Eugene Southtowne Rotary is a service club of committed members partnering with Rotary International to provide support in service to local and worldwide communities through truth, fairness, goodwill, and better friendships, beneficial to us all.
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The following was received by Southtowne member, Dick Briggs:
Thanks so much for your note, and for Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club’s on-going commitment and support of Project Amigo’s scholars!
I’m filling in between the departure of Coke and Cindy and the arrival of Jenna and Alex Saldaña who will assume the role of Executive Directors in mid-August. (Their bio is on our website. As you can imag- ine, we’re pretty excited about the talent they bring to Project Amigo.)
Jorge Torres has filled me in on the Micro-Enterprise project, and I’m happy to share the progress.
In December of 2014, the 10th Annual “Encuentro de Becarios” workshop had the theme “Employment, Self-Employment and Micro-Businesses as alternatives for entering the labor market for professional level students of Project Amigo I” and focused on imagining and creating products from used shirts and t-shirts that could be sold by a micro-business. There were three winners – one in each of these three categories: originality, creativity and usefulness. The grand prize was $2,000 pesos given to the student who had the best idea/design with the goal of manufacturing the product. Jessica Manzo (now a college graduate) won this prize. Regretfully, she was unable to complete it, and the task passed on to some of her classmates. We have lost contact with Jessica. We’re informed that after graduating, she has gone to Oregon and we don’t know how her project progressed. Maybe you will see her sooner than us. I’m sorry.
On June 27th, the 11th “Encuentro de Becarios” was held with the theme of “Employment, Self-Em- ployment and Micro-Businesses as alternatives for entering the labor market for professional level stu- dents of Project Amigo II”. In the absence of communication from Coke regarding whether this workshop was funded or not, we didn’t organize as large a scale workshop as we had in December. In the June workshop, there was one project – where the becarios had to create a product made from either primary or re-usable material. We offered a prize of $500 pesos. Nathaly Preciado won this prize. (photo # 2576 attached – Nathaly is the young lady in the middle)
We all sincerely appreciate the help and Support of Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club, and you in par- ticular, for promoting and encouraging these events. The scholars have found them useful and stimulat- ing. The workshops have opened their eyes and minds to the idea of starting their own businesses, and not depend on the labor market to support them.
Jorge plans to use the $300 the Club is sending now to further develop projects and ideas for Micro- Businesses at our 12th “Encuentro de Becarios” which will be held in December of 2015.
Many thanks again, Dick! Best wishes,
Today we learned about Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), presented by Sarah-Kate Sharkey, Associate Director and Kelsey Beyer, volunteer.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provides a powerful voice for abused and neglected children in Lane County. Every day, judges decide the futures of these children in a court system that is too overburdened to focus adequately on the needs of each child. CASA trains and supports community volunteers to advocate for children and help to move them into safe, permanent homes.
Notes from the presentation:
- The Rotary Duck Race funds given to CASA has greatly improved their capacity to serve more kids.
- Last year, 1500 kids spent at least one night in foster care. It's a very scary time for these kids. They are torn out of what they know and placed in a strange situation. It is the beginning of a very difficult road. A lot of kids fall through the cracks of the overburdened system. The average foster care stay is 2 years, which is a long long time for a small child.
- The foster child is in the middle of a bicycle wheel surrounded by "spokes" of adults making decisions for him/her. They aren't necessarily focused on what is best for the child and are not necessarily communicating. The CASA volunteer stands in the middle next to the child and talks to all the adults and determines what is best for the child. This way, the overburdened judge has a better ability to make the best decision.
- CASA wants kids to be less likely to age out of the system and to get out of the system more quickly.
- CASA kids get help & services more often and more adequately. CASA volunteers look at everything from medical care, to schooling to social structures.
- Kids get bumped from foster home to foster home and case worker to case worker but the CASA volunteer is there throughout the process.
- CASA is a passion for a lot of people in our community. Bert Toepel is a CASA volunteer.
- A lot of people question how they can do it emotionally and time-management wise. The time requirement is only 10-15 hours a month. Half of the CASA volunteers work full time and still take vacations.
- Last year, CASA served 470 kids but there are 230 still waiting for a volunteer. It is very difficult to choose which children will not get a volunteer and CASA wants to change that by having more people volunteer.
- One of the volunteers spoke about how she assumed that foster homes are "better" than what the kids are coming out of. Her first case was with three boys who were in the same home together and in talking to the boys at their foster home, and she had an awkward feeling about the "perfect" home and behavior. As she got to know them and saw them at school and in different situations, and spent more time at the foster home, she came to understand that the situation was abusive. Without the CASA volunteer earning their trust, the system will not find out about these kinds of things as fast. The boys were transitioned to a better situation and eventually were adopted by their great-grandparents.
- Lawyers and case workers are super overloaded and cannot advocate, let alone really understand the cases.
- Each volunteer advocates for one child or one sibling group.
- At any one point in time, there are 700 children needing an advocate.
- The reasons for removal include drugs and alcohol (biggest reason). All kids are neglected or abused either physically, emotionally or sexually. Poverty is a big factor.
- 3/4 of current volunteers are female. Kids are 50/50.
- Volunteers are often retired, but you only have to be 21 to volunteer and there is a wide range of backgrounds. Retired teachers are common.
- There aren't enough safe foster homes. Foster parents are definitely needed.
- About half of the kids go back to their parents. Parents have to show stability and if alcohol or drugs were a factor, they have to be sober for a period of time and have to attend parenting classes. The judge needs to see a commitment to improving the situation.
- Peer coordinators (volunteers) coach 4 CASAs to help or back up new CASAs as they learn the system. This helps with turnover and has allowed CASA to bring on more volunteers.
Aid Africa Quarterly Newsletter – Summer 2015
Follow up on the Living Water Grant:
You’ll recall the “breaking news” from our February newsletter about a wonderful $6000 grant from the Living Water Committee of the Trinity Lu- theran Church in Lynwood, WA. The grant came with a checklist of what was to be done to earn it. Aid Africa has fulfilled the promise.
- Repair five boreholes: We did a complete rehabilitation in Angaya Parish of a waterpoint used by three villages. Until our work, it had just been a swamp shared with cows and goats. Using a district water office list of sites needing repair, we picked four more spots to work at that showed the greatest number of people who relied upon them. These included two at schools.
- Build two sheltered springs: Again, we focused our effort on places where there was lots of water and lots of people who depended upon that water but where the local community did not have the resources to protect those sources from contamination. Aid Africa funded the purchase and deliv- ery of construction materials. Two fouled bogs of stagnant water became two concrete bunkers yielding streams of clear water through pipes.
- Dig one new well: Between Binonga and Kal Villages we found a water source which went dry an- nually as the rain season ended. Now they have a pump that can extract clean water year-round.
Funds raised for Aid Africa
Aid Africa Board member Bob Inman raised $1600 leading 31 different participants on his “Inman 300” route which utilizes scenic streets, trails, foot bridges, parks and 345 public stairways stretching from the edge of the mountains north of Los Angeles to San Pedro Harbor. Bob held twelve walking dates and the participants were asked to contribute $10 per segment towards Aid Africa. Seven of them finished the 220 mile, 29,000’ gain route.
Here was a nice surprise:
Founded 1611, Char- terhouse School is one of the eight original English “Public” Schools. They heard about Aid Africa and asked if they could include us as a focus of their 2015 fund raising effort. Their March 7 event was a spec- tacular success that included the participation of 127 parents. At day’s end, our share of their generosity was a nearly $18,000 contribution. Wow! Thank you Charthouse School!
A Rotary Friendship Exchange team of twelve people from Romania and Moldova will be visiting Oregon in August. RFE is an exchange program where Rotarians from different districts around the world visit each other’s districts, learning about the other country’s culture and developing friendships. Twelve Oregonians visited Romania and Moldova in May, and now a team from there will visit our district. One member of this team is an artist, Elvira Cemortan-Volosin.
Elvira Cemortan-Volosin is a native of the Republic of Moldova and is President of the Cultural Center Artelit in Chisinau, Moldova. She graduated from the Academy of Music, Theatre and Arts in 1995 and focused initially on tapestry work. She later expanded her focus as she was guided by mysteries and visions to a new arena of exceptionally beautiful work, which has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in her native country of Moldova,as well as in Brussels,Paris, and Romania. Her latest exhibition is entitled Ethnos, and it will be available for viewing and purchase at New Zone Gallery on August 14th and 15.
A reception honoring Cemortan-Volosin will be held on Saturday, August 15, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at the gallery. Half of the proceeds from the sale of her works will go to Eugene Southtowne Rotary’s Literacy Project, and the other half will go to a Moldovan charity project, Books for Every Child, which Cemortan- Volosin sponsors in Moldova.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 15 at the New Zone Gallery!
The following words are from George Kloeppel's son, Ken: "Right around the time Mother Nature swept over the Puget Sound, reminding us what rain feels like, the Lord took away my dad, George Kloeppel. He passed quietly, surrounded by loved ones, and long time friends, in the place he loved more than anywhere - Vashon Island. I guess you can't ask for more, but it sure seemed too quick for those who know him. I love you and miss you Dad. I'll trim the blackberries now, you rest."
From Ann Saunderson, George's former wife: "The above is our son’s Facebook post with a beautiful set of photos of George. He came back to his beloved beach and home Wed. pm, Hospice admit Thurs am, died Sunday July 26 @6:19 pm. Thank you all for prayers and support. His death is a shock in that from diagnosis to peaceful death the time was barely 3 months and his ‘retirement’ was so brief. With love, Ann"
Celebration of Life on Friday Aug. 7 @ 11am, Church of the Holy Spirit, Vashon.
The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) registration is open.
What is RLI? RLI is a leadership development program for all Rotarians who are interested in learning more about Rotary, The Rotary Foundation and maybe even leadership potential in their clubs and the district. It is not a replacement of the District Leadership Academy.
RLI also provides leadership skill development which would be applicable for volunteer organizations in general, delivered in three Saturday sessions over a year. This is a great program for new Rotarians and long-time Rotarians. Everyone is invited!
RLI will be a series of three Saturday workshops, Fall, Winter and Spring. The sessions will be held in Eugene, Coos Bay, Bend and Medford. The Saturdays are staggered such that if you cannot make a session in your “quadrant,” there are other opportunities elsewhere in the District. Sessions must be taken in order.
Session 1, Bend & Coos Bay - September 12th; Eugene & Medford - October 17th
Session 2, Bend - October 17th; Coos Bay - December 5th; Medford - January 16th; Eugene - Feb. 6th
Session 3, Bend - December 5th; Coos Bay - February 20th; Medford & Eugene - March 12th;
Many clubs have said they would pay the registration fee, so check with your club. If you have any questions please contact Pat Fahey or me. Registration covers lunch, materials and some travel expenses for the Faculty as necessary.
Register NOW for Rotary Leadership Institute - September 12, 2015.To register, log into DaCdb.com, go to the calendar, and click on the registration link for RLI on September 12th.
Volunteers from Eugene Mountain Rescue (EMR) discussed the history of EMR, what they do, and most important—why they do it for our community. They also shared stories about their experiences—boots, ropes, carabiners, and crampons on the ground and in the air.
Visit them here: http://www.eugenemountainrescue.org/
Notes from the presentation:
EMR missions mostly include searching for lost hikers, as well as vehicles that get stuck. Looking for people who just went "wandering" is frequent, as are searches for hunters (particularly mushroom hunters).
There are about 1000 search and rescue meetings in Oregon and 100 in Lane County. Types of missions tend to vary by season and Spring is the least number of incidents. Summer is definitely the worst.
Males from 21-30 are the demographic that get lost the most.
EMR participates in steeper mountainous rescues as well as remote rescues.
There are lots of rescue groups in Lane County who work with Eugene Mountain Rescue and each other to include:
- Lane County Water Search and Rescue Team
- Lane County Ground Search and Rescue Team (mostly evidence related searches)
- Explorer Post 178 (ground searches and base camp set up)
- Lane County Mounted Posse (trail searching & transport)
- Lane County Special Vehicles Group (remote areas)
- Lane County Amateur Radio Operators (establish communication)
- Lane County Search Dogs
- Nordic Ski Group
Searcher's safety is especially important. If it isn't safe to get to someone, they don't go.
When a 911 call comes in, the sheriff's deputy does a bit of fact finding and then a "hasty team" reports to the scene to do a quick search from the point last seen. 70% of searches are resolved at this step. If preliminary searching does not find the subject, additional resources are called in.
Not all calls are treated equally. Factors that determine urgency include weather and expected weather, age and medical condition of the subject, and experience of the subject and how well equipped. Kids are obviously treated with the highest amount of urgency.
Containment is one of the most important strategies. Finding a point that the person definitely had been is important.
If you are lost, STAY PUT. Hug a tree. Don't keep wandering.
If you are going, make sure you tell someone!
Our speaker mentioned that this case has always haunted her: http://www.craterlakeinstitute.com/crater-lake-news/remembering-boy-lost.htm. One thing about being a rescuer is that sometimes, lives are lost or people are not found. But it is very rewarding when lives are saved or closure is brought to a family who otherwise may have always wondered.
The 30-year Anniversary Celebration of Project Amigo goes on! Last month four students graduated from the University of Colima - bringing the number of college graduates to 53! And there’s more good news and fun to share.
Meet Project Amigo’s new Executive Directors
Jenna and Alex Saldaña bring bilingualism, biculturalism and an array of other talents and skills to the Executive Director position at Project Amigo. Jenna has spent extensive time in Nicaragua and Mexico; Alex has spent exten- sive time in the United States. Both have a good understanding of each other’s culture. Jenna received a BA and MA in English Literature from Eastern Michigan University. Alex graduated from the Technical University of Queretaro with a degree in production processes. Both have worked in international development - in Nicaragua and in Ecuador.
Before he gives a speech, K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran doesn’t like flowery, adulatory introductions. They make him uncomfortable. The 2015-16 Rotary president would rather keep a low profile and share the credit. If it were up to him, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this article.
Negotiating Days of Tranquility during the Sri Lankan civil war so that health workers could administer drops of polio vaccine? Although it was on his desk that the agreement landed, he says, a lot of people worked to make that happen. Rebuilding 23 tsunami-damaged schools for 14,000 children? He merely led the committee. Taking a label-printing business from a small outfit operating in a space the size of a garage to a global powerhouse in the packaging business that has helped change the value-added tea industry in his country? Well, he simply happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“I’m sometimes introduced as a self-made man,” says Ravindran, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo. “You’ve got to be utterly egocentric to believe you are self-made. Each one of us is made because so many people helped us become who we are.
One of the reasons I work so much for Rotary is that I have been helped by so many people, and often you never have a chance to reciprocate,” he explains. “The only way you can is by helping others. When the people I help ask me, ‘What can I do?’ I say, ‘Go and help someone else in return.’”
For Ravindran, paying it forward isn’t a fad, it’s a way of life. His theme for this Rotary year, Be a Gift to the World, also summarizes his personal philosophy. Read more at www.therotarymagazine.com/pay-it-forward
2015-16: Be a Gift to The World
Rotary International Presidential Theme 2015-16 RI President K.R. Ravindran chose Be a Gift to the World as his theme for 2015-16. Ravindran urges Rotary members to give the gifts of time, talent, and knowledge to improve lives in communities across the globe. “Through Rotary, we can take these gifts and make a genuine difference in the lives of others and in our world.”