Dare 2 Dream Annual General Meeting Wednesday 16th August 2017
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 2016-2017. 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 2016-17 Executive consisted of 20 members:
Rita Shepherd (President), Vince Ruggiero (Vice-President), Lina Martino (Treasurer), Jude Hamilton (Secretary), Cate McGuire, Alice Reardon Georgia Reardon, Emily Shepherd , Andrew Shepherd, Jorja Barnard, Carolyne Ryan, Ally Slaven, Lisa Slaven, Robert Shepherd, Jo Riccio, Madeleine Reichstein,Milly Ruggiero, Bayden Daly and Meggan Boag and Danielle Nicolas. 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 Jude Hamilton who is stepping down as Secretary and to Meggan Boag and Bayden Daly who moved to Canberra in January 2017. Tony Fogarty has voluntarily audited the accounts of Dare2Dream since its inception.
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 2016: BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
Father’s Day Raffle (organised by Georgia Reardon and Maddi Reichstein)
September 2016: Dinner (organised by Rita and Rob Shepherd)
October 2016: Fashion Parade (organised by the Pilgrimage parents)
November 2016: 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 2017: Bottle recycling and stall at St Dominic’s after the Family Mass
Ice cream sales at St Dominic’s Priory College
April 2017: BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
May 2017: Mother’s Day Raffle (organised by Milly Ruggiero)
June 2017: BBQ stall at St Dominic’s Priory College
Bottle re-cycling at St Dominic’s Priory College
August 2017- Wine and Cheese Night (organised by Rita and Rob Shepherd, Cate McGuire, Georgia Reardon, Lisa Slaven, Ally Slaven, Lina Martino, Vince Ruggiero and Jo Riccio)
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.
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 56 children under the care of the Yuva Jyothi Children’s Home; 42 boys, 10 girls and 4 boys living with parents. The main source of funding Yuva Jyothi has been the Child Sponsorship Program. Currently in its ninth year of operation, the 56 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, 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 go to Carolyne Ryan 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 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 Petichua. 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. This project was completed in 2016 and moved into maintenance phase where support and advice is offered with some financial input
Manini 3. (Goats and vegetable production).
Agreed outcomes for the Manini 2 project were all met and it is testament to its success that ICID and Dare2Dream were approached to begin projects in 3 other villages. For the project implementation, the two Manini 2 Project villages of Manini 2 namely Bothali and Petichua have been retained as they need further project support for livelihood intervention.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.
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 will come from D2D plus some local contributions with a 3 year time frame. It was begun at the start of 2017.
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 2016 a group of 8 students from St Dominic’s, 3 teachers and D2D Committee members Vince Ruggiero and Carolyne Ryan visited Yuva Jyothi and undertook voluntary work there for a week. The site of the Manini 1 Project was visited and time was spent interacting with the YCH children as well as meeting ICID staff and the Management Committee of ICID. I am confident that we are fortunate to be partnering with ICID which complies with the high level of accountability for funding we provide.
Thirteen laptops were donated to ICID during 2016 and these have been used in the main by staff.
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. 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 Council has changed the venue for 2017 to Broadview Oval and the timing has been moved to October. At this stage we are unsure of how the changes will affect the success of the D2D stall.
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.
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 was very small in 2016. It is difficult to know if we have saturated this market. We need to locate other possible venues to sell our goods.
As a grass roots organisation D2D relies on your network of contacts to primarily populate our events. Broadening our supporter base is important. It was noteworthy that a number of attenders at the Wine and Cheese Night were attending a D2D function for the first time. Coming up with new and appealing ideas for fundraising is difficult.
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.
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.
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 people in India who we assist.
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)
13 August 2017