Dare 2 Dream Annual General Meeting Wednesday 9th August 2023 - 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 since its inception in 2011. The COVID-19 restrictions at last eased and allowed us to operate in 2022-23 which in many ways was a help to our organisation.
The 2022-2023 Executive consisted of 11 members:
Rita Shepherd (President), Vince Ruggiero (Vice-President), Daniella Zuppa (Treasurer), Cate Mc Guire (Secretary) Jo Riccio, Lisa Slaven, Robert Shepherd, Danielle Colangelo, Ron Carey, Lisa Slaven, and Carolyn Ryan. This 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 Daniella Zuppa for maintaining the Treasurer’s portfolio, to Cate Mc Guire for her Secretarial role and Rob Shepherd for managing child sponsorship, fundraising, and maintaining communication. After many years of voluntary auditing Tony Fogarty retired and Colin Davies has taken over auditing the accounts of D2D pro bono. We sincerely thank him for this. We also thank Perks Accountants for providing free the accounting software Zero D2D uses.
The Dare 2 Dream Foundation was established in 2011 with 12 members. This has grown slowly and currently there are 52 members.
We are most grateful to the Committee members, family, friends, and community members who have supported our 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 finance grass roots programs.
We thank Cate Mc Guire for continuing to offer O0miak’s premises as a meeting venue and for storing D2D goods and items for sale.
In May 2023 Rita and Rob Shepherd visited India and returned with the sad news that Fr Harry was leaving Yuva Jyothi. The Future of YJ is uncertain but Rita and Rob Shepherd are hopeful that a Rotary club in Nagpur will continue funding of YJ and ICID projects and will give a talk to Rotary in Adelaide who are interested in partnering with a Rotary club in Nagpur.
Our main support has been for the work of ICID, our partner organization in Nagpur. We are currently financially supporting three initiatives :
Yuva Jyothi Children’s Hostel (YCH): Currently there are 32 children under the care of the Yuva Jyothi Children’s Hostel. The main source of funding Yuva Jyothi has been the Child Sponsorship Program. Currently in its 14th year of operation, all the 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.
The number of children as YJ is smaller this year than last. Some of the boys have had COVID but none luckily have required hospitalization. Many of the staff have had COVID also.
A core group of sponsors have been providing financial support since the inception of the program in 2009.
Regular information to sponsors about the children at YJ has been provided and Christmas cards. Thanks goes to Rob Shepherd for 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 and improved communication with Sponsors has meant greater income generated from Sponsorship. D2D has had to purchase credit card facilities. We now use ‘Square’ and only 8 sponsors have chosen to pay via credit card with the rest doing direct bank transfer. This saves time and credit card fees.
D2D has been funding the Urja project since September 2019. Funding will cease in October 2023. While this project aims to increase the livelihood opportunities of poor women through teaching them sewing skills the project holds health screening camps, legal training sessions and regular community meetings.
3) Salaries Dare 2 Dream continues to fund wages for project staff and provides ‘top up’ salaries to some of the social workers, staff at YJ and a small honorarium to Fr Harry and the 2 other priests in the Martin Nagar Community.
We are fortunate to be partnering with ICID which complies with the high level of accountability for funding we provide but this partnership will cease when Fr Harry leaves Nagpur in Jan 2024.
Gin Bottling- A custom bottling of premium gin was ordered from Prohibition Gin. It was sold at $99 each with a $29 per bottle profit to D2D. At the time of writing costs have been covered and we look forward to continued sales
Dinner: A very successful fundraising dinner was held on June 17th, 2023. We especially thank Lisa Slaven, Cate Mc Guire and Rob Shepherd for their help in organising the dinner. Lyndal Evans who went to India in 2019 as part of the Urja project was our guest speaker. Over $10,000 was raised which was a very good effort.
A raffle with a bottle of “Grange “as 1st prize was drawn prior to Christmas 2022. There were 4 prizes in total.
Promotion of D2D
Daniela Colangelo is D2D’s website manager who keeps it up to date publicising events and activities. She has posted details of events and we thank her for taking on this role and learning how to manage the website.
Face book & Instagram
The Dare 2 Dream Facebook and Instagram pages contain updates and news. This is a way of keeping our supporters informed of what is happening and have been managed by Rob Shepherd.
Newsletters These have been prepared by Fr Harry about the work of ICID and D2D in Nagpur and distributed by Rob Shepherd to the committee, sponsors and published on the website, Instagram and Facebook.
Future Plans and challenges
All members of the D2D Committee are volunteers and busy people. All people approached, declined to take on the role of running D2D into the future. Due to my ill health, Fr Harry’s departure from Nagpur and no support from St Dominic’s it is my
painful duty to recommend that D2D cease operating at a time to be decided. Committee members have been contacted about winding up D2D and the replies I received indicated that they regretted its closure but were in favour of the closing.
When this happens will be determined by us transferring surplus funds to a similar organisation (To be decided by the D2D Management Committee) and us fulfilling the items below, but we anticipate it happening late in 2o23 or 2024.
We have advice on winding up our organization and we have our constitution to guide us.
Daniella Zuppa will need to rescind DGS status for D2D and file a Final financial report to ACNC.
We need to dispose of all our assets (money, gin, and goods)
I am no longer able to continue as D2D President but will stay on until the organisation is wound up and hope that all the committee will do so too, to assist the wind-up process.
We will also need to communicate our decision to close to our sponsors and supporters.
I sincerely thank all who have contributed to the work of Dare2Dream, over the years and I look forward to some of you continuing to make a positive difference to the lives of others.
Rita Shepherd (President)
2 July 2023