RECSDG Meeting Notes
6pm – March 22, 2017
Members and Advisors: David Ballesteros, Brian Alvara, Maureen Duncan, Maxie Gluckman, Janet Mikelson, Marian Pavlovich, Felipe Razo, Alan Rezner, Susan Rezner, Scot Sargeant, Amy Vegter
Guests: Lynda Wood – President Coronado Binacional, Carmen Diaz- VP, Aurora Salazar & Claudia Torres – Members Coronado Binacional, and Claudia Suarez, a prospective member
Marian opened the meeting with introductions as we were anticipating a Skype Presentation from Honduras. We had several guests visiting our club from Coronado Binacional. Lynda Wood, the Club President, indicated that some of her club members are looking for an alternative club like ours.
Skype presentation with Shin Fujiyama
Shin has spent the past 10 years in El Progresso, HN, working to build schools. A video of his full presentation can be found on our website.
In 2004, Shin was a pre-med student working on campus to make ends meet at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. He saw a flyer in the cafeteria announcing a 10 day trip over the Christmas break and signed up. The destination was changed at the last minute and Shin found himself in Honduras. That trip changed the course of his life. He returned to campus determined to raise funds to improve the lives of the people he met on his trip. For his first campus fundraiser, he bought a mason jar at the $1 store, rented a room and promoted the event on campus. Practically no one came but he raised $23. So he started looking for other options including trying to find major donors. Thanks to a friend’s connections, he was granted an interview with a wealthy woman who turned out to be Doris Buffet. He told her he was trying to raise $100,000. She challenged him to raise $33,000 by the end of the school year. If he did she would donate the remainder. He and his friends managed to raise $10,000 with only one fundraiser to go before the deadline that had been set. Amazingly, their final event raised $82,000, the most the campus had seen raised by a student fundraiser in the history of the school. The next year they raised $282,000 and over the past ten years, $5 million.
18 schools have been built with a goal of 100. In addition to building 18 schools, they are running a home for 28 orphaned and abused children. This includes youth over 18 who similar to the kids in our foster system have no resources once they become adults.
Train for Change Global Grant will provide teacher training for the schools being built by Shin. Maxie Gluckman gave us an update on the status of the grant which is moving ahead and should be ready for final approval soon. She will be organizing a fundraiser on May 13th to fund the program until the grant kicks in and hopes everyone will participate. Tickets are only $18 per person and the event includes dancing. She also handed out information about some volunteer trips to Honduras. Safety concerns were addressed by army support and the fact that even local gang members appreciate having school resources for their children. Only 6% of the children in Honduras attend college.
Global Grant G-1174 – Sustainable Entrepreneurship approved by Rotary International
As a reminder, this grant deals with providing support for economic and community recovery in Ecuador.
The city of Manta, which is the capital of the Province, and considered the epicenter of the quake, ground zero, will be the location where this project plans to serve 100 families in need to rebuild their community and providing entrepreneur skill training to100 heads of households, both men and women.
Along with assistance from Hogar de Cristo, a Cooperating Organization, volunteer University students, the Host Rotary Club of Manta, and other collaborating Rotary Clubs in the Region; the Project Manager and Point Person will be Adriana Alarcon, Rotary International Scholar, who received her Master’s degree at the University of San Diego in 2013. She is a member of Rotary E-Club of San Diego Global and a native of Manta, which is considered “Ground Zero.” She also has a high position with the Ecuadorian Government which will be very beneficial in the family reconstruction of their houses and community infrastructure. In addition to providing training for better job opportunities, the plan is to purchase various types of equipment beneficial in the training for small businesses and attainment of job opportunities. The Cooperating Organization will also assist in basic education to both adults and tutoring sessions for children who have missed school for a long period of time.
Our member, Adriana will be managing this grant locally and handling the reporting.
Tecate Volunteer Service Project
Janet and Scot reported on their participation in the Smiles International project in Tecate. They were able to provide parent interface and preliminary instructions. Dr. Moses has been doing this work for 30 years.
Potential Global Grant in Amazon suggested by Maureen Duncan
Maureen mentioned that thanks to David Ballesteros, she went to Brazil in 2008 and made contacts in the Amazon which she still maintains. She would like to develop a grant to be pursued in the 2017-2018 Rotary Year. She indicated that any grant in the Amazon would have an environmental aspect. Since this is not one of the 6 current areas of focus of the Rotary Foundation, it will be an interesting challenge to structure a grant.
The meeting concluded with four of the visiting guests requesting applications for our club.
Respectfully submitted by,