The Club has a number of very committed individuals, who are dedicated to improving the well-being of the disadvantaged in overseas countries, through a range of on-going projects. A number of these projects are joint initiatives with other Rotary Clubs.
EAST TIMOR ROOFING
In 2000, the Rotary Club of Doncaster [RCD] sought to establish a steel rolling mill in East Timor to assist in the roofing recovery program following the devastating destruction of infrastructure at the retreat of Indonesians from East Timor. The Rotary Club of Melbourne [RCM] assisted with finance for the purchase of an additional purlin mill.
In 2001 the Rotary Club of Lilydale [RCL] became involved in the project, through club member Tim Hewitt. Our Club has contributed with financing the supply and subsequent delivery of a tray truck and equipment to East Timor. Club member Tim Hewitt and ex member Robyn Johnston actually drove the truck shown, from Lilydale Victoria to Darwin NT in 2001, for shipment to Dili East Timor and then delivery to Bacau in Northern East Timor by road.
As at 2017, a total of 23 representatives from RCL [members/associated family/contacts] have visited East Timor over the past 16 years to assist with the inital set-up, maintenance/upgrade and expansion requirements of the business, as well as assisting in a number of spin-off programs, such as water drilling, health facilities, farming initatives and management systems etc.
In 2005 with operations being commercially viable, a company was registered in East Timor along with a holding company being established in Australia, with RCL having a 10% shareholding with the balance split between RCD and RCM.
Tim Hewitt is the RCL nominee as a Director on the Company Board of the East Timor Roofing Holding Company Ltd.
The Company continues making trusses and roofing products and has now expanded into water tanks, grain silos and other folded steel products. This fledgling company has grown over the years to now have assets of over $1.8million. It employs and trains local Timorese, thus making a great contribution to the local community. In addition as required by the company’s constitution, any surplus funds must be used for the benefit of East Timor people.
and at the company’s website www.easttimorroofing.com
“Water for The Hungry Months” is a new and exciting humanitarian project to complement the efforts of the Club’s other Rotary projects in East Timor.
This registered RAWCS project is a joint initiative of the Rotary Club of Lilydale and the Rotary Club of Doncaster. The commencement of this project has been made possible by the existence of East Timor Roofing Company [ETR] and the funds raised through its commercial operations. The scope of the project is to provide easier access to clean drinking water during East Timor’s dry period (April through October) via a groundwater drilling program at village level, on communal land. Donated drilling equipment has been sourced and collected from a number of areas in Victoria and then shipped to East Timor. Past President David Law and member partner Peter Sank went to East Timor to setup and commission the equipment. They found the drilling to be extremely slow and difficult to get through the very hard limestone, but had success in locating good water at 35metre depth. The wells are then capped to supply and on-going source of water for villagers. Access is via hand pumps to keep water wastage, capital and maintenance costs down. This also facilitates local effort (literally) and engenders a sense of local ownership.
BAIRO PITE HOSPITAL Timor-Leste -“Nursing in Bairo Pite Clinic”
This RAWCS project aims to provide educated and experienced nurses (and other health care professionals) to the Clinic to assist their workload as well as providing an educational resource to staff at the Clinic.
This project commenced in 2012 when two nurses, led by Jenny Selway a member of the Rotary Club of Lilydale, visited the Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, Timor-Leste, with a fellow nurse from Maroondah Hospital Ringwood East.. Their visit time was spent investigating the needs of the clinic and ways in which ongoing help could be offered. Through continued fundraising and donations of goods, there have been several deliveries of medical and nursing supplies to the clinic. General supplies such as linen, hand wash, toys and clothes have also been sent. The project also sponsors the employment and education of a staff member at the clinic. This person is employed to work in the malnutrition room attending to unwell children.
Final Report on RAWCS Project – Final Report RAWCS – DEC 2017
As a flow on from this Trauma Teddies, a “Teddies” knitting program was initiated by Lilydale Rotarians Rhonda Kellett and Jenny Selway . Sponsorship of a knitted teddy assists in freight costs for the transport of donated medical goods and supplies to the Clinic, as well as a Timorese child receiving the sponsored Teddy. Donations to assist in freight costs are always welcome.
Donations in Kind is a program supported by Rotary Clubs in Australia which grew out of the compassion and concern of returning overseas volunteers.
The program involves the collection, sorting, packing, dispatch and distribution of donated items to countries in need of these goods. Many goods and products, for which organizations in Australia have no further use, are valuable commodities in needy countries. While 50 computers with non-flat screen monitors and less than 1 gigabyte of memory may be obsolete for some corporate offices, they might instead be of significant value in helping the education of under privileged students in East Timorese universities or in assisting with the accountancy of micro-finance finance projects in Africa. Fabric donated by Dollar Curtains has been turning into sleeping mats, rice bags, clothing etc. Excess stationery and office supplies have been distributed throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond. Obsolete school chairs, desks and tables have been rescued from the recycler, resulting in partnerships being established between local schools and overseas schools where the equipment finishes up.
The cost to ship a container to East Timor for example is $8,000.00. Partnering Schools are being encouraged to adopt this as a fund raising project to assist with shipping costs.
Wheelchair for Kids was initially established in Western Australia, with retiree volunteers in Australia using donations to make and distribute up to 300 wheelchairs per month to poor disabled children in developing countries. Millions are needed, but every one makes a difference.
Every $150 raised gives a child the freedom of mobility and liberates a carer.
Our Club has regularly contributed to the costs associated with the making of these wheelchairs as well as the associated freight/shipping costs. Every contribution / donation assists in providing a means of mobility and a much better quality of life for these children.
Other International activities include:
- Disaster Aid Relief www.disasteraidaustralia.org.au
- Rotarians against Malaria http://www.ramaustralia.org/
- Rotary Australia World Community Service Ltd. (RAWCS)
- Rotary Overseas Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC)