Our speaker was Tom Keefe, Founder and CEO of IMEC, an international nonprofit organization devoted to transforming impoverished communities in developing countries
Howard Kendall, Yarmouth club
Tom Keefe, speaker
Gino Frattellone, Littleton club
  • Chris appeared in an interview in the district newsletter.
  • The district conference will combine four districts, for three days in Providence .
  • Oct 20 (morning meeting) will be our club assembly.
  • Oct 27 we’re sponsoring the showing of a film on Razia’s Ray of Hope at fenn school in Concord. For our current international project to support Razia’s school of midwifery, we need to raise $52,000.
  • The Repair Café, had at last count 70 people in attendance. Ray is speaking on October 17 on a panel at the international reuse convention in Somerville. October 22 is the next Repair Café, in Westborough; and October 28 a bike safety program in Bolton.
  • Oct 22 Oktoberfest by Concord Club
  • Oct 22 Acton-Boxborough Club holds its Masquerade Ball; see Jacky for tickets.
  • We’re raffling off a Rotary Cruise to Bermuda. Details to follow.
  • Veterans Day breakfast will be at First Parish church in Stow.
  • Thanksgiving baskets intended for all senior citizen households in Bolton will include a card advertising our Rotary club.
  • October 20 there will be a wine & chocolate tasting to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
Happy/sad fines:
Jacky: is happy that there are so many events this month; also, she attended an active rotary in Osterville on the Cape, where she sat next to Bobby Orr.
Howard: Moved from the Cape to the mainland.
Dean: is 50 years old today.
Laura: enjoyed Slovakia and Poland; last night attended the Women in Rotary event in Boston; and got a hot water heater fixed at the repair café.
Carolyn: Habitat is ready to work on the Fitchburg property, and received a nice blessing from the pastor of a church there.
Mary Ann: moved her business out of the shop into her home; is saying prayers for the people in Florida affected by the hurricane.
Ray: appreciated the outpouring of help for the repair café; and was invited to row in the Head of the Charles meet.
Howard: glad to know of Repair Café
Richard: is going to Washington, D.C., to see his daughter.
Our speaker was Tom Keefe, Founder and CEO of IMEC, an international nonprofit organization devoted to transforming impoverished communities in developing countries.  Over the past 20 years, the organization has grown from a simple idea backed by his strong passion to an internationally recognized humanitarian organization that has worked in more than 90 countries.
IMEC has never proposed projects; their projects have all been chosen by others. But over the past 20 years, they’ve learned that their focus should be on three areas of concern: health care, nutrition, and education. These are the things that the people have asked for the most. Instead of looking for one big idea, they take one small idea that works, and do it a thousand times. That’s pretty big. A fully functioning maternity ward; a classroom to teach in; and small family farms—these are the keys. They work with some 80 organizations, and Rotary is one. We’re not in it for ourselves; we give up our time and money purely to help others. Religious orders are another service-based group.
People often say, “These poor people have nothing.” In fact, 90% of the work has already been done. They have the doctors and clinics, just not the supplies. They have the teachers, just not a well-equipped classroom. They have the farms, they just need some implements. This is a successful community already. The equipment can be put to work immediately—no long study to figure out what’s needed. We go to where the services are and help them transform, in a sustainable way. Everything you need to operate a maternity ward is in here; everything to teach elementary and secondary school; a wheelbarrow, shovel, etc., for a farm.
Respect for the people is essential. Doctors in these areas are as professional as doctors anywhere; teachers, likewise; and farmers, too. They put up with conditions that we wouldn’t put up with for a moment.  These people are smart and inventive. Maternity wards obviously support women; but classrooms allow girls to attend school; and the farming is mostly done by women and their families, because the men are away working elsewhere. If women and girls can be seen as a positive influence in the community, the benefits to the community are enormous.