Posted by Margaret Mason on Feb 16, 2022
The meeting was held “back home” at Cilantro as well as on Zoom for members who were unable to attend in person. The guest speaker was Tania Hutchinson and we inducted a new member, Samantha Langridge.
The International Toast was to President Andrew Chao and members fo the Rotary Club of Webster Grove in District 6060 in Missouri, US. The first settlers in Missouri were French Canadians in 1780. IN 1803, control was passed to the French and in 1821, Missouri was admitted to the union of America. The largest city in Missouri is Kansas City. Webster grove has an area of 15km square and a population of 24,000. Its major project is the annual Pancake Festival which started in 1958 and is still going strong. Prior to the International toast, Grant informed members that he received greetings from President Jane Halt and members of the Rotary Club of Gibraltar.
President Helen welcomed guests, David Langridge and Graham Chad. Helen reminded members of the fellowship function on Friday 22 February, the Storm Recovery Festival on 27 February as well as the District Conference on 15 and 16 March. She also advised that we will be having a joint meeting with the Bayside Inner Wheel on 4 April. At woodlands Golf Club. This will be an evening meeting. The meeting next week will be a breakfast meeting at Cilantro. Hopefully, the trial evening meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month will commence in March.
Guest speaker was Tania Hutchinson. Tania is the Operations Manager of 2 organisations known as Stride Education and Big Brothers Big Sisters. They are ‘not for profit’ organisations situated in Clarence Street, East Bentleigh. The organisations have 15 staff and approximately 100 volunteers. The main focus is to break the cycle of youth disadvantage through prevention.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters organisation provides long term mentoring for youth aged 7 to 17. Mentors provide advice on life changing adults role modelling and have contact with young people once a week for an hour for the first 12 months. This organisation is one of the biggest volunteer network in the world in that it has the support of similar International organisations in 14 countries. It provides both face to face and on line mentoring.
Statistics show that the impact have been beneficial to young people as follows …
96% have higher self esteem
925 feel more connected
95% feel supported during covid
52% were less likely to skip school.
The focus of Stride Education  is to provide support for young people to upskill, empower and strive. Experts provide workshops in schools and on line in social emotional learning.
The impact has been that young people who have been supported by the program have become better engaged, have increased in self confidence and self esteem and were more resilient. They also tended to be more hopeful, confident and possess higher self worth.
RCBMC supported the organisation in the Applied Learning Awards where the young people were awarded for doing well at school and in hands-on education. This support from RCBMC has been continuous since 2009, and provides funding for marketing, plaques, certificates and gift vouchers. Tania stated that it would not have been possible without this support. She gave some details of the schools which participated and the numbers of winners. The plan is to have ongoing support to enable them to train local teachers to continue this worthwhile project.