Rotary appoints female president

2016-08-03 06:00
Photo: tania sandberg At the dinner (front) Camy-Lee  Jerome, Nad Naidoo and (back)  Neil McDonald and Rhona Chetty.

Photo: tania sandberg At the dinner (front) Camy-Lee Jerome, Nad Naidoo and (back) Neil McDonald and Rhona Chetty.

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BUSINESS and professional leaders, united in providing humanitarian service with high ethical standards in all vocations, goodwill and peace, gathered at the Rotary Club of Amanzimtoti induction dinner on Friday, 29 July at the country club.

These are principles that define Rotary and members are encouraged to manifest the qualities of heart and head to impart the message of Rotary through a four-way test in their lives.

Although a small club, the Rotary Club of Amanzimtoti had many achievements to reflect on in the past year as highlighted by outgoing president, Jay Ramsunder.

The greatest investment in the past year has been in the youth and in particular early childhood development (ECD).

Rotary takes cognisance that the first 1 000 days of a child’s life are the most crucial in holistic development and early childhood development programmes foster competence to deal with life.

The club has invested in the education of ECD facilitators, upskilling to a minimum level of NQF level 5 qualifications. The pilot programme started at Mother of Peace, Illovo.

Committed to investing in the youth, our future bloodline, the club has been involved in the Team Talk Competition at high-school level that encourages public speaking and provides the youth with a platform to express and engage in discussions that have an impact on society.

The entrepreneurship and skills development programme trained three youth and unemployed ladies to start their own business in beauty and self-care.

The club’s participation in breast cancer awareness through the “pink trees project” could not go unnoticed as many onlookers and drivers noticed many trees draped in pink fabric. This has generated income for Khanya Hospice.

The tremendous work done with WESSA on environmental awareness and education to support better learning and sustainable development through the schools programme was headed by the late Chris Skinner, who died in June. Skinner was past district governor and was due to be inducted as the club’s 2016-2017 president.

The reins were passed to president Aneska du Pont who steps into this familiar role. Du Pont was the club’s first female member many years ago and the first female president.

This year, as the club celebrates its 51st anniversary, she exclaimed that “the pin we wear must be worn with pride. It must send a message that we are serving humanity.”

Du Pont launched the “peace project”, aimed at Grade 10 to Grade 12 pupils who will enter a competition with the aim of being a peace ambassador and will become part of an exchange programme.

She outlined the extended work in the youth category, which includes rolling out ECD projects in at least three additional centres, a bakery project to enhance skills development, sustainability programmes, environmental education through WESSA and support for the new 34-bed hospital at Khanya Hospice.

Three new members were inducted and are excited to join this vibrant and enthusiastic club - Neil McDonald, CEO from Khanya Hospice, Rhona Chetty, social worker and employee assistance practitioner at the Department of Health and Camy-Lee Jerome.
Jerome contributed to the club’s history by being the youngest inducted member at 21. She is trained in medical missionary work and employed at Meals on Wheels in the caregivers division.

“This is an exciting year to be part of Rotary International. This is the year that sees the world’s last case of polio. It is an exciting time to live in South Africa too. Let us not focus on the gloom, but on the positives about our country - the landscape, oceans, people and the that we can contribute to,” said assistant governor, Gavin Jepson in his toast to the country and Rotary International. - Supplied.

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