Our speaker on 07 February 2024 was Rotary Global Scholar Robert Falconer, who addressed the Club on the topic of Second Hand Sponsorship, a topic with which the members of the Club were unfamiliar! Robert is currently living with his family in London and studying/researching for a PhD in Social Policy at the LSE.
Several small items of business were dealt with at the meeting. The Club has agreed to counsel two Rotary Global Grant Scholars in the Rotary Year 2024-2025, a member of the Club has been accepted as a Heathrow Volunteer helping passengers at the airport, and there was an interesting report for those who had purchased a car on hire purchase after 2007. Lastly, a cheque from the End Polio Now Teddy Raffle at St Gregory’s Catholic Science College has been forwarded to the End Polio Now campaign at Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.
Robert then explained his concept of Second Hand Sponsorship. It is based on research into the resettlement of refugees in Canada. Robert has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Calgary Olympic, and has undertaken extensive research into the experience of refugees arriving in Canada and their host families when they arrive. It turns out that the experience and the integration of the refugees is much more positive when they are hosted by a volunteer family rather than an arm of the government.
What was found and was most unexpected was the consequence of the family hosting. Friends and acquaintances of the hosting family also found themselves being more generous and supportive of the refugees, and ended up providing support themselves. In other words, they started sponsoring activities that were helping refugees without actually hosting themselves. Robert cited several case studies, and included the Canadian film “Nineteen Days” which can be seen on YouTube at this location.
Robert is also researching the trend of population movement across the globe, especially the movements from south to north, and especially the movements caused by poor government or oppressive regimes.
This was a fascinating talk with a lot of information and led to many questions from the floor.