ROTARY DISTRICT 1120
‘GIVING CHILDREN A CHILDHOOD’
Clubs in Kent, SE London and East Sussex are supporting District Governor, Lynn Mitchell’s themes for 2011-12, Music and ‘Giving Children a Childhood’.
Young Carers are a group of children who sometimes get forgotten. Clubs are sponsoring young carers in the District, to have breaks away on the historic sailing barge, the Cambria. These children, who perhaps care for a parent or sibling from as young as 5 or 6, will have the chance to have an exhilarating experience, away from home, with other children who understand their everyday lifestyle.
The barge has been recently rebuilt and will be sailing all around the District, to London and beyond. This is brand new initiative, and two very successful ‘trial runs’ have already taken place. Each voyage in the future will take 8 children, and can be a mix of boys and girls. They will learn all about sailing and help to sail her! There will be a fully qualified sailing crew and also two adult helpers, ‘bosuns’ on each trip, which is another way for Rotarians and friends to help too.
Another ‘trial’ is planned, during the winter months, when the Cambria is in dock, so that the younger child carers, who would be too little to sail, can also have a much needed break away.
It’s also exciting to know that the next time the Cambria sails, the Rotary Wheel logo will be shown on the topsail!
With so many children who miss out on their childhood, there is another very different project, in Romania. As the institutions are closed down, there are some children who are so institutionalised that there will be nowhere for them to go. We are planning to set up small family homes, with the special needs of the children. District Governor Lynn, will be travelling to Romania in March to see for herself what is involved.
For both projects, Clubs are invited to raise funds with music events ….. DG Lynn has been to many different events including a Ships, Shells ‘n Shanties evening, a Jazz Picnic, Musical Barbeque, with lots more being planned for 2012.