John Borst, a member of the Kingston-Frontenac Club, spoke to our Club about this important project that supports 7 great lakes in eastern Africa.


May 04, 2022
John Borst
African Centre for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE)

My name is John Borst. I am a member of the Rotary Club of Kingston. I have been a member since June 2021 however, I had been a member of the Rotary Club of Dryden, ON since January 2010.

Just prior to leaving Dryden, we learned of an initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, (IISD) which is centred in Winnipeg.  We learned that the IISD had set up an organization the African Centre for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE). Its Executive Director Dr. Ted Lawrence was the person speaking to us. IISD-ACARE‚Äôs goal is none-other than to save the Great Lakes of Africa (GLA). As part of the plan to save the GLA, IISD-ACARE established a program African Women in Science (AWIS). The goal of this program is to train young African women scientists in water research as women in Africa, like much of the rest of the World, are under-represented in the field of aquatic science.

A goal of IISD-ACARE for the 2022 AWIS cohort is to bring them to North America to learn from the organizations involved in the health of the Great Lakes of North America. (Also, called the Laurentian Great Lakes)

The plan in North America is to introduce the AWIS members to Canadian/American organizations involved in preserving the NAGL. We have decades of science on our lakes plus in Ontario we have the renowned Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), an area of 35 real lakes in the wilderness of Northwestern, Ontario on which we do freshwater research. It too is now a ward of the IISD. IISD-ACARE wants the AWIS women to spend a week doing experiments on those lakes.

IISD-ACARE has received enough money from a single American philanthropist to pay for the majority of the American portion of the trip. The Canadian portion of $60,000 to this date has not been funded.

My goal is to help them find the money for the Canadian portion. I estimate there are 112 Rotary Clubs on the Canadian shores of the Laurentian Great lakes plus there are another 42 clubs in District 5550, (Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan). My goal is to successfully speak to 100 of those clubs and raise $600.00 from each.

With that goal in mind, I am requesting an opportunity to speak to your club via Zoom as soon as possible, to try and raise $600.00 from your members. The money would be deposited to a dedicated account with the IISD which is registered as a Canadian charity.

Should you wish to donate from your fundraising as an International Services project, that too would be welcomed. In fact, if you would like to do a combination if your members do not meet the $600.00 threshold and top-up to that level that would be wonderful too.

On March 17th, I made my first presentation to The Rotary Club of Kingston. On April 13th, I will do one for the Rotary Club of Dryden. Dryden. This all started with Dryden because it is the closest club to the location of the Experimental Lakes Area.

Should you wish to preview the presentation a ZOOM video can be found at

Why would you want to help 'African Women in Science' learn in North America? | Rotary Club of Kingston (

Thank you for taking the time to read this request.

Yours in Rotary

John Borst, Rotary Club of Kingston
306-171 Wellington St.
Kingston, ON K7L 3E3