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Diversity & Inclusion
Apr 19, 2021
6:45 PM – 8:00 PM
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Russell Hampton
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RCO Bulletin April 5, 2021
RCO Meeting April 5, 2021
Rotary Club of Oakville
Meeting of April 5, 2021 – via ZOOM
The meeting was called to order by President Mike Henry at 7:00pm with a toast to Queen and Canada. The invocation was provided by Ralf Soeder.
A total of 21 people signed into the Zoom meeting – 19 members plus 2 guests – our speaker, plus Noemy Castro, an ex-Rotaractor and potential new member.
  • Bob Miskelly – update re bursary awards. May 7 application deadline. Once selected by the committee, the awardees have 2 years to use the bursary (old rule was 12 months). Event June 9 – virtual again.
  • Mike H – April 24 project postponed, because of the latest lockdown restrictions – more information will become available in due course.
  • Nipun Madan – very optimistic about the vaccine rollout and the future!
Happy Bucks & Fines:
  • George, George, Frank, Riona, Mahendra and Rod were all happy for a number of reasons
  • Today’s Fines Master was Mitch Sabsabi, and he raised a lot of bucks with his Rotary related questions
The speaker, Bob Paterson from Mukuru Promotion Centre, Kenya was introduced by George Farrow
  • Bob actually joined us form Kenya, where it was after 3am by the time we finished
  • Kenyans have been moving from farms to the cities, and a lot of them now live in slums
  • Slums (aka informal settlements) have little crime, and people are happy, but there is widespread poverty and fire is a risk as they cook on open fires, etc. inside closely-packed wooden buildings
  • COVID hit Kenya hard – low official COVID figures, but anticipated to be c.70% who have had it, and most jobs have been lost, without a social safety net
  • Low death rate from COVID, mainly because of Kenya’s age profile – the average age in Kenya is 19!
  • Education is the only way out of slums, and education has a positive knock-on impact as students the teach other family members
  • Mukuru Promotion Centre provides education (primary and high schools) and health – all non-denominational
  • Management and teachers are mostly Kenya (was started in 1985 by Irish Sisters of Mercy)
  • Bob works there one day per week, and has done so since he retired (15 years ago) – he also manages a small trucking company there
  • Bob has a great local network and he finds lots of people to volunteer their time for a variety of tasks, for Mukuru Promotion Centre
  • Attendance at MPC schools is 98%
  • Education is a mixture of academic and vocational – the latter helps students to set up their own businesses
  • They also have a Street Boy Program – education, rehousing and reintegration with their families, with an 80% success rate
  • 80% of MPC’s income comes from abroad, including Germany, Austria and Ireland
  • Bob created a Secondary School Sponsorship Program
  • There are 9 Rotary clubs in Nairobi, some of which have supported Mukuru Promotion Centre over the years
Bob Paterson was thanked by Gary Comerford
Next Meetings
  • Apr 19: Akinkunmi Akinnola, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
  • May 3:  George Farrow – acquisitions, developments, renovations and potential disposals of the property owned by THS/ OCHI and managed by RCO members
President Mike closed the meeting at 8.10pm with a toast to friends and Rotarians around the world.