Rotary Club of Oak Bay Victoria British Columbia Canada Rotary District 5020
2008-2009 Rotary International Theme: Make Dreams Real
District 5020 Governor 08-09: Brian Beagle Assistant District Governor: David Stocks
Join us at Noon on Tuesdays at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre ( MAP)

Program for November 4, 2008, reported by Heather Aked. CLICK HERE for Print Version

No regular meeting on November 11th as it is Remembrance Day. Join President Neil and Bill Sharlow at 11 by the Cenotaph at Cattle Point.

President Neil chose two quotes which are not from RI presidents, but they do relate to the vision of RI President DK Lee to “Make Dreams Real” and they are relevant to today’s program and guests. John Quincy Adams said: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, you are a leader”. And the second quote is from Earl Nightingale, author of one of Neil’s favourite books, The Strangest Secret, Lead the Field, who said, “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” Neil stated that our guests today are leaders, they had a dream, they inspired others to share that dream and they have set their goals to make their dreams come true.

APU-Malawi Poster


Memory Chazeza

Memory began her talk by thanking Christie and talked a bit about herself and Malawi.  She has a 16-month-old baby, Teloni, who is here with her.  Malawi is a small country in Africa where there is HIV aids, famine, hunger and many more problems.  Memory believes that the only way to eradicate most of these problems is through education. Memory is one of 6 children and her mother died when she was 10 years old, her father when she was 14.  In Malawi, one cannot continue one’s schooling if there is no one to take care of you.  Primary school in Malawi is free, secondary school is not. Memory’s Uncle stepped in to help but then contracted HIV Aids.  He died and her aunt soon followed.  However, Memory had by then finished High School, but it wasn’t the end of what she wanted.  She had to go and stay with her grandfather, where all she could expect was one meal a day. But she was prepared to work hard to further her education despite the threat of a planned wedding (for her) and a planned rape.

When Memory met Christie at the school where she was helping these 24 girls, she shared her dreams with Christie and it’s because of Christie that she’s here before us today.

Ross and Nancy McLaughlin
Ross & Nancy Mclaughlin
(See info in RH column)

Visiting Rotarians And Guests Introduced by Dallas Chapple:

Roger Hough, Calgary Centennial;
Bill Burns, Royal Oak, Education Admin., Ret.;
Corey Burger was the guest of Mary Canty, and
Stephanie Malahoff of Perry Bamji;
Jack Hollands was the guest of David Sills;
Brian Davison, Club Guest (APU), Financial Planning
Memory Chazeza, Christie Johnson & Sara Maclaughlin, all guest speakers, were guests of the Club.
Tara Ney was the guest of Jim Force;
Terry McLean, Art Luney, Iain Campbell, John Jordan, Karen Henry, and Erik Albrecher were all guests of Jerry McLean.

Memory Chazeza, Christie Johnson and President Neil
Neil Memory Christie

President Neil acknowledged Sarah McLaughlin and the Interact Club and the work that they’ve been doing with respect to Memory Chazeza-Mdyetsini’s visit. Sarah and the Interact Club, when they found out that Memory was coming to Canada from Malawi, arranged for 3 presentations to the Oak Bay High School Students and is helping with an evening event at the High School on November 13th.

Interact Members with Memory and Christie
Interact Members with Memory and Christie at one of the Oak Bay High School presentations on Tuesday.

Tricia then came up to introduce both Christie and Memory who are both here to talk about APU, Malawi Girls on the Move.  Both Christie and Memory have changed Tricia’s outlook on young people – their sheer determination to get things done.

Christie spoke first and provided us with a succinct picture of what has transpired over the past 9 years.  Christie first met Memory in 2000 when she went over to Malawi as a volunteer teacher.  Memory was also a volunteer teacher at this school and they became friends.  Watching Memory and her determination and steadfast focus on education has inspired and kept Christie going over the years.  The school they were at ended up closing and Christie came home.  However, Memory and the other girls needed help – to complete their education – what could Christie do to help?

So Christie told hers and Memory’s story to a Rotary Club in St. Albert, Alberta and through this she realized that all she needed to do was tell the story.  All 24 of those girls graduated, 5 went on to do undergraduate degrees, 22 now have businesses and support their families.

The APU School was launched, officially, in March 2008 and the Canadian flag was raised in recognition of all that we have contributed.  Eighty girls started school in January 2008.  (Christie showed a video clip that talked about the birth of the school).  The school expects to house 320 pupils in the next 3 years, so new facilities are planned.  There is a board of trustees and those who are accepted are the particularly needy.  Malawi is a poor country; 52% are women and most of those illiterate.

Neil asked Sara McLaughlin, co-president of the Interact Club, to thank Memory and Christie.  Sara gave a heartfelt thanks to these two remarkable women who are role models for all of us.  She thanked them for instilling in us the knowledge that each of us can make a difference.  She has calculated that $5 can send a girl to school for at day and reminded us that Memory will be speaking at a fundraiser at 7:00PM in the Auditorium at Oak Bay High School on the evening of November 13th; there will be a silent auction as well. Neil recognized the work of those on the APU Committee, and recommended that we take the time to attend an Interact meeting, (they meet at 11.40AM till 12.10 on Friday’s at OB High) and reiterated his earlier quote “goals succeed because they know where they are going

brian peter interact

Memory then opened the floor to questions and there were a few, summarized as follows:

1. It costs $1,000 Cdn. each year for 1 girl to attend the school.
2. The school program is a 4-year program.
3. $85 per month for 4 years per girl. Not all the girls that started in 2008 are fully funded for the 4 years.  Most are partially funded. (Yes you can help).
4. The normal cost of high school education is $400 a year. The typical wage is $200 per year.
5. There is no government funding and typically parents will try to find a way to fund a boy to attend school.
6. After graduation – then what? The school is working on programs which would take place after the 4 years high school education, to help the girls learn trades/skills; 7. They are looking at microcredit, etc.


NOTE: No tickets required for the November 13 Malawi Girls' School Event (APU) at the Oak Bay High School Auditorium. Doors are open at 6.30PM and entrance is by DONATION.

Tav reminded us that November is Foundation Month – and noted that Rotary should be proud 1) of the formation of the Foundation and 2) that we are in the final thrust of a long campaign to eradicate polio and as a result there is a great need for Rotarians to see this through - meaning that we will have to open our purses.  Tav reminded us of the Gates Foundation’s $200,000,000 contribution to polio eradication which Rotary has to match.  Tav also noted Joan Peggs extra efforts towards this goal in organizing the recent Walk for Polio.

Sergeant at Arms
We have a new S@A – Tom Croft. Tom had just 5 minutes to a pot-load of money and succeeded.  He began by announcing those leaving early, arriving late and not signing in – to mention a couple: Lynne Murray and Gary Nazar. Gary tried to claim he was “exempt” but that just landed him a $5.00 fine in addition to the $1.00 fine. Wendie was fined for spending the first 15 minutes of the meeting on her cell phone rather than fellowship; all previous recent and not so recent S@A’s were fined as Tom could not find the S@A badge – which obviously would distinguish him.   Anyone not wearing a Poppy in honour of Remembrance/Armistice day was fined.  Lynne was fined for not knowing that Nov 14th is Diabetes day and we were all fined for not answering quickly enough what the Object of Rotary is. We were warned to study up on the Objects of Rotary and the 4-Way Test as there will be questions. 

50/50 Draw/Happy-Sad$
Ted Harrison
won the draw but not the white marble. Heather (your writer) put $6.00 in to the pot for Alexander who turns 6 on Nov 9th (remember when he was just a baby – wasn’t that just yesterday??) and Tricia was happy/pumped about the US election.

Memory told us that when they started at the school, the 80 girls had no hope and did not see a future. That has all changed – with education they now the have a chance.  These girls are determined to learn and to put into action what they are learning.  They are determined to change Malawi and they plan this to happen in the next 3 to 6 years.

2000 girls applied for the 80 spaces for the 2009 school year.  To get selected the girls have to take a written exam and questionnaire and go through an oral interview.  Many/most have no support from their parents – so who will pay?

The APU site plan proposes a 4-year project, including buildings for staff housing, and more classrooms and hostels.  A pond and garden will be added; already, part of their food comes from the garden, in which the girls spend time working.

Left: Christie Johnson, Sara McLaughlin and other Interact Club members talk with Peter Lawrie (our Interact liaison) and Brian Davison, Atsikana Pa Ulendu (APU) British Columbia Director. Other Directors include ADG David Stocks, Colleen Milne, and Tricia Timmermans.

President Neil read an e-mail from Ross and Nancy McLaughlin. They’ve been in France for 5 weeks and are having a wonderful time. See photo Left column of Ross and Nancy on the Pont Neuf, River Seine. Over the past five weeks they have covered much of France, including Normandy and the Loire Valley; they're heading to Barcelona and a Med cruise, before returning home on December 18.

rotary wheel

Upcoming Programs
November 11: Remembrance Day - No Meeting
November 18: Rotary Foundation - its importance
November 25: Tax Auction
October Cashier: MUTTER; 50-50 McDougall
November Cashier: SILLS; 50-50 TAKAHASHI

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