Report to Club Assembly 2015

Proposed activities in the Rotary Year 2015/16

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International and Foundation Committee 2015/16.

The committee comprises of Donald MacKay, Convenor and Stephanie Blackden, supported by President Elect Alex.

Conflict across the world and natural tragedies are but a sample of the ill divided world we live in.

What contribution can Rotary make to improve the life chances of our fellow world citizens? Will the donation of a Shelter Box or a contribution to Wateraid really make a difference? Well a journey starts with a single step and each step Rotary takes to assist those in need does make a difference. Each individual supported by the Club at home and abroad means an improved life chance and members should be proud of the part they play in upholding the ideals of Rotary.

This year the Club hopes to support the following initiatives:

1) An application for a Matching Grant with a total value of £6300.

A group of poor women in Bvumbe, Malawi will be trained and funded to operate a solar lighting and mobile battery charging business, in a rural village where no electricity exists. A microfinance arrangement has been designed to reward the entrepreneur women with viable cash income and to repay the capital outlay . This capital can be recycled to fund further groups of poo women .Further expansion of solar and mobile applications could provide childrens` education and generate more business .

Benefits:

1) The entrepreneurial women will earn enough to feed their families and to school their children.In particular, their daughters education will offer an escape pathway from the entrapment cycle of female poverty .

2) Light source for reading after dark , has been proven to increase childrens` study time, with major educational benefits .

3) Larger solar panels, in a second phase programme could power computers and tablets, bringing educational benefit to the entire village and printer/ photocopiers to increase the entrepreneur womens` income

4) A lighted building after dark would be a safe centre in the village for local women to operate businesses (e.g fried foods ), and for their childrens` education and play.

5) Locally charged mobile phones will save a great deal of time for the women, and may possibly save the lives of children and adults in event of village emergencies .

6) Farming and business will benefit from the local mobile broadcasts ( seed, fertiliser, weather, crop buyers)

A Poverty assessment tool (Magpi) which has been designed in Scotland and Singapore , needs to be proven in the field. The Rotarians from Limbe will organise the village women groups and supervise their business training and village savings scheme , in conjunction with Renama. Limbe Rotarians will continue the project for two years, and assess the impact on the womens`poverty status, annually . If Phase One is successful, the two clubs will collaborate further in phase two expanded applications for education and business.

2) Continue to support the purchase of Shelter and Aqua Boxes.

3) Raise the profile of International and Foundation through a series of activities including a Curry Lunch, links with local schools and community events.

4) Seek opportunities to invite guest speakers who can bring an international dimension to the work of the Club.

Donald MacKay.

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