Rotarians hear news of overseas projects

FIVE local girls have returned from projects in Malawi and India to brief their leading sponsors, the Rotary Club of Senlac , on their achievements.

They each gave fascinating and moving accounts of their life-changing experiences at a recent Rotary Club meeting.

Victoria Robinson, a member of the 1st Bexhill Guides, told Rotary members about the strenuous selection procedure for the Malawi project

before she became the only guide or leader from London and the South East among just 16 finally chosen to go.

It had involved interviews, team building exercises and even food-tasting tests.

On arrival in Africa, Victoria and her companions had been greeted by local children who sang theMalawi National Anthem and then eagerly showed their visitors a new village waterhole.

During her stay, Victoria took part in a book bus project - reading stories and teaching English and crafts skills to the youngsters.

Having expected just five in her group, she was amazed to find that word had got round so that no fewer than 40 turned up.

Victoria said that, having experienced life in Malawi and seen the poverty many there have to live in, she was “very keen to return to Africa” to do and learn more.

Meanwhile, Beulah Baptist Church youth leader Emma Edwards and three young church members - Jessica Young, Sara Meredith and Rebekah Feakins - had visited Kolcata (Calcutta) in India.

They quickly got involved in the local Freeset project, helping to get girls off the streets by joining a co-operative making jute bags and printing T shirts.

The group then moved on to the city’s Mahima House project, which was set up to help rescue local girls from sex traffickers.

The Bexhill visitors’ final project was the Good News Children’s Education Mission where they sang and told stories to children attending a mobile school, and helped staff in the baby unit.

Following their presentations to the Rotarians, which featured both words and pictures, the girls were warmly thanked for their efforts by Senlac’s president, Bob Wren, who also wished them well for any future projects they might undertake.