In May 2018 one of our members was on holiday in South Africa and was listening to one of the locals giving a talk about the battles that took place at Rorke’s Drift. It turned out that this worthy gentleman was a member of the local Rotary Club in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal and he mentioned that they were leading a project to provide a minibus to transport local outpatients to appointments in Pietermaritzburg or Madadeni hospitals (both many miles away).

The problem was that the people relied on public transport and not only did the buses leave very early in the morning (03.30am) but often they did not arrive in time and so the people were too often turned away and told to “come back next month.” Our Rotary club agreed to help fund the project and made a donation of £500. We have now heard that the project has been fully funded and that a Toyota 7 seater Avanza has been purchased and equipped and is now up and running with the help of four volunteer drivers. We didn’t know it at the time but it turns out that sister clubs as far away as America, Sweden and Herne Bay all helped to make this project happen as proved by the list of sponsoring clubs on the door of the vehicle. The local club has told us that the demand is already overwhelming with referrals for help – especially for the elderly – coming in from local doctors and church groups as well as individuals in the local community.

It is wonderful to think that a project such as this can be supported by the common bond that is Rotary the world over without any thought of prejudice or self-interest and Romney Marsh are proud to have been a part of it.

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