recognized as the 2016 Rotaract Outstanding Project Award winner.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of The Rotaract Club of Bugolobi

Six women recognised at UN for leadership and humanitarian service

Six Rotary Global Women of Action were honored during Rotary Day at the United Nations on 7 November in New York City. They are, from left: Lucy H. Hobgood-Brown, Dr. Hashrat A. Begum, Stella S. Dongo, Kerstin Jeska-Thorwat, Dr. Deborah K.W. Walters, and Razia Jan.

The six Rotary Global Women of Action for 2015 were recognized during Rotary Day at the United Nations on 7 November in New York City for their dedication and service, which have improved the lives of thousands around the world.
“The women we are honoring here today are leaders in Rotary,” said Rotary President K.R. Ravindran. “They are pushing the boundaries of Rotary service, pushing us all to do more, be more, and achieve more.”
Lakshmi Puri, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of UN Women, praised Rotary for its acknowledgment of the crucial role women play.
“I’m very pleased you have picked this team of gender equality and women empowerment,” she said.
The six women, who were selected by Rotary senior leaders and staff from more than 100 nominees from around the world, are:
  • Dr. Hashrat A. Begum, of the Rotary Club of Dhaka North West, in Bangladesh, who has implemented several large-scale projects to deliver health care to poor and underserved communities.
  • Stella S. Dongo, of the Rotary Club of Highlands, in Zimbabwe, who leads the Community Empowerment Project in the city of Harare. The project provides basic business and computer training to more than 6,000 women and youths affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Lucy C. Hobgood-Brown, of the Rotary E-Club of Greater Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia, who co-founded HandUp Congo, a nonprofit that promotes and facilitates sustainable community-driven business, educational, social, and health initiatives in underprivileged communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Razia Jan, of the Rotary Club of Duxbury, in Massachusetts, USA, who has spent decades fighting for girls’ educational rights in Afghanistan. An Afghan native, she is the founder and director of the Zabuli Education Center, a school that provides free education to more than 480 girls in Deh’Subz, outside Kabul, Afghanistan. She was also recognized as a CNN Hero in 2012.
  • Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart, of the Rotary Club of Nürnberg-Sigena, in Germany, who launched the Babyhospital Galleproject after surviving the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. With a budget of $1.8 million and the support of 200 Rotary clubs, the project rebuilt and equipped the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital, in Galle, Sri Lanka. The hospital has served more than 150,000 children and more than 2.2 million women.
  • Dr. Deborah K.W. Walters, of the Rotary Club of Unity, in Maine, USA, a neuroscientist who has served as director of Safe Passage (Camino Seguro), a nonprofit that provides educational and social services to families who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump.
Each of the women addressed attendees and led discussions on topics related to her work.
More than 1,000 Rotary members, UN officials, Rotary youth program participants, and guests gathered at this year’s annual event, which celebrated 70 years of partnership between Rotary and the UN. A morning youth session was open to high school students, including members of Rotary’s Interact and Youth Exchange programs.
Guest speakers included Fabia Yazaki, acting chief for evaluation and communications in the UN’s department of public information; Karin Ryan, senior project adviser for the human rights program at the Carter Center; Ambassador at-Large Susan Coppedge Amato, director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. Department of State; Melissa Russell, vice president of strategic partnerships for the International Justice Mission; Jeffrey Kluger, Time magazine editor at-large; and Archie Panjabi, Emmy Award-winning actress and Rotary polio ambassador.
Learn more about Rotary Day at the UN

By Ryan Hyland
Rotary News
Photo Credit: Rotary International/Monika Lozinska

Africa reaches important polio milestone

Today marks a significant milestone for Africa in its effort to eradicate polio from the continent. A full year has passed since Africa’s last reported case caused by the wild poliovirus.

Somalia was the last country to identify a new case, which occurred on 11 August 2014. While Africa has achieved an important public health milestone, the job is not yet finished. To end polio forever, all countries – both endemic and non-endemic – must strengthen routine immunization, address gaps in disease surveillance and do more to reach children who are still being missed by vaccinators.

“We cannot wind down our efforts now. We need to continue immunizing until the last country is certified polio-free, and thereafter,” says Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee. “As long as the virus remains anywhere in the world, it is only a plane ride away.”

Rotary members have played a key role in the eradication effort. They have led the way in raising funds, advocating for government support, building awareness, and mobilizing volunteers on the ground.

“The work of Rotary and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has also cut through the clichéd narrative of Africa as the land of poverty, disease, and conflict,” says RI General Secretary John Hewko. “Real human development has been achieved despite the toughest obstacles and despite the opinion of many who thought we could not eradicate this disease in Africa.”

Strong continued support toward polio eradication in these final years of the campaign is the best way to ensure that today’s milestone will indeed mark the last case of polio in Africa, says Michael McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee.

“Rotary members have many opportunities to make a difference, including being part of history as we seek a polio-free world,” McGovern says. “Members have led the way in fundraising and lining up volunteer support for polio eradication.”

Through 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching 2-to-1 every dollar that Rotary commits for polio, up to $35 million a year.

Contribute to End Polio Now
Help Rotary advocate for a polio-free world
Download a toolkit of ways you can help

By Arnold R. Grahl
Rotary News 

Rotary Club of Crawley smart device recycling project raises funds for underprivileged children

The Rotary Club of Crawley, we are launching an initiative to raise funds for underprivileged children around the world. The proceeds raised will be used to provide underprivileged and conscientious children with the items that currently stop them from receiving an education. 

The location of the student is not limited, however we have potential project partners (via local Rotary Clubs) in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines and Nepal. 

Millions of phones are thrown away around the world each year, and even more are hiding away in drawers. We are collecting smart phones or tablets that are off contract and/or with broken screens (but still in working order) for recycling. The initial goal is to collect 100 phones before Christmas and raise $5,000. 

Funds may be used to: 

  • Provide a young Ugandan aids orphan a mattress or uniform to attend school
  • Provide a child from rural WA a scholarship to attend school in another town
  • Provide school books and lighting in a Nairobi slum.

Please help us by donating your old smart phone or tablet; giving your device a new life and at the same time helping underprivileged students around the world receive an education. 

If you or anyone you know can donate, simply provide me with the contact details and the best time/location to pick up your old device. 

Kind regards, 


Serhat Pakyuz | State Sales & Marketing Manager - WA Lysaght – A division of BlueScope P +61 08 9454 1104 | M +61 (0) 457 520 727 A 11 Carolyn Way | Forrestfield | WA, 6058 


Rotary's Historic Bridge Climb In Sydney

During Friday's world record-breaking Sydney Harbour bridge climb, Rotary members raised enough money to protect 240,000 kids from polio. 

Despite the physically gruelling four-hour trek up and down the bridge's storied steel arches, the 340 participants kept their good spirits and stood side-by-side waving 278 flags. "When the helicopters were going around, you just felt like one great big nation," says Graeme Davies, district governor of the Rotary Club of Kincumber in Australia. 

The massive turnout eclipsed Oprah Winfrey's world-record climb in 2011 when she summited the bridge alongside 315 of her most ardent fans. But for Rotary members, the record paled in comparison to the experience and the opportunity to take a step closer to ending polio forever. The event raised 110,000 Australian dollars (US$102,300). "It made me even prouder to be a Rotarian," said John Avakian from Healdsburg, California, USA. "It was an incredible experience of tremendous camaraderie."

Rotary members cheered for each of the 26 groups as they made way through the lobby to the entrance of the bridge climb. Cloud cover hid the sun for most of the morning, but light broke through briefly as the climbers unfurled their flags, which had been tucked into their sleeves during the ascent. Helicopters circled overhead from a variety of local Sydney news stations. 

Climbers cheered, danced, and even broke into the "Wave" from 400 feet above ground. "I think that's exactly what Rotary needs," said Nate Harimoto of Thousand Oaks, California, "a show of force from all around the world." Climbers from Taiwan, Australia, China, Japan, United States, and dozens of other countries and regions supported each other during the event. They watched each other's backs, literally and figuratively, helping to steer climbers' heads away from hanging steel beams. 

For a day, their commitment to help others also became a commitment to help each other. And in the process, they raised enough money to show the world how committed they are to polio eradication. For Leilani Ross of Queensland, however, the climb was also about closing an important family chapter. She had long wanted to climb the bridge with her father, but didn't get the chance before he died a few years ago. "The friendliness is just wonderful," Ross said. "Everyone is very welcoming." 

Cheryl Drozdowicz, a former Youth Exchange student from Wisconsin, USA, who stayed with Ross 35 years ago, watched her go up. After the convention, Drozdowicz will travel back to Queensland for the first time since her program all those years ago. "I always feel like a piece of my heart is still there," Drozdowicz said. 

Fondly known as the "Coat Hanger," the bridge officially opened in 1932. The bridge is also referred to as the "Iron Lung" because it employed so many Australians during the Great Depression. Tourists began climbing the bridge in 1998, which is now considered a tourist must with over 3 million visitors from more than 130 countries in that time. 

Adam Ross 

Rotary News

Photo Credit: Rotary International/Alyce Henson

Paralympian Dennis Ogbe Defying Paralysis

Dennis Ogbe grips the discus in his right hand. He swings his arm and twists at the waist as far to the right as he can. With one move he snaps back, letting the saucer fly. Upper-body strength is important for any discus thrower, but for Ogbe, a Paralympian, it’s everything. 

At age three, Ogbe contracted malaria, and while receiving treatment at a clinic near his home in rural Nigeria, he became infected with the poliovirus. Paralyzed from the waist down, he was sent home in the arms of his mother. 

He credits his physical rehabilitation to a harsh form of therapy – the taunts of the other children in his village. After taking his crutches away, kids would dare him to take several steps forward before they would allow Ogbe to join in a game of soccer with them. Eventually, his right leg became stronger and he could walk without a wheelchair or crutches, but his left leg remained paralyzed. 

Ogbe, now a U.S. citizen, has made a name for himself in the international Paralympic community and holds the American records for discus and shot put. While competing, he earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. Today he serves as an advocate for polio eradication and as an ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to promote childhood immunizations. He spoke at Rotary’s World Polio Day: Making History event on 24 October in Chicago, which is where we caught up with him. 

“Whatever I do in this life, I hope and pray that it is going to inspire people,” he says. “I hope it challenges them: ‘If Dennis can do it, I can do it.’” 

THE ROTARIAN: What challenges did you face growing up with polio? 

OGBE: In Nigeria, people with disabilities are often cast away or encouraged to be beggars. Polio was evident everywhere, at the bus stops and on the streets. But my father wanted me to have a better life. He told me that he would not see one of his children on the streets, left to beg. He realized that an education would be my saving grace. Most people don’t think of school. In Nigeria, it’s often survival of the fittest. My father believed that in any disability, there’s always an ability. And he gave me the opportunity to figure out what mine was. 

TR: What was it that drew you to athletics? 

OGBE: When I was in school, I had to push myself to play sports. I tried tennis, high-jump, and basketball, but I walked with a big limp, making it difficult. At the time, the only sports available for people with disabilities were shot put, javelin, power-lifting, and track. I couldn’t participate in track because I couldn’t afford a better wheelchair. So I found heavy spare rods at auto shops and began to practice throwing. 

Eventually I began competing. I ended up throwing for Nigeria at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. There I met an assistant track and field coach for the USA. He must have seen something in me, because I was offered a partial sports scholarship to Bellarmine University, where I competed against able-bodied athletes. 

When I wasn’t studying or training, I was working five jobs to pay tuition. If I look at my life without sports, I wouldn’t be where I am today. The competitiveness in sports was the push I needed from the very beginning when I contracted polio. It gave me a goal to work toward. It was the mentality of “I can do more” that brought me to where I am today. 

TR: How does this competitive mentality help you in your work fighting polio? 

OGBE: My father always told me that it’s not how one starts that matters, it’s how one finishes. The end is still a hundred miles away, but I know one thing: When I am crossing that finish line, I want to be holding hands with the people who have helped me in my life. There have been many people who have gone out of their way to help me get to where I am today, and I owe it to them to finish strong. That’s how I feel about polio. It’s been a long fight, but we have many friends. I know if we continue to give it our best shot, we will finish this race on top.  

Megan Ferringer 

Adapted from a story in the April 2014 issue of The Rotarian. 

For Paralympian Dennis Ogbe, upper-body strength means everything after losing use of his left leg because of Polio


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