Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona   



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Club Meeting Information

Thanks for visiting our site! The first ClubRunner site in District 5370

Edmonton Strathcona

"The Friendly Club"

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Woodvale Facility and Golf Clubhouse
4540 - 50 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T6L 6B6

(780) 918-1079
(780) 665-7011
District Site
Zones 28 & 32
Venue Map
Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities
Over the past week, the implications for group meetings as a result of the Corona Virus have changed. Some of the notifications we have recieved from national and international health advisory organizations are suggesting curtailment of group meetings.
Although our Rotary meetings have usually less than 50 people our concern is that our population is an at risk group because of age and predisposition to international travel.
As a result, our Board has decided to  cancel our weekly meetings until further notice and reassess based upon further developments. We will provide updates to all of you as we continue to monitor developments. Please let us know if anyone needs assistance during this trying always we support each other! 
Thank you, 
Stories -- click on story title or 'Read More...' to get the rest of the story.
Congratulations to Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland (Ontario, Canada) member Jennifer Jones - who will become the first female Rotary International President in the organization's 115-year history in 2022-23!!
Jennifer Jones, Rotary Foundation Trustee 2019-23
Jennifer Jones is the president and CEO of Media Street Productions Inc., an award-winning television production company in Windsor. Jones has served Rotary in many roles, including as RI vice president in 2016-17. She is co-chair of the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign to raise $150 million. She has been a leader in cultivating experiential fundraising opportunities such as Rotary’s Polio Golf Day with Jack Nicklaus in Jupiter, Florida, USA, which raised over $5.25 million for polio eradication.
Jones has been recognized with many awards, including the Service Above Self Award and the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, the YMCA Peace Medallion, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and she was the first Canadian to receive Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award.
Jones and her husband, Nick Krayacich, are members of the Arch Klumph Society and the Paul Harris Society and charter members of the Bequest Society.
This Tuesday we heard from Carin Jansen van Vuuren. Carin has been a member of our club for six years, but in some ways she has been a Rotarian all of her life.  Carin was born in South Africa and grew up in Pietersburg in a Rotarian family. Carin’s father was an active Rotarian, and a Past District Governor (PDG) in South Africa, all of his life and Carin was encouraged to take part in many different Rotarian causes and activities from the time she was a child.  
Carin attended University in South Africa and obtained an honors degree in Political Science and Administration. She then went on to work in the office of the Minister of Constitutional Development in South Africa. When at dept of constitutional development we were tasked to negotiate the new constitution for SA. While there she had the privilege of meeting many well-respected people of the 1980’s in the government of South Africa.  In 1988 she married Stephan and in 1990 they decided to come to Canada. Stephan had been offered a position in Eston, Saskatchewan. At first, they had not planned on staying in one place for long, planning to travel around and see North America, both US and Canada. Carin said that stepping off the plane, for the first time, in minus twenty weather, in Saskatoon, was quite a shock.
They then moved on to Two Hills in Alberta. As Carin was not allowed to work here, she kept herself busy around Stephan’s office and with community activities. They soon decided to invest in a local newspaper and Carin learned how to do layout and printing. She would get Stephan to help out as well in the evenings. In 1995 they became Canadian citizens with dual South African citizenship.
Carin loved organizing and administrative work. For several years they organized a South African music festival that took place in Canmore each summer and had a lot of fun doing this. In 2000, Stephan and Carin started organizing yearly tours for people to South Africa. These trips include tours of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She still does these tours and has made met many wonderful people and made a lot of new friends doing this. In 2008, Carin started a property management company, focused on single family housing. It was quite a challenge for Carin to become familiar with home maintenance and dealing with all of the various trades involved.
On 15 Jul 2014 Carin became a member of our Rotary Club. Her father came for her induction. She said that he gave her one piece of good advice. He said, ”Be a Rotarian, don’t just wear a badge.” We know that Carin has followed this advice in every way and has been a wonderful asset to our club ever since. This sage advice is something that we all should strive to follow.
COVID-19 has reached a new height of infections as of mid-July, penetrating every slum in which we operate. The healthcare system is woefully underequipped to deal with or track an outbreak of this magnitude. The best calculation we can get on COVID’s impact is through the grave diggers who, by mid-June, were burying 10 times the number of people on a daily basis as pre-COVID-19.
But the immediate impact on the physical health of people is only part of the story.
The lockdown has caused severe economic hardship – in particular for our families living in the slums. Just imagine being confined to stay in a hut barely larger than the bed you lay on. There is no television or internet and you’ve never been able to afford a phone or even a radio.
After two months of such confinement, domestic violence and mental health are serious issues. So is constant hunger, and even starvation, as there is no way for most to make money to buy food.
All of the Amarok mothers have shared the importance of regular hand-washing and social distancing with their community, like Helena below. Though, short of growing a pair of wings, there’s little a person in these communities can do to avoid close interaction with others in shared spaces.
All of the Amarok mothers have shared the importance of regular hand-washing and social distancing with their community, like Helena below. Though, short of growing a pair of wings, there’s little a person in these communities can do to avoid close interaction with others in shared spaces.
Many of the Amarok mothers have helped the very poorest families register for the government’s sporadic handouts of rice and occasional onions or potatoes. And, despite most of our mothers and families not having enough food, to date no one has died of starvation. When a neighboring family is absolutely desperate, others come together and provide gifts of rice, lentils, onions, etc. The tone of these neighborhoods has been coloured by the Amarok mothers.
Quarterly Highlights
In mid-April, Asma’s husband, jobless since the lockdown, left the shack and never came back. 28 year old Asma and her 2 little girls, 8 and 4, had to manage on their own, in the face of starvation.
As a mother attending an Amarok school, Asma had become resourceful and had learned to sew. But people were not interested in new dresses these days with the lockdown. But Asma had an idea. With the last of her small savings, she went to the market and bought small pieces of patterned material. Out of these she made attractive masks for both adults and children.  She is now earning almost $1/day in a time when others are jobless.
This has allowed Asma to buy enough food for herself and the girls with some left to help those in greatest need. She gives masks for free to some of the poorest children. And like all the other Amarok mothers, she keeps in communication with the 5 neighborhood children she’s been teaching and their families throughout this stressful time.
The Rotary Partners of Amarok in Bangladesh include the Rotary Club of Shaikat Cox’s Bazar, Cox’s Bazar City and Inner Wheel Cox’s Bazar. They  have all provided food assistance to the mothers of Cox’s Bazar during the pandemic.
Our other partner, the Rotary Club of Midtown Dhaka, is also planning to provide a food package soon. Through generous support from Canadians and Americans, Amarok has also been able to provide food packages to all mothers of the 23 schools and is a wonderful demonstration of the heart-to-heart connection around the world.
My name is Sujon. I’m 13. I have 2 older brothers and 2 younger brothers. We live in one small room with my parents. Me and my brothers share 1 bed. Since I was 11 I’ve been working but I did not like the work and the days were very long. I had to lift heavy things from morning ‘til night.
One evening on my way home from work, I met another boy who lived nearby. He told me about an Amarok mini-school that was teaching him to read and write. We asked the mother who was teaching the 5 children if I could join. She met my parents and they said yes. I was so happy. This has let me enroll in the government school too because I don’t need to hire a tutor –my mother-teacher helps me. I am teaching my other brothers what I am learning.
When COVID hit our slum, my government school and my mini-school were closed down, my dad lost his job and my brothers were paid less for the same work. We fell behind in our rent by 3 months and every night I was hungry.
Then my mother-teacher told me the corner store needed a boy to work 3 hours every morning. I went with my dad to meet the shop owner. The man thought I would not be able to do it. But he gave me some tests of reading labels, weighing and calculating price of vegetables. I could do it and he immediately hired me. Now, every day I work in the shop in the mornings, do my own studying in the afternoon and teach my brothers in the evening. The owner loves me very much and I am so proud to help my family.
12 year old Shahinur has attended a neighbour-mother’s mini-school for the past 3 years. Now,  she can read almost anything. When lockdown came to her slum she could see how desperate, scared and alone everyone felt. The children were crying, Adults were arguing. She saw how sad people were. And her own parents were desperate. The landlord was threatening them with eviction for nonpayment of rent for 3 months, and they were hungry.
Shahinur, wearing green below, decided she would do something about this. At first, she talked to people she saw about the importance of frequent hand-washing. But then she had an idea to make a bigger difference:
  • She went to the landlord and asked if she could tutor his 2 daughters in exchange for rent. He agreed.
  • Next, she decided that every day she would read tales from her mini-school book of stories to groups of little children.
  • With older children she teaches them new games – and always carries extra masks (from Amarok) to give to others.
  • She talks to other girls her age about things that matter to them.
  • She reads the newspaper to older people.
Shahinur is making a very big difference to the well-being of others by connecting with them and helping them. She’s not feeling so very little anymore  - she knows she’s making a big difference.
With the number of new cases still peaking, it’s likely that the families in the slums of Bangladesh and Pakistan are in for several more months of the COVID-19 lockdown. We can count on our Amarok mothers to continue the leadership role they’ve assumed, but mass starvation looms with a continuation of this situation.
We will be launching Facebook campaigns starting mid-July to raise money to buy rice and lentils for the thousand families we work most closely with.
If you’re a member of a Rotary club, other service club or connected to another group of concerned people and are interested in receiving an online-update about what’s happening with the mothers, children and families we serve in the slums of Bangladesh and Pakistan, please be in touch with us at


With the number of members in this club either owning or operating a business, we are getting a very poor interest in this nice little generator of funds for the club.
Are the rates too steep? I don't think so, but if you do, please let us know.
If you have any bright ideas on how to promote this little initiative, please speak up.

Mini Calendar
August 2020
 KIVA Micro Finance
New Hope School, Pretoria
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RC Edmonton Strathcona in partnership with RC Pretoria, SA
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