Celebrating 100 years of doing good across the world

“We should not live for ourselves alone, but for the joy of doing good to others.” ~ Arch Klumph, founder of the Rotary Foundation.

In 1917, Arch Klumph initiated the Rotary Foundation at the Rotary Convention hosted in Atlanta, in the Unites States of America; the first contribution was US$26.50. Now, 100 years later, the Foundation is embarking on a #2650 campaign encouraging all Rotarians to make a contribution to the Rand value of US$26.50. To date the Foundation has spent more than $3.7 billion (about R13.6 billion) on education, clean water, peace initiatives and the eradication of polio. The Foundation has recently been recognised as the ‘2016 Outstanding Foundation’ by the Association of Fundraising Professionals* for helping to eliminate 99.9% of the polio virus and for training more than 1000 peace fellows who serve in various public and private capacities across the globe.

To celebrate its centenary, the Foundation is raising $300 million to jumpstart its next century and Rotarians around the world are stepping up to the plate. Rotary District 9350, which includes the Western Cape, Namibia and Angola contributes approximately R1 million to the fund annually and are aiming to donate at least that amount again this financial year.

Ian Pursch, District Governor for District 9350, encourages all Rotarians to participate. “The first contribution to the Foundation was $26.50 back in 1917. Today, we are encouraging Rotary clubs and individuals to make a contribution in line with the 2650 number. The money raised is invested back in the communities within which we live. As Rotarians, we pride ourselves in the transparency of how the funds get managed,”.

The Rotary Club of Claremont have already heeded the call by contributing US$26 500. Ian Robertson, President of the Rotary Club of Claremont, explains: “For every amount contributed to the Foundation, our investment is multiplied by contributions to our projects from overseas. In other words, besides knowing that our contribution allows the Foundation to do its extraordinary work, we will also receive back more than we invested so that we continue building our community initiatives further.”

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/.


Uncle Willy’s 48th Christmas Party

CAPTION: Paul de Groot, otherwise known as Uncle Willy or the Cape Town Cycle Tour’s “hoopla” man, is gearing up for his 48th year of hosting children’s Christmas Parties in Cape Town. Uncle Willy is pictured above with Noddy in front of the castle.

It’s a busy time of year for 73-year-old Paul de Groot who is preparing tractors, amongst other things, in preparation for his 48th year as host of the Uncle Willy’s Christmas Parties. The parties, an institution for many Cape Town children, take place in the grounds of Marsh Memorial Children’s Home in Rondebosch, over about 20 evenings in December, and are organised by Claremont Rotary. One hundred and twenty children (and their families) attend the action-packed event per night, which culminates in Father Christmas arriving on a sleigh piled high with Christmas presents for everyone. De Groot is the original Uncle Willy, the friendly host who, in his cowboy hat, holds the three hour show together by introducing Noddy, Big Ears and the Christmas Fairy, not to mention the magicians and musicians. He also makes sure that tractor rides work according to plan and that the legendary straw fight doesn’t get out of hand.

“We follow the same story every year and the children love it,” he says. He recounts how, at one point, Father Christmas gets upset because the Christmas Fairy is late. When she arrives, she lights up the trees and brings sweets for everyone. “I admire the parents that come with their children every year, for six to nine years in a row,” he jokes.

The parties are not meant to make money, but rather to provide holiday fun for children and their parents. They are run entirely by volunteers, mainly from Rotaract (Rotary’s service club for 18 to 30-year-olds). Parents bring one gift for each of their children, while the children themselves bring something of theirs to give to an underprivileged child who wouldn’t normally receive a Christmas present. This teaches children the gift of giving from a young age. All profits and donations received are spent on Rotaract’s service projects.

De Groot initiated Uncle Willy’s Christmas Parties when he himself was a Rotaract member, aged 25, after he had helped out at the original Uncle Paul`s parties in Constantia for a few years. “There’s no time for boredom. It’s fun,” he says. The retired advertising executive, whose hobbies include breathing new life into vintage cars and motorbikes, is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Claremont. From the beginning, and later as a trustee, he played a key role in the phenomenal growth of the Cape Town Cycle Tour which the Club co-owns with the Pedal Power Association as equal partners of the CTCTT (Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust). “In 1983, it was suggested that Rotarians volunteer to marshal and handle logistics for the Cycle Tour; we haven’t looked back since. There were only about 1 500 cyclists participating when he first saw it. It was and still is a fantastic way for us to raise funds for various Rotary projects,” he says. Already familiar with hosting Uncle Willy’s Christmas Party, it was no surprise that de Groot was handed the responsibility of being the starter at the cycle tour, something he has done every year for 33 years. “I came up with Hoopla thing and now if I don’t do it, then I’m in trouble,” he laughs.

Wary of the spotlight, De Groot is shy to discuss recognition he has received for his loyal contribution to Rotary’s projects in Cape Town and beyond. In addition to his involvement in the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Uncle Willy’s Christmas Party, de Groot is also a Founding Director of the Reach for a Dream Foundation, and is on the Board of Marsh Memorial Children’s Home. Rotary’s World President awarded de Groot the World Community Service Award in honour of his loyal contribution to Rotary’s projects. “I’m not a sports person. I don’t play cricket or rugby, so this is my sport,” says de Groot. He hints that he is not done yet and is already planning another big event for one of Rotary’s beneficiaries. “It’s still under wraps for now,” he says with a big smile.

Find out more on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UncleWillysChristmas/

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/.

Zip Zap Circus School recognised for stellar community work

[CAPTION] Founders of Zip Zap Circus School, Brent van Rensburg and Laurence Estève, were awarded the highest Rotarian honour for the work that they do in the Cape Town community: the Paul Harris Fellow award. The Rotary Club of Claremont presented the award to the Zip Zap founders on Tuesday, 29 November 2016, in recognition of the number of underprivileged children and youth that have benefited from the circus school programmes over the years. From left to right: Brent van Rensburg, Laurence Estève and Ian Robertson. 

“Zip Zap is daring children who do not have much to dream,” says Ian Robertson, president of the Rotary Club of Claremont. “When we see how many young people have taken hold of those dreams and turned them into a reality with Zip Zap’s help over almost 25 years, awarding the founders with the Paul Harris award was an easy decision.”

Estève and van Rensburg were humbled by the award, “Zip Zap was born out of a love for circus and a passion for young people,” says Estève. “To be recognised for following our passion is such an honour. I love my job!” she concludes.

For more information about Zip Zap or to find out how you can support them, visit www.zip-zap.co.za

Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za

Introducing our new research tool: the Sustainability Check

There is a growing awareness in the business community about responsible care and corporate environmental performance. “Green consumerism” as a market force along with the expansion of the Green Economy provides a strong incentive for organisations to determine and improve their reputation by having a commitment to Environmental Sustainability. Reputation Matters have developed a tool for organisations to take the next step towards a better reputation.

“We are proud to present our latest research tool, our Sustainability Check,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters.  “The check has been modelled on the success of our Repudometer® and serves to provide clear insight into stakeholders’ perceptions of their corporate environmental and sustainability commitments,” adds le Roux.

Is your organisation’s core focus to be environmentally sustainable or do you just want to minimise your environmental footprint? “The Sustainability Check will provide businesses with tailored reputation management support to consolidate their organisation’s efforts in becoming environmentally responsible,” says Chris Bischoff, Research Analyst and environmental specialist who has recently joined the Reputation Matters team.

Bischoff explains how it works, “We use the same methodology as our Repudometer® to assess the five core elements of an organisation, namely Corporate Management, Corporate Capital, Corporate Positioning, Corporate Performance and Corporate Dialogue. This allows us to get a holistic view of a business’ stakeholder groups perception on their commitment to environmental sustainability.”

“It is a cost effective assessment that is designed for quick turnaround results. You can expect to be armoured with valuable information following the assessment which will inform your next decisions that will take your reputation to the next level,” concludes Bischoff.

To find out more about Reputation Matters and the reputation measurement and management solutions that they offer, visit www.reputationmatters.co.za or call: 011 3173861 (Jhb) or 021 790 0208 (Cpt).

Morgenson Primary School wins R30 000 in Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages Recycle Race

Learners at Morgenson Primary School were thrilled to find out on Monday, 28 November 2016 that they had won the 2016 Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages Recycle Race, earning themselves R30 000 cash for the school. Vice-principal Ms. Smith accepted the winner’s trophy from Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager for Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, during a school assembly.

“Our school has learnt in a practical way about keeping our suburbs clean and seen value in recycling items which we would normally throw away. We have had wonderful support from parents and local members of the community who have helped our learners to collect as much as possible for the school,” said Ms Smith.

In second place was Cascade Primary, winning R20 000 and in third place was Arcadia Primary School, winning R10 000. In total 7 648 learners at the participating schools collected 9 492 kilogrammes of recyclables (equivalent to 1.24 kilogrammes per learner). Morgenson Primary School competed against seven other participating schools in Cape Town to recycle the most plastic, glass, cans and paper per learner during the competition which began on 01 August 2016 and ended on 31 October 2016. All recyclable items were collected and weighed by recycling partner WasteWant, who will reimburse all the participating schools for the recyclable waste that they collected.

[Photo credit: Craig Wilson]

Reduce waste this festive season

The holidays are almost upon us and the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) encourages South Africans to do their bit and minimise waste items generated, to ultimately lessen the burden on the environment.

“The festive season is symbolic with delicious food and goods. In the spirit of this unifying time of year, we encourage all citizens to be mindful of waste items generated,” says Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA.

Palm shares that southern Africa is running out of landfill airspace and it is up to all of us to conserve our natural resources.

“It is critical that conscious consumerism becomes a habit. If you are going on holiday, find out beforehand where the nearest recycling depot is or whether your guesthouse recycles,” mentions Palm.

Here are some tips to create less waste, all year round:

Separate your waste

It is very easy to set up your own waste separation system at home. Use two different bins, one for wet waste and the other for recyclable materials. “The wet waste should contain kitchen and food waste, which can easily be home composted. During the festive period, consumers tend to use more bottles and cans which are ideal for recycling. These items should, however, be empty since it won’t be recycled if it contains liquids,” shares Palm.

Be a conscious consumer

Be mindful of what you buy at the supermarkets and opt for recyclable packaging. “Spending habits often change over the holiday season. Stick to your grocery list and if there is leftover food, donate it to the less fortunate or place it in your home composting heap. Holiday waste also has significant amounts of packaging, which should be recycled,” urges Palm.

Smart gift-wrapping and decorations

Buy eco-friendly gift wrapping paper or do-it-yourself with old newspapers, cardboard boxes or old linen. “There are many tutorials on the internet these days for beautiful decorations and gift wrapping ideas that won’t break the bank,” mentions Palm.

Report illegal activities

“Unfortunately, there will always be those who do not look after our environment. Report illegal dumping at 0800 205 005,” says Palm.

Do your bit and clean up!

There are various beach clean-ups on the coastline. If you are going for a beach holiday, do your bit and join in.

“We encourage all South Africans to start being conscious consumers every day of the year. Start recycling and reducing your waste at home,” concludes Palm.

To find your nearest recycler, visit www.mywaste.co.za. To find a waste management supplier, visit www.allwastesolutions.co.za.

For more information on the IWMSA, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. The IWMSA is also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa). For more information on recycling and recovery, visit the National Recycling Forum’s website at www.recycling.co.za.