In Canada, one of the best gifts a parent or grandparent can buy for their child is a University or College education. Hence for the next five months, we are plied with ads for Registered Educational Savings Plan (RESP) investments. Unfortunately, many families have incomes too low to put aside the thousands of dollars needed to make such an investment.
In Guatemala, the situation is even worse because the problem starts in middle school and grows in high school.   School supplies, equipment, transportation and uniforms are the responsibility of parents and must be purchased before children in grades seven, eight and nine can continue their education.  For many schooling ends in Grade six.
Rotarians in District 5550, in cooperation with Rotarians in Guatemala, have through the Ripple Effect Program, improved over eighty schools in the remote areas of Guatemala. Building and improving schools by installing toilet facilities, clean water, and computers does little good if parents living in poverty can’t afford the necessities of daily education.
To address this problem, District 5550 has created the Ripple Effect Scholarship Program. Call it our unique RESP.
According to Moose Jaw Wakamow Rotarian Marian Kettlewell, who heads up our side of the RESP, District 5550 has set a 2018-19 goal of raising $45,000 for 28 three-year Middle School Scholarships and 15 three-year High School RESPs.
A one-year Middle School D5550 RESP requires $160.00 CDN, three years $480.00 CDN. A one-year High School D5550 RESP requires $650.00 CDN, or $1950.00 CDN. for three years.
Let’s Get Organized
District 5550 has 47 Clubs. We need 43 Scholarships. There are 15 Clubs with 40 or more members. If each of them set a goal of collecting $1950.00 from among their members, then the High School goal is reached. If the remaining 32 Clubs, those with 39 or fewer members commit to raising $480.00 from among their members the Middle School goal of 28 is attainable.
Perhaps the four smallest clubs could join with the next four smallest clubs, (5 & 15), (9 & 13), (9 & 12), (11 &12)  so we can do it.
The Ripple Effect Program headed up by Rotarians Gord, and Debra LeMaistre of the Kenora Club is District 5550's signature International Literacy initiative.
For more information and a donation form click HERE.