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Poway Rotary Leads International Effort

Tiny investments in impoverished regions yield big results.

More than 600 indigenous Lenca women, living in the impoverished remote highlands of Honduras, will be able to start businesses and begin to work their way out of poverty through an effort led by the Rotary Club of Poway, partnering with a dozen other Rotary clubs in California, Illinois, Washington and Honduras to fund $47,250 in microloans and business training.

Honduras is the second-poorest country in the Western hemisphere, and in the Lenca region illiteracy and childhood-malnutrition rates are twice the national average. With the modest loans this funding will provide, the women can start a chicken or goat business, open a small grocery store or sell handmade goods at local markets, with profits used to feed their families, send their kids to school and improve their homes.

Poway Rotary member Win Cox is also president and co-founder of Women’s Empowerment International. She and her organization have been involved in these projects for several years and have seen many success stories.

Maria Bowtista (pictured), starting with a $50 loan, has reached her dream of owning her own flower-growing business. With the loan re-paid, that money can be re-issued to another woman and the funding will continue long after the Rotary grant has ended. Win says the Lenca women have a better than 96 percent repayment rate.

Locally, the Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, Encinitas, La Jolla (Sunrise) and Escondido Rotary Clubs contributed and the District-Wide Mobilizing Rotary for Microcredit Committee was instrumental in providing support for this program.

MINI GOLF FOR GOOD

The Men’s Club of Temple Adat Shalom is turning the temple’s 5,400-foot social hall into a 36-hole mini golf course to help support Interfaith Community Services. The event is set for Sunday, Sept. 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. family-friendly and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. adults only.

Each of the 36 holes is sponsored by a local business, who are building their holes to “suit their personality.” For instance, a chiropractor might have you putt around bones or a plumber might place the hole in a toilet bowl. I participated in one of these in the Des Moines skywalk a few years ago and it was great fun!

There will also be a snack and a silent auction. All money raised will be divided between projects to house North County’s homeless, to feed the region’s hungry, a community garden and a wide range of projects the Men’s Club supports. For additional info contact Rob Weinberg (in the Panama Hat), 858-673-9960.

POSITIVE AND PACKING FOOD

We mentioned a few weeks ago that the Poway parade is Saturday, Sept. 8. The parade begins at 9 along the usual route on Poway Road. After the parade, the festival will begin with vendors, food and entertainment. You’ll also have an opportunity to do something positive by volunteering to pack food for the hungry and help Friends and Family Community Connection reach their goal of packaging more than 500,000 meals. Click here for more information.

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