The two years lost to the Covid-19 pandemic did not stop the Rotary Club of Gaborone from assisting the needy members of society.

President of the Rotary Club Gaborone (RCG) Laura Growns says the club was able to donate food parcels to many needy organisations in 2020 and 2021.

“We have also donated 1800 warm blankets and 106 wheelchairs throughout Botswana since 2020. We are also repairing old wheelchairs which we then re-donate.”

Some of the community projects that the cub was involved in include the construction of an operating theatre, a classroom for a school for the handicapped and a daycare centre, as well as a donation of medical equipment to a maternity ward, minibuses and vehicles to various charities, including an ambulance.

Speaking during the club’s 50th anniversary Growns said the club looks forward to more enriching community development projects this year.

Growns said the celebration was an opportunity for the club to create meaningful partnership opportunities between Rotary and the Private and Public sectors.

Their annual projects include Health Camps, wheelchair and blanket donations and Carols By Candlelight. Projects are funded either through donations from International Rotary clubs, Rotary Global Grants or partnership donations from Corporates in Botswana.

RCG supports the youth through international exchange programmes, education grants and mentorship.

For more than 30 years, Rotary International has been the driving force in the effort to end polio worldwide. Growns revealed that alongside its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the club has achieved a 99.9 per cent reduction in polio cases, with less than 150 cases of wild polio reported in 2020 compared with 350,000 a year in the late 1980s.

“Our members have contributed $2.4 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than three billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Today, two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

RCG was chartered on the 16th of January 1972. The club currently has 47 members drawn from a diverse and inclusive membership. Excellent progress has been made in this regard, with almost half the members being Batswana and the rest women.