It’s likely that few of us realize how lucky we are to be able to go to school, drink our coffee in the morning, make plans for weekends, work, and dream of our future. In Guatemala, however, more than half of the population lives below the poverty line and many children, especially those from indigenous families, are deprived of education. While we complain about our homework or our jobs, Guatemalan children are working to support their families.
On April 17th, the Oglethorpe Rotaract Club, a student organization sponsored by local Rotary Clubs that focuses on service, networking, and fellowship, hosted a fundraising event to support the education of 15 children in Guatemala. We organized a “Southern International Barbecue” on the quad, where in exchange for purchasing tickets, students, faculty, and Rotarians from around Atlanta enjoyed barbecue from three different cultures: Southern U.S., Russia, and India. In addition, they were treated to performances by Japanese soprano Kyoko Tange and an American guitar player, Patrick McCullough.
The Oglethorpe Rotaract Club is grateful to announce that we exceeded our expectations and succeeded in fundraising enough to sponsor one year’s worth of education for 30 students in Guatemala. Special thanks go to Oglethorpe University, Rotary North Atlanta, Rotary Buckhead, Rotary Brookhaven, and Rotary Northlake, plus the students and faculty who supported our cause!
Just a little more than a week later, the Oglethorpe Rotaract Club was presented with the Presidential Citation and Zone Award at the Rotary’s District Conference, held in Sandestin, Fla. “President Bill Knight and all of our club members want to congratulate you and your members for an outstanding year,” wrote Buckhead Rotary’s Nick Spates. “Your leadership and dedication to the Rotary ideals were put into action through your membership and outstanding results came from all your efforts….Thank you for your service to Rotary and mankind.”
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others.”
– Charles Dickens (Rotaract motto)