The Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarshipis an undergraduate and postgraduate one year study-abroad and cultural-sharing abroad award. I will be visiting Rotary Clubs in the region and identifying matching grant projects. If you belong to Rotary and are interested in matching grants or other Rotary projects send me an email: grahamsowa *at* gmail *dot* com
I will be updating this page with a running list of Rotary Clubs I have visited and potential international-partnership projects.
The Gaborone Rotary Club was founded in 1972, has 44 members, and meets Friday at 12:30 at the Gaborone Sun Hotel. The meeting started with a clanking of wine glasses as we toasted the President of Botswana His Excellency Lieutenant General Sir Seretse Khama Ian Khama. It was somewhat an ironic toast, as this was the same day that His Excellency had declared a 70% tax on all alcohol to curb consumption. But toast we did, and then proceeded on to the business of the day. The two ongoing club projects are blankets and wheelchairs. The club has also had group study exchange in the past, but I believe Rafa and I are the first Ambassadorial Scholars of recent memory. Other agenda items were: membership month and recruitment, next wheelchair project, committee meetings, and a raffle. The club is international with China, India, Argentina, Australia, Germany, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, the United States, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and of course Botswana all represented. It seemed like everyone was from somewhere else. Of course the Brits, Scots, and Irish exchanged works throughout the meeting, and there was much talk at my table of the crisis in Zim (short for Zimbabwe).
The Gaborone-Tirelo Rotary Club meets on Monday for dinner at the Grand Palm Hotel Casino Convention Center. The website does not do it any justice what-so-ever. The club is around 20 members and was founded in 1990 which makes it young by Rotary standards. Past projects include wheelchairs for Mahalapye, sponsoring debate tournaments, building a day-care center for kids who don’t have a guardian at home, feeding program, christmas gifts for poor kids, and blanket distributions. Rafa and I hope to include both of the clubs in the same Rotary Foundation Matching Grant.