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Rotary Club of St Thomas Ontario

         

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Next year we Celebrate 50 years of Rotary youth exchange :
The Zoom meeting with the district was hosted by David Elliott and assistant governor Al Tucker. 100 were in attendance but were all muted and video blocked except for the participants in the
Webinar format.
 
Living Water to Haiti Project
Mark Schillinger above (Flint Club) 1 248 602 1542  spoke about “Living Water to Haiti”.
His club drilled 10 water wells about 2010. After the earthquake there they had difficulty drilling, so they stopped drilling and started producing 10,000 gallon rainwater gathering facilities (please see the pictures above). Water drains from churches into the large gathering bins. Each facility includes a filtration system. The project upcoming involves five more tanks and one well. He is looking for financial support for these projects. Mark has made a living drilling wells and his quite familiar with them, so he was able to spearhead this project in Haiti. It seems that COVID-19 has not bothered Haiti very much. It is good to know that they are not living with COVID on top of their dire situation.
 
Don Moore (above), the Vice District Governor from Walkerton led a panel discussion of 3 Rotary Exchange Alumni.
Claire McDonald Claire came to Canada to be part of the youth exchange from Zimbabwe. The most difficult part for her was being away from her parents. Claire enjoyed the exchange because it leads to diversity in thinking and is inclusive and she felt accepted. It changed her perspective on life dramatically Claire is uncertain about where the future of the program is going because of COVID. A youth exchange program can't be experienced digitally, so the program is on hold she hopes the nightmare ends soon. Claire recalled being with four families McKinley’s the Chapmans at Inwood ON the Jakes in Petrolia and the Terpstra's. Claire had one sister so had to learn to share because she became part of larger families. Everyone was caring. She appreciated gaining an expanding worldview as a result of the exchange, especially coming from such a restricted society like Zimbabwe. She now lives with her family in Canada.
Dr Jan Ludwig came to Canada for the exchange from Germany and landed in Owen Sound, Ontario. He lives in Switzerland now. He views a world of fewer geopolitical barriers than we can imagine. He has a multiethnic family now and believes that the world has no borders now. He became more open to new ideas after the exchange. He believes that the program should carry on and being a physician he does not get scared so much by COVID. He believes the program should not be put on hold. There have been viruses around for millennia. It could be done with precautions and alertness. But on the other hand Europe is closing down now and he is cancelling a vacation to Holland. Jan was with four host families and they were all great. He remembers especially Dave and Bill who were brothers, but they were always fighting with each other in jest. He remembers when they took him to Niagara Falls on their motorcycles.
Elizabeth Wallace was outbound to Chile from the US. She found the language barrier to be the biggest hurdle; after six months she was catching on. She enjoyed the warmth and affection and the culture of Chile. She was always greeted with a kiss on the cheek and enjoyed her classmates and felt loved. Elizabeth is optimistic about continuing the program but also pessimistic. She enjoyed the valuable experience of the exchange and it hopes it will be continued . There was a earthquake in Chile when she was there that destroyed her host family home but Rotary cares for exchanged students and came to her assistance. She had two families in Chile and enjoyed time together especially on Sunday afternoon for dinners. She returned to Chile to see nephews. She feels that she is a better professional now as a result of the youth exchange. She looks at everything from many perspectives and enjoys working together with other people to a common end. The exchange was more rewarding than university.
The panelists were asked how Rotary can promote the Youth Exchange. Claire believes that online webinars are one way.
Dennis Dinsmore asked: Would you send out your own children? Jan said do not send kids that don’t want to go; that can have unfavourable consequences. Idea: do short term trials for those students showing interest.
 
The hosts spoke of Polio Free Africa. Rotary President Holger Knaack has said “We should fix our roof while the sun is shining”. Australia started the worlds largest meal fundraiser for Polio and that will go global.
 
Jim Swan introduced Global Passport Club leader Tanya Wolff. She spoke of bringing the Exchange Students back to Rotary. Her club has projects internationally. Members are from 7 different time zones, Ireland, England, Germany, France, Spain, Thailand, and ? She spoke of supporting a children’s Intensive Care unit in Venezuala. https://rotaryglobalpassport.org/
 
We should note that the Governor elect for District 6330 is
 And District Governor Nominee is

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