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Dare 2 Dream Annual General Meeting Wednesday 14th August 2019               

Presidents Report     

 

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 2018-2019 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 2018-2019 Executive consisted of 12 members:   

Rita Shepherd (President), Vince Ruggiero (Vice-President), Lina Martino (Treasurer), Jo Riccio (Secretary) Jorja Barnard, Lisa Slaven, Robert Shepherd, Madeleine Reichstein, Milly Ruggiero, Emma Ruggiero, Daniella Colangelo and Danielle Nicholas. Ron Carey was seconded to the committee in June. 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 Lina Martino, a founding Committee member who has worked tirelessly for D2D and is a Life member who is 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.

Membership

The Dare 2 Dream Foundation was established in 2011 with 12 members. This is growing slowly and currently there are 49 members

Fundraising Activities

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 2018:       BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College

                         Committee Dinner at Chennai Palace

September 2018: Pilgrimage Dinner

                         

November 2018: 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

                       Stall at Prospect Fair

February 2019: Bottle recycling and at St Dominic’s

                             

April 2019:       BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College

June 2019:       BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College

                   Bottle re-cycling at St Dominic’s Priory College

                   D2D Committee dinner at Chennai Palace

August 2018-December 2019 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.

Projects funded:

 

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 50 children under the care of the Yuva Jyothi Children’s Home; 46 boys and 4 girls the main source of funding Yuva Jyothi has been the Child Sponsorship Program. Currently in its 11th year of operation, the 50 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 and Rob Shepherd for promoting and managing the Child Sponsorship program as it is an important source of reliable funding for Yuva Jyothi. Increasing costs in India have seen 3 tiers of sponsorship implemented- gold, silver and bronze. All sponsors were sent an invitation to upgrade from bronze, but few have taken up the option indicating that the $20per month price point is what most people can afford.

 

 

Manini 3.

(Goats and vegetable production). Based on a survey done by the ICID team in the prospective villages,.the Manini 3 project with the aim of increased economic independence among poor women through sustainable livelihood opportunities was implemented in four villages of Umred Taluka of Nagpur district namely, Goti, Bendoli, Bothali and Petichua with major focus on the first two village communities. The project has taken a significant step towards building the abilities of women of these villages to decide  their own lives, realize their self-worth, access  resources, contribute to  family life and community and above all  recognition of their contribution. This has been done through a number of project activities that included regular family visits and interaction of them project team individually and in groups on issues affected them, home management training, socio-legal protection training, livestock upkeep training, agricultural training, cultivation of kitchen garden, animal vaccination programmes, health check-up camps, International Women’s Day and the income generation activity of goat rearing. The project has  impacted the lives of all the 243 families in four village communities, but women and female children of the communities were the direct beneficiaries of the project. Results were as follows:

Project/ Activity and Number of Beneficiaries/Animals

Motivational and Sensitization Visits and Meetings- 246 families

Project Steering Committee -26 members

Health Check-up Camps- 350 community members

Training in Home Management- 40 women

Training in Social and Legal Protection -53 women

Livestock Upkeep Training- 50 community members

Kitchen/Vegetable Garden -100 families

Deworming and Vaccination of the Livestock- 238 goats

Livelihood Intervention (Goats distributed during the year)) -50 goats to 25 women

Goats handed over during the year (Manini2 & Manini3)- 32 goats to 29 women

Total number of women with project goats in 4 villages- 158 women with 702 goats

 

In December 2018 Jo Riccio, Vince Ruggerio and Rita Shepherd visited the projects. The villagers were keen to show their appreciation for the help they were given by D2D and had gone to a great deal of trouble to welcome the visitors and show their hospitality. In Benduli a holiday had been declared and the whole village had gathered for a shared meal.

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.

Financial support of Manini 3 by D2D ceased in April 2019 with an evaluation done by ICID showing all targets had been met. The project is now self- sustaining and ICID personnel maintain a supporting role.

 

Urja (Energy)

 1. Project Location

The project is operating in 3 centres namely Pardi, Yashodhranagar and

Chikali catering to about 10 slum communities having a population of about 12000 in Nagpur city.

2. Target Group

The women, including adolescent girls, will be the primary beneficiaries of the project. The

indirect beneficiaries will be the family members of these women and members of the

communities.

3. Context in which the project evolved

ICID has been working with the adolescent female population and their mothers in the

proposed project areas for 12 years. Most of these women work either as domestic help or

go around for waste collection of plastic and iron which is sold for recycling. During the

meetings with these groups the women felt that they needed a sustainable alternative option of livelihood that would help them lead a dignified life. The women identified vocational skill building in garment making (tailoring) as the most feasible and viable alternative option that will help their sustenance.

4. Reasons for the selection of the Project areas

The proposed project areas were selected based on the following criteria:

 Socio-economically disadvantaged situation of the target groups

 The resolve and aspiration of the target groups to fight the socio-economic disadvantaged

situation and higher possibility of participation and ownership of the programme

 Previously established rapport of ICID with the target groups and its commitment to offer

an alternative to come out of their disadvantaged socio-economic situation

 That it may provide a successful model to be replicated in other slum communities

 

Dare 2 Dream will be funding Urja for 3 years and has signed a formal partnership agreement with ICID and will be receiving regular reports.

 

Other support:

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 Pilgrims from St Dominic’s Priory College together with Vince Ruggerio, Jo Riccio and Rita Shepherd spent 10 days in Nagpur visiting joint projects and doing volunteer work at YJ, I October 2019 Lyndal Evans and Peter Melnyk will be accompanying Rita and Rob Shepherd to Nagpur to assist ICID. Lyndal will be adviser to the sewing instructors on the Urja Project and Peter will be helping with the YJ children. Rita and Rob Shepherd will be staying 9 weeks to assist ICID with their expertise in submission and policy writing as well as HR assistance.

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

 

  • Website

 Madeleine Reichstein is D2D’s website manager who keeps it up to date publicising events and activities.

  • Facebook

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 Emma Ruggerio

  • Prospect Fair

Prospect Council changed the venue in 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. They proved to be very popular so in 2019 more will be included

  • Goody Boxes:

After a trial in 2017, Goody boxes were prepared for placement in workplaces. Each box contained 2 varieties of Charlesworth nuts, Menz Fruchocs, Menz honeycomb 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.Feedback has been very positive and when sales ceased in December over $3,000 was raised. The boxes also contained information on how the purchase helps others.

  • Committee Dinner

 This was a sold-out event held at the Chennai Palace Walkerville. A dinner committee of 5 people were responsible for this event which was an opportunity to update attendees on the work and achievements of D2D and to appeal for sponsors and donors especially for the Urja Project. The dinner was very successful in meeting these objectives and over $12,500 was raised for D2D. Special thanks to Rob Shepherd, Lisa Slaven, Vince Ruggerio and Jo Riccio for organising this event.

  • Life membership:

In June 2019, as recognition for their outstanding contribution to Dare2 Dream, Lina Martino, Vince Ruggerio and Rob Shepherd were awarded life membership of the organisation

 

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.

  • We have been relying on our friends and acquaintances to attend functions and for fundraising. There is a need to find other people to involve and 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, D2D will investigate government funding for projects. Now that we have an established positive ‘track record”

  • All members of the D2D Committee are volunteers and busy people. Sharing the workload 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 2018/9 than the previous year. 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 years’ when there may be a short fall in fundraising.

  • By growing the supporter base of Dare 2 Dream we can spread the workload 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. Pilgrimages from St Dominic’s have assisted in fundraising in alternate years but the future of these relies on staff from the school and parents who are willing to be involved

 

  • 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)

2 August 2019