Dare 2 Dream Annual General Meeting Wednesday 15th August 2018
As an organisation whose mission is to empower underprivileged communities in the developing world and in Australia with knowledge, skills and resources to improve quality of life, I believe that Dare 2 Dream has been most successful in fulfilling and furthering this mission in 2017-2018. It continues to be an active and vibrant support group thanks to a small but dedicated Executive Committee and the support of the members and the wider community.
The 2017-18 Executive consisted of 20 members:
Rita Shepherd (President), Vince Ruggiero (Vice-President), Lina Martino (Treasurer), Jo Riccio (Secretary), Cate McGuire, Alice Reardon Georgia Reardon, Emily Shepherd , Andrew Shepherd, Jorja Barnard, Ally Slaven, Lisa Slaven, Robert Shepherd, Jo Riccio, Madeleine Reichstein,Milly Ruggiero, Nadia Covino and Danielle Nicholas. This relatively small committee is a vibrant and talented group who have given many hours of their personal time, outside of the formal committee meetings to work on sub-committee projects and events.
Their contribution has been enormous in helping to manage the many facets of our Foundation including providing management advice, organising fundraising activities, sourcing donations managing Child Sponsorship, managing the website, maintaining communication with members, managing the finances and promoting Dare 2 Dream and its work. I am most grateful for their dedication and untiring work and their selflessness in making the time in their busy lives to help others. I would like to offer special thanks to Emily Shepherd, a founding Committee member who has worked tirelessly for D2D and to Ally Slaven, past pilgrim who has moved to Sydney who are not re-nominating for the committee. Tony Fogarty has voluntarily audited the accounts of Dare2Dream since its inception and we sincerely thank him for this.
The Dare 2 Dream Foundation was established in 2011 with 11 members. This is growing slowly and currently there are 38 members
We are most grateful to the Committee members, family, friends and community members who have supported our many activities over the past 12 months. While our organisation serves to raise awareness about disadvantage and the impact it has on lives we are more than that. We are action based and an agent for change. Many of the events run have been to generate the funds to run grass roots programs. The calendar of events over the past 12 months is as follows:
August 2017: BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
September 2017: Wine and Cheese Night
November 2017: Bottle recycling at St Dominic’s Priory College
Ice cream sales at St Dominic’s Priory College
Stall at St Dominic’s Priory College Fete
February 2018: Bottle recycling and stall at St Dominic’s after the Family Mass
Ice cream sales at St Dominic’s Priory College
Movie Fundraiser organised by 2018 Pilgrimage parents
April 2018: BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
June 2018: BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
Bottle re-cycling at St Dominic’s Priory College
August 2018: D2D Committee dinner at Chennai Palace
On- going: Sale of goody box items and hand-made cards and child sponsorship
The support of students, parents and staff from St Dominic’s has been pivotal in fundraising.
Locally we made a donation to the Cancer Council.
Our main support has however been for the work of ICID, our partner organization in Nagpur. We are currently supporting two projects:
Yuva Jyothi Children’s Home (YCH): Currently there are 47 children under the care of the Yuva Jyothi Children’s Home; 43 boys and 4 girls the main source of funding Yuva Jyothi has been the Child Sponsorship Program. Currently in its 10th year of operation, the 47 children are benefitting from the Child Sponsorship Program. YCH places great importance upon strengthening the relationships between the children and their families, strongly believing in the importance of family ties and reintegration. The whole program of YCH is directed towards the holistic development of the children. Child Sponsorship funds contributed to regular facilities like accommodation, food, clothing, health, hygiene, counselling, recreation, sports, school education, life skill education, tuition, recreational activities, and celebration of festivals, picnics, sports, vocational training and family reunion.
A core group of sponsors have been providing financial support since the inception of the program in 2009 and it is our aim to increase the number who maintain their sponsorship. We believe a key to this is providing regular information to sponsors about the children at YJ. To this end, sponsors have received news from ICID, Christmas cards and thank you cards from the children. Thanks goes and Danielle Nicholas for promoting and managing the Child Sponsorship program as it is an important source of reliable funding for Yuva Jyothi.
Manini 2. (Goat Project)
Rural poverty is an enormous problem in the villages surrounding Nagpur. With the funding and support of D2D, women from the small village of Bothali, and Petichua approximately 50 km south of Nagpur have been helped by Manini 2. This was initially a 2 year project that was funded until the end of 2016
This project was completed in 2016 and moved into maintenance phase where support and advice is offered with some financial input. In January, 2018 Rita and Rob Shepherd visited Bothali and Petichua to meet with program participants and see the ongoing results of the Project. Treeza, the program Facilitator has continued to provide regular support and is available to provide advice. The villages expressed enormous gratitude to Dare 2 Dream for the help they had been given and proudly showed us the benefits in the village.
Manini 3. (Goats and vegetable production)
Based on a survey done by the ICID team in the prospective villages, two more villages namely Ghoti and Benduli have been selected on the basis of the severely disadvantaged position of the communities, especially women and need for livelihood intervention to join the Manini Projects.
The four villages have a total of 243 families with a total population of 1045 with 32% living below the poverty line. Funding for this project has come from D2D plus some local contributions with a 3 year time frame. It was begun at the start of 2017 and is currently mid-way through a 3 year cycle. Ghoti and Benduli were visited by Rob and Rita Shepherd in January 2018 and a meeting was convened with all participants in the Project. It was an opportunity for any concerns to be raised and for the villagers to ask questions of the visitors. The main problem appeared to be that the number of women wanting to join the program was outstripping the availability of goats and the number of available places. Goats were proudly shown off and many homes visited. We were impressed by the imitative and self-motivation in both these villages and the determination the women had to make the project successful.
Yuva Jyothi children received a new set of clothes each and an outing as Christmas gifts from Dare 2 Dream. Dare 2 Dream continues to fund wages for project staff and also provides ‘top up’ salaries to some of the social workers, staff at YJ and a small honorarium to Fr Harry. This funding helps to maintain staff stability which is beneficial to the children at YJ and also continuance of the projects.
In December 2018 a group of 10 students from St Dominic’s, 3 teachers and a D2D Committee member Vince Ruggiero will be visiting Yuva Jyothi and undertaking voluntary work there for a week.. I am confident that we are fortunate to be partnering with ICID which complies with the high level of accountability for funding we provide.
Promotion of Dare 2 Dream
Madeleine Reichstein is D2D’s website manager who keeps it up to date publicising events and activities.
The Dare 2 Dream Facebook page contains updates and news. This is a way of keeping our supporters informed of what’s happening and has been managed by Alice Reardon
The Dare 2 Dream logo is our brand and its positioning on the Spice Packs is an important way of publicising Dare 2 Dream. Spice packs have been sold since 2010 and it was felt that market saturation had occurred. It was decided to sell existing stock and then re –assess the situation.
Prospect Council changed the venue for 2017 to Broadview Oval and the timing was moved to October. Overall the stall was financially successful with a steady sale of Slinky potatoes. We thank Vince Ruggerio and his helpers for taking the lead in this. A few assorted Indian items were taken to include on the stall as a trail. They proved to be very popular so in 2018 more will be included. A problem that has arisen is the prospect fair occurs on the day before the St Dominic’s Fete. Stall helpers from the Committee were asked to help at the Prospect fair and pilgrimage parents and students at the Fete.
After a trial in 2017, Goody boxes were prepared for placement in work places. Each box contained 2 varieties of Charlesworth Nuts, Menz Fruchocs, Menz Honey comb and bags of mixed lollies. They are sold on an honour system- $3.00 a packet and $5.00 for 2 packets. This is a passive form of fundraising where most of the work is in setting up the boxes and ordering supplies and collecting them. So far feedback has been very positive and sales very steady. The boxes also contain information on how their purchase helps others.
As a trial this year D2D purchased 10 dozen bottles of white wine and 5 dozen bottles of red wine. They were labelled with the D2D logo and were sold at the Wine and Cheese evening. This is another awareness raising opportunity. While sales were below expectation, surplus bottles will be used for the mystery corks at the 2018 Committee Dinner.
Wine and Cheese Night
We were very fortunate to score major sponsorship for the night from Tony Worthington of Seven Hills Wines. Inigio wines were used for the tasting and Wine appreciation sessions run by Tony and Bruce Amos. Matching cheeses were generously provided by Smelly Cheese. Functions such as the Wine and Cheese Night provide the opportunity to publicise the work of Dare 2 Dream and in particular Child Sponsorship. We thank Jo Riccio for organising ’Kit a kid” where by people sponsored items of clothing for the Yuva Jyothi Children
Danielle Nicholas has made a series of goat post cards that seek sponsorship of the goat project by contributing $50 to the cost of a goat.
Future Plans and challenges
Fundraising and sourcing donations from sponsors is becoming increasingly difficult when there is a plethora of organisations similar to ours competing for donations. Our biggest strength is that that 98 cents in every dollar goes to our beneficiaries and we need to continue to promote this.
Revenue from the St Dominic’s Family Mass stall continued to be small in 2018. It is difficult to know if we have saturated this market. We need to locate other possible venues to sell our goods. The cost of buying goods in India and transporting them back has increased significantly, so it is important to know what will profitably sell in Adelaide.
After pursuing corporate donations, we are now aware that our organisation is too small and not well enough known to offer reciprocal benefits to corporate sponsors. Having completed two projects with measurable success, I believe D2D should investigate government funding for projects.
All members of the D2D Committee are volunteers and busy people. Sharing the work load is important as is succession planning for younger members of the Committee to take on leadership roles in the future.
Fundraising events by the Committee have been fewer in 2018 than the previous year. At the time of writing, we were struggling with numbers for the committee dinner. I believe it is important for Committee members to take the initiative in convening events.
D2D is working towards financial sustainability of our own organization. We must balance supporting current projects with the need to look ahead to bigger projects and also ensure a financial buffer to cover the “lean leans’ when there may be a short fall in fundraising.
By growing the supporter base of Dare 2 Dream we can spread the work load of the organization therefore it is important to have a vibrant and active management committee.
Child Sponsorship costs have doubled over the past 10 years but sponsors have not been asked to contribute more. We are mindful of not losing sponsors who cannot afford more than the $20 per month. Consequently Danielle Nicholas has reworked sponsorship into 3 tiers.
Gold- $40m which covers what the $20p/m covered 10 years ago, Silver $30p/m and bronze $20pm
I believe the future of Dare 2 Dream is not assured. We have been a grass-roots organisation which means raising the funds for projects to which we have committed which we are struggling to do.
There is no doubt that all members of the Dare 2 Dream Committee firmly believe in the mission of our organisation and are prepared to be advocates for the socially and economically disadvantaged people in India who we assist. Our challenge is keep translating this into practical actions that do change lives for the better.
I sincerely thank all who have contributed to the work of Dare2Dream and I look forward optimistically to the next year and hope that we can continue to make a positive difference to the lives of others.
Rita Shepherd (President)
9 August 2018