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We could have walked faster…. The 4 wheel drive vehicle literally crawled over rocks, washouts and up grades in excess of 25% to reach the schools located at the tops of the mountains in rural Nepal. The children greeted us with festoons of flowers and the staff were excited to show us their school which had been rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 2015.
 
When I asked about a water supply and sanitation facilities for the school, the shocking answer was that none existed. The students were expected to use the surrounding woodlands as their bathroom and no running water existed at the site; any water had to be manually carried in by the staff. Thinking that this may have been an anomaly among the schools in this area, I was sadly disappointed to learn that almost all of the schools I visited were experiencing a similar situation. In some cases there were very rudimentary facilities consisting of nothing more than corrugated steel huts.
 
What does this mean for the students and staff? It means that it is a challenge to maintain a healthy school population as the potential exists on a daily basis for kids to become sick because of inadequate sanitation facilities. It also means that most of the young girls who have reached puberty miss at least one week of school a month because they do not attend classes when having their period. With no facilities available the best place for them to be is with their parents at home. It becomes extremely challenging for these young women to maintain their grades.
 
These schools are partly supported through the volunteer efforts of some non-government organizations and Rotary but the challenges are huge. The initial costs of purchasing the raw materials and constructing adequate facilities are large but the challenges of physically being able to deliver the building materials to the various school sites is also great.
 
These schools are but a few examples of the many areas of our world facing the impacts of inadequate or non-existent water and sanitation facilities. As we begin Water and Sanitation month, our challenge as Rotarians is to be generous in supporting our Foundation that enables clubs around the world to respond to these needs. For the sake of these children and suffering peoples around the world, I ask you to please consider seriously your response to these challenges.
 
District Conference May 10-11 in Pictou Co.
 “Be the Inspiration” is the theme of the 2019 district conference, and it could not be more appropriate!  This year we have secured a number of speakers and guests who are inspiring leaders in their own lives, and the work they do to help others.
 
We are delighted to have Mr. Greg Yank and his wife Catherine as our Representatives from Rotary International. Mr. Yank is a member of the RI Board of Directors and a Past District Governor of District 6510. He has a long list of accomplishments in Rotary and in his private life that demonstrate his commitment to Service Above Self. He is a renowned speaker who inspires fellow Rotarians all over the world.
 
You will definitely want to hear our Youth Speaker, Miss Nina Davy, and her amazing story of how, at thirteen, she lost her best friend to cancer. Instead of dwelling on her loss, Nina chose to remember her friend by forming “Jena's Girls” an organization of young ladies that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fight cancer and support those coping with serious health issues. She is the 2018 Nova Scotia volunteer of the year and may be the youngest Paul Harris Fellow! We have received a number of questions regarding the youth program. You may find the schedule of events here. Please note that the youth registration has been capped at 30 people, so register now to avoid disappointment.
 
On Saturday we will be addressed by Senator Dan Christmas, the first Mi'kmaw person ever to serve in Canada's Senate. His leadership in the aboriginal community has, and continues, to improve the lives of our First Nations citizens.  Through his leadership he has transformed his community of Membertou from one of poverty to a vibrant and successful centre of entrepreneurial enterprise.
 
We will also be addressed by fellow Rotarian Wayne King of Labrador. He has inspired fellow Rotarians with his many special projects to assist those in need in his community, including his spin bike initiative and his annual Christmas projects.  His message is Charity Begins at Home.
 
At our Gala dinner on Saturday our Keynote speaker is Mr. Buhle Diamini. Originally from South Africa, Buhle rose from a life of abject poverty to become a world renowned speaker on managing change.  He has been honoured by Bishop Desmond Tutu for his work and is an author of several books in his field. Buhle's life embodies our theme of “be the inspiration”.
 
But that is not all that is going on at our conference. There will be lots to learn at our strategic planning sessions, training for incoming executive members, and sessions on membership and RI Foundation. We also plan on having fun! On Friday evening we will gather at the beautiful Decoste Entertainment Centre in Pictou for an evening of music with a Pictou County twist, food and fellowship.  And since no event is complete in Pictou without bagpipes, we will be welcomed by a pipe band concert on the deck of the centre.
 
On Saturday evening after our Conference we conclude our weekend with a gala dinner at Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow. Summer Street is a centre for intellectually challenged adults that teaches its clients to reach their full potential as members of our community.  Their story is another inspiring achievement that makes us proud to be part of Pictou County.
 
We can hardly wait to meet you. And as they say in our neck of District 7820 “Ciad Mile Failte” (a hundred thousand welcomes). See you soon!
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Professional Development Day at Conference
Friday, May 10 – 8:30-12:30
You won’t want to miss this powerful experience!  The KAIROS Blanket Exercise. Experience the history you did not learn in school!
 
The Blanket Exercise is based on participatory popular education methodology and the goal is to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy.
 
We are offering this amazing learning opportunity at our Professional Development day at our District Conference and we are excited to partner with the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia for the event.  Join members of various not-for-profit organizations and community volunteers from the area and Rotarians from across the district in the powerful event.
 
Open to everyone – but you need to register.  For incoming Presidents and Secretaries, there is no additional fee (but you still have to register!).  For other conference participants, partners and guests, the fee is $25.
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Halifax Harbourside learns of UV-LED technology
An enthusiastic group of Harbourside Rotarians braved freezing rain to go on a field trip meeting to the Dalhousie School of Engineering.  We heard from Dr. Graham Gagnon who holds the NSERC/Halifax Water Industrial Research Chair in Water Quality and Treatment. His team works with Halifax Water and Cape Breton Water and many others - and they are researching a disruptive UV-LED technology. Did you know that water issues kill more people than violence?  The slide from UNICEF is a powerful image. 
 
We are exploring a collaborative project with the Dal team, together with a Rotarian in India, who is a Dal Alumnus, to pilot the water purification devices in some schools in India - it could have huge impact! Masters student, Carolina, tested the devices in Nunavut - and she gave us a demo of how they work when we toured the labs. Thank you to Godfred for starting the conversation about a possible grant opportunity and for arranging the wonderful field trip!
Rotary Leadership Institute in Dieppe
 
The spring Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) session is being held in Dieppe NB on Saturday April 6, 2019 at the CCNB Campus,  505 Rue du College  located off Champlain St in Dieppe, NB. The sign in desk opens at 8:15 am and the sessions will run from 9:00 am to about 4:00 pm. 
 
Having Rotarians attend an RLI session has proven to be a major benefit for both the member and their clubs.  The basic RLI program consists of series of three one day Parts. The material in each part is organized to gradually increase the participants' Rotary knowledge and leadership skill and are taken sequentially over a period of time. An overview of the RLI program  and the three parts can be found on the RLI page of the Website.
 
All three Parts of the program will be offered. The cutoff date for Registration is  March 26th.
 
Registration is all done on-line by clicking this link. The fee payable by cheque (or cash) at the door is $125.  Breaks and lunch are included in the fee. When you register, indicate you are paying by cheque.
 
Participants are responsible for their own hotel booking if needed. A special rate $129/night (+ tax) has been negotiated with the Hotel Wingate Dieppe if you are coming in on Friday evening for the RLI event. It is for a room with either two Queens or one King and includes a hot breakfast.  The hotel website is http://hotelwingatedieppe.com/ . Make your reservations at the Wingate, 69 rue de Marche, Dieppe, NB E1A 9K3, Reservation: 1.844.854.8330. Mention the "Rotary Leadership Institute". The room block and guarantee will be held until March 4, 2019.
 
See you in Dieppe.
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Hamburg 2019 Convention Update
We’re excited you’re joining us at the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, 1-5 June. This issue of Convention News contains important program updates to help you plan your convention experience.
 
We have our first group of speakers!
•             Steve Farber, Founder and Chair of the Extreme Leadership Institute
•             Daniel Flynn, Co-founder and Managing Director of Thankyou
•             Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG
•             Dr. Pia Skarabis-Querfeld, MD, Chairwoman of the Board, Medizin Hilft, member of the Rotary Club of Kleinmachnow
•             Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
 
From Monday through Wednesday, 3-5 June, you can choose from nearly 100 breakout sessions on various topics. Here's a peek at the sessions being developed:
•             Strengthen your club — Learn strategies that will keep members engaged and inspire others to join the Rotary family;
•             Learn from experts — The Rotary Business School is back, offering in-depth presentations by executives and professional speakers;
•             Connect and take action — Meet Rotarians and Rotaractors who are tackling the world's biggest challenges, and learn how you can help.
Check out a preliminary list of all the breakout sessions at riconvention.org.
 
Don’t miss your chance to experience Hamburg like a local. Hamburg Host Organization Committee events are almost sold out. See what’s still available and purchase tickets before it’s too late. 
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People of Action!
The Rotary Club of Amherst is instrumental in sending people around the world through their “Trip of the Month” fundraiser. This club has a long and committed association with Camp Tidnish and continues to support the camp through their lobster dinner fundraiser. Club members have truly made a difference in the lives of those folks who get to spend time during the summer at the camp.
 
Look for an aerial shot of Riverside Park to see why the Rotary Club of Middleton played a unique role in profiling their town as the “Heart of the Valley”. Through the efforts of the club members, a beautiful park has been created with trails, a dock and most significantly, the planting of maples to form a huge heart when seen from above. The profits from their very successful Rotary Goldmine enables the club to support many local charities.
 
The Rotary Club of Truro has figured out how to raise money and have a fabulous time doing it through their very successful Bollywood Night. Funds raised from this event and others enables the club to support the Colchester Community Workshops Foundation and the work the clients are doing in Truro. A very unique project was the club’s involvement in the creation of a “Music Feature” in downtown Truro. Passers-by can make music on the numerous xylophones mounted in their civic square.
 
For the members of the Rotary Club of Lunenburg, it is all about serving their community. The beauty of the town is enhanced through the club’s efforts with park benches and hanging baskets. Club members also deliver meals on wheels to folks in town. Their support of the work of St. Vincent de Paul locally as well as in Haiti indicates that they act locally and globally. The club also is concerned about the quality of the drinking water in Mexico and supports a project there.
 
The annual golf tournament sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bridgewater enables the club to support a number of initiatives in their town. Probably foremost of their projects is their support of the Bridgewater Community Gardens. The newly constructed garden shed is a testament to their ongoing financial support of the gardens. The Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre was extremely pleased to receive the donation of a wheelchair from the club.
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Training for Leaders of Clubs (TLC)!
On Saturday, February 16, 35 enthusiastic participants at the Southwest NS Training for Leaders of Clubs, or TLC, learned about technology, public image resources, the Foundation and more; they met some new people, and worked hard on their club action plans. Feedback on the new format was very positive, with Michael Fairn, Secretary, RC of Middleton saying: "No question the best TLC I've attended... on so many levels! ... I heard only good comments and praise from each of the Middleton attendees yesterday."
 
Upcoming TLC dates are as follows: March 9 - Corner Brook, March 16 - St Pierre et Miquelon, March 23 – Sydney, March 30 – Halifax, April 13 – Truro, April 27 – PEI. Mark your calendars now and plan to participate in an all new Training for Leaders of Clubs this spring; it will be time well spent!
Big Fab Rotary Dinner to End Polio
Introducing "My Big Fab Rotary Dinner".  Rotarians are asked to invite non Rotarians (minimum 4, maximum 8) over for dinner on April 3, 2019 (with alternate date of April 20, 2019).  Each non Rotarian guest will be asked to donate at least $30 (payable to the club to benefit the Polio Plus Campaign) for a fantastic candlelight wine and dine event hosted by the Rotarian and Partner.  Photos during dinner to be posted online. A great opportunity for public image, to introduce guests to Rotary, Foundation, and Polio...and have a lot of fun.  With 1500 members x 6 guests each paying $30, potential for $270,000 to End Polio.  If matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at 2-1, total for night could be $810,000...a great dinner event for a fantastic "Rotary Day".
Bulletin Editor
Alana Hirtle
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Russell Hampton
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