North East Hero Recognised in National Awards
A Member of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary club has been recognised nationally for his volunteering efforts which have had a huge impact on people’s lives in Africa.
Peter Swan from Middlesbrough Erimus is being honoured by Rotary International in Great Britain as a ‘Champion of Change’.
Peter, who was recognised in 2020, will receive his award in a virtual ceremony on June 30.
Peter is among just 12 people nationwide – six from each year – from 1,700 Rotary clubs to receive the annual award, the 2020 ceremony being cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
Peter has devoted the past 15 years to transforming education in Meserani, Tanzania, after an expedition in 2004 inspired him to help make a difference.
Primary school pupils could not access full education, with no local secondary school. There are now four primary schools and building work on a secondary school has begun so students can progress to further and higher education via a sponsorship programme that Peter manages.
The schools have access to clean water, and solar power and there is also a medical centre.
Members of Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary club where Peter is an honorary member have supported the Meserani Project both individually and as a group sponsoring the education of 18 Secondary school pupils,3 ‘A’ level students, 4 completing post school vocational courses and six university graduates.
Chris Gent who nominated Peter on behalf of the club said ‘As a former head teacher knowing the value of education, I am in awe of Peter’s dedication to this cause’.
Peter said: ‘These past two years have been incredibly challenging managing a project based in Tanzania and not being able to get over there.
‘But living up to the Champion of Change accolade has certainly motivated me to make the necessary efforts and sacrifices – so a huge thank you to Rotary for the recognition, not only of myself, but of all those wonderful people who are making such a change.’
Tom Griffin, President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: ‘The Champions Awards is about giving those who pioneer, lead and support some amazing volunteering projects the recognition they deserve. The selfless and truly life-changing impact of our champions really demonstrates how we can make a difference and touch people’s lives.
‘Naturally, we were saddened that Peter wasn’t able to receive his award last year but we are delighted to invite him to join the 2021 winners so he can receive the recognition he deserves.’