The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Elly Contreras to our meeting today, to speak about Project Amigo, "Ending Poverty through Education" in Manzanillo, Mexico.
Elly was introduced by Kitt Brand, who made her acquaintance at the meetings of the E-Rotary Club One.  Elly joined Rotary in 1996 with the Rotary Club of Stoney Plain in District 5370.  Project Amigo aims to help end poverty amongst migrant farm workers and their family's, by encouraging and assisting children to finish school.  Many families in this area end up as unskilled farm labor, and their children are often captured by the same working environment, and only half finish middle school, and only 20% finish high school. Although Mexico has the 14th largest economy in the world, they also have one of the highest percentages of poor people.
Project Amigo aims to improve academic standards, and using a rewards based system provides material, scholarships and facilities to aid in further education.
The program has so far graduated over 80 students from university, often the first person in their family to achieve that level of education.  This year they had 26 Jr High grads, 22 High School grads and 8 university graduates.  Many of the university grads "give back" to the program to help keep it going.
A wonderful presentation, more information can be obtained by contacting Elly or visiting their website.