Skip to main content
Upper Eden Rotary Club in Africa

The Problem - Genocide and Aids

In 1994 an estimated one million people were killed in 100 days in Rwanda. By the end of 2001 there were 613,000 orphans of which nearly 300,000 were orphans of the AIDS epidemic.

In South Africa by 2005 approximately one million children under the age of 15 will have lost their mothers to AIDS. Every 14 seconds AIDS turns a child into an orphan. In Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Rwanda and Sudan alone, there are estimated to be more than two million children orphaned by conflict.

Rotary Solution - Africa Hope

Rotary's Africa Hope project works with Hope and Homes for Children to alleviate children's despair and deprivation. Rotary's Africa Hope project aims to support 5,000 children in 1,000 of the poorest child-headed and grandparent-headed families in Rwanda and South Africa. With £1,000 a family can be rescued from crisis. This money is spent over three years and transforms a family's future in a thorough and sustainable way. Rotary's Africa Hope provides shelter, food and access to medicine, stability - from practical advice and guidance, education and training - for long term development and self-reliance.

Hope and Homes for children

Hope and Homes for Children aims to give hope to children who have nowhere to live, due to war or disaster, by providing them with homes and reintegrating them into their own, foster or adoptive families. Children orphaned or abandoned through conflict are given a family and a future. Hope and Homes for Children is an international children's charity working with orphaned and abandoned children in Eastern Europe and Africa. Since 1994 the organisation has helped to secure the lives, and future livelihoods, of more than 7,500 orphaned or abandoned children in 14 countries.


Contributions from the Rotary Club of Upper Eden


Toilet blocks constructed in Ankoma.


Medical supplies and other useful commodities delivered direct to Ankoma.


This video shows the conclusion and signing off of the Dinfara Water Project that supplies the Eden Clinic in Mali.


Trucks loaded with medical equipment delivered to Mali.With the preparations for the Mali Aid trip all completed Saturday 8th November 2008 saw the official send-off for the six intrepid adventurers from the Eden Valley in their three vehicles. Roger Frank, John Taylor, Alan McVeity, Arthur Littlefair, Dr Carl Hallam and Gerald Braithwaite have spent many weeks refurbishing vehicles, planning and packing the trucks for what they hope will be a three week journey to Bamako, the capital of Mali. They are driving two 7.5 tonne trucks and a mini-bus all packed tight with approximately six tons of medical equipment. This includes eighteen hospital beds, forty five wheelchairs, two incubators and two resuscitation units for babies, all of which is redundant equipment from a main UK hospital, all in first class condition and saved from being thrown on the scrap heap when the hospital was closed down.

Mali Aid

The medical instruments, dressings plus several thousand syringes and needles that complete the load, have all been donated by medical centres throughout Cumbria and will soon be distributed amongst some of the poorest clinics in the world.

Four members of the team are Rotarians and the trip has been facilitated by the Rotary Clubs of Appleby and Upper Eden Rotary aided by their contacts within Rotary International. The Rotary Club of Amitie, established in Bamako the Capital of Mali, will welcome the party and that Club aided by the five other Malian Rotary Clubs, will be responsible for the distribution of the medical equipment throughout their country.

The three vehicles will not be returning to the UK but will be donated to the Amitee Club who will arrange to auction them and will oversee the distribution all of the money raised for local community projects such as the sinking of wells, staffing clinics and providing local schools with essential equipment. Border Television interviewed the team this week and on Saturday they set off from Braithwaite’s Garage, Newbiggin at 8.45a.m. They spent a half hour in Appleby from 9.30 to 10.00 a.m.with a send-off by the Lady Mayor and the final local stop was a half hour in Kirkby Stephen Market Square from 10.30 to 11.00 a.m. The team expect to reach Plymouth by Saturday evening ready to cross the channel to Santander on Sunday from where they will continue the long journey through Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and finally into Mali. Overall the trip is expected to take about four weeks with a return to UK scheduled for 4th December.


BOF’s Pink Ice Cream Van crossed the Sahara to deliver aid to Mali. Due to the excellent contacts made with Rotary Clubs in Mali the sale of all those vehicles that survived the inaugural "Bamako Run" plus cash donations totalled in excess of £17,500 all of which will be used for local projects in Mali.

Mali Aid

In 2003 Julian Nowill initiated an event as a low cost alternative to the Paris-Dakar Rally and also with the main objective of raising funds for charitable causes in Africa. Three events have been successfully completed, the first to Dakar (Senegal), the second to Banjul (Gambia), the third a rally to Bamako in Mali. Two Rotarians – the then President of Upper Eden Club Roger Frank and John Taylor of Appleby Club took part.

Starting from Plymouth in January 2007 they travelled through France and Spain, crossing to Morocco and then traversing the Sahara desert to Timbuktu and on to Bamako. One of the rules governing the event was that any vehicle taking part must have cost a maximum of £100 (presumably purchased from local car scrap yards). The rules did, of course, allow the owners to modify and improve the vehicles after purchase to a fully roadworthy condition. Rotarians Roger and John wanted something out of the ordinary which would attract maximum attention to the event and eventually decided to create a Pink Ice Cream Van. They obtained a Transit Van from a scrap yard in North Shields and with parts and services donated by “sponsors” they rebuilt the unit with a hand painted finish in a brilliant eye-catching shade of pink with bright yellow wheels and a white top. Blazoned across the front was the product name “Mr Drippy” and the firms name BOFS (no prizes for guessing what it stands for), Rotary Logo on the sides and sponsors details on the rear. With its large frontal ice cream cone (made from a road cone and a football) the van was certainly eye-catching to say the least. Ice cream making equipment was installed to distribute ice cream to local children in Bamako prior to the van being stripped out and converted for use as a local bus or other suitable unit. The local Rotary Club in Bamako assisted in ensuring all funds raised by the van were used to maximum benefit in the local community.

The Bamako Club advised that an item in high demand and short supply in Bamako was the household sewing machine which is mainly used for making clothing for the family especially for the growing children. Rotarians Roger & John collect and took as many machines (elect or manual) as they could fit into the back of the van. They raised cash for distribution in Bamako by showing off the Pink Ice Cream Van at local events throughout our District to raise awareness of the project.


Club members chose not to exchange Christmas cards but to put the money towards the purchase and delivery of 3 live goats to a village in Africa. £25 - Donation to Rotary's 'Africa Hope' Polar Challenge.


£1,000 donated to Rotary's 'Africa Hope' following an excellent presentation by Claire Wright from 'Hope and homes for Children'. £100 donated to Sudan Disaster Appeal