Tag Archives: Aireborough Rotary Club

Rotary partners with ShelterBox

Our last blog, Stamping down on Disease,  featured Aireborough Rotary’s support for the Aquabox programme. We have also supported a sister programme ShelterBox.     Brad Webber has written a blog for Rotary International  describing the work of ShelterBox and the volunteers who deliver  aid into disaster areas around the world. You might like to read Brad’s blog here Rotary partners with ShelterBox to help devastated communities. Meet the members on the front lines of disaster relief.




Giving Peace a Chance: peace promotion in action

Contrary to the impression we might gain from the media  the World is actually becoming safer and levels of lethal violence are diminishing.  This is according   to analysis from the Uppsala Conflict Data Project ( Uppsala University, Sweden)  recording a decrease in   “… individual incidents of armed conflict and organized violence (i.e. clashes, battles and attacks against civilians) globally for the period January 1989 to December 2015.” [see data at  Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution Uppsala University  ] Stephen Pinker also makes the same point in a Guardian article Guess what? more people are living in peace

Rotary International is pleased to see the decline and  has long worked hard to promote a more peaceful and harmonious World  through its education and community development programme. Some of the details  of our work  were covered in our previous Rotary and Peace the World over blog . This blog looks at the work of the prestigious  Rotary Peace Fellows programme as another arm of Rotary’s peace promotion work.


[ Peace Fellows Brazil 2015 Rotary International photo credit]

Peace promotion  not only in far away, war torn countries but much closer to home as this short video of Aruma’s Manchester (UK) based peace project  Practising peace shows. Aruma was a peace fellow attending  the Chulalong University in  Thailand. There are five other Rotary funded Peace Centres at  Duke (USA), International Christian (Japan), Queensland (Australia), Uppsala  (Sweden) and Bradford Universities.

“…Each year, up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows are chosen …  whose commitment to peace and conflict resolution is demonstrated through academic, volunteer, and professional experience, as well as outstanding leadership abilities and high academic achievement. Through academic training, study, and practice the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution in their communities and around the globe. Graduates of the program are reintegrating refugees in Sudan, creating jobs for disadvantaged women in India, and supporting reconstruction in devastated regions of the world.” [Rotary International  2016]


[Rotary Peace Fellow Caterina Becorpi 2016  Rotary International photo]

One of the great pleasures for Aireborough Rotarians is going to the inspirational annual presentation at Bradford University where Peace Fellows talk of their work and experiences. This short video by a former Bradford Peace Fellow   Dr Saeb Erekat, [ video Bradford University] who  is currently a member of the Palestinian parliament and is Chief Palestinian Negotiator gives a flavour of the experience.

In a world that is apparently becoming distrustful  of experts Rotary remains committed to a Peace Fellows programme that seeks conflict reduction or resolution  based on understanding that is gained through solid intellectual rigour and sound evidence based policy.  Anyone interested in the interlinked issues of peace and global  community development will find the video of  Prof David Hulme 22nd Bradford University Development lecture a most interesting  forty four minutes.



If you would like to join us, support us or sponsor us as we all work towards a more peaceful World  you would be most welcome.  For more information about the Club please find us on Facebook Aireborough Rotary Club

follow us on Twitter   Aireborough Rotary

Visit our website Rotary Club of Aireborough

or contact us via. secretaryaireboroughrotary@gmail.com

phone  +44 (0)7599 557410


Think global act local: “Rotary and Peace the World over”

” To Rotary and peace …” is the closing toast at Aireborough Rotary Club meetings and world peace is something the Rotary movement takes very seriously. Many Rotarians were present at the conferences that founded the United Nations at the end of the Second World War and Rotary was particularly involved in the creation of UNESCO  ( UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation). From those beginnings modern Rotary sees supporting education and international links as a key to promoting world peace

Away from these lofty international heights Aireborough Rotary’s  previous   Back to School to Back Schools post    explained how  we help local  schools  and their  young people prepare for the wider world. This blog we will focus on how Rotary helps older students, through scholarships and exchanges, to  deepen  their subject understanding and  social experiences with the express purposes of breaking down barriers and promoting peace. file-04-12-2016-10-51-08

Over the years Aireborough Rotary  has hosted many exchange students and scholars. Here are just a small, opportunity sample of some of their views. Firstly a couple of students who are with us this year.  ” I really appreciate the [scholarship] because I can experience local culture  and make my studies in England special” KN goes on to say how the Rotary network, especially with each club’s emphasis on its local community,  will give her the worldwide  support and  contacts to develop and extend her important  work in community focussed  public health in the future.

For MM ” the enriching impacts of being in a foreign country… [are] essential to understanding different cultures [and] seeing how the rest of the world lives is essential to being well rounded.” Being abroad has forced MM to develop his communication skills and thus become an asset to any future employer wherever that may be.

Secondly, as the Rotary founders hoped,  the benefits of an exchange last a lifetime. Take, for example,  BK’s   truly fascinating story  of being a 16 year old Slovakian student  on a year long student exchange in Mexico some eleven years ago.  Speaking no Spanish when she arrived and immersed into such a different climate and culture  within six months she was dreaming in Spanish. ” I really loved Mexico’s rich culture and their passion for life [and] dance. It is still my biggest life lesson so far. I learned to appreciate what I had at home … relationships, rights and values.” Clearly having learned  both language and cultural empathy skills so effectively  she is now able to practice as a drug and alcohol therapist in yet  a third,   multi cultural country. BK  was not an exchange student hosted by Aireborough.

Neither was  LK but  her  appreciation of the  opportunities that a Rotary Scholarship gave to improve her musical knowledge and cultural experience  remained so strong that she eventually  was able to fit  joining  Aireborough Rotary into the  busy life of a professional musician. During her time  at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta she was able to round out her musical education and also fly the flag for Rotary as an Ambassadorial scholar speaking to groups across the province. “Music is a truly international language and musicians perform the music of many cultures, developing and promoting greater understanding. Travel is very much involved in our vocation. The Rotary Scholarship has certainly helped me develop my career with a clear sense of purpose and rationale for what I do”

To  end this blog lets pick  up on the musical theme with a song  some students from Zagreb compiled  in celebration of the highs and lows of their  experience   Student Exchange Anthem. A rather more detailed explanation of the exchange programme is in this ten minute video, Rotary Youth Exchange promo

A later blog in this series will look at  Rotary’s Peace Scholars  programme and the very important work of the Peace Studies Centre based here at Bradford University.

If you would like more information on student exchanges and scholarships  or would like  to join us, support us or sponsor us in this work you would be most welcome.  For more information about the Club please find us on Facebook Aireborough Rotary Club

follow us on Twitter  Aireborough Rotary Aireborough Rotary

Visit our website Rotary Club of Aireborough

or contact us via. secretaryaireboroughrotary@gmail.com

phone 07599 557410


Purple Pinkies to Push Out Polio

Maybe you have already seen people wearing crocus badges around Aireborough. If not,don’t worry,  you should see about 5,000 purple crocuses blooming next Spring  after primary school children across Aireborough have been battling snow and rain to plant crocus corms to help raise money  and awareness of the End Polio Now campaign that Rotary International has been running since the 1980s.crocus_smallpurple-pinkie2

Purple, by the way, is the colour used to mark the pinkie fingers of the children who have been vaccinated  in the final push to eradicate polio completely. Polio, a sometimes fatal, and always  life changing disease  was once endemic in the World. In 1988,for example, there were 350.00 cases world wide and  now:

“There have been just 28 cases of polio across the world in 2016 to 2nd Nov, the lowest ever in a single year, meaning we are closer than ever to eradicating polio once and for all.” [Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland 2016]

We will bring more news and pictures of the success of the crocus bulb planting in the Spring  but in the meantime look out for the  Purple Crocus Badges and perhaps follow  some of the  links below for more information about this inspiring work.

Rotary’s Purple4Polio campaign   with Ade Adapitan Purple4Polio Ambassador.

UNICEF  have a five minute film You are there:on the road to making polio history ,narrated by Ewan McGregor, and a more detailed report on the international partnerships to eradicate polio UNICEF Eradicating polio

Finally if you are really keen there is a 50 minute Rotary International video prepared for    World Polio day Oct 2016

If you would like to join us, support us or sponsor us  in this campaign,or our other community work you would be most welcome.  For more information about the Club please find us on Facebook Aireborough Rotary Club

follow us on Twitter  Aireborough Rotary Aireborough Rotary

Visit our website Rotary Club of Aireborough

or contact us via. secretaryaireboroughrotary@gmail.com

phone 07599 557410



The Seeds of Change

Aireborough Rotary Club is happy to be a  partner of the Incredible Edible Leeds Trinity University  project.

The ambitious project has been going for some time and  has its roots in a movement that started in Todmodern. It aims to develop and promote a respect for food that hasn’t traveled miles but is  seasonal, locally grown and which brings health benefits both in the freshness of the food and the physical and mental rewards of being involved in its growing. Fresh locally grown  ‘free’ fruit and vegetables will also bring immediate benefits to the diets of cash strapped students.  As the project expands it is also hoped to work closely with other community groups and the Horsforth Farmers Market.

Rotary members will be adding their gardening  experience whilst the willing staff and student volunteers provide the muscle power. The Rotary movement is committed to local sustainability in all its projects,  both locally and world wide. One part of this is  our Young Chefs Award  and these recent Yorkshire  finalists are clearly hard at work with plenty of fresh local produce.


Readers of our earlier post  Back to School to Back Schools will have read  of the Club’s wide ranging support for all local primary and secondary schools. Moving on  a stage, Leeds Trinity University, a corporate member of the Club, is committed to providing a student focused, life changing experience   and the Club  is very happy to make our contribution to that by working on the Incredible Edible Leeds Trinity project and   truly helping to plant the seeds of change.

The Rotary Club  is always happy to welcome new members and supporters. For more information about the Club please like us on Facebook Aireborough Rotary Club

follow us on Twitter  Aireborough Rotary Aireborough Rotary

Visit our website Rotary Club of Aireborough

or contact us via. secretaryaireboroughrotary@gmail.com



Back to school to Back Schools

Rotarians have gone back to school as helpers listening to children read.World Book Day 1.16

Rotarian Robert  joined in the children’s  fun on World Book Day by getting into character as Blind Pew. He always enjoys listening to the children and says it is wonderful  to see the progress they make in a year and their enthusiasm for reading and school.

Peter is one of the Rotarians below who also really enjoys  listening to young readers in  schools.  Other Rotarians also serve on the governing boards of local schools.

The Rotary Club believes that youth are our future and works hard to support all the local primary and secondary schools. For the last nine years we have distributed Usborne dictionaries to  each year six pupil in 10 local primary schools

Dictionaries in  schools

Presenting Dictionaries


to help them make the transition from primary to secondary schools. Over the years we do wonder how far the dictionaries have traveled since the very first recipients will now be well established in adult  careers .

There’s also fun in what Rotary does with local schools.  Students from Green Bank School with their Rotarian friends always have a great day out on their annual trip to Lightwater  Valley. And all involved  enjoyed the fun of the hula hoop challenge when Rotary helped  at a school’s Scootathon day.


Then there is Rotary’s  the annual city wide technology tournament  where Aireborough schools usually do well and we always have keen competition for the Young Musician of the Year award.


Each year we  sponsor one or  two students  for the week long, life changing  Rotary Youth  Awards experience and always  collect two exhausted but happy youngsters at the end of their adventure.

RYLA students

Ready to go home after a fantastic RYLA week

The Rotary club is a charity so we have to raise money to finance our support for children and schools. Each year we have a popular Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday  in collaboration with Rodley Nature Reserve;  a sponsored walk in collaboration with Leeds Trinity University  and a family friendly fun Dog Show. At these events  we raise money for our own local charities ( often Martin House) but also encourage individual students and PTA s to join with us and help raise money for their causes.

Happy Egg hunter

A Happy Easter Egg Hunter


Striding Out at the start of the Sponsored Walk ready for the Picture Quiz

There is so much more to say about  our other work with local schools. Like   supporting   St Mary’s School Menston and their work with Mnyakanya High School (South Africa) as part of the Bambisanani Partnership  and our Purple Crocus campaign to help end polio across the World but we’ll save it for another day.

If you would like to support us, sponsor us or join us please contact secretaryaireboroughrotary@gmail.com.


Literacy in a Box

School in Box

Sept 8th is International Literacy Day.   Literacy Boxes like the one pictured above were supplied by  Rotary Clubs in the South West of England to  schools in Zambia. They  are just one of the many  literacy and education projects projects supported by the world wide Rotary organisation.Rotarians Support Literacy Day

Basic education and literacy are vital skills but Rotary is also committed to helping young people in developing communities to acquire the advanced skills they will need to get work in a globalised economy.  Below is a link to an exciting project to bring educational tablet computers to students in a remote Fijian island.Tablet computers for Fiji

Aireborough Rotary Club is playing its part in supporting literacy and education at home and abroad. One of our Club members has been running for several years the Chameleon education scheme in the remote Kwa Zulu Natal region of South Africa. We will have a separate post later about this project which is dedicated to supporting some really deprived children

We also have ambitious plans to support St Mary’s School Menston in their Bambisanani Partnership with Mnyakanya High School  and help build an IT suite for the  South African school.

All the projects that Rotary is involved in are in partnership with Rotary Clubs in the host community so that all donations go directly to the intended recipients.

But Aireborough Rotary  also works much closer to home supporting all the local primary and secondary schools. Our next blog will explain more about what we are doing and the satisfaction members get from working with schools.

If you have any comments on this blog or would like to sponsor our work, support our work or join Rotary please contact us  via secretaryaireboroughrotary@gmail.com


Literacy in Box blog URL