Anne Hughes joined us from the Rotary Club of Woodstock. She shared with us an international service project that her club is working on, along with other partners.
 
The project is the Market Expansion for the Agro-Ecological Training Farm. This is the second phase of a project in La Esperanza, Ecuador. Phase one was to build an agro-ecological training farm where members of the community could come to learn how to transform their own small plots of family land into family farms, allowing for additional nutritional resources for a community suffering from malnutrition, starvation, and poverty. This second phase takes the training farm and works to add an economic portion to the training farm; this is a capstone project balances respect for indigenous culture, new technologies, education, and expanded improvements to nutritional health. The idea is to create a post-harvest structure for cleaning and packaging, creation of a retail store for local commercialization, creation of a mobile market, creation and expansion of promotional marketing, and development of educational programs for consumers on nutrition and food preparation.
 
Anne presented this information to us because of our interest in getting into an international service project for the first time. This is a program that has a structured plan and support from Rotary clubs along with Rotary International; it simply needs additional funding. This would be a way that our club could enter into the international service realm with as little or as much involvement as we want.
 
We stated that we will discuss our potential involvement at the board level during our next board meeting, and then bring it to the club for further discussion.
 
Thank you Anne for sharing your passion in this project and the opportunity to get involved!