Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Update on NZ Rotary support for relief in Tonga & Samoa

Now the dust has settled
It’s not something you would wish on anyone, but I couldn’t have timed my official DG visit
to Tonga, Samoa & American Samoa better. I was able to see with my own eyes the
destruction and devastation that Mother Nature had done and the relief that Rotarians
from around the world have supplied to very grateful recipients.
We (Mike & I) took many photos as words would not be enough to describe what we saw.
I felt as if I was in a movie, as the scenes just didn’t seem real, cars in trees and houses,
villages just completely gone with nothing but debris to show for them. Children and
families with nothing but what people have donated. It really was an experience and I don’t
think I’ll ever take anything for granted ever again.
While we visited the Tsunami hit areas of Samoa and American Samoa, we got to meet
some of the families that Rotary had helped. It was wonderful to see how our Emergency
Response kits, shelter boxes and aqua boxes were supporting so many in these villages.
The look on their faces told you how appreciative they were and when you see a family
that are sleeping on the ground with not much shelter, smile and say thank you, you really
are taken back.
It was wonderful to go and purchase school supplies and toys for those that had lost
everything. The kids were beside themselves when given the simplest thing such as
balloons. It gave them a short break from what they have experienced with this disaster
and they got to be kids once again.
There is certainly much need still required with homes and schools needing to be built.
They are now in the clean up phase and rebuilding what is gone.
In Samoa I attended the Rotary Club of Apia’s scholarship programme which, this year,
included 17 from the Tsunami hit area. Other than the students receiving these school
scholarships, it was the first time they had ventured near water. They have literally been
too scared to go anywhere near water, but made the effort to come to this event and to
show they are moving on with their lives.
Now that I am back in NZ, I have a different opinion on life and how people, especially
Rotarians, can make a difference in the world. I am certainly proud to be a Rotarian and
especially the DG of this amazing District.
To all of these that have helped and are still helping, I thank you from the bottom of my
heart.
I have already mentioned so many in my previous correspondence, but since writing this
we have had some additional help that needs to be highlighted.
• From the Tahiti clubs in our District, they have successfully ranged $39,000 for
the appeal.
• District D9640 Queensland. A Rotarian has offered to help rebuild a school to the
value of $30,000. They will build it in Australia, ship it to Samoa and assemble it
with local people.
• District NZ291 Inner wheel have donated funds to put 6 children through the RC
Apia school scholarship programme.
(
Now the dust has settled
It’s not something you would wish on anyone, but I couldn’t have timed my official DG visit
to Tonga, Samoa & American Samoa better. I was able to see with my own eyes the
destruction and devastation that Mother Nature had done and the relief that Rotarians
from around the world have supplied to very grateful recipients.
We (Mike & I) took many photos as words would not be enough to describe what we saw.
I felt as if I was in a movie, as the scenes just didn’t seem real, cars in trees and houses,
villages just completely gone with nothing but debris to show for them. Children and
families with nothing but what people have donated. It really was an experience and I don’t
think I’ll ever take anything for granted ever again.
While we visited the Tsunami hit areas of Samoa and American Samoa, we got to meet
some of the families that Rotary had helped. It was wonderful to see how our Emergency
Response kits, shelter boxes and aqua boxes were supporting so many in these villages.
The look on their faces told you how appreciative they were and when you see a family
that are sleeping on the ground with not much shelter, smile and say thank you, you really
are taken back.
It was wonderful to go and purchase school supplies and toys for those that had lost
everything. The kids were beside themselves when given the simplest thing such as
balloons. It gave them a short break from what they have experienced with this disaster
and they got to be kids once again.
There is certainly much need still required with homes and schools needing to be built.
They are now in the clean up phase and rebuilding what is gone.
In Samoa I attended the Rotary Club of Apia’s scholarship programme which, this year,
included 17 from the Tsunami hit area. Other than the students receiving these school
scholarships, it was the first time they had ventured near water. They have literally been
too scared to go anywhere near water, but made the effort to come to this event and to
show they are moving on with their lives.
Now that I am back in NZ, I have a different opinion on life and how people, especially
Rotarians, can make a difference in the world. I am certainly proud to be a Rotarian and
especially the DG of this amazing District.
To all of these that have helped and are still helping, I thank you from the bottom of my
heart.
I have already mentioned so many in my previous correspondence, but since writing this
we have had some additional help that needs to be highlighted.
• From the Tahiti clubs in our District, they have successfully ranged $39,000 for
the appeal.
• District D9640 Queensland. A Rotarian has offered to help rebuild a school to the
value of $30,000. They will build it in Australia, ship it to Samoa and assemble it
with local people.
• District NZ291 Inner wheel have donated funds to put 6 children through the RC
Apia school scholarship programme.
(

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