This week we hear from Azim and Sadru about life in Tanzania and central Africa as an introduction to the work our club plans to do in Tanzania with Dr. Lett and the Canadian Network for International Surgery.
The Buzz – December 7, 2015   By Ray Hook
   1.        President Tony called the meeting to order at 11:45 am.
   2.        Today’s guests included Erhard Pinto, Tim Rant, Ted Gillespie (in transfer stage from Wetaskiwin Rotary Club), and our guest speakers Azim and Sadru from Edmonton.
   3.      Health of the Club – Ken Rostad is currently undergoing a course of chemo – we wish him and Shirley well.
   4.      Announcements:
            a.         With the Club AGM fast approaching, anyone still wishing to run for any Club Executive position still has time.
            b.         Dan M on the coming Rotary Gala – thanks to all who participated in last week’s meeting. The Bingo will make its return to next year’s event. And we still need two main volunteers for key positions on the planning team – a Volunteer Coordinator and a Live Auction Coordinator. Many thanks to Al Rostad for many years of loyal service organizing the auction. With that in mind, there has been a real need identified for a “Woman’s Package” in the live auction – so, let’s start thinking about this!
            c.         Sheila briefed on the status of the STOP HUNGER NOW event planned for Camrose on May 15th. She has a need for an enclosed trailer for storage purposes (for the bags of rice etc.) in preparation for the event. If you can help, please contact Sheila directly.
            d.         Lou advised that most Rotary Cares tickets are now out, and you may return the sold ones any time. November’s Draw was held today, due to unforeseen difficulties last week.  The winner was Gordon Kidiene.
            e.         Dawn is hosting a Christmas social at her home on Wednesday evening. Although she loves to bake, other nibblies could be brought along!
5.        Guest Speakers – Leroy was called upon to introduce our guest speakers Azim and Sadru, who were here today to talk to the club about the proposed Rotary Project in Tanga Tanzania that we are considering working on, in conjunction with other clubs in the District and in Tanzania. Unfortunately the scheduled speaker - Shenaz Jerja of the Tanga Tanzania Project was unable to attend today.


In general, this project involves the CNIS – the Canadian Network for International Surgery - which for almost 20 years has been teaching lifesaving surgical, obstetrical and nursing skills in sub-Saharan Africa. The current focus of our programs is on maternal health in rural communities –providing women, particularly expecting mothers with access to better healthcare. To date, over 25,000 African healthcare workers have been educated in lifesaving skills, preparing them to work in rural communities. CNIS saves lives by creating educational curriculum specific to the needs of low income counties. Canadian surgeons, obstetricians and nurses are trained to teach these courses, and they volunteer their time in travelling to Africa to share lifesaving skills with healthcare students.
Azim then gave a very impassioned talk on his family’s “escape” from Uganda under Idi Amin’s reign of terror, and the story of their move to Canada with virtually nothing to their names. He spoke of Canada’s outstanding treatment of immigrants – so welcoming, helpful, tolerant and generous. And as a pluralistic society, Canada is among the best in the world.
Sandru was invited to add more from his perspective, and he spoke eloquently about Tanga, the second largest city in Tanzania, and about how generally happy the people were there. The Rotary Clubs in Tanga are extremely active and they are looking forward to working with Canadian clubs to establish a CNIS facility in Tanga, so that more health care workers can be trained and then sent out into the rural areas to provide much needed help. Sandu spoke of his many valuable contacts in Tanga, and that he looked forward to help with this project.
A short Q and A session followed, and then Roy W thanked both speakers for their talks, and presented them with a certificate stating that 50 polio vaccinations had been purchased in recognition for their visit and talk today.
6.         Other Business – Dawn advised the club that the speaker schedule was filling in nicely, and that we would especially benefit by attracting interesting speakers for our once-a-month evening meetings.
7.         Greeters – due to an agenda “issue” mentioned by Carman, our greeters were “bypassed”. Save your Happy Bucks for next week – and don’t forget to bring along any donations for the Food Bank.
8.         50/50 draw winner today was Tony (again!), and he failed to draw the big card (again!).  He did lead us in the 4 Way Test before adjourning the meeting.
Next Meeting - Monday, December 14 at 11:45 am in the Regal Ballroom of the Best Western Plus Camrose Resort Casino. This will be our traditional lunch with a Christmas Greeting. We will also be accepting donations for the Food Bank - your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Greeters - Jenn Stone and Roy Wallace.
Meetings on December 21, and 28 are cancelled. We will be meeting again on Monday, January 4, 2016.