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President Larry's New Year's Message
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 28-Dec-2017 | Viewed 200  Comments 0

All the Best for a Wonderful 2018 New Year



There are two topics of discussion which stand out as I write this New Year's message from the desk of the RAGM President.  One is the continued efforts by our Rotary Foundation to increase the prominence of Economic & Community Development through the efforts of Microfinance; and the other topic is the civil unrest in Honduras. 
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Growing Local Economies

RAGM members are encouraged to visit The Rotary Foundation website (https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/growing-local-economies) to better understand the impact our organization and its' Foundation is making in breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. With projects and Global Grants throughout the world we are assisting to pull women out of poverty; develop worker skills with business training; move towards sustainable farming and more. We are shifting our efforts toward sustainability with greater positive outcomes through the exponential power of recycling small business loans.  These are monies that once repaid, remain available for more loans creating an even greater impact. Microfinance . . . WORKS!
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Honduran Protest

The other topic, Civil unrest in Honduras, is hurting those that can least afford the damage. But Rotary is there to help.  As an initiative of RAGM a multi year, multi club and multi thousands of dollars Program known as Honduras Economic and Community Development Program was created. It is designed to address the needs of the economically active members of the Honduran society that would not otherwise be able to access working capital. The most recent deployment of funding has been for Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). As an employment generator and localized economic stimulant this Rotarian / Opportunity International Canada initiative is in its fifth year of loans. With the civil unrest the need is even greater for the poor to access banking security often through financial technology (FinTec), product / service distribution networks (typically family oriented) and business / skill training, all supplied through HECD. For detailed information on HECD visit: RAGM.org and search for Honduras.

Shifting gears a bit,

progress is also being made in all the other initiatives of our RAGM board including a web site reorganization, a renewed emphasis on community development in the USA through Microfinance based programs and updating of the RAGM's Strategic Plan.
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Toronto Convention Logo

Lastly, RAGM has been

awarded a break out session

at the Rotary International Convention in Toronto (http://rotary2018.org/) where the topic will be:

"How to Build Sustainable Communities Through Microfinance".

During a recent Board of Directors conference call I was pleased to hear that the majority of the Directors on the Call were planning on attending the Toronto convention. RAGM will have an information booth in the House of Friendship and we will host the Annual General Meeting, at the convention. If you are able to volunteer for any of these events, please email me your interest ( lswright1@mac.com ) and I will direct you to the appropriate committee person. 

In closing, I want wish all of our RAGM brothers and sisters the very best of the New Year and I sincerely hope to see all of you at the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, come this June 23 - 27, 2018.
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