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International News: Completing a kitchen in Brazil

August 13, 2012

Rotarians with Kitchen EquipmentSubmitted by Janet Napier

Our club collaborated with the Rotary Club of Maringa – Parque do Inga (and our good friend Renata Mestriner who has visited us several times in Santa Barbara) to conclude the upgrade of the commercial kitchen of a community center called Encontro Fraterno Lins de Vasconcelos. With the Rotary grant of $21,528, Rotary was able to purchase two freezers, a refrigerator, an oven and burners, washing machine, blender, workbench, shelves and a double sink for the organization.

Located in the low-income area of Guaiapo, south of central Maringa in the southern state of Parana, Brazil, the charitable agency is open daily year-round and helps more than 500 at-risk children and young people with arts, English, computer and culinary courses.  They also provide breakfast and lunch.  The goals of the agency are to provide skills that will enable participants to find jobs to support their families.  In addition, they provide classes for adults on Saturdays in budgeting, parenting, morals, etc. If the adults attend regularly, they receive a monthly food package to supplement their own supplies.

Colin and Angela Stephens, Janet Napier, Connard Hogan, Bill Boyd as well as PDG Arnie and Maria Dowdy of the Grover Beach Rotary Club visited Encontro Fraterno Lins de Vasconcelos in November 2010 and were so impressed that they determined to assist the organization with its kitchen upgrade. After soliciting assistance from other Rotary Clubs and District 4630 in Brazil as well as District 5240 and the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach/Five Cities, they were able to secure a matching grant from The Rotary Foundation to fulfill this dream.

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