Full schedule of activities

Everyone knows that ladies love to get dressed up for special occasions. (I could get in trouble for that statement.) But it’s less fun when their partners think getting dressed up means putting on a clean work shirt.
                That’s why the Rotary Club is sponsoring “Ladies Movie Night” on Saturday April 23. Ladies, leave the guys behind. Come out and show off your finest, to see “The Devil Wears Prada” -- and sample fine chocolate, fine wines from Intrigue Winery, and fine popcorn. Enjoy a spring fashion preview from Tina Louise dresses and Sassy Shoes.
                Tickets cost just $25. The evening starts at 6:00 p.m., at the Creekside Theatre, in the Community Complex at George Elliot Secondary School.
                Every Rotary member received six tickets. So get out there and sell ’em!
No one would refuse to save someone’s life. Even if it cost you some money. Now you have that chance, and it won’t cost you a cent.
                Tom Roth is trying to get a team of Rotarians together to donate blood. It’s one of the few club activities that doesn’t involve raising dollars. You won’t miss a pint of blood. But it will save someone’s life. No one gets a blood transfusion unless they need it.
                So far, Tom has only three members signed up for the Rotary team. You can register at https://www.blood.ca/en/blood/how-do-i-join-team or get the form from Tom directly -- 250-470-8019 or immac@shaw.ca. But please return your completed forms to Tom so he can sign up the whole team.
April 30 is Rotary At Work day, again. Kelowna area clubs are doing a food drive for the Kelowna and West Kelowna food banks. As far as I know, our club has not determined a project yet. Watch for it.
On Sunday, May 1, a group of Rotarians will walk for Alzheimers at Mission Creek in Kelowna. Jack Schultz has taken the lead in organizing the group, creatively named “Jack’s Team.” Registration starts at 10:00 a.m., the 2-3 km walk goes from 11:00 a.m. until evening, starting from Mission Creek Regional Park on Springfield Road. Talk to Jack to get involved -- 250-718-3450

Tipping points

                You’ve heard about “tipping points” -- finding the place in a social structure where the smallest input will have the greatest effect. In New York, apparently, fixing broken windows and beautifying basketball courts started the city towards renewal. Polio vaccines are a tipping point. So are Rick Mercer’s mosquito nets.
                The Rotary Club of Lake Country has supported a number of tipping points around the world -- work with the street children of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, water wells in Ethiopia, audiology clinics in India and Pakistan, a children’s hospital in St. Vincent, education for girls and young women in Afghanistan….
                Last Thursday, Erika Van Oyen told the Rotary club about an unexpected tipping point that helps to keep girls in school in Uganda. Read more below.

$5 a year to keep a girl in school

                Uganda has come a long way since Idi Amin ruled it with an iron hand. It’s lush and beautiful, says Erika Van Oyen. Hydroelectric developments mean that almost everyone now has electricity -- most of the time, at least. The country is on the forefront of using its abundant sunlight; most homes have solar panels for recharging phones and computers. Education is free.
                But when Erika went to Uganda in 2008 as a teacher, she found that man  girls dropped out of school as soon as they began having menstrual periods. In that society, menstruation is still seen as unclean. If they got blood on their school uniforms, the girls were embarrassed, humiliated. They went home; they stayed home.
                They were now available for marriage. Or rape.
                Erika has gone back to Uganda every year since 2008. She teaches classes on Reproductive Health. She hands out kits -- simple kits.
                Each kit contains two pair of underpants (many families are too poor to afford such basic necessities); eight reusable flannel absorbent pads, two waterproof shields, two Ziplock plastic bags so that girls can take the pads home for washing without embarrassment, all in a simple drawstring bag. Everything but the shields and the Ziplock bags are made in Uganda.
                Each kit costs about $15 Canadian -- about 40,000 shillings in Uganda’s wildly inflated currency.
                Experience has shown that each kit lasts about three years. And enables that girl to continue in school.
                So far, Erika has helped about 2,250 girls stay in school. This year, through the charity she founded, she expects to take ten more volunteers with her, to reach another 2,000 girls, and also to train Ugandan mothers and teachers.
                Her organization, ISEE Solutions (the initials stand for Invest in Sustainability Education and Empowerment) is a micro-charity. Unlike the big organizations, it is not equipped to deal with major disasters. But it enables 100% of every dollar donated to go to the people being helped. Volunteers raise funds for their own travel expenses.