Virtual volunteering with Rotary

Pakenham residents Vivienne and Jim Armstrong joined an online rotary club at the start of the year. 193501_01.

By Jessica Anstice

Rotary Australia has taken a turn and formed an online club, where members from around the world can unite and volunteer at their own convenience.The Rotary eClub of Latitude 38 has been running for about 10 years and is made up of 23 members, including four Pakenham residents, and members from Vietnam, Mornington, Canberra, Frankston, Dromana, Sale and more.

The group is brought together once a fortnight via video conference to discuss the progress of current projects and future project ideas.

Pakenham member Vivienne Armstrong joined the online rotary in February this year.

“The eclub allows people who work but don’t have the time to go to meetings to do volunteer work,” Ms Armstrong said.

“It (online rotary) has been going for a while but has developed quite a lot over the past two years.

“There are a lot of young people in the group because they work and they can get on their computer for the meeting and they can say what they want to do.”

The online rotary has succeeded in a number of projects to-date, including introducing healthcare cards in Vietnam, sending bikes over to Cambodia for children to ride to school and building a school in Kenya.

With the four new Pakenham members, the community can expect to see local projects carried out throughout the year.

“It’s very freeing for me. Getting things through the board is easier because we’re the only people in this area,” Ms Armstrong said.

“It’s taken the red tape away and given us the feeling of ‘we can make a difference’ and ‘we can get stuff done’.

“We’re not trying to overtake other rotary clubs; we’re just different to other rotary clubs.”

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