Rotary International Honour for Bambisanani Partnership

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Certificate of Appreciation presented to St. Mary's Menston on September 29, 2015

Photo: LEFT TO RIGHT: Bill Hudson, Rotary Club of Aireborough International Committee, David Geldart, Founder of the Bambisanani Partnership, Marilyn Harbage wife of Keith, Keith Harbage, President of the Rotary Club of Leeds, Hazel Haas, District Governor of District 1040 of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, Tony Scaife, President of the Rotary Club of Aireborough, Mrs C Chattoe, Bambisanani Partnership Co-ordinator

Photo: LEFT TO RIGHT:

Bill Hudson, Rotary Club of Aireborough International Committee, David Geldart, Founder of the Bambisanani Partnership, Marilyn Harbage wife of Keith, Keith Harbage, President of the Rotary Club of Leeds, Hazel Haas, District Governor of District 1040 of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, Tony Scaife, President of the Rotary Club of Aireborough, Mrs C Chattoe, Bambisanani Partnership Co-ordinator


Rotary International have honoured St. Mary’s ground-breaking work in South Africa with one of its highest award, the Certificate of Appreciation. Known as the ‘Bambisanani Partnership’, the schools work in South Africa has gained world-wide acclaim for its work using sport to promote education, health, global citizen and leadership in one of South Africa’s most deprived rural areas.

The special Awards Dinner was organised by the Rotary Club of Aireborough with representatives from Rotary clubs throughout the region attending. The prestigious award was presented to the Founder of the Bambisanani Partnership, David Geldart and Mrs Catherine Chattoe, the partnerships Coordinator at St. Mary's, by Mrs Hazel Haas, District Governor of Rotary International.

The District Governor explained the background of the award and praised the exceptional humanitarian and educational work of the Bambisanani Partnership
“When the Rotary charity, the Rotary Foundation was created, it was decided to create a Paul Harris Award in recognition of the Founder of the organisation. The Certificate of Appreciation is the equivalent award when given to an organisation of which St. Marys School and its Bambisanani Partnership are such worthy recipients. Led by David Geldart the amazing partnership has achieved remarkable outcomes and epitomises the Rotary motto of ‘Service above Self’. The Bambisanani Partnership demonstrates just what can be achieved even in the most difficult of circumstances. It is wonderful to hear that the partnership has recently become a registered charity and I am sure it will go from strength to strength and inspire others in the process.”

In his acceptance speech David Geldart said “It is a wonderful honour to receive this prestigious award from Rotary International. We began the Bambisanani Partnership nine years ago and we have worked closely the Aireborough Rotary Club and Eshowe Rotary Club in South Africa from the very beginning. The help, advice and genuine interest in the project from the two Rotary clubs has been nothing short of amazing. We would not have achieved all that we have achieved without their help and I would like to thank all the Rotarians involved for their tremendous support and guidance.”