Kitchener Rotary

September 13, 2021

Meeting Recording

Click here to see a video recording of the meeting.

President's Comments

President Adrian welcomed everyone to the meeting and extended greetings to guests and prospective new members attending today.
Also, a big thank you to members for supporting the Food Bank, Full Bellies - Happy Hearts campaign. Our members donated $2,200 and with matching funds from Allan Bush of CIBC Wood Gundy, the donations will provide $4,400 for the Food Bank. 
Adrian asked for a member to share a Rotary moment. Carl Zehr spoke about his travel to Japan on an 8 week Rotary exchange and the Rotary Convention in Sao Paolo in 1981 which was the inspiration for his year as President. The key note speaker at that convention was Mother Teresa.


Inge Ford, Guest of Lew Ford and today's meeting coordinator 
Josh Graham, Guest of Hubert Singh
Boyd Pendleton, Guest of Adrian DeCoo
Paula Rostrup, Guest of Paul Rostrup
Prossy Nantongo, Beautiful World Canada and presenter
Sara Dunkley, Beautiful World Canada and presenter

Happy Jar

  • Paul Rostrup added that in addition to their 40th anniversary on the 19th, his wife Paula will be celebrating her birthday on the 14th. They also had a visit with their son and his partner in Peterborough at their new apartment. 
  • Neil Swayze had a pleasant visit with his sister in law from Saskatchewan. 
  • Boyd Pendleton enjoyed a visit to Kingston to see his daughter who is in second year at Queens and who is on the university women's softball team. 
  • Richard Bruckeder recently returned from New Brunswick where they celebrated his son's wedding

Club Announcements

Neil Swayze was pleased to note that the Online Auction team circulated forms and information to all members. Products for the auction are starting to roll in and looks like we are off to a good start. 
Neil also announced that 100th Anniversary T-Shirts are available. These can be ordered by contacting Neil or Adrian. Also, they will be available for sale at the Edelwiess at our meeting next week on Sept. 21st. 
Paul Rostrup reminded members about the launch of the new Car Lottery. Sales started on Sept. 7th and the website is being actively promoted on social media. Members are asked to reach out to friends and family to help spread the word. 

Paul Rostrup also noted that photos were taken last week with Marg Azevedo, winner of $98,000 in Catch the Ace, who was delighted with the prize. Marg lives with muscular dystrophy and will use some of the winnings for home renovations and equipment to assist with her daily living and will also be using some to donate back to local charities. A truly deserving winner. 
The next round of Catch the Ace will be starting soon. 

Program Highlights

Martin Jones introduced today's speakers, Sara Dunkley and Prossy Nantongo from Beautiful World Canada and provided a brief history of the Rotary African Women's Education Fund (RAWEF) which started in 2010. The support of Audrey Wipper with an initial $500,000 contribution was the decision that led to the formation of RAWEF. When Audrey passed away in 2018, additional funds were bequeathed to the fund which now has over $1.5 million available to support women's education in Africa. Today there are students in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. 
RAWEF initially collaborated with Children of Hope Uganda. When it ceased operations RAWEF connected with Sara Dunkley and Beautiful World Canada (BWC) who are now providing assistance in managing the RAWEF program. 
Sarah Dunkley, Founder and Board Chair, noted that BWC will be celebrating it's 10th anniversary in November and is supporting higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Uganda. Check the BWC website for more details. 
Prossy Nantongo is Graduation Preparation Program Manager. She joined as a student and upon graduation was hired by BWC. Prossy provided an overview of the current group of 12 students that in working through their educational programs. The women are enrolled in various programs including education, accounting, business and psychology.
Due to COVID 19, there are many challenges as the universities have been closed to in person classes. Several students are able to continue with learning online, others have been engaged in volunteer work and internships. The students have also been needed to support their families during this time. Other challenges during COVID include
  • poor access to internet and lack of computer equipment
  • dropping out due to preganancies and lack of tuition
  • drug abuse due to peer pressure and idleness
  • domestic violence, child labour and poor working conditions
  • lack of materials for personal and scholastic needs
  • difficulty in finding internship placements
BWC students are less affected as they receive a stipend which allows them to access
  • medical care
  • internet
  • personal items such as soap, sanitary pads and scholastic materials
  • access to mentorship
  • weekly contact from BWC by phone and home visits
  • ROTOM health centre
Vaccination programs are ongoing across Uganda in goverment health centres, for those over age 18. Priority has been placed on teachers and students. 
BWC students are actively engaged in their communities, volunteering, with internships, working with families, engaging in individual initiatives, online classes and small projects. Some are also working part-time with local companies. 
Prossy closed with a thank you video 
Dave Martindale thanked Sara and Prossy. Dave reflected on his personal involvement with RAWEF and Audrey Wipper and having lived in Uganda in the 1960's where he was a teacher. 

Closing Remarks & Reminders

Adrian reflected on the tremendous inspiration provided by our speakers today and how impressive it is to understand the difficulties these women face in pursuing their education.  
Our meeting next week will be on Tuesday evening at the Edelweiss Tavern. Sign-up for this meeting will be required and has been circulated. 
Sep 20, 2021
Committee Meetings to be Scheduled by Committee Chairs
Sep 21, 2021 6:30 PM
In person at the Edelweiss Tavern - members only - registered event
Sep 27, 2021 4:00 PM
Stanley Park, Kitchener
Sep 28, 2021 6:30 PM
DG Rudy Habesch hosting this 5 club event
Oct 04, 2021 12:00 PM
Speaker Series - Post Covid Trends
Oct 11, 2021
Thanksgiving Day
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Linda Bennett
September 3
Join Date
Adrian DeCoo
September 1, 1987
34 years
Tom Mennill
September 24, 2007
14 years