MONEY raised through a quirky competition run by the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis has gone on to help hundreds of people in some of the world’s poorest communities.
In 2016 local Rotarian Nigel Clarke launched the ‘Selfie Cow’ competition, asking members and supporters to purchase plastic cows for £5 and take photos of them in unusual situations or abroad, in a bid to win the best picture in a number of categories.
The competition raised £500 to set up a ‘Lend with Care’ account, allowing the club to offer small, interest-free loans to farmers, sole traders and small businesses across the globe, which can be repaid over a 12 to 24 month period.
Once the loans are repaid, the money is then lent out again, creating an ongoing legacy for those most in need.
Since opening the account, the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis’ initial contribution has provided 36 interest-free loans totalling £1,075. These have assisted 210 entrepreneurs and 855 members of their families, and have helped to create 241 new jobs.
Those who have benefited from the loans, who are all selected by Mr Clarke, have included a 46-year-old mother of two with a rice farm in Cambodia, who requested funds to buy more land and increase her production; a 58-year-old carpenter from Rwanda who needed to buy wood to fulfil a contract to supply desks to a local school; a group of 21 women in Lilongwe, Milawi, known as the Progress Tiyanjane Group, who run small businesses to provide for their families; and a farmer in Milawi who needed money to buy seed potatoes.
For more details on the work of the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis, visit www.whatsoninlyme.co.uk/Rotary.htm or search for the group on Facebook.