In March 2018, five local Rotary and Rotaract clubs elected to provide ongoing support for the mothers and babies at Karinya House.

Karinya House is a community-based not-for-profit providing supported accommodation and transitional housing to pregnant and parenting women and their families who are in crisis.

Along with Rotary Club of Hall, the other clubs involved in this initiative are The Rotary Club of Aurora-Gungahlin, The Rotary Club of Gungahlin, The Rotary Club of Ginninderra, The Rotary Club of Yass and the Rotaract Club of University of Canberra.

Each club takes it in turns to provide support on a monthly rotation. The idea is that on rostered months, each Rotarian would buy a few extra non-perishable items on the Pantry list when they do their groceries.

Each month, Rosemary Waters (RC Arora Gungahlin) and a designated member from the supporting club then deliver the groceries to Karinya on behalf of their club. This process is aimed at helping to protect the privacy of the women and children at Karinya.

President Janine hands over gift cards
Gift of $1,000 of gift cards to be used at the Capital Region Farmers Market

The feedback from Karinya House is that our effort fills a significant need as many of the women who have been helped by Karinya come back in times of stress.

The reach of Karinya House goes wider than just around Belconnen with support being given to women and children in the area out to and including Yass and Goulburn.

The response since the initial agreement has been wonderful and even more expansive than was hoped.  Beyond Rotary the Medical Imaging Department of Calvary Hospital took it upon themselves to also take up a collection.  Also, the Melba Men’s Shed has become part of the Rotary initiative and a number of individuals have taken this on as a personal commitment.  

The average total value of deliveries is about $400 a month. However, for Christmas 2018, Rotary Club of Hall decided to give residents $1,000 worth of gift cards to be spent at the club’s Capital Region Farmers Market. In this way, the women of Karinya will have the opportunity to receive fresh produce and specialty foods of their choice instead of the usual non-perishables.

In spending their gift cards, they will also have the opportunity to experience one of Canberra’s great social Saturday morning activities.

Pictured above: President Janine of Rotary Club of Hall handing $1,000 of gift cards to Karinya House Property Manager and Senior Case worker, Luisa Lopes.