Rith from the Rotary Club of Battambang Cambodia explained their plans for a RI Global Grant to refurbish a school, provide training for teachers for an early learning centre for children with intellectual learning challenges.
The school building is in disrepair and will be upgraded.  Below is a picture of the current school and a projection of what the upgrade will look like.
Patti Lake brought us up to date with the community fridge project.
A location for the community fridge has been obtained at St. John the Divine at 390 Baseline West.
The community fridge will be the first in London although many other communities in Ontario and Canada have these projects.
At a special BBQ hosted by Kathleen and Harry, Deurence told updated us on our Kenya project.  Deurence gave a description of her early life and way she got involved in “Smart Girls”.  Jillian Johnston from DFG also attended.  A cheque for six thousand dollars was presented to  Deurence and a collection for girls school uniforms raised $660.
Winning Ticket for the Elton John Concert Drawn
Joan Fisher reached into the bin and drew the winning ticket for the Elton John Concert.  The winning ticket package included Via One transportation to Toronto, a Night’s stay at Harbour Castle Hotel and seats for the concert at floor level near the stage.
Susan Lindsay, the coordinator for the Thames Valley Science and Engineering Fair, and four students presented their work at this year’s fair.
Katie Buchel presented her work on angular momentum in diving.
Kevin Shao presented his work on robotics using AI, machine learning coupled with visual systems to sort items.
Nathan Jansen presented his work on the effectiveness of various corrosion treatments.
Caden Oilphant presented his study of the effectiveness of different kinds of face masks in limiting the spread of bacteria.
Jane Korvairkova described her experience as a foster child from starting in a stable home with her biological family that broke down to being placed in foster care.  As a ward of the province she was moved to several different homes.  At 16 she petitioned to be emancipated and started her remarkable journey by working, saving, and travelling to her current successful position.  Along the way she studied at the London School of Economics, enrolled at Western and is now pursuing a PhD.
Jane is currently a candiate for the provincial riding of London Fanshawe
Jane founded Child Welfare Policy Action Committee Canada (Child Welfare PAC), a group that fights for major systemic change in child welfare policy with hard numbers and cold facts. As policymakers come and go in the welfare system, the same ideas keep being tried and used and tried again, and the results remain the same.
The current system results in a 60% drop out rate from High school and a 1% rate of university graduation.  Many foster children age out and enter the adult world into poverty.
Child Welfare PAC focuses on policy research based in four areas:
  1. Evidence-based policymaking based on impact measurement of outcomes. Without measurement, you cannot know if policies or programs work.
  2. Trauma-informed service for youth in care. Foster kids experience high levels of trauma; effective support needs to reflect this.
  3. The sealing of child welfare files to protect privacy. Juvenile offenders currently have greater privacy protections than foster kids in Canada.
  4. Increasing social mobility through post-secondary access. This is the only evidence-based pathway to levelling the playing field for foster kids.

Hector Silva Rodriguez shared insights to his native country of Colombia.  The past reputation of Colombia as a dangerous place has been overcome by the population.  Colombia is now a destination for tourists to  discover the diversity of the country.
A YouTube video was shown describing the top 10 places to visit in Colombia.  To view the video, go to:
We were honoured this week to hear about the work Michael Tesfay is doing in Rwanda.  Michael is the Global Grant Scholar we sponsored for his master’s degree studies in Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Michael moved to Kigali after completing his studies at Edinburgh.  He joined the Rotary club of Kigali Virgnua and is working to setup a Tele-mental health line for Rwandans. 
Juan Gallego from the Rotary Club of Chelsea, Massachusetts brought us up to date on the Colombia water project.  Phase One of the Global Grant for this project is complete with 5 wells drilled in this water scare region.

The project included purchase of a water drilling rig to develop wells for communities in need.  Because these wells are relatively deep, hand pumps cannot be used.  Pumps and filter systems are powered by solar panels and the local community is taught how to maintain the wells and make effective use of the water.  To sustain these wells each family is charged a small amount which is held in reserve for the future repairs and maintenance.

Phase Two is to drill 4 more wells and will cost $US 160,000.  $US 29,000 has been raise so far. 
Our meeting had and enthusiastic description of the support we can expect from our partners in the greenhouse project-Diabeat-it.  Diabeat-it is an NGO providing support for healthy living in Canada and Belize. Mystery Furtado,  a nurse who leads programs in Canada and Belize, to combating poor nutrition and diabetes support for people of colour.
In concert with the Food Bank the Rotary Club of London South and Diabeat-it secured a location at the Western Fair to erect a greenhouse which will provide fresh vegetables to participants and others in need.
Our club meeting on Feb. 18 provided and update on the Kenya Water and Girl Empowerment project.  We were delighted to be joined by Deurence Onyango by zoom from Kenya. She is the sparkplug for this project in Kenya.  In addition to being and active Rotarian, Deurence founded the "Smart Girlhood" mentoring program which helps keep girls in school by providing menstrual information and supplies.  Deurence and our club members have promoted the project to other clubs and organizations.
The project's pilot project provides information and a start up system for a small village in Kenya with limited clean water.  Water tables made of corrugated metal use the sun's power to purify water in PET bottles.  This water can be used for drinking or washing reusable menstrual kits.
Sue Storie described the recycling project the District 6330 Passport Club created.The Passport club is collecting and finding partners to recycle and reuse various item including batteries, milk bags, egg cartons, crayons, yarn and felt and other items.
If you have these items contact Sue or other Passport member to arrange recycling or to find a partner to help recycle such as London Ontario Reduce Reuse & Recycle https://londononrrr.wixsite.com/lorrr
Prof. Emeritus Gordon McBean discussed issues of climate change and how to build a climate resilient community.  He is a recognized expert in these issues.  Besides his work at Western in the Department of Geography and Environment, he was previously an Assistant Deputy Minister at Environment Canada and advised Ministers for the Kyoto Protocol.
Increases in greenhouse gases at highest level in 800,000 years led to Global surface temperatures to increase faster than any 50-year period in recent history, and artic sea ice area smaller than any time since 1850.  The Secretary General of the UN calls these climate conditions a “Code Red” for Humanity.
Canada, because of our location on the planet, has experienced the impact of these changes more than others located at lower latitudes.  We have recent experience with floods, wildfires, and extreme temperatures.
To reduce the risks of climate effects Canada, need to build more resilient communities.  We need government polices reducing construction in flood plains, different construction codes for buildings and infrastructure, disaster preparedness and a National Adaption Action Plan. 
Prof. McBean also outlined things cities and individuals can do including better urban forestry management, better water drainage design and management and personal preparedness.
We commemorated Remembrance Day with a special program.

Maj. Venerables played “last Post”

President Philippe read “In Flanders Fields” in both official languages.

President Philippe told us about this journey to become an officer in the Army, his basic training and some the general responsibilities of a reserve officer.
Jennifer Raymer spoke to our club about her work providing humanitarian support to Cuban orphanages.  Jennifer travels to Cuba several times a year and provides medical and food support to children in two orphanages.  In the process she also helps the local economy by purchasing food stuff from local farmers.  This is a win for the children and for the local economy.

Past President, Jug Manocha, provided an overview of Indian Weddings, their rituals, and customs. He shared his pictures with the Rotary Club London South in the presentation. Indian weddings are colourful and stylized with each ritual marking not only the joining of a couple but also a joining of the families. 
Recognizing that there are many different cultures and that weddings may vary significantly, this is a sampling for sharing purposes. He also mentioned that many weddings are very elaborate, based on the family values and affording capabilities. Jug showed some of the highlights from the weddings that he attended in Canada from Hindu and Sikh cultures.
Amanda McCallum presented information about Geoparks and her work on getting the Discovery Geopark created as a UNESCO recognized park.  Discovery is one of five Geoparks in Canada, and it features both geological and culturally important features of the area.  The Park is located on Bonavista Peninsula of Newfoundland.  Among the important features of the park are fossils of the Haootia which shows the development of muscular tissue.  Culturally important sites in the park are root cellars that help sustain the local population over the years.  Many interesting geological formations are found in the park including chimneys and sections showing strata of the earth’s history.
Geoparks present significant opportunities for learning and interpretive trail hiking.
Grosvenor Lodge is one of the featured ornaments this year and sales of the ornament launched at special function at the Lodge.
Rotary Club of London South in Action.  This month we have shown our club is made up of people of action not words. 
Thanksgiving Turkeys
In October we have distributed 26 turkeys to NGOs to help provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need.  Among the organizations receiving turkeys were Salvation Army, My Sisters Place, Anova, the Men’s Mission and others.
Tree Planting
The club’s commitment to the environment was demonstrated by planting 130 trees in Carroll Park in the Summerside neighbourhood of London.
Calvin Reid from Reid’s Distillery in Toronto described the foundation of the distillery at the beginning of the pandemic and its near-death collapse of marketing opportunities to its current thriving business.  Along the way Reid’s created a community-oriented hand sanitizer product they gave away to community members, hospitals, and first responders.  The product was made from waste byproducts of the gin distilling process.
The business started when the family realized there was an opportunity for flavoured gins beyond the typical products offered in the LCBO.  With a  background in craft brewing, the Reids took a gamble and set up a gin distilling business in East Toronto.  Just as they started the pandemic hit and they felt their business was doomed.  Unable to market through the LCBO and limited by the pandemics impact on their retail store, they saw no way forward.  In desperation and looking for a way to get rid of some of the distilling byproduct they created hand sanitizer which was in short supply and subject to panic buying in the early days of the pandemic.  Since they could not sell the alcohol-based product, they gave it away.  The give away program gained media attention and gave their brand name some customer awareness, they started making gin again and needed a way to get the product out in the market.
Blocked from normal distribution channels and unable to make presentations to the LCBO because of covid restrictions, this family-owned business set up its own distribution channel by providing a home delivery service with no minimum order quantity.  In addition to gin the Reids provided mix to customers to go with gin and developed a new outlet for their business as a cocktail ingredient supplier and on line cocktail creation instructor. Word of mouth and promotional activities resulted in a thriving business once the pandemic restrictions eased.  Their products are now available through the LCBO.
Calvin’s prestation is a tribute to small business and the ability of entrepreneur’s pivot quickly when an opportunity presents itself.
London Cares
Erica Black, the Outreach Coordinator for London Cares, talked about the mission of the outreach program which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week under the Pillars of: Harm Reduction; Prevention; Treatment; Enforcement; and Community Collaboration.
They focus on London's core areas (Downtown, Old East Village, SOHO), Street Outreach Workers engage with individuals experiencing homelessness and support them to move off the street and into a home.
She talked about the importance of our “Keep London Warm” initiative last winter.  Many of the homeless could not be housed in the hotel arrangements set up by the city or in the trailers set up on various parking lots.  For those individuals without accommodations the street outreach workers tried to find safe and warm locations for them to spend the night – churches, doorways, or other locations.  Our kits made them more comfortable than would otherwise be the case.
Erica said London Cares gets 9 5% of their funding from the city and donations like ours make a difference that goes beyond the basics LC can provide.  She said the items we provided were what individuals needed and she did not suggest any changes to the kits.
After her presentation we officially launched this year’s Keep London Warm program.  Donations can be made at Canada Helps under the Rotary Club of London South Foundation page or click on the link below:
Yvone Joubert described the Clubhouse App and how it is connecting Rotarians worldwide. Clubhouse App is a new type of social network based on voice—where people around the world come together to talk, listen, and learn from each other in real-time.  Currently a Rotary forum is hosted on the app every Saturday morning for discussion of various topics of interest to Rotarians.  One week it might have a forum on fighting poverty and micro loans or other similar topics which Rotarians are sponsoring.  The App is available on Google Play or the Apple Store.
Ron Posno's presentation on Dying with Dignity underlined the importance of planning details for end of life.  Surprisingly, 65% of Canadians do not have a will.  Many have not had a discussion with family members about their wishes in the event of incapacity or suffering from an incurable disease.  Ron talked about the history of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) and the status of the legal framework and issues individuals need to take into account.
The first business meeting of the new Rotary year covered a number of topics including:
  • Membership Development
  • Fundraising
  • Community Service Projects
  • Kenya Water/Hygiene 
Upcoming Events
President's Welcome
The Rotary Club of London South's President, Hector Silva welcomes you to our club.
Welcome to the Rotary Club of London South, located in London, Ontario.  If you are looking  to help make a change locally or internationally (or both!) you are in the right place.  I invite you to join our club for three reasons:
  1. Help us shine a light on projects to help people around the world.
  2. To listen to selected monthly guest speakers.
  3. To have fun with our members and projects.
We meet regularly on Friday mornings and everyone is welcome.
For more information, please contact us at any time!
Re-emergence of polio underscores the need for eradication

The detection of poliovirus, and even cases of polio, in places where it hasn’t been found for years has demonstrated once again that eradicating a human disease isn’t easy, especially in the final stages.In recent months, an unvaccinated man in the United States was paralyzed. In the

Rotary members in Poland provide a safe home for Ukrainian refugees

In March, shortly after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, refugees began arriving at a home in Wojciechów, a town about 20 miles from the city of Lublin in eastern Poland.

16 Sept. Elyssa Rose Day of Remembrance
23 Sept Business Meeting
30 Sept No Meeting Nat'l Day of Truth and Reconciliation
7 Oct No Meeting - Thanksgiving
14 Oct Thanksgiving celebration
21 Oct Hendrikus Bervoets
28 Oct Business Meeting
Projects Update
Community Service
  • Partnering with Community Fridge Project
  • White Oaks Breakfast program restarting
  • Backpack funding for Children at White Oaks provided
  • Interact club restarting in the new school year
  • London Warms purchasing starting
  • Determining which schools to be selected for School Sports equipment
  • Science Fair funding arranged
  • Thanksgiving Turkeys for NGOs planned
International Service
  • Kenya Water/Hygiene Project  Water our Main project  is entering phase II in which we purchase sewing machines to teach sewing and enabling girls to produce hygiene products for sale. 
  • Inbound Exchange student from the Philippines awaiting visa clearance
  • Outbound student now in Taiwan  
  • Sponsored refugee family on their way
  • Contributions were made to Sleeping Children Around the World, Shelterbox, Days for Girls
  • Arranging funding for famine in the Horn of Africa
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London South President, Hector Silva 
Welcomes you to Rotary
Best Breakfast Zoom meeting anywhere!
We meet In Person
Fridays at 7:15 AM
Four Points Sheraton
1150 Wellington Road
Meetings are being held electronically until further notice
London, ON N6E 1M3
Meeting once a month at the Four Points. Consult the coming events section for upcoming dates of in person meeting. Other meetings are by zoom along with a once a month "Fun" meeting.