Rotary helps change lives through education

 
Caption: Wybe Meinessz [2014/2015] President of the Rotary Club of Newlands congratulates Stanton Hermanus on completing his BSC IT degree and graduating with five distinctions through the Prison Care program. This program is one of many similar programs supported by the Rotary Club of Newlands. Over the past 12 months, the club has sponsored nine students and two NGO’s by providing bursaries for disadvantaged young men and women to pursue a variety of studies including teaching, commerce, electrical engineering, cooking, seamanship, IT and singing.
 
The Rotary Club of Newlands recently held its annual Vocational Awards evening to honour their bursary students who had achieved sterling results during the year.  Over the past 12 months, the club has sponsored nine students and two NGO’s through providing bursaries for disadvantaged young men and women to pursue a variety of studies including teaching, commerce, electrical engineering, cooking, seamanship, IT and singing.
 
One of the students recognised for his exceptional results was Stanton Hermanus, a man who through Rotary’s contribution to Prison Care was able to complete a BSC IT degree whilst serving his prison sentence. He achieved five distinctions and has now started his Master’s degree.
 
He thanked Rotary for the opportunity to rehabilitate and related that the day he had entered prison, he had made a commitment to ‘turn his life around’.  He believes education is definitely a tool to change the world. Chairperson of the International and Vocational Committee of the Rotary Club of Newlands, Jenny Ibbotson comments: “Stanton’s life has changed and as a role model he will influence the lives of many other young people.”
 
Ibbotson adds:  “I was deeply touched by the proceedings of the evening. I listened to each student as they stood up to talk about their experiences and how, without the bursary from Rotary, they would not have had access to this educational opportunity. It really made me proud to be part of Rotary.”
 
Rotarians have the opportunity to use their own vocations to enhance the wide range of projects undertaken by their club.  “One of the objects of Rotary is the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation to serve society,” explains Newlands Rotarian, Andy Ismay, who has been integrally involved in the selection and mentoring of the bursary students.
 
“We are privileged to belong to an organisation that gives us the framework within which to use our specific areas of expertise to benefit others. It is extremely rewarding to witness the positive results within the communities we serve,” concludes Ismay.