Even by the generally high standards of the meetings at Wynberg Rotary Club, the meeting of Thursday 10th October was exceptional.
The club was proud to induct two new members:- Graham Gavin and Dirk du Plessis. Graham was previously a Rotarian at Mount Edgecombe in Natal (and Umgeni before that) but has now moved to the Cape. After visiting a number of clubs Graham and Dirk joined WRC due to our commitment, and our vibe. We welcome them both.
Our speaker for the evening covered a controversial topic in South Africa – refugees. Kathryn Hoeflich, the Director at the Cape Town Refugee Centre – told us about the plight of refugees in this country (and others). South Africa is the one country in Africa that has signed the UNHRC declaration on refugees ‘without reservation’, but unfortunately our actions belie our words. Our treatment of refugees, including the xenophobic violence, is far removed from the ideals as defined by the UNHRC, and agreed by our government.
Kathryn also told us that contrary to all we read, South Africa is not overrun by by refugees or asylum seekers. WE have approximately 65000 refugees, and about 250 000 asylum seekers at present.
Our final event for the evening was a presentation by Ambassadorial Scholar Sarah Yousuf who returns to the USA on Tuesday. During her time here Sarah has become part of the lives of many Rotarians, and by the rumours we hear, of many other South Africans. We wish her well and will miss her.