Where do we start? Changing the adult mind-set is not easy, but the young are more receptive.
Rotarians are involved in many youth activities especially literacy. If we decide to integrate environmental studies into all youth and literacy programmes, we will be making a great start.
One of the biggest threats to the environment is from waste products.
Even in developed countries, less than 30% of waste is recycled. There are many developing countries where there is no waste disposal provision. Surely this is an ideal challenge for Rotarians.
On an island in Lake Victoria (Ukerewe) where I have undertaken many projects, the streets and suburbs are littered with plastic and other rubbish. The islanders do not have the means to dispose of rubbish, most get washed into the lake.
Trees are cut down for firewood – the deforestation is wrecking the ecosystem and smoke-filled cooking methods are damaging the health of the islanders – mainly young people. I wish I could start a campaign in local schools.
Whatever we decide to do, I urge good planning and reliable monitoring and evaluation. Most importantly, please ensure that we do no harm.
I say this wearing my hat as a Rotary Foundation Cadre.
This is a group of Rotarians whose mission is to ensure that Rotary projects meet community needs, are well designed and implemented, sustainable and have measurable outcomes.
To some, these concepts may seem bureaucratic, but when you have seen an expensive x-ray machine donated to a hospital in a developing country rusting in its crate for 10 years because the hospital had no electricity and has no means of its safe disposal, it breaks one’s heart.
Rotarians are involved in many youth activities especially literacy. If we decide to integrate environmental studies into all youth and literacy programmes, we will be making a great start.”
I have recently been contacted by a clinic which received a supply of cancer treating equipment which it does not want nor has means to dispose of safely.
It is a horrifying thought that some of our donations and some of our projects may be contributing to environmental damage. It is essential that we plan our projects carefully for which assistance is at hand from Cadre members.
I became a Cadre many years ago and am now one of three Disease Prevention and Treatment Cadre Co-ordinators in the world. I have also been asked to lead the current group of 30 Cadres in Rotary for Great Britain & Ireland.
Our aim is to help you increase the impact of your projects, ensure sustainability and value for money. We can add value irrespective of project’s location, size and source of funding.
We can also help with grant applications, community assessments, partnerships, and evaluation.
We do have experience of successful projects and not so successful projects!
I would like to recruit enthusiastic new Cadres, especially in the fields of environment, peace and conflict resolution, and finance.
Contact John Philip, for more information.