|Rotary Reaches Out|
When Michigan City Rotary Club President Julie Wozniak heard fellow Rotarian Joyce Hollingsworth talk about her work with Angola University, she knew her club should get involved. “Rotary is a service organization whose motto is, ‘Service Above Self” and the theme for this Rotary year is Building Communities, Bridging Continents,” Ms. Wozniak explained. “It seemed like a win-win, especially because we would have the opportunity to experience an international project that directly involved a member.”
Joyce Hollingsworth, in addition to being a Michigan City Rotarian, is also the Director of Programs and Planning for Angola University. After presenting details of the Angola University Project to fellow Club members in June 2010, an international committee of the club was formed to help support SHAREcircle’s humanitarian and educational initiatives in Angola, a project the club believes will be ongoing for multiple years.
“We are very pleased to announce our selection of Hanbury Evans to work with us on this important effort. All the firms competing for the opportunity showed us high quality concepts, but we felt the team from Hanbury Evans best captured the spirit of our vision,” said Guerra Freitas, SHAREcircle Executive Director and the Angola University Board of Trustees Chairperson.
SHAREcircle: Why is helping people on the other side of the globe important to you? Julie Wozniak: It is the heart of who we are. Every Rotarian is committed to making the world a better place. Susan Pound: I believe that we are all fellow travelers on this human journey. Young people everywhere are curious about the world and eager to learn. Everyone should have that chance. Politically, world progress will depend on progress made in the local communities of countries all over the globe.
SHARE: What do you hope your Rotary Club committee will accomplish in Angola? JW: I hope we are a catalyst for a long-term project, and that other clubs and organizations will join us as we create opportunities and evolve with the University. It would also please me if our STRIVE (youth mentoring program) kids participated and we were able to help finish developing a Rotary Club in Kuito, which the community in Bié has already been working on. SP: We want to help make education more accessible, especially for young women. [And] we would like to make a contribution toward the development and sustainability of ESL services for incoming students at Angola University. It’s something specific and concrete that we can do from Indiana.
SHARE: What has inspired you about this project? JW: The commitment and enthusiasm that my Rotary Club’s International Committee and Joyce have for the project and most importantly the children and families who will benefit from the university. The university is not only going to change lives but will change generations. SP: The possibilities for connection and collaboration. I’d love to see a large, youth-involvement component in the Michigan City area. Having English as a common language will also help us in making personal connections between residents of Northwest Indiana and residents of central Angola. I am excited about using Skype and other technologies to communicate with students and teachers in Bié Province, when wireless technology becomes available there.
SHARE: What would you like others to know about your efforts and about SHAREcircle? JW: That every effort no matter how small contributes to the whole, and together we are stronger than if we stand alone. SP: We welcome involvement not only from additional Rotarians and clubs, but from other groups and individuals as well. Within this project, activities can be tailored to individuals’ interests. A little bit of collaboration can have astounding results. And it will be fun, too!
To find out more about the Angola University Project, visit www.angolauniversity.org/ For more information on the Michigan City, Indiana Rotary Club, visit www.mcrotary.org/ To find a Rotary Club in your area, visit www.rotary.org/