HOW IT STARTED
Curly Galbraith made an exceptional contribution to Rotary. He had 50 years of perfect attendance, and served as Club President, District Governor and Vice President of Rotary International. He was an initiator and innovator. Most of all he was known for his enthusiasm for Rotary and the leadership he gave on many fronts. He was particularly interested in both the International work of Rotary and in its work with youth.
THE PROJECT BEGINS
Doris Galbraith wanted to do something that would “do good in the world” and also recognize her husband’s outstanding career. She talked it over with others and decided that this project would honor Curly’s enthusiasm for both Rotary’s international work and his passion for supporting youth. In 2011, the Curly Galbraith Global Memorial kicked off. Doris and several members of her family made initial and substantial contributions to help get the project underway.
Three Ugandan Rotary clubs who had partnered with our club for other humanitarian projects agreed enthusiastically to be the key implementing clubs in Africa. After more than a decade, the Rotary Clubs of Kaliziso, Kyotera and Masaka in Southwestern Uganda continue to spearhead the project.
The project was renamed as Educating African Youth in early 2020. The current committee wants the world to know about the project’s roots, but also believe a name that brings with it the purpose of the project, is needed now.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, TRAINING
EDUCATING AFRICAN YOUTH committees in Uganda and in Calgary, Canada, select bright but disadvantaged youth for the program. This comes after completing their secondary school education. The basic education provided by the public school system is an important test of their determination and motivation under extremely difficult life circumstances.
END RESULT – EMPLOYMENT
EDUCATING AFRICAN YOUTH does provide that knowledge and the confidence so that graduates can get jobs. They are more likely to find work that fits their interests and abilities. Also, those who train as carpenters, electricians, seamstresses, and in other trades have enough training to be able to set up their own shops. But some join small businesses which need new, trained practitioners they can mentor and add to their skills.
We have several individuals who have graduated as Teachers. They find immediate employment as the demand is high. Various types of health professionals have also graduated and quickly find a place. Those in technical areas such as accounting, IT and engineering also are in demand.
The 53 graduates of the program are almost all employed. Others like them who don’t have this extra boost of training have an extremely difficult time finding work, let alone work which suits them.
ROTARY CLUBS SUPPORT
The project is grateful for the support over the years of Rotary Clubs of High River (2019-2021), Medicine Hat Saamis, Innisfail, Calgary Millennium, Calgary Olympic, Calgary Heritage Park, and Calgary Fish Creek. The Rotary Club of Calgary Downtown has been strongly supportive throughout the years.