It was a rather select group of members who met this evening to discuss Humanitarian Aid. It wasn’t the choice of topic that kept people away, more the condition of the local roads and pavements after the weekend’s snowfall. Several of us had done some diligent research and reading in advance of the meeting. Unfortunately, we learned from each other just how unsatisfactory and corrupt a lot of the aid organisations are. It came as a surprise that so little that is raised for victims of natural disasters ever reaches where it is needed. Administration seems to swallow up a lot of it and then what is sent abroad is often going into the pockets of corrupt officials or worse still being used to provide arms for militia, either official or breakaway forces. We decided that the work of the ACWW was a better solution where not money but tools, equipment and education is sent abroad to teach the locals how to help themselves. We then moved on to the work of the WI with the homeless and abused in Women’s Refuges.
The December monthly WI is a festive affair with plates of food and wine and a musical entertainment. Of course, there is always a business side to cover as well. The new committee was introduced and the programme for 2018 revealed. Members were encouraged to think about the proposed resolutions to go to NFWI for the Annual General Meeting in June and to bring their voting forms with them to the next meeting when some time would be given to considering them together. Di Kemp showed off her certificate from the National Croquet Association for services to the game over the years.
“The Flying Man” by Roopa Farooki had been allocated to the WI Book Group when the organiser and the County Library had between them left a blank between choices of book. We were lucky really as most of us enjoyed reading the novel, although we couldn’t warm to the hero---probably anti-hero best describes him. He travelled across the world in his long life, changing his identity at the drop of a hat, leaving emotional baggage behind and always hoping that his luck would rescue him from the consequences of his actions. There was humour there and the background cities and countries were well described and their history was accurately fitted into the plot. I think we can say it was a happy accidental find and who knows, we may read another by the same author. To discover new writers is really what book groups are all about.