http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Zje5dzKSk

Paste this link for a video of "This Close"

Lisa Kelly, who is heading the Quincy Follies affair, suggested I ask Rotary, for volunteers to help bar-tend or staff the door at the Follies’ four productions on May 17 or May 18. At least four Rotarians are already performing in the event. It’s the FRC Foundation’s biggest fundraiser now. Those interested could call either Lisa Kelly (Moon’s - 283-9900) or Kris Miravalle (B of A - 283-0324). -John Sheehan

 Image

Our Valentine Dinner program was not your traditional Valentine’s Day fare, but it was definitely a program that tugged at the heart strings.  Our speaker was the Rev. Dr. Hamlet Mbabazi, Anglican minister, educator, business man and former member of the Ugandan parliament, Rotarian and multiple Paul Harris Fellow.  He came to share with us his passion for a new future for Ugandan university students and for the nation of Uganda which he describes as the Pearl of Africa, a perfect destination for those wishing to experience the beauty of Africa and the exuberant celebration of its people.   But Dr. Mbabazi was not here to talk about tourism.  Nor was he here to talk about how difficult life in Uganda can be.  He was here to talk about a dream and a vision of a new Uganda, one where the rising number of university graduates can offer new hope to themselves and to the economy as a whole through entrepreneurship.

Dr. Mbabazi had first-hand experience as a victim of a declining education system in a nation that prizes education for all its children and young adults. Having salvaged his own education with extraordinary opportunities not accessible to every child, he has committed himself to a life-long effort of providing effective education to Uganda and Africa’s children.  This has resulted in his commitment to the creation of the system of education operating  in Western Uganda. In partnership with a coalition of partners in the UK, USA, Germany and the Netherlands, Dr. Mbabazi has established Kirima, Nyamirama, Nyakabungo and Rutenga Parents Primary schools, Great Lakes High School and the Great Lakes Regional College as an accredited tertiary College that is offering vocational and Liberal Arts degrees for some 500 students in the critical fields of education, agribusiness, micro finance, carpentry and tourism. Graduates over the last ten years have gone out as change agents and started schools and modern farming systems that are bring significant social economic changes including the creation of brands like Gorilla Summit Coffee™.

With first-hand experience of the predicament of graduates in Uganda, AGE Institute is meant to answer the big question: “What next after a university degree in an economy where 96% of the 11 million strong workforce has its hope on entrepreneurship rather than salaried jobs?” This has led him to his current passion which is the African Graduate Entrepreneurship (AGE) Institute.  The Institute is dedicated to engaging and training disenfranchised Ugandan university graduates to empower themselves with technical and business ‘know-how’ to become competitive entrepreneurs, not by offering blueprints, but by encouraging them to create their own dreams.  In Dr. Mbabazi’s words, “We want to prepare our young people to be job creators, to be financially independent, to see opportunity where others see obstacles.”

All of this comes with a high price tag, and so Dr. Mbabazi is forever seeking ways to fund the Institute through global partnerships.  They seek to partner with global networks of universities, NGO’s and corporate groups.  He was in Quincy to meet with Amy Schultz who met Dr. Mbabazi while on a 2-week trip to Uganda for the purpose of running a water line in his district of Uganda.  Amy and FRC are hoping to set up an entrepreneurial business through her Career Tech Education and Work Force Development program to market Gorilla Summit Coffee.  Stay tuned for more details. 

 Image 

 Image 

 Image

 

 

 

 

Image 

 

Image 

 

Image