Our News and Stories....
The Curry House and Rotary Club Prague International achieved record sales at the British Market in Dolní Břežany with our Great British Curry offering. We again sold out of everything and Mamun had to return to the Curry House restaurant to replenish our supplies. There's no doubt that his food is really popular at these events. The event raised 13,000 Kč which will be  added to the funds for our Indian Schools campaign.
 
Congratulations to Mamun, Gerry and the entire team who made the event such a great success.
 
The RCPI Annual report is now available. It contains a wealth of information about the activities of the club as well as financial statements showing the income and donations the club made in the calender year 2017. You can download the report in PDF format by clicking HERE.
The RCPI board have agreed to once again renew our club's associate membership with the British Chamber of Commerce in Prague. With this comes the opportunity for any active member of the club to join the chamber as a member, which brings all the benefits of chamber membership including membership pricing to all events (even though many are free).
 
Please note members of our club are not automatically enrolled at BBC. If you are interested, you must contact Pavel Fara, communicate to him that you are interested in joining the chamber and mention that you are an active member at RC Prague International and that you want to do join the BCC under our club's associate membership status.
 
Pavel's email address is pavel.fara@britcham.cz.
 
I hope you take advantage of this opportunity as Prague's chamber was voted the most active in Europe, holding no less than four events every month. You can find out more here https://www.britishchamber.cz/.
 
Kindest regards,
 
Sanan
 
Sanan Phutrakul
Past President 2016/17
RC Prague International
Inspiration comes from observing the work of others and so it was when I visited Rotary Club Sofia Triaditsa in Bulgaria.
 
Despite being a relatively newly formed club RC Triaditsa has immediately set to work doing good. The energy and enthusiasm of the members has resulted in projects such as setting up an opthamlic examination programme for 3 to 4 year olds which visits nurseries and has screened over 1200 children to date. The project value is over 50,000 euro which is a testimony to the power of Rotary and the leadership of this club. Other projects include a performing arts programme and a project to restore a building as a centre for activities to support social inclusion for people at the fringes of society.

The meeting was made even more special because it was a joint club meeting with RC Sofia International, again an initiative of both clubs to meet and exchange ideas and talk about projects they are engaged in.
I presented the work of our club both in terms of the projects as well as how we are structured. There was real interest in the activity points concept as a measure of member engagement. Judging by the energy in the room activity points would be awarded all round on a weekly basis.  Congratulations for what you have achieved to date and we wish much success to RC Sofia Triaditsa and RC Sofia International
.
The sun shone and visitors streamed across the Zofin bridge to explore the many activities which the clubs and district set up as part of the 20 year celebration of District 2240. The RCPI tent was the point of orientation and welcome for visitors and it was lovely to meet and greet so many Rotarians and visitors from many countries. In the tent we exhibited pictures of the amazing work we are engaged in from Dragon Boats to Water and Sanitation projects in India. We swapped banners with other clubs and of course Ota never missed an opportunity to sell caps and shirts for good causes!
A little further on Stewart set up the Disaster Aid stand where he and volunteers demonstrated how dirty water could be turned into clean water using advanced but affordable filters as well as presenting the whole set of emergency relief capabilities which Disaster Aid Europe has at its disposal.
 
A big thank you to everyone who participated and and supported our club on this auspicious day where we really 'met the public in their hundreds'.
Hundreds of paddlers took part in the 2019 Rotary Club Prague International Dragon Boat Charity Challenge. Teams from companies, clubs, organisations and friends  joined in the challenge to paddle the course as fast as possible AND in the process to raise hundreds of thousands of crowns for charities. Three charity partners who will share the proceeds: ŽIVOT 90, an organisation providing a wide range of services for senior citizens, Nadace Naše Dítě who offer much needed help and support for many children in very difficult circumstances and Výbor dobré vůle (VDV) whose main purpose is to help disabled, abandoned and discriminated against people to integrate into society.
"A big THANK You to the RCPI organising committee together with the Czech Dragon Boat Organisation who made the day possible through their energy and enthusiasm to create an event which was enjoyed by hundreds and will benefit hundreds more" said Josef Simpartl, President of  RCPI. "In terms of who won? - of course the Charities won by receiving hundreds of thousands of crowns of donations, as for the race... well, Rotary Club Stare Mesto won once again so the challenge is set for next year. Well done and thank you to everyone who participated."
 
 
More pictures are in the 2019 Dragon Boat Album
RCPI Members arrived before our regular meeting in cars stuffed full of household items for donation to the Orphanage in Senožaty. Despite the drizzling rain the items were transferred by willing volunteers into two vans. All of the donations will go towards the operation of the orphanage and helping the young adults on their way as they leave the orphanage. Martina Buchalova Horska , Director of the House of orphans Senožaty thanked Members for the tremendous contribution which will really make a difference. Rotary - Having fun doing good. A big THANK you goes to RCPI Member Marie Jehlikova for organising the collection.
Martina Buchalova Horska with Marie and Josef
Lots of boxes of goodies
The team from the Orphanage with Fernanda
Dr Christoph Israng,  Ambassador of Germany to the Czech Republic joined Members and guests at our club meeting. Dr Israng explained the importance of the relationship between Germany and the Czech Republic in a number of dimensions. "In trade, the volumes are greater than those traded with the Russian Federation" said Dr Irsang, emphasising that the Czech Republic is a key partner of Germany not least because of its 815km long border. Dr Israng commented that in some areas there is always room for improvement, not least in logistical matters of ambulances or snowploughs crossing the border - here we can make things more efficient.
Dr Israng also reflected on the historic relations of the countries starting with the 16,000 people who sought refuge in the West German Embassy in Prague in 1989 as they sought a way to a new and free life in the West which they were granted.  Dr Israng invited Members to join the "Festival of Freedom" on the 28th of September where, 30 years later, the Embassy will open its doors and events of 1989  will be remembered.He also did not shy away from discussing the impact of the second world war. "I have visited many places where atrocities were committed including Terezin. I have met the families and survivors of the atrocities and whilst I understand that some cannot forgive, many recognise that the Germany of today is a changed country. These are the most emotional experiences of my work."
 
RCPI President Josef Simpartl thanked Dr Israng on behalf of Rotary Club Prague International for his insightful and interesting account.
The ambassador of Denmark, H.E. Mr. Ole Henrik FRIJS-MADSEN, visited our club and gave members and friends an insight into the culture and dynamics of life in Denmark. Rather than looking back, Ole concentrated on the future and referenced how Denmark is taking a progressive role in a number of areas including social, environment and especially in the role of IT in society. Denmark is the first country to apoint a Tech Ambassador. Ole explained that IT Tech and digital diplomacy, in short TechPlomacy is an acknowledgement of the key role tech plays and will increasingly play in the future for individuals and societies alike.
The club thanked Ole for his insightful presentation and we look forward to hearing of the progress TechPlomacy makes in Czech / Danish relations.
The 10th Fabulous Year of the ROTARY DRAGON BOAT CHARITY CHALLENGE will take place on the 11th of May 2019 at Žluté lázně, Podolské nábřeží 3/1184, 140 00 Praha 4-Podolí.
 
The 10th Rotary Dragon Boat Charity Challenge is a part of the Prague Dragon Boat Festival -
the oldest Dragon Boat race in Czech Republic - organized by Czech Dragon Boat Association.
 
The Rotary Dragon Boat Charity Challenge is fast becoming the premier charity event of a Prague Spring. It’s an event that combines Team-building, Corporate social responsibility, live entertainment and family fun in one great programme. The sight of teams of highly motivated paddlers going all out for the finish line makes an exciting spectacle that draws big crowds.
 
Click HERE to find out more
When cleaning out in Spring this year please think of orphans in Dětský dům Senožaty /https://www.ddsenozaty.cz/ and bring all items you will no more need on Monday  APRIL 29,2019 FROM 2 - 6 PM to hotel HOLIDAY INN (our normal meeting venue) prior to our regular meeting.
 
A truck from Senožaty will come /with some children to help onloading/ and you will have a nice feeling of HAVING FUN BY DOING GOOD.
 
In this House of orphans children are staying up to 18 years of age and are being helped to arrange their new life incl household so, any thing is being needed /clothing, shoes, non-used TV sets, chairs, toys,etc./
 
On behalf of all children from Senožaty I just: THANK YOU.
 
Regards
Marie Jehličková
MC Chair
 
Members of RCPI and the Jyoti Foundation made breaking TV news in India as they presented educational materials and equipment to local schools.
 
Members of RCPI are in Rajasthan at the moment meeting our partner clubs and distributing the donations which were collected by members and friends of the club throughout the year. Here is a short video update from Helen:
 
Armed with a pencil and paper Josef Orei had a great idea back in 1992. Having left his previous employer he was involved in research which led to him and his associates filing a patent to detect substances. The group left the research establishment, acquired the rights to the patent and set up their own company which has since grown into one of the foremost suppliers of equipment to detect noxious and dangerous agents including chemical weapons. Josef explained to members that at any one time there are many thousands of tons of dangerous chemicals on the move by road, sea and air and that in the event of an accident detection and decontamination is critical. Oritest supplies fire brigades, rescue services, decontamination units and the military throughout the world with detection and protection equipment.
As the owner of the company Josef is also supportive of community projects and has sponsored projects throughout the world including a music school and is seeking closer collaboration with Rotary International. RCPI president Josef Simpartl thanked Josef for his very interesting and informative presentation.
Members and Friends visited the now fully restored Werich Villa on Kampa Island, in the heart of historic Prague. Few Prague buildings are enshrouded in such a mysterious history and conceal the fates of so many important personalities who have one thing in common: words. Exhibitions setting out the work of Jan Werich and Jiri Voskovek are located on the first floor in a new exhibition space. Marie Jehlickova organised the event including a lovely reception and food and drink in the roof theatre space of the villa after a fascinating guided tour of the villa. See all the pictures of the visit HERE. In the spirit of Rotary we were Having Fun and Doing good: all proceeds go to Ictus.

 
 

Prague's Charles University was the location for an international conference on Alzheimer's titled 'Making the Point', it was held under the auspices Rotarian Action Group for Peace and hosted by RCPI.

The conference invited specialists in neurodegenerative diseases to meet and learn more about their specific fields and put together a more comprehensive outlook for the disease. The discussions varied from molecular blood samples on how to phyisically manage patients with the disease.  The reason for bringing these great minds together is because in developed countries, Alzheimer's is and will continue to be a massive drain on the health and finances of many countries, as we live longer and are unable to take care of ourselves.

In the same way that Rotary has been instrumental in the eradication of Polio, it is hoped that with the help of the UN, Rotary will play a key part in the research and care of Alzheimer's patients.  It is a issue that can not be ignored for much longer by governments. Two thirds of Alzheimer's patients are women, they tend to live longer but they are also the caregivers.  If they are unable to look after themselves it leaves a real problem for someone else to deal with.  The aging population is proving to be a drain on welfare and social services throughout the developed world.

The conference discussed risk factors, possible routes of a cure and the care of those suffering.    The diagnosis of Alzheimer's is also an issue and a professor from Spain talked of how molecular genetics may improve Alzheimer's diagnosis.  Thus giving patients the opportunity to receive more specific treatments earlier and hopefully slow down the degenerative process.

Rotary Club Prague International was the host club, Helen Noll was our representative there and was able to meet with fellow Rotarians from RC New York – (host club of America and the United Nations) and members from RC Rome, Professor Sergio Bernardini who was leading the conference.

It is hoped that in the Spring, Rotarian Action Group for Peace will hold another bigger conference in Prague, as this had proved to be such a successful meeting of specialists in Alzheimer's.

 

RCPI member Helena organised a truly exclusive tour of DOX, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague. Members and friends were greeted by Michaela Silpochova (Head of International projects) and were then joined by Leos Valka - the Director and founder of DOX which opened in a converted factory in Prague’s Holešovice district in 2008. Today Leos serves as its director and chairman of the board. In 2011, based on a nomination by Václav Havel, he received an award from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic for long-term merit in the area of fine art.
Michaela guided members to the recently opened theater and performance auditorium which is one of the newest and best equipped contemporary spaces in Prague for performers to perform. A tour of the current exhibition called HARD TIMES was given another dimension by Michaela's explanations of the many factors which influenced the artists and exhibition.  Then on and upward to Gulliver's Airship which is a realtively new addition to the exhibition and interpretation spaces of DOX. Constructed of wood the airship leaves the visitor with a sense of marvel at the structure and a feeling of an open space whilst being enclosed. A masterpiece.
 
The tour was followed by conversation, food and of course a few drinks in the cafe at DOX where a reception had been specially prepared for us. Many thanks Michaela, Leos and of course Helena.
 
If you missed the trip please do consider making a private visit to DOX to experience the art and spaces for yourself. Membership, both personal and corporate is available and goes a long way to sustaining this truly unique art space in Prague.
 
You can view all the pictures of the visit HERE
A new record was set in November when, for another year, Indian meals were delivered to individuals and businesses throughout Prague as part of the RCPI Indian Food Helps campaign. Gerry worked tirelessly organising volunteers, Blanka took hundreds of orders whilst Mamun and his team prepared over 800 meals. One day peaked with 166 meals prepared and deliverd!
The food is cooked by the award winning Curry House Restaurant. All the proceeds go towards supporting primary schooling in rural Rajasthan. We will buy equipment for the schools, school bags, exercise books and writing materials, school uniforms, hygiene kits and pay school fees for poor families. We also arrange health checks and basic treatment for children and mothers.
One lunch will enable us to buy 2 school bags or two girl's uniforms. Five lunches can pay for the school fees of one child for a year.
Just some members of the terrific Indian Food Helps Delivery Team

The 10th Fabulous Year of the

ROTARY DRAGON BOAT CHARITY CHALLENGE

will take place on the 11th of May 2019
 

at Žluté lázně, Podolské nábřeží 3/1184, 140 00 Praha 4-Podolí

The 10th Rotary Dragon Boat Charity Challenge is a part of the Prague Dragon Boat Festival -
the oldest Dragon Boat race in Czech Republic - organized by Czech Dragon Boat Association.
DETAILS on the left hand menu
The stories above are only the most recent stories of what we have been getting up to. To see the full list of stories click HERE
 
 
 

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