The next couple of weeks will be a busy time for the Rotary Club of Apia as it gears up for its Melbourne Cup Charity Fundraiser.  The annual gala event which promises a day of racing fun, is the club’s major money earner and supports many of its community projects.
With last year’s proceeds the club was able to support more than twenty foundation year students through its scholarship programme.  This programme is part of the club’s wider literacy project which also comprises library book donations and the ‘a desk and chair for every student’ initiative.

Over the last decade, the club has donated over 20,000 desks, chairs and other school furniture (a lot from schools damaged in the Christchurch earthquake) to primary and secondary schools across Samoa.  It has also given away more than one million library books to these schools over the last ten years.  The club lands and distributes on average eight to ten container loads of books and school furniture annually.  In 2009 it landed a record twenty-eight containers.
The majority of these books and school furniture come to Samoa by way of donations from Rotary clubs in Australia, New Zealand.  The Rotary clubs of Riccarton, Ashburton and Stortford Lodge (NZ) and Bendigo in Australia have been long term partners in the project.  Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) and Rotary New Zealand World Community Service (RNZWCS) have also been instrumental in the initiative’s success over the years.
The Rotary Club of Apia hopes that with the help of its partners new and old, the literacy project will continue for many years to come.  The literacy project provides a comfortable learning environment and fosters a love of reading in all the Samoan children it reaches.
Savave Sapolu
Rotary Club of Apia