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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Greg and Kieran Walsh are both Shelter Box Ambassadors and members of Delta Rotary in Eugene. They have been representing Shelter Box in District 5110 since early 2014. Shelter Box is an International Relief Organization based in Cornwall, England that is sponsored by Rotary International. Relief supplies may include shelter, sleeping items and cooking utensils as needed following major disasters. Such disasters include earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, etc.
Notes from Kieran's presentation:
ShelterBox fills a gap in aid provision.
There are 60 employees and hundreds of volunteers. Highly trained ShelterBox response team volunteers work diligently to ensure these emergency supplies reach the most vulnerable families and communities.
ShelterBox provides assistance in terms of proper shelter to help survivors through the first few days, weeks and months as they rebuild their lives.
Each ShelterBox typically contains:
- a custom-made tent designed to withstand extreme temperatures with built in mosquito screens, privacy screens, and good ventilation
- thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets
- water purification equipment
- a multi-fuel stove and cooking/eating equipment
- a basic tool kit
- children's packs with drawing books, crayons, and pens
In Malyasia, during intense monsoon rains which are causing the worst floods in decades, the first ShelterBox volunteers arrived in late December to assist with assessment and distribution. One team established a camp with 100 tents, water availability, kitchen and toilet facilities. The team worked with local authorities and councils to form a coordinated response and were able to establish the camp in three days. They were able to pass on their knowledge and experience in creating and managing the camps long-term.
In Haiti, 200,000 families were taken care of by ShelterBox. Since then, another 100,000 replacement tents were sent.
How you can help:
- donating - $1000 pays for one box including it's assembly and delivery and the staff/volunteers needed to manage the program
- fundraising - rally support and coordinate an event to buy a box
- volunteering - ShelterBox relies on volunteers to help fulfill the mission.
The boxes stay in the communities including the box to be reused as needed. The tents will last up to 3 years.
On May 31, 11 Rotary volunteers together with Head Start staff provided a day of fun to celebrate the end of the year at Fairfield Head Start. Over 100 children and parents came It included parachute play, fingerpainting, making stepping stones, planting plants, hula hoops, reading, face painting, sponge relays and an obstacle course. The snow cone machines that Southtowne rented were a big hit! Thanks to Linda Anderson for all her work in chairing this event! Thanks to all the Rotarians and family members who helped make this a memorable event for these families.
Claire Wiles is a North Eugene High School teacher and Navy reservist who served for a year in Iraq and will speak about her experiences and her knowledge of Iraq. The following are notes from her presentation:
- Both are Muslim.
- The death of Muhammad created a divide politically. Some sought elective (Sunni) leadership and others were in favor of hereditary (Shia) leadership.
- Quran interpretation is also a divisive point.
- Iran's reach in to Iraq is a result of trying to protect its Shia people.
- Saddam ruled Iraq.
- Opposition forces including terror groups were closely monitored and controlled, which of course, the US changed.
- Iraq government was dominated by Sunni leaders. Saddam wanted to make sure the Shia were not able to get power.
- Short sighted anti-Baathist (anti-Sunni) policies were not focused on nation building.
- We were at war with terrorists, not Iraq.
- Unemployment became rampant. People were starving and blamed Americans.
- The US disbanded the Iraqi army and as a result sent highly trained men with weapons home unemployed.
- We didn't clean up weapons depots, which then outfitted the Sunni armies.
- Incarceration = Radicalizing. There was no selection of guilty vs innocent and it took months to return innocent men to families. Many became terrorists while incarcerated.
- The largest prison became, essentially, a terrorist University. Americans turned their back on that prison due to lack of personnel.
- The US turned a blind eye to sectarian violence (100 bodies a day).
- There was no political surge to match military surge.
- Means al-Queda in Iraq.
- They are Violent and Extreme.
- The Iraqi prime minister targeted his Sunni Vice President. Shia took over when Americans left.
- ISIS came along and played in to the hands of the enraged Sunnis.
- ISIS is a terrorist group with a sprinkle of leadership and statesmanship. They know how to run a territory they take over.
The Way Ahead...US Troops Should Not Be Introduced...
- Everyone wants to kill Americans so there will be an increased appeal to foreign fighters if America elects to engage.
- American involvement sharpens and evolves terrorist tactics.
- It is difficult for US troops to work in that environment. We would be asking troops to serve with people they were trying to kill in 2006-08.
- Force protection becomes the focus for US troops.
- American involvement increases propaganda and provides a common enemy and increases unity of disparate factions. If we do not get involved, there is a real possibility that ISIS will destroy itself.
- Our involvement will not resolve underlying issues that led to the formation of ISIS. Terrorism is a Hydra. Chop off the head and it will grow another. Infrastructure, employment, etc. is what Iraq needs. US troops enforce helplessness.
The Best Future Overcomes Dis-empowerment...
- Unless we plan to stay in Iraq for 50 years, the Iraqi people need to be empowered to develop infrastructure, the economy, and "national guard" security.
*the image is of a map indicating territory ISIS would like to control
Over the last 18 months, Don and Deborah Steely have made three volunteer trips to Kenya and Rwanda, two remarkably different countries. In Kenya, they’ve worked in two orphanges, a women’s prison, and with South Sundanese refugee women. In Rwanda, they are working with Rotary Kigali-Gasabo, government agencies, and other NGOs to start an English tutoring program similar to the StoveTeam model.
More abut Kenya and their work there:
- Kenya is the size of Texas
- Kenya has tropical temperate and mountain climates
- The population is 45 million, 60% are under 25
- The average woman has 4-5 children
- Life expectancy is 61
- Kenya has a presidential republic government - the president owns most of the land and companies and that family is worth about 500 million US dollars
- Most Kenyans live very very poorly, barely making enough to feed poor quality food to their families
- Capital is Nairobi and houses 3 million
- Kenya is terribly corrupt. Infrastructure is terrible. Garbage is burned in the street. It's a terrible environment.
- There are 70 kids per classroom with teachers that are typically not dedicated because pay is poor
- Cindi's Hope is a Rotary sponsored program that runs two orphanages that take in orphaned and sexually abused boys and girls (150) and provides room, board, education and health care
- The Steelys manage the education provided and train teachers/provide curriculum
- Orphans typically come from refugee camps.
- 2 million people have been displaced and 50,000 killed because of civil war and genocide.
- $50/month provides room, board, health and education
- $140 buys a Kindle for the libraries, which brings children all the books instead of trying to ship books in (expensive)
- Women who have been rescued from genocide, or who are in the women's prison, who have lost everything, are being rehabilitated to teach and speak English. They have such heart and hope and to be part of their lives is a gift (quote from Deborah Steely).
More abut Rwanda and their work there:
- Rwanda is the land of 1,000 hills
- It is the size of Maryland with a mild climate
- 12 million people live in Rwanda, most are young
- 80% are farmers, 45% live in poverty
- Growth rate of the population is huge, but life expectancy is 59
- Rwanda has a Republic government
- The capital is Kigali which houses 1 million
- Genocide is what most people know about Rwanda. In 1994, 1 million were killed, most with machetes. The world pretty much ignored it.
- Ethnic discrimination started with Belgian control who required ethnic ID cards
- When independence came, a military dictatorship took control and was backed by France and the church
- By the time the dictatorship was defeated, Rwanda was a failed state and half of the population were refugees with no structure whatsoever
- Rwanda is rebuilding - dramatically - it is remarkable
- Restorative justice has reintegrated 100,000 prisoners. These are people that committed genocide. But they could not kill them so they have restored them.
- Rwanda is clean and virtually corruption free. It is the safest country in Africa.
- Everyone in Rwanda commits one day a month to community service
- Rwanda is seeking non-aid investment. They want to be the IT and telecommunication center of Africa.
- Poverty is down 15% and income is up 300%
- The biggest remaining problems include poverty and lack of jobs, poor infrastructure, and education.
- The average Rwandan has 4 years of education.
- The national language switched from French to English in 2009 and 95% of the teachers have a marginal understanding of English and need to be certified.
- The Steelys are attempting to establish English academies in Rwanda to be owned and operated entirely by Rwandans.
- They will teach a group of young Rwandans world class English who will then teach other teachers. They will also teach them business skills and coach them to operate a business.
- Rwanda is a model for what other African nations can do.
Just a reminder that tomorrow's meeting will be at 687 Cheshire Ave Eugene, OR 97402.
The mission of Willamette Family is to provide readily accessible, quality mental health and substance abuse/ addiction care for men, women, youth, and families in an atmosphere that promotes compassion, respect and well-being for all.
See you there!
This past week Lauren was able to get back into his Cleveland Street warehouse following completion of several moths of remodeling by St Vincent. During this period, materials continued to come in forcing everything into a small storage at the mission.
Come moving day- last Thursday afternoon- Southtowne Rotarians Jantzen Lloyd, Jim Anderson and Dennis Blaine came to the rescue! After several vehicle loads, a lot of boxes and numerous trips up a flight of stairs, most of the materials were relocated.
It would not have happened without their help---Thanks to all!
The Cleveland facilitiy allow materials to be sorted and displayed for visitors to see what we have and find what they need for their trips abroad. The next work party will be sorting all those boxes that were moved. If you are able to help out please contact Lauren or Frank. Thanks again to Jantzen, Jim and Dennis for their hard work and heavy lifting.
"Women rolled up their sleeves and put their construction skills to the test. For the first time this year, women worked every day of the week.
More than 100 volunteers jointed together to work on a home for Ursula Jimenez and her two children who are currently residing in a crowded living situation."
See the whole story on the KMTR website!
Stay tuned for more information on group build days for Southtowne this spring and summer.
Don't forget that you can sign up as an individual volunteer through Habitat's new online calendar and sign-up matrix. Just go to: https://sehabitat.volunteermatrix.com/
This year's exchange team is from District 3010 India in Delhi
- The leader (and everyone on the team as well) is from the Rotary Club of Delhi South East and they have 145 members
- They meet Friday evenings in a five star hotel (Grand Hyatt) in Delhi
- They say that India has some of the most beautiful clubs
- They have been in Portland, Bend, Rogue Valley, Coos Bay, and now Eugene
- Their visit to Oregon has been a wonderful experience.
- They are staying with the O'Leary family
- In most homes in India, several generations live together and this is a tradition
- There are more than 84,000 deities in India and most are female
- There are 1.3 billion people in Delhi and most are of younger ages
One of the team members is a gentleman who studied to be a Chemist, became a Marketing Executive, then a Banker and now owns two businesses. He is widowed since 1985 and has two grown sons.
Another couple expressed having a wonderful experience on this trip and especially staying with the families instead of in hotels. They noted how warm and caring the hosts have been.
Another couple have been involved with Rotary for 25 years.
The leader is involved in the textile/fabric industry.
We are all invited to India. Their homes are open. India is a country of hospitality. Come ride an elephant to the palace.
Camille is recruiting a team to travel to India in January 2016 if you are interested.
Here is a link to District 3110: http://www.rid3110.com/
Here is a link to the Rotary Club of Delhi Southeast: http://rotarydelhisoutheast.en.ec21.com/
The supply department at PeaceHealth referred Dr. "Binny", MD (not his full name) to Rotary for a connection for source of urgent supplies to take to Kathmandu, Nepal. I happened to be at RiverBend at the time and we met and made arrangement to meed Saturday and go through our supplies at both Eugene Mission and also the Cleveland warehouse. His response at Cleveland was "this is incredible". "Binny" is the perfect connection. He's a native of Nepal and works at RiverBend as an Intensive Care Doctor. He understands Trauma cases and knows the exact supplies needed to treat them. He found a lot of special procedure kits in our stock that will likely save some lives, plus a lot of typical items for emergency care. We loaded his SUV and a second car. Do to the tragedy in Nepal the airlines will let him take 300 pounds of checked baggage.
He could still use more of the following:
- Sutures all types
- Casting material all types for broken arms & legss
- Medications expired out of date may be OKAY
If any of you have connections with any of the above, contact Lauren.