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In September of 2017, the Caribbean Island of Dominica (population 71,000) was hit by a category 5, hurricane, called Maria. It is considered the 10th ranked storm in North America. The total estimated damage, including the addition of the islands of  St. Croix and Puerto Rico are valued at $91.6 billion. Among the Dominica's most serious losses were its bees. Farmers even have had to hand pollinate their own crops.
 
That is when the Rotary Club of Kingston's International Services Committee joined with the Bracebridge, ON and Portsmouth, Dominica clubs applying for the Rotary "Global Grant". (GG) A Global Grant involves multiple donating clubs, a host club in the home country and often a third party NGO. Pete Burrell of the Kingston club described how $40,000 was put together for The Dominican Bees Project. 
 
Burrell reported, "This is a global grant (GG) between Dominica Portsmouth RC, Bracebridge RC, Kingston Rotary, and the Israeli NGO ISRAAID. Sylvio flew four of us to Bracebridge, whose club was our mentor in the writing of a GG. Using a global grant allows for the multiplication of our money through District matching funds and Rotary International matching funds. Our club contributed $2000 USD which was matched with $2000 USD by the district, and then RI matched all of that at 80% for $3200 USD more, so the $2000 turned into $7200 USD, which was 20% of the entire project."

Lori Sweet and Sylvio Roy presented a slide show on the ten day trip to Dominica, an island in the south Caribbean archipelago. The topics covered were "building bee boxes", building a business model" and "having fun".  
 
Thirty Dominicans were taught how to build bee boxes. They were provided materials, instructions, and lunch. It was hands on learning. 
 
They also received business training from members of the Bracebridge, ON and Portsmouth (Dominica) Rotary Clubs. The basics of beekeeping were  taught by a local bee expert whose nickname was “Busy” as in Busy Bee. This included field training at an apiary, including how to use a smoker. The plan is to expand their beehive business in the future.
 
Before leaving, Portsmouth Rotary took the Bracebridge and Kingston  Rotarians, sightseeing, river tubing, and cooled them down some with refreshments. The tradition of banner exchange was carried out between the 3 clubs. 
 

Carol Cartier thanked everyone for participating and presenting. She expressed our thanks to Bracebridge RC, especially  Linda Brouillette, for taking us under their wing, and the Portsmouth RC for all the coordination and hosting. She then gave an overview of what our International Service Committee is doing with opportunities for travel, and invited newer members to join their committee.
 
Three guests from Dominica, the Portsmouth club, joined us online.
 

View and Listen to the Dominica Bee Project Presentation

 
 
 
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