Vanessa Champion, the recently appointed president of Rotary uMhlanga, shares her thoughts about her year head.
Story: Lee Currie
For those who don’t know, Rotary International is a global network of 1.4-million neighbours, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe – in our communities and ourselves.
Back in uMhlanga, property manager Vanessa Champion was recently elected as the uMhlanga club’s fiftieth president. “I am extremely proud particularly as I am the eighth woman president in 50 years and Rotary International have elected their first woman president, Jennifer Jones,” she smiles.
“We are involved with sourcing projects to assist the community. All projects need to be sustainable so we can walk away knowing that the community are able to continue with the tools we have given them,” explains Vanessa.
The club’s motto for 2022 is Imagine! – and they have done pretty well so far. Despite the pandemic, the looting and the devastating floods, during the past Rotary year (which runs from July to June) they were able to complete more than 50 projects. These included installing fans in all the classrooms at Natest Primary School in Mount Edgecombe, granting bursaries to the amount of R60 000 to local schools, distributing food parcels, shoes to schoolchildren, and mattresses to creches and many more.
What’s next? My vision for my year of presidency is to have community vegetable gardens planted in the creches and schools we support. Early education is so important and to be able to concentrate, little minds need nutrition. The vegetables can be used at the creches and the schools to add nutrition to the government meals, and the children can also take home vegetables to add to the family pot.
“We would also like to get our more affluent interact clubs involved with planting vegetables at their schools where we can collect from them and deliver to communities in need. Imagine what Rotary uMhlanga could do with just a little help from the surrounding community?” asks Vanessa.
FOR MORE INFO:
Those interested in joining Rotary or supporting the club may contact Vanessa on 072 744 3140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or @Rotaryumhlanga.