Reprinted from Rotary in Britain and Ireland (RIBI)
Two members of the Rotary Club of Ewell, District 1140 in the UK, have been presented
with an award for Outstanding Voluntary Contribution by HRH the Prince of
Wales, President of WaterAid*. Tom and Primrose Drake received the award in recognition of
their dedication to fundraising and campaigning for WaterAid over the last 15
years. During this time, they have been involved in more than 250 conferences
and meetings and helped raise over £200,000 which has been used to save and
improve the lives of over 14,000 people in Africa and Asia.
Four years ago, the couple were invited by WaterAid as paying guests, to experience first-hand, the difficulties of sanitation and safe water in Mali, West Africa. This proved to be a life changing experience and since their visit, they have spread awareness of the issue by talking to schools, faith groups, Women's Institutes, Rotary clubs and other organisations about the work of WaterAid. This helped raise £60,000 which has enabled more than 4,000 people in Mali - one of the world's poorest countries - to benefit from safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.
For the past 30 years, WaterAid has provided safe water to over 15 million people, improved sanitation to 11 million people and now operates in 28 countries. Past Rotary International President, John Kenny, was initially responsible for building the relationship between WaterAid and Rotary International following his visit to Tanzania in 1993. To date, Rotary clubs within RIBI have contributed almost £3m and this has helped over 200,000 people access safe water and sanitation.
Tom has been a member of the Rotary Club of Ewell for 35 years and is the club's longest serving member. He has served as President (twice), Rotary International Water Resource Group Co-ordinator (District and Zone), Assistant Governor, and a Paul Harris Fellow. Both he and Primrose have worked and continue to work tirelessly in creating awareness of the problems of the lack of safe water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
*For more information about WaterAid, see the Internet site www.wateraid.org/uk/