Rotarians hear about Nepal project

Guest speaker Hilary Gordon with Ellon Rotary Cub president Forbes Hamilton.
Guest speaker Hilary Gordon with Ellon Rotary Cub president Forbes Hamilton.

The Rotary Club of Ellon have been given an update on progress being made on an important project in Nepal.

Hilary Gordon, assistant governor of Rotary District Scotland North, and a member of Oldmeldrum Rotary Club, outlined a visit she made to the country last October.

The visit was to assess the progress being made on a project ‘First Steps Nepal’ in which the Oldmeldrum Club has been active for several years, supported by more than 20 other clubs in the district, including Ellon

‘First Steps Nepal’ stems from the project ‘First Steps Himalaya’, a New Zealand-registered charity established in 2008 aiming to help tackle an “appalling lack of basic support for pregnant and nursing mothers”.

Rotarians heard there was a need for guidance on nutrition, health and infant care in general and there were also problems for children of school age, starting at the age of three.

Hilary said that for pre-school children the emphasis is on training mothers in health care and child-focused activities, which has resulted in enormous improvements in the children’s developmentn. The solution for teaching has been to provide attractive classrooms with equipment for play-based learning, and to give more training for teachers to use modern teaching methods with aids such as computers.

The involvement of parents was recognised too, developing parent education programmes so that families learn the importance of nurturing children properly. Regular parenting workshops highlighted the importance of playing and spending time with their children and parents are taught to understand the role of education.

Giving the vote of thanks, Rotarian Bill McLeod said how impressed he was with Hilary’s enthusiasm and by the excellent results achieved in a relatively short time.