With 31 Rotary club members participating through Zoom for the weekly meeting, President Charlotte paid special recognition to six graduating high school students who are Rotary Interactor members.  Jack Vance, one of the six students participated virtually in the meeting.  The high school graduating members and their contact email addresses are:
   Marianna Laredo mariannalaredo03@gmail.com 
   Morgan Boone, pumpkinswag817@gmail.com
   Grace Adams, graceadams025@gmail.com
   Fawaz Ghannom, fawazghannom123@gmail.com
   Samantha Witterstauter, samanthawitter1@gmail.com
   Jack Vance, jackflash144@gmail.com
 
President Charlotte expressed gratitude and appreciation for their contributions.  Club members were encouraged to send congratulatory messages to the individual students. 
Announcements made:
  •  The 2020 Rotary Convention and luncheon are scheduled to occur virtually on June 20 through June 26.  More details will follow. 
  • Rotarians were alerted and warned by District 5500 about phishing scams directed specifically to Rotarians.   
  • Rotary International Board of Directors has announced that all their meetings will be conducted virtually for the remainder of the calendar year. District Governors are also urged to virtually conduct all club visits.
  • RI has an alliance with Toastmasters.  Rotarians are encouraged to enroll in on-line Toastmaster courses that are designed to foster growth in networking and improve communication skills both written and orally.  A Toastmasters video was shown.
  • Steve Sibulsky announced an opportunity to purchase a license plate with the Rotary name and logo imprinted on it.  The purchase price is $9.00.  Let Steve know if you want to purchase a plate and he will complete the order for our club. 
  • Bill Grantham announced that he has contacted the Boy Scouts for their help in placing flags along Sahuarita Blvd on May 26.   He is waiting for their response.    At this time club members help is not needed.  
  • Chuck Wunder provided an up-date on Covid 19 in Green Valley.  GVFD encounters with Covid 19 patients have been reduced from 8/9 per day to 2/ 3 per day.  Voluntary antibody testing was taken by some of his workforce and all test results were negative.  Chuck also reported snakes are active and so far 25 snakes have been picked up by GVFD.
Weekly Program:
Gary Friedman and Mark Horton provided an in-depth overview of the Microcredit Program in Sonora Mexico.  The Valle Verde club along with eight other Arizona clubs are engaged in active financial support through a global grant of the Microcredit Program. The Valle Verde Rotary Club first became involved in 2012 and budgets $2000 annually toward the program. 
The Microcredit program offers small loans to impoverished borrowers who possess a desire to grow their business.  The goal is to support borrowers in their desire to be financially self-sufficient and ultimately to alleviate poverty.   The typical loan is $200 to $300 to each borrower.   Borrowers are interviewed for selection of a loan and grouped with other borrowers to ensure support from others.    FinReg, the financial management arm of the program, trains the borrower and provides oversight.  FinReg provides monthly detailed financial reports to RI.   The loan payoff rate exceeds 90% in Nogales and 94% in Hermosillo.
More than 80% of borrowers are woman, married and with three children.   Most spouses work full-time outside of the home and typically earn less than $15 a day.  Financial independence can make the difference whether children can go to school, the quality of their living conditions and whether families can remain intact.
 In January a group of Rotarians including Gary and Mark visited borrowers and the Fin Reg lending company to witness first-hand the borrowers engaged in making or selling their products.
Gary concluded his presentation by describing the Microcredit program as the most effective one-on-one anti-poverty intervention program developed to date. The recipients’ entrepreneurial spirit coupled with hard work and financial support were all ingredients that form the foundation of this very successful program.