children’s welfare

Rotary Walk Success

748A1522“Walking Works Wonders” was the theme of this year’s Charity Walk organised by the Rotary club of Calvia International and over 350 people turned out on Saturday 21 October to make sure that it does. There were over many schoolchildren from the eight International Schools taking part as well as adults, not overlooking a large contingent of canines who joined in too.

748A1553The walk was planned by the Rotary Club with very close collaboration from the Ajuntament of Calvia, the police and an army of volunteers from the Club and other associations on the island. There was a 10km walk for the older children and the fitter adults (and the more energetic dogs) from the Sports Centre in Magaluf to the Agora School in Portals and back. The less young and children and some dog walkers did the 2km walk from the same starting point went but went down through Magaluf and back. All of those walking enjoyed the warm sunshine weather and the social atmosphere.

748A1531The aim was to raise a substantial sum of money for three charities – RANA which focuses on help to prevent child abuse of any description, JoyRon, which raises money for children in the Balearic Islands and in this case, money will go to help meet the cost of constructing and fitting out a cinema in Son Espases for children who are undergoing palliative care. Last but by no means least, money raised will also go to Association Ondine which is trying to preserve the marine environment in the Balearics for the benefit of future generations. Three very worthwhile causes.

748A1527This year too, in association with Association Ondine the Rotary Club Calvia International sought to discourage the use of single use plastic bottles and promoted the use of reusable bottles by providing free water at the start/finish and mid-point of the walk: another positive step by the Club to help others and the environment.

748A1521The International Schools are the main contributors to the walk, not only from their participation on the day of the walk itself but through the young children in the infant schools of some of the schools walking in the grounds of the Schools. Money was raised not only by the Rotary Club charging a registration fee to enter the walk (the fee included some food and refreshments on completion) but a lot of the walkers were sponsored by parents, friends and colleagues.

748A1493After the walk, everyone enjoyed the refreshments and entertainment provided by Izzy Newman and children from BIC as well as a belly dancer. Some even joined in the performance! Casa Corazon a beautiful luxury property development in Son Gual sponsored the after walk refreshments  (www.casascorazon.es), Generali, the insurance company covered the walk’s public liability insurance as they do every year (www.generali.com), Spectrum IFA (www.spectrum-ifa.com) sponsored the water, and Nice Price donated chocolately treats (www.niceprice-mallorca.com).  The Town Hall in Calvia provided their full support for the event.

748A1470Club President thanked all participants for generously giving up their time and the various sponsors for their contribution. It will take time to determine how much money has been raised, currently they have received 5000€ but it is likely that the three charities which are to benefit will not be disappointed.

 

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Difficult lessons to learn

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We’re worrying about a lot of things right now. We’re probably right to. This week I saw that an American company called Pro Techt had started selling something called a “Bulletproof Blanket” which is being bought specifically by parents for their children to shield them from bullets at school. My response? It made my blood run cold: how terrible for children around the world that they should not be able to even study and learn without threat or danger.  The Bodyguard Blanket, according to its website, ‘is made of the same materials U.S. soldiers wear while in battle, and is equal to or exceeds the protection used by police departments. After extensive research, it is estimated that Bodyguard™ blanket provides bullet resistant protection against 90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States.’

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When I was a child we used to have to do fire drills. Do you remember? The worst was if you were in the middle of PE, once it happened when we were swimming and we had to line up in on the playground in our swimming costumes with our goose bumps grew much bigger than any other burgeoning bumps  whilst Mrs McCann slowly read our names out (I knew she was a sadist before I even knew the meaning of the word). A fire drill was something you did to appease the Health and Safety monitor and it was a pain, nothing more. Now children are being taught how to react in the event of a shooting in their school.  Will this new practise extend to our schools? Can we even imagine our world like this? Have you worked out yet how you can make a difference? It seems to me that we have to communicate more and more with each other, not less. We have to find ways to understand and respect differences, but stand up to and stop intimidation. In our current world situation do we really know that much about the politics and motivations or are we just reading what someone else is posting on Facebook? Could be time to get an education and start really learning about other people’s cultures. I’m privileged that I can write this short article from the perspective of complete horror rather than being with a world weary sigh as I pull out my credit card and buy one of the blankets (priced at a thousand dollars) for my daughter. The manufacturers say that they originally designed the blankets as a portable way to shelter in tornadoes or other natural phenomenon. The whirlwind that is rushing through our lives now is a manmade disaster, and one we need to find ways to halt.  Malala Yousafzai said “Let us pick up our books and pencils. They are our most powerful weapon”. Let’s start there.