In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 61

District 9980 Rotarians embarked on a very special trip to India in February, soaking up a rich cultural experience, and also the chance to check in on a new hospital build that holds deep significance to our area. “The end result was a joint grant, totalling more than $115,000, from Waimate Rotary, District 9980, the Rotary clubs of Vapi and Sarigam and the Rotary Foundation being put into this very valuable initiative that will provide free healthcare for the most vulnerable. SEEDS OF SUPPORT SOWN IN ALUMNI FRIENDSHIP Rotary Club of Waimate president Ailsa McKenzie, tour leader and past-district “With the funds raised, governor Ewan McKenzie we’ve been able to fully Artist’s impression of the new Sarigam Hospital. and secretary Pauline Dore equip the hospital’s were among a group of 12 District 9980ers from their laboratory and buy a state-of-the-art x-ray machine.” club, Timaru and Balclutha who made the journey, The New Zealand Rotarians found phase one of the together with one non-Rotarian. hospital’s ground floor, which was officially opened The trip highlight, says Pauline, was visiting the new recently, all but complete when they were given a Sarigam Hospital, which has been supported by the special tour by our Indian counterparts. Rotary Club of Waimate and District 9980 through the “It was very humbling to be officially welcomed by the Rotary Foundation’s global grant programme. Rotary Sarigam Hospital trustees and other Rotarians.” A Rotary Club of Sarigam initiative, the hospital will Further donations are needed, Pauline says, to fund provide free medical treatment to the poor within a the construction of the remaining floors and other 40km radius. facilities, including a planned nursing college. District 9980’s contribution is a classic example of “The hospital is still to have two more floors added, Rotary relationships and collaboration in action, says which give s other clubs a golden opportunity to get Pauline. The seeds of Kiwi Rotarians’ involvement together and use the power of Rotary to make a were sown six years ago when Waimate veterinarian difference. Ryan Luckman took part in a Group Study Exchange to “We owe a very big thank you to Ryan for being the India, forging a friendship with Dr Ashish Arekar, of the initiator and making this project happen,” she says. Sarigam Rotary Club. “On returning from the exchange, Ryan joined the Rotary Club of Waimate, and went on to serve as International director. He approached Ashish to see if we could help in some way with the Sarigam Hospital. “It demonstrates the many corridors of Rotary that can open to change lives in communities and develop lifelong friendships – it’s been a truly wonderful way for us to celebrate 100 years of the Rotary Foundation.” District 9980 Rotarians take in the sights during their trip to India. Page 61 61 Page