Dream of change leads to India
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.