(submitted by Brian Hall - Rotary Club of Grand Bend)
One month ago the decision was made by Grand Bend Club’s Global Literacy committee to see if a container of dehydrated soup mix could be sent to help those struggling after Tropical Cyclone Idai struck central Mozambique March 14th . With strong support from the Grand Bend Club an appeal was presented at the April 16th District Learning Assembly for assistance from other area Clubs. The response was terrific as 8 Clubs have come forward with promises of financial support. The Rotary Club of Stratford Charitable Foundation has applied for the food aid and the shipping costs will be covered by donations from RC Stratford, RC Port Elgin, RC Goderich, RC London, RC Southampton, RC Meaford and RC Sarnia After Hours. We wish to extend a sincere thank you to these Clubs for your generosity and support. We have had donations from many individuals as well.
The container which will be left in Mozambique will be filled with 21000lb of dehydrated vegetable soup mix from the Ontario Gleaners in Cambridge. It is made from donated surplus produce which is cleaned, chipped and dried to make about 700,000 servings of nourishing soup mix. We will pack it in 32 rain barrels and 960 reusable pails. We received a donation of 21000lb of dark red kidney beans from Ferguson Bros. of St. Thomas. This will go well with the soup mix and add much needed protein.
Rotarian Jean Aitcheson and her team from the Stratford Medical depot have been busy collecting small medical items, hygiene supplies, dressings and 100 plastic washbasins to add to the load. The Westover ladies from KW have made up 600 kits with supplies for young mothers and the HUGS sewing group from the Exeter area have put together 160 washable menstrual kits for women. We will include several skids of medical gloves and gowns from the Warehouse of Hope in St. Catherines and use milk bag mats from various makers to fill in the gaps.
The plan is to load the container in Cambridge on Thursday May 9th, using a small group of experienced loaders from our Global Literacy Project.
The container will go by sea from Montreal to Beira, Mozambique then by truck inland to the heart of the area devastated by Cyclone Idai in the city of Chimoio. The Rotary Club of Chimoio (District 9210) will take charge of the distribution. We have been assisted in the planning by DG Charles Deiner of RC Middleburg, South Africa (District 9400), which includes part of southern Mozambique. They have already done a great deal to assist with the relief effort. For details see their website https://rotary9400.co.za/cyclone-idai/
As you may have heard on the news a second and even more powerful Cyclone hit the north of this country last weekend with heavy rains and even more devastation. We expect that this food aid will provide important mid-term relief to those that have lost their crops just as harvest was approaching. We will be closely following the distribution of this container and will be making a decision about additional aid in consultation with the leaders of the two Rotary Districts in Mozambique. For now, we are pleased to be able to provide this aid along  with our Rotary partners in 6330 and the Rotary Club of Chimoio.
Please direct any questions or additional support to Grand Bend Rotarian Brian Hall brian.hall@hay.net  519-238-6116