Meeting Highlights
The Weekly Westerner Edition 55.16
Box 4572, Station C, Calgary, Alberta T2T 5N3
Grey Eagle Hotel, 3777 Grey Eagle Drive (Corner of 37 St SW and Glenmore Drive)
Mondays 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
President: Marlene Doherty President-Elect: Linda Anderson 
Past President: Bill Fitzsimmons
Secretary: Gail Williams Treasurer: Don Edie
Directors: Judy Cochran, Gord Cox, Terry Felton, Barb Hames,
Les Morgan, Drew Turnbull
Together We Are People of Action - Building Community
November 22, 2021  Edition: 55.16 Reporter: Marie Rickard Editor: Marlene Doherty
RCCW Hybrid Meeting
President Marlene Doherty welcomed all to this hybrid meeting. In person we met this evening at 6 pm at the beautiful Christmas décor adorned Calgary Golf and Country Club with great food and good company. President Marlene then acknowledged and recognized our presence on the historic lands of the Treaty 7 Nations. Des DeFreitas led from the podium in the singing of “O Canada.”
Terry Felton was the greeter from Zoom land, and he welcomed Jimmy Pham, our guest speaker. Barbie Hames was the on-site greeter and Marlene welcomed our guest, Cheryl Ganong, Eileen DesFreitas, and Allison MacKenzie.
Barbie Hames announced that our Rotary Christmas Brunch will be at Pinebrooke Golf and Country Club on Dec 12 starting at 11 am. She announced an amazing buffet menu. Buy your tickets online at here: Rotary Family Christmas Brunch. Adults $55.00 and Children (12 and under) $25. Entertainment to follow the meal! It is a wonderful and delicious event to get you in the Christmas Spirit!

Guest Speaker: Jimmy Pham AM 

KOTO - Know One, Teach One 

Steve Kuiack introduced our speaker Jimmy Pham, who presented via Zoom all the way from Vietnam with that familiar phrase from the movie “Good Morning, Vietnam!” Steve first met Jimmy Pham when he was studying for a Master’s in Business Administration and remained friends and stayed in contact. Here is Jimmy Pham’s bio:  
Born in Saigon and raised in Sydney, Jimmy Pham returned to Vietnam in the late 1990s to work as a tour leader.
While in Hanoi, he struck up a friendship with a group of young people living and working on the streets to support their families. He used his salary to help the kids but knew this was only a temporary fix for a long-term problem. The street kids needed skills, jobs, and an income for a better life. With that, Jimmy’s social enterprise, KOTO - Know One, Teach One - was born.
Jimmy left his job in the tourism industry and opened a sandwich shop to provide jobs for young people. He soon realized that the children needed more than just a job, they needed vocational training to secure a better future for them and their families. KOTO’s student numbers increased, and it expanded its operations to include a fine-dining restaurant, cooking courses and catering service.
Jimmy has received numerous awards including the 2021 Waislitz Global Citizens’ Choice Award, 2013 UNICEF Zero Award for Social Innovation and 2011 Young Global Leader Award from the World Economic Forum as well as being appointed a member of the Order of Australia.
Jimmy Pham shared his story and an overview of KOTO, Know One, Teach One! Jimmy was born during the Vietnamese War. He came to Australia as a refugee with his family. His mother was resilient and to escape poverty she recognized the need for her children to get an education. In 1996, he returned to Vietnam to work in the tourism industry and met youth who could not afford to eat. He would take the kids out to get noodles for supper, up to sixty kids. A girl he met made an impact on him. She was begging for money, but her mother was in the background with a lead pipe ready to beat the young girl because she was not able to meet her quota for the day. He has since learned that she had died.
He started his journey with $200. He would go around the country and buy the kids fish. He found out firsthand that giving kids the food was creating a dependency. He needed to give them the skills to teach them how to fish for sustainability. KOTO started with a sandwich shop and grew in success. In 2019, it was their 20th Anniversary, and one thousand guests came home to celebrate and 70% of the alumni,1200 kids, came home to celebrate. TOTO took kids from a disadvantaged background, battered, abused, hungry and angry, and in their 2-year program, empowering in a family environment, provided life skills training for sustainable income. The program is free. The kids are housed as well as given training and life skills. They also provide quality of life by doing activities like going to a movie or bowling. At the end of the program the kids end up with jobs in 5-star hotels.
Jimmy then played a video for us where we could view kids in the program who talked about their goals and aspirations to be bartenders, professional chefs, restaurant owners. Many students wanted to give back to KOTO and help parents. They wanted to employ the underprivileged. The background song for the video “The Rose” was chosen on purpose. Jimmy noted that there are fifty-four ethnic minorities from the hill tribes. Most of the girls in the video are from that area where they would marry young and have many children and the cycle of poverty would continue. Now the girls have a job, a voice and economic empowerment where they can make choices. Success stories are measured by Jimmy from where they were and where they are now which is vastly improved. KOTO is the first social enterprise in Vietnam. It started small. It addresses a social need and creates impact. It opened in 1999 with nine kids and now this year are over two hundred. The kids learn by doing, teaching, and training.
The original challenge for KOTO was to change mindsets. Social enterprise used to be a dirty word in the hospitality industry. The myths were that the kids lie, cheat and steal. Now the kids are employed before they graduate because they are professionally trained. The challenges for KOTO have grown since the onset of COVID. KOTO was one of the top five restaurants. During COVID, the restaurant closed, and they experienced lockdowns five times affecting job security, income, and programs. They have managed to keep the program going in the last 2 years. The alumni have helped to keep the program running. There is much to do. There is a growing need for youth employment. There is a population of 9 million and 60% live under $2.00 per day, mostly in the rural areas. Vietnam needs to create more social enterprises.
Q & A:
Tim Anderson asked Jimmy about one of the kids in the video. Jimmy told us about a young man Bing who is now the Executive Chef at the Wynham Hotel in Hanoi. He graduated about 12 years ago at about eighteen years of age. With no employment he was going off the rails and was close to being in prison. He turned his life around through this program.
What is social business? KOTO runs a series of restaurants which provides income and practical training for the kids. They learn by doing. Pre COVID the restaurant provided 70% of the income for KOTO and the rest was from fundraising. KOTO also won a cash prize last year which had helped sustain them since the income during COVID for the restaurant has fallen to 3%.
How can we help? Donors can sponsor a trainee, Purchase equipment and training materials. They can buy a brick to maintain the restaurant. A one-year sponsorship is about $1,700 Canadian. We could participate or provide sponsorships during an upcoming one-day bicycle ride fundraiser.
Robyn Braley asked if the government provided any supports for social enterprises or their organization. Jimmy acknowledges that Vietnam has made a remarkable recovery after the war. Although it is a communist country, it operates like a free economy and the government has allowed this more radical program to operate. The government of Vietnam recognized and gave accolades but receives no monetary supports or benefits.
Des DeFreitas thanked our guest speaker Jimmy Pham for his inspiring presentation and noted how one person can make a difference, an impact by helping the underprivileged get out of the cycle of poverty. He wished him continued success. Des presented Jimmy with a donation to Shelterbox.
Since November is Foundation Month, Gail Williams presented on the Grants available through the Rotary Foundation.
Firstly, Gail notes this presentation is about Rotary Foundation Grants, The Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation is another entity that we can support and is a funding foundation, not a grantor of funds and we receive a dividend on our funds held by this foundation. The revenue funds community projects both local and international, youth programs and scholarships.
Rotary Foundation Grants:
  1. District Grants:  are mainly directed towards health, education, and community development, not beautification projects.
    1. District Community Development (formerly Project) - Matches 3:1 up to $7,500
Examples of previous use of these grants are Homes of Hope, Hope for those Left Behind, building teachers housing and security at a girls’ school in Malawi, refrigeration trucks for the Community Kitchen and Leftover Foundation, HomeSpace.
  1. District Undergraduate Scholarships – Matches 2:1 up to $2000. Examples are MotiveAction, Never Too Late.
  2. Youth Programmes – Matches 2:1 up to $2000 – Youth Exchange, RYLA, RYPEN, RAYEC costs and Rotaract and interact club start-ups.
  3. Travel Grants – No club $ required up to $2000 – To develop humanitarian projects with a Host Rotarian partner in another country. At present, international travel restrictions are in place until Dec 2021 for non-essential travel. Have only been used by a couple members travelling to Honduras. Not for Polio trips.
  4. District Vocational Training Travel – Matches 3:1 up to $7500 – A group of professionals who travel to another country to teach local professionals about their profession. Travel can be in either or both directions.
  1. District Development Funds (DDF) Grants for Global Grant Purposes:
Lead Club – minimum club contribution of $4000US matched with $15000 US DDF funds. Examples of funding is Honduras Economic and Community Development, Guatemala, Brazil, also working on one for Sierre Leone
Supporting Club – minimum club contrition of $2000US matched with $5000 US DDF funds. Examples of uses for this funding are projects for Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Tanzania, Peru
Global Grants
Support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes. A Needs Assessment is required to ensure the community identifies what they need.
Funding assistance available for grants used in one of the Foundation’s 7 Areas of Focus:
  • Peace and Conflict resolution/prevention
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development
  • Supporting the environment
Projects take place in the Host country and sponsored by a local Rotary Club or District
  • Needs to have an International Rotary Partner
  • Can be anywhere in the world including Canada
  • All clubs and districts involved must be qualified
  • Project must be a minimum of $30,000USD
  • The maximum amount from the World Fund is $400,000
Global Vocational Travel Grants (VTT)
Much the same as District VTT’ but on a larger scale.
Global Scholarships
No club contribution up to $30,000 US from District Designated Funds and matched by the Annual Fund. District awards one such scholarship per year. One year of study outside Canada MA/MSc/MBA/MPhil or PHD
Peace Fellowship
Fully funded master’s degree Academic Fellowship at one of seven peace centres around the world. Our District donates $25,000 US each year to the peace centre fund. No club contribution is required, Application window opens February each year, Candidates are screened by District Peace Fellowship Chair Marie Rickard and her team and one or more nominees into the TRF by July 1.
Typical successful candidate has 5-7 years’ experience in a peace-related field. We will have a Peace Fellowship awardee speak to the club in the New Year, Lorelei Higgins. Plan to attend that meeting.
Conflict of Interest
The following individuals cannot be candidates or final recipients or beneficiaries of any TRF program. Such individuals shall include current Rotarians’ employees of clubs, district, and other Rotary Entities or of Rotary International’ spouses, lineal descendants (children or grandchildren by blood, legal adoption, or marriage without adoption), spouses of lineal descendants or ancestors (parents of grandparents by blood) of person in the foregoing categories; and employees of agencies, organizations or institution partnering with the Rotary Foundation (TRG) or Rotary International (RI).
Polio Plus Fund
Our own President, Marlene Doherty is the District 5360 Polio Chair and created a video about the roles she has played for the eradication of Polio and her Rotary Moment. The video was part of the Rotary partnership with Toastmasters. On Sept 15, 2021, Toastmasters led Rotarians through their meeting process and September 31, 2021, three Rotarians were asked to share why they became Rotarians. Marlene’s video was moving and heartfelt. Here is the link to the video
Marlene referenced Dean Rohr’s recent update from Zoom on Polio with only two cases exist since January in Afghanistan.
All donations to the Annual Fund and Polio Plus Fund are part of the Paul Harris Fellowship recognition program. Contributions to any program will count toward Major donor (excluding endowment). RI asks each club to set a goal of $1500 US per year for Polio Plus. Thank you for your generosity and contributions to Move for Polio.
President Marlene’s Thank you!
Greeters – Terry Felton & Barbie Hames
Zoom and AV/Tech – Gord Cox
Speaker – Intro – Steve Kuiack – Thank you – Des DeFreitas
Meeting Arrangement & Support – Gord Cox, Steve Kuiack and Barbie Hames
President Marlene’s Acknowledgements!
Building Community -Les Morgan & Debbie McMillan as Westerner Editors. Thank you!
Thank you & presentation of Building Community pin to David Wartman. David is a member of the District Indigenous Team – he organized a fabulous tour to Blackfoot Crossing last week and the previous week arranged a meeting of leaders with Tsuu’tina Indigenous Committee and invited the president of Heritage Park and Marlene to a meet and greet. Thanks David
Update: David Williams had surgery on Friday – should be home on our meeting day & will begin chemo treatments shortly. He is grateful for the care he is receiving.
Garfield shared – David Hamilton’s health is declining – please keep Kathy, David, and their family in your thoughts & prayers.
The Video of the Four Way Test followed, and the meeting was adjourned.
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