This is our first newsletter using the blogging features of our new website. As we keep using it, there will be changes. Please be patient as we work out the bugs! Leah Griffith, newsletter editor
Kristen Harris Heading to Ghana
Newberg resident Kristen Harris is taking a break from her career with the US Department of Justice in Washington DC to spend a year in Ghana as part of the International Justice Mission (IJM.org) to help victims in countries with weak justice systems. She’s heading to a new office IJM recently set up in Ghana to fight child slavery. There are 50,000 children, some as young as 4, in the fishing industry in Ghana and 60% of them are enslaved They are beaten, and many drown. Kristen is part of a group to save those children and prosecute the slavers. IJM also works on aftercare for the kids that are released from slavery. There needs to be homes and counseling for these children to heal.
IJM has 600 paid employees in 18 field offices around the world and 95% of them are working in their home countries.
Then there are people like Kristen who are spending a year in an unpaid fellowship to provide leadership and other skills. Since IJM started in 2006, 23,000+ survivors of violence have been rescued and 800 criminals have been convicted. This is an amazing organization that is taking on violence against the poor throughout the world that includes sex trafficking, forced labor slavery, property grabbing, police abuse of power, sexual violence and citizenship rights abuse.
Kristen has left her job and is raising funds to help cover the $25,000 needed for her expenses for the year she is leaving her job. She’s almost there but is still in need of $7,000. Rotarian Paul Jellum is helping to support Kristen and the work of the International Justice Mission and you can too at GoFundMe.com/endchildslavery. (I just went online and made my contribution, it’s easy)
Rotarian Deborah Cathers-Seymour was presented her 20 year pin for her 21 years of membership in Rotary.
SMART is starting in September and volunteers are needed to read with students at Joan Austen and Edwards Elementary Schools. Walter Want is our SMART coordinator so connect with him about this great opportunity to serve kids directly by helping them become better readers and it’s fun too.
Leona Todd is managing Greeters for our weekly meetings so see her to sign up or sign up at www.signupschedule/noonrotary.
Polio vaccination is a major Rotary initiative and we’ll be participating in a joint Polio fundraiser with our Rotary counterparts in Sherwood this fall. Jim McMaster shared the story of his choir teacher as a youth, who had polio and when he asked if we knew anyone with polio, every hand went up. Rotary, along with its partners, is so close to eradicating polio from the world, let’s help.
It was International Dog Day on Wednesday and Geoff Gilmore had us sharing our dog stories as we contributed to the duck.
Suzanne Miller reminded us to all put Saturday, September 19th on our calendars. It’s the International Day of Peace and
in Newberg you can participate in a Peace Walk at 1 pm starting at Francis Square and it will finish the GFU Amphitheater at 2 pm where there will be a Peace Concert. Peace activities are an important part of Rotary. The day is jointly sponsored by Rotary and George Fox University.
Thanks Auggie Gonzales for the photos.
Send news to Leah Griffith, Newsletter Editor at email@example.com.