Posted by Dave Colquhoun on Jun 01, 2018

It was ‘happy times’ this morning for Margaret Brown, who was presented with a $405 cheque for drawing the ‘Ace of Spades’ last week in our ongoing card draw fundraiser.

President Bernard also bestowed ‘Rotarian of the Month Awards’, in absentia, to Tom Roth and Jim Taylor for their leadership in organizing the recent blood donor clinic in Lake Country.

In other announcements, kudos were given to our newest Rotarian, Nicole Sorensen, for organizing a very enjoyable ‘Business After Hours’ social event for the LC Chamber of Commerce, at Lakeside Hearing.  Eight Rotarians attended this event and enjoyed delicious appies, adult libations, and networking with local businesses.

Our speaker this morning was Tamara McLellan, Executive Director, of the Kelowna Chapter of HER International.

Her International is an organization that empowers marginalized women and girls in Nepal, as well as Canada, through education and life skills.  The organization was founded 12 years ago and was operating in Kelowna under the name of IWEN (Inter-cultural Women's Education Network) until November of 2017.

Her International runs a host of different programs — from microcredit groups to educational scholarships. 

Tamara talked to us about a recent trip to Dang, Nepal with her two-year old son.   In Nepal, HER International focuses on ensuring that girls receive an education, that their mothers and all women from the community have access to skill-building opportunities, and that micro-financing groups are available to fund their hopes and dreams. Sustainably.

Highlights:

  • 187 young girls have been rescued from bonded labour.
  • The organization currently funds the education of 182 students and have over 900 women in micro-credit groups.
  • Over 300 bicycles have been purchased to improve the personal mobility of the villagers.

Considered one of the most beneficial programs is Unako, a social enterprise initiative, initiated through a HER mico-credit program.

Unako sells bags, scarves and jewelry created from ethically sourced materials and are handmade by women in Nepal. All of the profits from Unako go directly to the Her International projects.  Its newest line of bracelets, earrings and necklaces are crafted from beads created from upcycled glass bottles.

For more information, please visit www.herinternational.com