Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary has been twinned with the Groningen-West (previously known as the Zuidhorn club) Rotary in the Netherlands since they were both chartered in 1985.
Chris Gent from Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary explained: “When the club was first chartered, many people had recommended twinning with another club in a different country, so we looked for one that was charted in the same year as us to join forces.”
As the relationship between the two clubs grew, other clubs from different countries wanted to be involved. Today, Limburg-an-der Lahn (Germany), and Inowroclaw (Poland) have joined the twinning project.
One of the most important aspects of the twinning programme is the clubs continued support towards charity projects, working together to secure funds. Over the years, the clubs, along with the help from matching grants and other funding sources, have donated over 200,000 euros to support 24 projects in over 20 different countries.
— Erimus Rotary (@erimusrotary) June 12, 2018
“Being twinned with the other clubs has certainly effected our fundraising in a positive way” explained Chris.
One of the many causes they have supported throughout the years is the charity Seeds4Tanzania, where they funded 5 residents of the Chitemo village in the Mpwapwa district to be trained in animal husbandry to breed pigs.
The trainees then trained other villagers. The piglets produced each year are sold and the money raised is used to pay teachers in the local school.
Over the years, the clubs, along with the help from matching grants and other funding sources, have donated over 200,000 euros to support 24 projects in over 20 different countries.
The twinning project has also been beneficial for the Rotary members within the clubs, and allowed them to experience one another’s culture and countries.
Every year these clubs have an annual get together to experience the culture of each other’s countries from a unique perspective.
The annual visit offers a unique opportunity to experience family life and the culture of the other three countries.
Over the years members have established firm friendships with Rotarians and their families and the yearly gathering is both fun and educational.
Chris added: “This year we were supposed to be visiting our friends in Germany, however due to COVID-19 we had to cancel, but hoping to reschedule for next year.”
The twinning project has not only benefited many causes, but also benefitted the members of these clubs.
Find out more about Rotary twinning programmes here.