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This grant will support a network of women-owned businesses in rural communities around Turrialba, Costa Rica by updating their community center, providing them with transportation and developing leadership and business training workshops.
Turrialba is also the home of CATIE Research and Higher Education Center. On the campus is a historical building called The Sustainable House. This house is the heart of and central location for meetings and workshops that supports the rural women's enterprises. Built in 1942, the house needs rehabilitation.
Rotary volunteers from District's 5790 and 4240, and construction workers from the Turrialba community will restore the Sustainability House to its original condition. Because this house is already a focal point for the community, the potential impact for long-term sustainable commerce for the women is limitless.
CATIE partners and shares faculty with the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. Graduate students from UNT study at CATIE through the MIST program: Master of Science in International Sustainable Tourism. MIST graduates share their knowledge of experiential/environmental tourism throughout Central and South America and locally, in the Turrialba area.
The Rural Women's Entrepreneur Network will collaborate with CATIE to develop a youth leadership education program for Turrialba's 200+ children that focuses on fostering eco-healthy practices, teaching them to be good environmental stewards of their country and in time support the next generation of women owned enterprises and leaders.
The Rural Women's Entrepreneur Network is currently asking for support:
1. To be the purveyors of the activities and logistics of the experiential/eco tour packages. Additional or new services/ products to be offered by the Network will be arranged through the enrollment of other young women that the Network adopts and supports.
a) For business skills training and micro-finance support to Costa Rica's rural women-owned enterprises in areas of eco-tourism, sustainable farming, and agro/aquaculture.
b) For assistance to develop school-linked (field trip) community programs and train Turrialba's teachers to educate students on poverty reduction and rural sustainable living.
c) Funding to facilitate the expansion of community aquaponics gardens that use local fish to provide both nutrients to the garden and a fish industry for the women of the community.
3. Purchase of a previously owned minivan to.
a) Transport for women in the Network, and visitors to the rural communities for eco-
b) For transportation to school for the integrated programs and field trips
a) Create gardening awareness through education programs with schools and community
b) Test new vegetable and food varieties from year to year.
c) Meet the increasing demand for nutritious and fresh food.
d) Sales of seeds, plants, and food will create countless economic development, micro,
and social economic opportunities.
Estimated timeline is July 1, 2018, through June 15, 2019, with a minimum three-year, follow up and inspections.
HOW CLUB MEMBERS WILL BE INVOLVED
Rotarian Participation - Describe the role of the host Rotarians in this activity and list their specific responsibilities.
1. Team members will require a minimum of three years participation in the team.
2. CATIE Facilities and Grounds personnel will ensure the upkeep of the building for a
period of no less than five years. Rotary Cartago will periodically make inspections
and file reports to monitor the sustainability of the building.
3. University of North Texas, Fisk University (Nashville, TN), and CATIE faculty will
provide a curriculum and organize training modules to teach effective Business and
Financial Management for women in the Community Entrepreneur program for the period
of three years.
4. It is expected that within three years the women will have income generating
businesses and the community will have established its eco-tourism business by its
partnership with the Sustainable House as the "Eco-Hostel" and central location for
5. Then, they will be on their own and able to continue the program without the Rotary
Role of the International Rotarians in this activity and list their specific responsibilities.
1. Sponsor club will monitor the progress through emails
2. Sponsor Club will visit the project sites once in a year to support the project and
address any needs the host club may identify.
3. Host and Sponsor Clubs will collectively monitor all activities, making sure to stay
within budget and hosting annual audits.
Rotary Club of Denton, Lewisville Morning Rotary Club, along with other clubs in District 5790 (Fort Worth, Denton County and other clubs in Texas) will support this grant. Rotarians, members of Rotaract, Interact and volunteers will participate to help complete the project.