At a recent meeting Boundary Rotary welcomed some important guests: New “Friend of Rotary,” Brenda McIntyre, former member of Boundary, Ulrich Knuchel and a group of students from Stanstead College hosted by Rotarian Andrew Blair.
Brenda McIntyre has offered to help the club with its on-going project, the Rotary Bookstore. Although the sales are only once a month, the first Saturday, there is a great deal of work to keep the bookstore running. The books are donated by members of the local community. Chances are good that if you are reading this article, you have donated books to the store. The books are sorted and shelved and any that are damaged or unsuitable are re-cycled. Several people help us to do this including Lucie Taylor from North Hatley. President Allan Smith presented Brenda with her own key so that she can work at the bookstore whenever she has time. The club is delighted to have a new “Friend of Rotary”.
Former member of the Boundary, Ulrich Knuchel, dropped in to visit on a trip to Canada from Switzerland where he and his wife, Verena, now live. Ulrich is still a member of a Rotary Club but in Berne, a club that has over 80 members of both genders. The Boundary club was happy to see Ulrich and hopes that he will always visit when he is in Canada.
Andrew Blair, the club’s newest member brought a team of three students to discuss their new initiative in Vietnam. With support from teachers, this project will be undertaken by a team of students. Three students will visit Hanoi during Stanstead College’s break to discuss more fully the project activities and how to make those activities appropriate in that environment and sustainable too. Then when they return to Canada, they will raise money to realize their goals.
Like many international connections this one came about by chance. At a meeting of international schools Andrew met the Headmaster of the Olympia School in Hanoi and they began to consider links between their schools. Andrew visited Hanoi and saw real opportunities for development in order to improve the lives of rural students in Xuan Chinh Secondary School. He proposed this to the students at Stanstead College who were very enthusiastic and now are in charge.
Last week two members of the team, Olivia Woodstock and Jessica Iosano, visited the Newport Club to ask for support for their project and the Boundary Club looks forward to a meaningful collaboration.
Local members of the Project Committee include Mr. Andrew Blair, Olivia Woodcock, Alice Liu, Anna thinphang-nga. Thomas Abbott, Helen(Xinyu) Yao, Jessica lozano
The project is best summarized by the students themselves whose words are found on the accompanying excerpt from their PowerPoint presentation. They discovered the following:
Xuan Chinh Secondary School in Chanh, Thanh Hoa has no functional plumbing system.
Students also have very little access to nutritional food.
They will mainly eat rice with salt, sometimes vegetables, and on very rare occasions fish.’’
During the students’ trip to Vietnam they will discuss the situation further and with their counterparts identify the most pressing issues to be dealt with.
The students have also included in their Powerpoint “10 Facts about Vietnam” with some photos of Vietnam some of which are as follows:
FACT 2 In Vietnam, there are 54 ethnic groups, each have their unique culture and clothing
FACT 3: Soccer is the most popular sport in Vietnam, other sports of interest include table tennis, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and martial arts.
FACT 7: In some rural areas, only 10 to 15 percent of the children progress beyond third grade, whereas almost 96 percent of pupils in Ho Chi Minh City complete fifth grade.
FACT 9 The cost of tuition, books, and uniforms and the need to supplement family income are the two main reasons for Vietnam kids to drop out of school.
Thanks to the students and Mr. Blair for allowing the use of the information and pictures from their Powerpoint. Best of luck to the students here and in Vietnam.
The Boundary club closed with its usual toast to, “Peace, goodwill and better friendships.”
President Allan Smith, Bob Richardson, Cecile Joyal, Ulrich Knuchel, Lionel Emond, Joan Drinkwater and, behind the camera, Jan Draper
From left to right Stanstead College students, Alice Liu, Keifer Hayward, and Thomas Abbott, President Allan and new member Andrew Blair.
President Allan Smith presents a key to the bookstore to Brenda McIntyre