Invercargill’s Sunrise Rotary Club has come to the aid of orphans in Romania, roping in substantial support from overseas rotary clubs in the form of a $US20,313 grant.
 
Orphans Aid International chief executive Sue van Schreven said extensive, much-needed renovations are already underway at the aid organisation’s Casa Kiwi home in Romania, thanks to the funding boost.
 
Sunrise Rotary Club spearheaded the fundraising venture, first stumping up with a $US4000 contribution. The club then managed to leverage funds from Southland District Rotary, clubs in Australia, Romania and from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in the United States, Mrs van Schreven said.
 
“Casa Kiwi was becoming quite unsafe in a lot of ways. Once completed, the home will be quite future-proofed and it will enable us straight away to take another 10 children into care.”
This contribution was the seeding capital that allowed Orphans Aid to raise the remainder of the money via a World Bank Grant to complete the $US200,400 project.
 
“We are just so grateful. This money has enabled us to hire the necessary project manager, do the building work and pay for chattels, including everything from high chairs and bedding to baby car seats. It’s also enabled us to rent another building where the children can be cared for while this work is underway,” Mrs van Schreven said.
 
Mrs van Schreven will speak to Sunrise Rotary members at an Invercargill breakfast meeting on Friday (Aug 30).
She will outline the project in full and explain just how important the rotary contribution has been to improving the lives of these underprivileged Romanian children.
 
Sunrise Rotary president Graeme Hegan said they were thrilled with the result. The club had been searching for an overseas project to support that also had “local flavour”.
 
“Our club emphasis is on children and youth and Sue is a local girl from Invercargill, so it fitted perfectly,” Mr Hegan said.
Matching grants had been sought from Sunrise’s sister club, Mudgee, in Australia. Romanian Rotarians based near Casa Kiwi had also backed the project and offered project management expertise.
 
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