Club Meeting December 4 2019 Edna Adan Hospital


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Stand-in Chairperson was the super delightful Tony G who very quickly with the Sergeant pulled the meeting together after we were armed with beautiful coffee given to us by Tony and Sossi. He invited Zilla to give the Invocation and Ian, the Loyal, Royal Toast. We had many visitors who Tony welcomed being our Guest Speaker Annette Pepper and fellow Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Richmond, Melinda Dunkley, Sue Bolton and Jo Cowling. Grant took us to Martinique, an island country in the West Indies which is part of the Lesser Antilles group. West Indies is made up of Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Lucayan Archipelago (Bahamas Archipelago). The Lesser Antilles is the island chain north of Venezuela and sits on the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate where it meets the South American Plate. Many of the islands were formed by accretions from the subduction zone except for Martinique which is a volcanic island. These islands are divided into 3 groups; The Leeward Islands in the north, The Leeward Antilles in the West and Windward Islands in the south. Windward Islands refer to the Southern islands of the Lesser Antilles Chain and extends from Dominica to Trinidad and Tobago. Martinique is the second most Northerly Island and is an overseas region of France. Its culture reflects a distinctive blend of French and West Indian influences. Its largest town Fort-de-France is the capital with a population of 353,000 and an area of 1,128km2. Christopher Columbus landed there on 15/6/1502. During the reign of Louis Xlll French colonists founded the colony of Saint Pierre. During the French revolution in 1794 Britain invaded and held the island for the French monarchy. Control of the Island shifted between France and Britain inti 1815 when it was traded back to France at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.  The island was inflicted by many natural disasters. 1776 a hurricane sunk 100 French and Dutch ships, killing 600 people. Another hurricane in 1780 off Barbados produced a storm-surge of 8 metres that inundated St-Pierre, destroying all houses and killing 9,000 people. In 1815 yet another hurricane killed 3,000 people. On 24/04/1902 Mont Pelé Volcano began erupting and on 08/05/1902 major eruption destroyed the city of St-Pierre and in 2 minutes caused the island to be flattened with over 29,000 causalities. The capital moved to Fort-de-France and the Mont Pelé eruptions continued on 20/05/1902 and 250 persons lost their lives on the 16/09/1905.  Saint Pierre was founded in 1635 and was the Capital of Martinique until 1902. And was situated 21km NW of Fort-de-France. Grant asked us to be up-standing to toast President Marie-Claire Parsemain and the members of the Rotary Club of Saint-Pierre, Overseas Department of France. The club has 24 members and was chartered 9th May 1970. It is in District 7030 and meets at the Karibea Squash Hotel (Fort-de-France). The main areas of focus for the club are Health, Education and Recognition of Historical Events. Thank you once again Grant. You have excelled in bring us interesting facts of an international club and the country to which it belongs. After we had helped ourselves to a brilliant breakfast, Kevin gave us an overview of the Bentleigh Market Strategy. There are 5 key objectives which are to increase the value of funds available for distribution as a result of market revenue; To provide a platform to showcase Rotary; To ensure our market remains dynamic, relevant and compliant; To enhance the engagement and participation of all stakeholders and the larger community; To develop and maintain a positive, satisfying and welcoming culture. The question Kevin asked of us is, “Who is going to lead” and asked for volunteers to be involved in the process and be the leader for these objectives. Kevin also asked for feed-back and hopefully wanted it by Friday 6th December. The interesting comment made was that there are more of the club involved and therefore better the outcome. Pres. Geoff. He asked for a brief board meeting after our main meeting and praised Jo and her team of helpers for the MS stall held at the market on Sunday. There will be another one on February 2nd so we have been asked to save more of our unwanted items to sell on that day. 15th December will be our club’s Christmas lunch. It will be at Ron and Marilyn’s home and we need to let them know how many of us will be there for catering purposes. It is BYO meat. Pres Geoff also wished the birthday people, Grant, Stuart (Julie’s Husband) Martin and Sue. We also signed a Christmas card for Jade in Brazil. Our Guest Speaker was Annette Pepper who is a member of Richmond Rotary Club and has been very much involved with the Edna Adan University Hospital in Hargeisa Somaliland. She is a registered nurse, former midwife and has worked in a variety of settings including Saudi Arabia, Cambodia and Brunei and is qualified to teach English. She had observed Clinical nurses in Delivery suite, postnatal and NICU. She has provided volunteer health and training support to nurses at the Edna Adan Hospital in Somaliland and was involved in English class at the university group-work and teaching. While doing that she identified sponsoring opportunities for the Richmond rotary Club as an ongoing project.   So who is Edna? Edna Adan trained as a midwife in the UK. She was the former First Lady of Somalia and Foreign Minister and worked for the UN. When she retired at the age of 60(now 83) she set up a hospital. She was a campaigner for abolition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She is often described as the African Mother Teresa. The Edna Adan Foundation first became a registered charity in 2016. Edna presented at the peace Conference and the District Conference in Melbourne this year 2019. Those members of our club who attended were very impressed. This is clearly a worthy project as it gives women an education, employment and a sense of purpose. Positive outcomes from training midwives to go to rural villages enabling early intervention and thereby reducing the risk of obstetric fistula which is an enormous problem in Africa. This is not a temporary measure and does not create dependency. 50,00 people died in the civil war in Somalia and children of ages between 1 and 11 years die in infancy.  60% of the population is nomadic. Many men chew Khat which is a plant whose leaves and stem tips which have a stimulating effect. The excessive use can produce problems of social, health and economic problems. The hospital has as its primary mission to provide better health care and has diagnosis laboratory facilities and an emergency blood bank. Annette on her return to Melbourne visited DKI (Donations in Kind) where she could identify important needs for the hospital. DKI offers equipment on a first-in-first serve basis and one of the pieces of equipment she found there were baby warmers, of which the hospital had none.  DIK has experience of shipping containers to Somaliland. It costs AUS$7,000. Annette says that they will have enough equipment for a container just for the Edna Adan Hospital. The presentation was most informative and thanks to Greg O’Shea for putting the overhead together so we could visualize what Annette was talking about so graphically. The country is under the radar and has no embassies so not many people go there. Annette told us they travelled with an armed guard and she obeyed all the safety requirements. She also wore the head scarf so she was warmly accepted. Thank you Annette, Jo, Sue and Melinda for coming so early to inform us of this most important project. This reminded us once again how lucky we are to live in our splendid country Australia. Sergeant Tim bedecked in a droopy stag-horn Santa hat decided to fine us for all sorts of puzzling demeanors.  Tim has the most amazing collection of hats for all occasions. The Bulletin Reporter Zilla, would like to thank Margaret for doing the Bulletin Report so well during her second debilitating illness and Glenda for driving her to the meeting due to the fact that driving was not an option. Pres Geoff closed the meeting reminding us that ROTARY CONNECT THE WORLD

Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)

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