Weekly Bulletin of the Rotary Club of St. Catharines South   

January 21, 2008

Rotary Shares


Call to Order:   President June Manning  

Anthem:  Paul Monaghan

Toast:  Norris Brown

Grace:  Rich Cavers 


Guests and Visiting Rotarians:  


Norris Brown welcomed Jim and Linda Peters who would be our guest speakers today.




Peter Snodgrass made his debut  in this illustrious role today and chose the road of no fines...just happy dollars today! Rich was happy for the great skiing last week. Paul for a wonderful trip to New Orleans...John D'Ambrosio for an experience at the Barrett Jackson Auction - no purchases though...Julio thanked Matt and Ed for the excellent Fireside hosted at the Taylor's home...Laetitia happy as always....probably a few more that I missed?




Matt reported on the Fireside Chat that had lots of healthy discussion on club activities. Ed Telenko spoke on proposing new members and gave a presentation on the history of our club. June thanked Matt and Ed for their efforts.




Peter Snodgrass had one on January 15th and therefore was subjected to the usual indignity. $10...


50/50 Draw: Bob MacKay came close with the King of Hearts.


Guest Speaker:


Laetitia de Witt introduced Jim and Linda Peters. Jim was a founding member of the Norfolk Sunrise Rotary Club of Simcoe and is a retired educator. He has been involved with several microbanking projects beginning with one in Uganda, moved on to South Africa and is currently involved with his wife Linda in Ecuador.


Jim and Linda alternated presenting a snapshot of microcredit at work in Ecuador. Jim began by reminding us of some cold facts in that One Billion people live on less than $1 per day and the united Nations goal is to reuce poverty by 50% by 2020. Microcredit's goal is to increase the $1 per day income to $10 per day in just two years.


We were given a little history of microcredit and its founder Mohammad Yanus who just over a year ago received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts with the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. His projects have grown immensely and have not just helped take people from a life of poverty but have elevated the role and status of women in poor economies. His first arranged loan was $27 in 1974 but the Grameen Bank has now loaned in excess of 6 Billion dollars!


Jim and Linda continued to give us specific examples of their success stories in Bahia, Guayaquil and Porto Hondo Ecuador. Each story was one of transformation, one small business at a time. They have taken donations totalling $8500 and started three separate village banks. The banks have grown and a further $12,500 was sent this year. A California Rotary Club has pledged  $25,000 which will increase the capital available to $49,000. An application for a $100,000 grant from Rotary International is in process. To quote the Peters, "This will make a significant difference in Ecuador....The question is how big is the problem in Ecuador and how big a difference can we make?"


The answer to their question is really unknown but their response is their slogan"Together we make a difference...one family at a time."


Ian Forbes thanked Jim and Linda both for their update today and their efforts in Ecuador. Ian then called on Laetitia to present a donation from our club to Jim and Linda to assist in furthgering this project. [photo by Ed Telenko]