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Dare 2 Dream Annual General Meeting Wednesday 17th August 2016   

Presidents Report     

June 2016

 

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 2015-2016. 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 2014-15 Executive consisted of 16 members:   
Rita Shepherd (President), Vince Ruggiero (Vice-President), Lina Martino (Treasurer), Jude Hamilton (Secretary),Cate McGuire, Emily Bain, Andrew Shepherd, Jorja Barnard, Carolyne Ryan, Ally Slaven, Lisa Slaven, Robert Shepherd, Jo Riccio, Madeleine Reichstein, Bayden Daly and Meggan Boag.

 

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 also offer sincere thanks to Tony Fogarty who audits the finances of Dare 2 Dream pro bono.


MEMBERSHIP
The Dare 2 Dream Foundation was established in 2011 with 11 members. This is growing slowly and currently there are 38 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 2016:

BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
Father’s Day Raffle (organised by Milly Ruggiero)
September:

Photo Exhibition (Organised by Carolyne Ryan)
October:

Jamestown Show stall (organised by Emily Bain assisted by Meggan Boag, Bayden Daly and Jane Bain)
Minlaton Show Stall (Carolyne Ryan and Jo Riccio)
Talk to Centacare staff (Ally Slaven Maddy Reichstein, Rita shepherd)
November:

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 2016:

Bottle recycling and stall at St Dominic’s after the Family Mass
Ice cream sales at St Dominic’s Priory College
March 2016:

Stall at Prospect Fair (convened by Vince Ruggiero)
 April 2016:

BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
May 2016:  

Mother’s Day Raffle (Organised by Milly Ruggiero)
June 2016:

BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
Small business fundraisers from Year 10 Commerce students
Bottle re-cycling at St Dominic’s Priory College
Committee Fundraising Dinner at Chennai Palace restaurant
Dinner organised by Pilgrimage Parents at Chennai Palace
On- going:

Sale of Spice Packs 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 55 children under the care of the Yuva Jyothi Children’s Home. The main source of funding Yuva Jyothi has been the Child Sponsorship Program. Currently in its seventh year of operation, 55 children are being sponsored by 42 sponsors. YJ places great importance upon strengthening the relationships between the children and their families, strongly believing in the importance of family ties and reintegration. Forty boys lived in YCH, 10 girls were supported for their boarding and education in Providence School and five children were provided support in their respective families for their education. 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, counseling, recreation, sports, school education, life skill education, tuition, recreational activities, celebration of festivals, picnics, sports, exposure visits, 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 go to Carolyne Ryan and Ally Slaven for promoting and managing the Child Sponsorship program as it is an important source of reliable funding for Yuva Jyothi. 

  1. The Nirmal Jyothi Program operates at Gittikhadan a slum that houses migrants to Nagpur. We had been funding this program for 3 years but ceased doing so in at the end of 2015 as it did not fit our guidelines for sustainable development and due to increased pressure on our funds.

  2. Manini 1(Sanskrit for resolute): Dare to Dream’s involvement in this small business and tailoring project ceased (as planned) in December 2015.   The project is now self- sustaining but continues to be monitored by our partner organisation, ICID. An evaluation of the program undertaken by Dare 2 Dream in July 2014 indicated that the results surpassed all expectations. 


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 Petichuva approximately 50 km south of Nagpur have been helped by Manini 2.  This was initially a 2 year project that will be funded until the end of 2016 Motivational and sensitization visits, meetings and programs played a key role in building a strong relationship between the organization and the project communities in Bothali and Petichuva. During the year six such meetings were organized for women in which a number of issues were discussed. Some of the important subjects were formation of new groups, code of conduct of the members, empowerment of groups, goat rearing techniques, circulation of young female goats, challenges faced, sharing of the achievements and mobilizing resources. 
The project has a locally based Project Steering Committee that met 5 times during the year, 
discussed the progress of the project activities, results, and issues, approved new beneficiaries of the project and goat distribution. Initially beginning with 23 women a further 28 have benefitted from the livestock raising aspect of this project but health screenings, nutritional information. Vaccination clinics and a life skills program for Adolescent girls has benefited everyone in these villages.

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 2015 Jacqui Mills a D2D member undertook voluntary work at YCH and again in January/February 2016 Alice Reardon volunteered at YCH. These talented young people were very helpful and contributed a range of skills. We thank them for their generous spirit, the Child sponsorship video Alice produced, giving the YCH children computer lessons, taking the time to get to know the children and performing the many jobs that helped Fr Harry and ICID staff.


 Four laptops were donated to ICID during 2015-16 and these have been used in the main by staff.


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 Alice Reardon

  • Spice packs

The Dare 2 Dream logo is our brand and its positioning on the Spice Packs is an important way of publicising Dare 2 Dream. We have some regular customers whose feedback and that of others is that we are providing a good product at a reasonable cost. As an ongoing income source, Spice Pack sales have the potential to grow in the future. We thank the Ruggiero Family for co-ordinating the packaging.

  • Prospect Fair

The stall at the Prospect Fair in March proved to be a successful method of promoting our organisation to the wider community. Information was distributed via pamphlets and also orally by our volunteers. There was a brisk trade in Vince’s slinky potatoes which proved to be a winner although sales of our India goods were less than previously.

  • Jamestown Show and Minlaton Show. 

Our stalls at these two country events helped to spread news of our organisation and work to two new rural areas. I would like to thank Committee members Emily Bain, Meggan Boag, Bayden Daly, Jo Riccio and Carolyne Ryan for running these stalls and travelling considerable distances.

  • Centacare Presentation: 

At the invitation of Centacare, Ally Slaven, Maddy Reichstein and Rita Shepherd did a presentation on the work of Dare2 Dream. An article was written about our organisation in their newsletter which goes to several thousand staff members. 

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. We thank Lisa Slaven for her tireless effort in sourcing donations. Our biggest strength is that that 98 cents in every dollar goes to our beneficiaries and we need to continue to promote this. 

  • Dare 2 Dream is considering alternative fundraising strategies such as marketing wine to tap into a wider financial supporter base.

  • 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.

  • Documenting the activities and achievements of Dare 2 Dream over the past 12 months highlights just how much has been achieved by a group of volunteers who are passionate workers for change and are prepared to be advocates for the socially and economically disadvantaged children in India who we assist. 

 

I sincerely thank all who have contributed to the work of Dare 2 Dream 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)
7 August 2016