Dream of change leads to In­dia

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Kaylee Martin

TRAV­EL­LING to a for­eign coun­try to em­bark on a road trip with two strangers might seem crazy, but it was a first step to ig­nit­ing global change for one Kens­ing­ton lo­cal.

As a mem­ber of the phil­an­thropic South Perth Ro­taract Club, Sa­man­tha Few­ster has al­ways dreamt of chang­ing the world.

When the op­por­tu­nity arose for her to travel to In­dia with its lo­cal Ro­taract group, Ms Few­ster said she booked as soon as she could.

“In­dia was not on my list of coun­tries to visit, but the op­por­tu­nity to go on the trip wasn’t some­thing I could pass up,” she told Southern Gazette.

“I was asked count­less times in the lead up ‘why In­dia?’ and my an­swer was al­ways ‘to meet the peo­ple over there who are help­ing change the world’.”

Ms Few­ster trav­elled with a Turk­ish Ro­tarac­tor and lo­cal In­dian Ro­trac­tors through­out the coun­try, first vis­it­ing mar­kets and mon­u­ments.

“The young peo­ple we met are truly chang­ing the course of his­tory in In­dia, through dis­ease pre­ven­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and blood do­na­tion,” Ms Few­ster said.

“Af­ter meet­ing them, and see­ing that is is ac­tu­ally pos­si­ble to make a change, I feel more in­spired than ever to cre­ate a cul­ture of pos­i­tive change in South Perth, WA and then hope­fully the world.”

Ro­tary has clubs all around the world, but one com­mon goal is to see the com­plete erad­i­ca­tion of po­lio.

“To be in a coun­try that was only re­cently de­clared po­lio free, with the last re­ported case in In­dia from 2011, and to see how proud the Ro­tarac­tors were was a truly amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Ms Few­ster said.

“I hope that now we can erad­i­cate it from Pak­istan and Afghanistan.”

Now that Ms Few­ster has had time to re­flect on her trip, she said she still felt in­cred­i­bly in­spired by the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Af­ter com­ing back from the In­dian Ro­taract tour, I feel more mo­ti­vated than ever to put my pas­sion to use,” she said.

“Hear­ing peo­ple my age talk about what they have achieved in In­dia - like erad­i­cat­ing po­lio - was a truly amaz­ing part of my trip.

“I have al­ways dreamt of chang­ing the world, and by join­ing Ro­taract I feel like I have a chance to make that a re­al­ity.” LO­CALLY, the South Perth Ro­taract Club holds a num­ber of events and fundrais­ers that in­volve the com­mu­nity in char­ity work.

Ms Few­ster said last year the club held a pho­tog­ra­pher com­pe­ti­tion and ex­hi­bi­tion to raise aware­ness and funds to sup­port vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“We also held a bub­ble soc­cer com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber to raise funds to help buy birthing kits for women in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries,” she said.

“The kits pro­vide women with a safe and clean en­vi­ron­ment to give birth and aim to re­duce in­fant and ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity rates.”

Most re­cently, the club hosted a gen­der equal­ity week­end.

“Male par­tic­i­pants did stereo­typ­i­cal fe­male ac­tiv­i­ties; baking, man­i­cures, face masks, and fe­males did fish­ing, mar­tial arts and changed a tire.”

The club or­gan­ised events and projects based on what mem­bers are in­ter­ested in.

“All mem­bers are given the op­por­tu­nity to help or­gan­ise and run events, the per­sonal and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment is a ma­jor draw­card to Ro­taract,” Ms said.

More in­for­ma­tion at www.south­perthro­taract.org.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d453070

Sa­man­tha Few­ster.

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