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Rotarian from England wins the 2012-13 Rotary Friendship Exchange video contest

By Arnold R. Grahl
Rotary News -- 8 April 2013

A Rotarian from Bramhall, England, won the grand prize in the 2012-13 Rotary Friendship Exchange video contest with an entry describing a Friendship Exchange trip to Uganda.

Sue Preece, along with her husband, Bob Preece, and David Rose, of the Rotary Club of Bramhall & Woodford traveled to western Uganda in January to visit the Rotary Club of Kasese. The two clubs have worked together to improve the lives of poor villagers in the surrounding countryside.

For her video, Preece chose the theme "Make a friend, make an impact: Serving humanity together," one of three contest themes. The video demonstrates how the exchange built warm friendships between members of the clubs and convinced villagers that the Rotarians care about helping them improve their situation for the long term.

"The whole trip was an amazing experience," Preece says in the video. "We learned that Rotary is a way of life in Uganda, and we were very impressed with the projects they tackled."

The three-person team visited the village of Lhuwhawha, which both clubs have supported through a Model Village project, delivering clothing, medicines, mosquito nets, boots, and latex gloves for villagers who work with pigs and chickens. The villagers demonstrated how they were using sewing machines the clubs had previously donated to make school uniforms.

David Rose, a retired surgeon, held a two-day medical clinic that drew 90 patients.

"We were treated like royal guests," Preece says of their welcome by Kasese Rotarians, who roasted a goat in their honor. The local Rotarians also took their guests across the equator to visit the Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to one-quarter of Africa's bird life.

The president and president-elect of the Kasese club plan to visit Bramhall in May. "We just hope we can provide them with an equally exciting time," Preece says.

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