Rotary means family

Rotary Voices

Emily Koerner with her father (left) and the past president of the club (right). Emily Koerner with her father (left) and Peter Singagliese, past president of the Central Ocean Rotary club (right).

By Emily Koerner, a former Interactor, native of Toms River, New Jersey, and student at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, USA

I often wonder what other people think about when they hear the word “Rotarian.”

Since I was about 10 years old, I attended many service events with my dad (a member and past president of the Central Ocean Rotary Club in Toms River, New Jersey). The members welcomed me with open arms, laughs, and, of course, a ton of work to be done.

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APU Malawi – Food for Work Famine Relief Project

In response to the plight of extremely hungry families, APU (Girls on the Move) Girls’ School in Malawi has developed a project that will provide work—the building of a needed access road at the school—that will help families buy food. Your donation will be used for wages, which will enable these families to buy enough maize to sustain their families during this time of crisis in Malawi.

A tax-deductible donation* of just $50.00 CAD will provide an entire month of work for one person!


According to the UN World Food Program, much of Southern Africa is in crisis. In Malawi, 2.8 million people (16% of the population) are at real risk of starvation. Many of these affected people live close to Atsikana Pa Ulendo (APU), a girls’ boarding high-school about 20 kilometres outside the Malawi capital, Lilongwe.


Food is incredibly high-priced in the markets, but itis available, and can be purchased if money is at hand. A bag of maize (50kg) costs approximately 8000 Kwacha, or $15 CAD – just about one week of work. This is not a famine relief or food distribution project as such, but a work project, as this is what the people are requesting. They are not asking for something for nothing.

The families in need are unskilled and can handle only basic manual labour. Right now, it is critical that some way be found to feed these people, andthis kind of piecemeal work could be given to themimmediately.

A donation of just $50.00 CAD will provide an entire month of work for one person!



APU was founded by Malawian, Memory Chazeza and Canadian, Christie Johnston in 2007. Memoryis the school Principal, and her husband, Henry Mdyetseni, is the project manager. Memory and Henry approached the APU Trustees in Malawi and the APU-MEF Directors in Canada to assist in helping these local people, after hearing the nightly cries of hungry children outside their windows.


Henry feels that the best project to provide workfor them would be the building of an access road, 2km in length, which is much needed by the school. In many ways, this project will strengthen the connection between APU and the surrounding community. Henry feels that an amount of $32,500CDN would be sufficient to complete a project such as this, and it would be work that these people (mainly women) would be able to do.


This project will employ 200 people, 6 days a week, for 7 weeks at $1.92/day – above Malawi’s minimum wage of $1.25/day. Our project manager on the ground would work with the local chiefs who would determine, based on need, who would be given the work. He feels that providing sevenweeks of work would be sufficient to get the famine-affected people through to late March when their next crop can be harvested. Despite this not being far away, the current hunger is extreme, and the past year’s drought has devastated crops and the chances of successful yields – bringing another food disaster in the near future.


100% of your donations will go directly towards the project in Malawi!

The Canadian Board of Directors has been given adetailed budget for completion of the access road, and they have examined it in detail to see where costs might be cut. The Trust in Malawi that oversees the running of the school is in agreementwith Henry and Memory that the building of this road, a very necessary project which will facilitate access to the school, would be the most humane route to take to help feed these families.

If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Visit our Website
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*Charitable Status & Tax Receipts

APU Malawi Education Foundation is a Registered Charitable Organization in Canada and will provide tax receipts for donations over $50.00 CAD that may be claimed with the Canadian Revenue Agency against your Canadian Income Tax(Registered Charity Number: 808514657RR0001).

Please . . . Help End the Suffering

We ask for your support in this “Food for Work” project, which will, at least in a small way, provide some relief to these hungry families in Malawi.

Keystone XL: an argument in favour

Keystone XL:
It may be a decision that “will not hurt the strong bond” between Canada and the USA, but it will gravely hurt both the economic and environmental futures of these Countries.

Below is my summary of the facts, and although facts speak for themselves, I guess clarity is an issue on this subject, so…

Keystone XL should not be/should not have been vetoed, if concern for the economy, public health, and the environment, are truly a priority as “National Interest”

—-Argument Summary—-
(1) So long as there is a demand for oil, there will be a supply, &
(2) Pipelines are the safest way of transporting that petroleum supply, as evidenced by the tables provided, which show
(3) Pipelines offer least risk of injury to people and the environment.

—-Facts: Perspective—-
199,333 km = Length: all Hazardous Material Pipelines
66,678 km = Length: all Crude Oil Pipelines
1,897 km = Length: Keystone XL
2.8% = Keystone XL relative to current Crude Oil Pipelines

—-Facts: Table Summary—-
Units = Billion Ton-Miles (BTM)

(1) Transport by Road
a. Incidents per BTM
i. 960% > Railway
ii. 3400% > Pipeline
b. Gallons Petroleum Released per BTM
i. 391% > Railway
ii. 120% > Pipeline

(2) Transport by Rail
a. Incidents per BTM
i . 90% Pipeline
b. Gallons Petroleum Released per BTM
i. 74% < Road
ii. 69% < Pipeline

—-Resources & More Information—-

1. Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). 2014. Accident incident and mileage summary statistics. Accessed Nov. 11, 2015.

2. PHMSA as summarized in: Diana, F. June 2013. Issue Brief: Pipelines are safest for transportation of oil and gas. 23.

3. CBC: Trudeau disappointed in veto decision