RYE programme benefits Fiji residents While clubs form partnerships to help drought-hit farmers in New South Wales, the Rotarians are also active in overseases projects like offering relief to Fiji people affected by hurricane.

From L-R: Rob Uhl - District Youth Exchange Program (YEP) Chair, Huang Cheng Yu (Sylvia) - Exchange student from Taiwan, Jacquie Cousley - Rotary Nowra Youth Director and Karen Trigg - YEP Committee and Bomaderry Rotarian.
From L-R: Rob Uhl, District Youth Exchange Programme (YEP) Chair, Huang Cheng Yu (Sylvia), Exchange student from Taiwan, Jacquie Cousley, Rotary Nowra Youth Director and Karen Trigg, YEP Committee and Bomaderry Rotarian.

Rotary clubs all around Australia have joined forces and partnered with Channel 9 and the National Farmers’ Federation to raise $10 million to assist the NSW farmers through the current horrific drought crisis.

Notwithstanding this, Rotary is still maintaining its other local and international humanitarian service work and youth programmes.

This was demonstrated at a recent Rotary Nowra (New South Wales, D 9710) dinner meeting when two guest speakers spoke about their respective Rotary experiences.

Rob Uhl, the Rotary District Youth Exchange chairperson, spoke about her recent Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) project in Fiji.

Rob and a number of Rotarians and volunteers have just returned from the ongoing Rotary maintenance project at the Koriopita model village on the island of Viti Levu, about eight kilometres from Lautoka.

Lautoka Rotarian Peter Drysdale, originally from Australia, has lived in Fiji for 25 years and initiated the building of the village around 10 years ago.

There was a need to replace shanties with basic cyclone-proof housing.

These had been destroyed as well as lives lost each time a cyclone or hurricane passed over the island.

He also initiated a sustainable lifestyle programme for these poor people that were the targets of unscrupulous landlords at that time.

The latest RAWCS mission was for maintenance work on these houses and Rob, with the aid of a slide show, humorously explained the improvised techniques she used to paint the window shutters on each of the houses in the village.

Following on from Rob’s talk, Huang Cheng Yu, this year’s Rotary Club of Bomaderry’s inbound exchange student from Taiwan introduced herself to Nowra Rotarians.

First she said that the Australian name that she has chosen while on exchange is Sylvia, a practice that many international students, with hard to pronounce names, adopt.

Silvia spoke about her family and home town Nantou and her musical interests of singing, playing the piano, saxophone and guitar.

Sylvia then explained the Chinese symbols in her language and with mixed success taught her audience how to pronounce them.

Sylvia took off her maroon exchange jacket adorned with international badges from other exchange students to reveal the beautiful modern Taiwanese dress she was wearing.

Then Sylvia confidently sang a beautiful song in English (a cappella) that captivated her audience.

Source: South Coast Register 

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