GSP Perth Meeting Minutes March 3, 2017
Attendees: Tom Clarke, Rita Redner, Tom Spence, Norah Hall, Wayne James, Janet Allen, Ken Morin, Erika Johner, Hans Buser, Anita Payne, Terri Henderson, Phill Brackenbury, Joni Seligman, Liisa Rissanen, Keith Walker, Sue Maynard, Paul Hauraney
Regrets: Beth and Kerry Keogan, Marcia and Irwin Pencer, Tammy Morrison
Chair: Norah Hall Minute taker: Paul Hauraney
Meeting called to order 06:30pm
Note action items– responsible party in red.
Review and add to agenda:
Paul-discussion around Stewart Pk festival 2017.
Tom- Blue Skies 2017
Keith- Cantel Scolarship update
Approve minutes from Dec 2 meeting, approved by Rita seconded by Sue.
Only action item, which was completed, was for Phill to Contact Judy Dempsey in December about Mother of a Dinner.
Upcoming events/ presentations:
Festival of the Maples, Saturday April 29 07:30am-04:00pm downtown Perth.
Discussion followed about the event
Paul mail out sign-up sheet for Maplefest.
Paul purchase a pop up tent on behalf of GSP for events.
Phill get small sale items from Janet for resale at Maplefest, purses etc.
Presentation to Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) set up by Anita – Mon., May 1, 07:00pm Perth Legion.
GSP speakers include: Anita, may focus on stove purchase to offset frequent air travel. Tom C, may focus on stoves to offset carbon emission, Keith and Janet to focus on GSP Scholarships. Tammy (not present at meeting) but will also speak perhaps on some of her experiences in Guatemala with the GSP.
Tom estimated one stove will offset approximately 2.5T of carbon per year as compared to an open cooking fire.
Phill, Anita asks that you to plug this event while you are at Lake 88 to promote the Mother of a Dinner.
Mother of a Dinner – Saturday May 13, 06:00pm at Perth Lions Hall.
Committee formed including Phill, Joni, Terri, Wayne, Norah to meet Sunday March 5, 01:00pm at Phill’s house.
Paul will contact Rental Village to request donation of kitchen wares, once notified by Phill after Sunday meeting.
Phill to request Lions to open bar earlier ready to serve by 6 pm
Phill will circulate a sign up sheet for this event
Phill mentioned last year about $6000.00 was raised.
Judy Dempsey is suggesting an Indian menu as the theme this year.
There will be 20 tables seating 8 people per table.
Tom has the raised shelves from Otto to use for silent auction.
Janet will contact Otto to ask if his group could provide some music for the event.
Phill suggested Keith in coordination with the Ottawa group showcase some of their students in a display at this event to solicit funding for scholarships.
Volunteer Pot Luck Party
Janet mentioned there will be a pot luck for all current and past volunteers to be held at Tammy and Andy Morrison’s house, 10 Ridgeview Place, Perth on Sunday Apr 2, from 01:00-05:00pm, more info to follow.
Perth, Stewart Park Music Festival: July 14, 15and 16
It was agreed that Paul will apply on behalf of the GSP to set up our booth at this event again this coming year.
Once confirmed Paul will circulate a sign up sheet, many volunteers will be required to man the booth over this three-day event.
Blue Skies – Aug 4,5 and 6 with big day Monday the 7th for collection and pack up. Help is also needed Tuesday Aug 8 at the Smiths Falls Beer store for unloading.
Rita will confirm if GSP is going to be the recipient of the bottle/can collection again this year.
More info will follow once confirmed. Many volunteers will be required if we get this event.
2017 GSP Excursion:
Tom mentioned we had a great trip again this year with a wonderful group of people. He cited while there is always lots to whine about, there were no whiners in our group, lots of consumers of wine but no whiners hahaha !
Erika mentioned she enjoyed the round table discussion at the end of the work day, it was fun and interesting to hear different people explain their experiences.
Tom mentioned this group has constructed 106,000 stoves in Peru alone using carbon credit funding. They also operate in many other Latin American countries. Learn more on their website at www.microsol-int.com
Keith gave a brief history of the scholarships.
The Maya struggle with a 60% illiteracy rate, formal education for many ends at grade 6, this is when families would begin to incur costs to further educate their children, families simply don’t have this money. The GSP, through the efforts of Keith and Phill, started funding 13 students in the Xela area, the numbers have been reduced to 5 students in Cantel. They are presently in their 6th year with the program being administered by Ishim Yac who sends Keith regular reports and updates on the students who are all performing well. The program boasts one student graduating last year as a teacher and two more set to graduate this coming Nov. The last school-term transfer was $2,970.00US with the next one scheduled for June being $2,310.00US. Keith has raised the required funds for the next transfer and is now working on raising funds for 2018 transfers. The 2018 school term transfer will be reduced as only two students will be left in the program.
Phill and Terri met with most of the Cantel students during our 2017 excursion this Feb and noted they were quite impressed by these young people, so eager and happy to be able to attend school. They also noted Dugarry has a very good grasp of understanding and speaking English, to the point that he is now teaching his sister. Let me take a moment to offer Keith my personal congrats on his continued vigilance and determination on raising these funds practically single handed to help these children who have so much hope for their future. Buen trabajo mi amigo!
Comitancillo Experience: Janet spoke about their experience in Comi this year.
Janet, Ken, and Karen documented 50 stoves with the help of Reyna the Mam/Spanish guide and translator. They found some stoves to have cracks around the door/lintel area, and tubos of inferior quality, these issues are being investigated and addressed. Overall families are very pleased with their stoves citing they use less wood and are able to cook more items at once on the larger surface area. Janet Mentioned Reyna’s mom passed away shortly after their visit.
The student scholarships are doing very well, GSP Ottawa group presently funds 12 girls around Comi some of which work 4 hours a day on weaving looms to help fund their studies.
Rubelsi is a deaf mute who has been receiving tutoring for three years to help him learn to sign and interact more socially. Janet noted he is looking and doing much better at signing and just generally more alert and aware. This will be his last year of receiving funding by the GSP.
Micro loans continue to perform well benefiting many families.Janet and group were very please to have Rita, Phill, and Terri join them in Comi this year. The group were invited to Ruben’s house (Ruben is director of AMMID, our partner NGO in Comitancillo) where they enjoyed a meal, a good sweat in his chuj (sweat lodge) and an evening of wonderful music.
Next Ottawa Meeting all are welcome to attend:
Saturday March 25, 12:30pm at La Cabana restaurant, 848 Merivale near the corner of Carling Ave.
Tom mentioned funds for 50 stoves were sent to Clara coordinator of AMI on Feb 26th.
As soon as the GSP raises enough money to fund the construction of 50 stoves, these funds are transferred to one of our three Guatemalan partners to build more stoves. This practice continues throughout the year rotating between partners. The GSP keeps a few thousand dollars in reserve in case of emergency situations, such as, floods, landslides, hurricanes, drought or earthquake etc.
Next Perth Volunteer meeting Friday, April 21, 06:30pm at Coutts Coffee, 57 Gore St E. Perth
Meeting adjourned at 08:00pm, moved by Sue and seconded by Paul