//Technology: An Enabler for Empowerment through Education

Technology: An Enabler for Empowerment through Education

Meeting for the week of January 06 – January 12, 2020

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Technology: An Enabler for Empowerment through Education

Speaker: Leo Nupolu Johnson

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

ReCSV President’s Message for the week of Jan 6, 2020

Members, you should have received the 2020-2021 Board nomination form in an email from President-Elect Raquel. Please make sure you submit your nominations for our club’s leaders for next year!

President, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

The Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The Four Way Test – Heather

Heather from Santa Clara, CA, USA

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾
Happy Birthday!!

Manuj Mittal (Jan 10)

From around the world,
Wishing you all the best, on your birthday and always!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾

Members and guests, consider donating in their honor in our Happy Dollars section below.

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

I still can’t believe we’re in the full swing of a new decade! Are you seeing 2020 yet?

What did the right eye say to the left eye?
Between you and me, something smells!

Why do potatoes make great crime fighters?
Because they always keep their eyes peeled!

Why did the phone wear glasses?
Because he lost all of his contacts!



Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

Kato Akira is a hairdresser with a very specific clientele—sumo wrestlers. He has been styling their hair for 52 years and is considered the top in his profession.

In Tokyo, Akira schools us in sumo hairstyles—from the traditional topknot to the oicho gingko leaf style worn only by high-level wrestlers for special occasions and official sumo tournaments.

The Hairdresser to Japan’s Sumo Wrestling Elite

World of

Want to grow your club? Have a clear mission

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/12/03/want-to-grow-your-club-have-a-clear-mission/

Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

This photo at the harbor in Havana, Cuba has some com-positional elements that strengthen the overall image.

The bikes in the foreground give some cultural context to how people travel where few have cars. Although the left bike is cut off, the focus is on the three seats of different colors.

Remember that three is a really good number in composition. The tower in the background is slightly off center and the other building to the right helps balance the overall composition.

Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

Club Finder Tidbit

Planning to visit another club and make some new Rotary friends this year? Here’s how to use Rotary’s Club Finder tool to make that happen.

MyRotary Club Finder

Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Nan from Penngrove, CA, USA reporting on a chat with Rory from Houston, TX, USA

This week I had the pleasure of connecting not only with Rory, but also with his delightful cat who kept us company for most of our chat. Rory had lots to tell me.

First he let me know that he is engaging in the slow process of slowly repairing his home after hurricane Harvey did so much damage to the Houston area a couple of years ago. Such a reminder of the fragility of things-as-they-are.

Also, we both discovered an overlapping interest in the realm of mental health since I am a psychiatrist and he spent many years as a judge working with mental health patients who were involved in the legal system in his county.

Rory was instrumental in the building of a new psychiatric hospital which will soon be open and running in his area — what a noble endeavor! Lastly, we both celebrated our passion for fuzzy felines, and he clearly enjoyed the cozy companionship during our call.( I was very jealous since I am away on business and missing my own cats so much!!)

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Gildart, Nate
I organized our faculty to participate in a gift drive for orphaned children in the Nagoya area, initiated by Santa and Friends, a local NPO coordinated by a student’s father. They needed more donors so it made sense to get some teachers on board. On our end I recruited interested colleagues, matched the children and donors, and facilitated the buying and delivery of gifts. Happy Holidays everyone.

Mianecke, Carl
Joined approximately 400 other people to pack and ship 1400 “care packages” to US Military members serving overseas.

Stabile, Sandy
Bell Ringing for Salvation Army

D’Garay-Juncal, Raquel
Peace workshops in rural communities in Mexico
Re-planting native trees in the rainforest and making bird nesting boxes in Costa Rica.
Help in the construction of a community center.
Build beehives to be distributed to the local community.
Rotaract HOC 2020 background work on housing.
Assist with the Rotaract Pan-American conference program.
Help building a bridge in a remote community so people can cross the river safely.
Translation and design of an aquaponics manual for a Rotary Club.
TRF Interim Monitor Visit
Club Visioning Discussion
Fundraising Committee Strategy Meeting
Construction of walls for community buildings with plastic bottles.
Encourage students to cultivate values of patience, care, service above themselves and willingness to contribute to the improvement of human beings and society.
Winter clothing donation for immigrants.
Global Grant search to allocate our DDF

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Past Events:

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 Events

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Monique Ziesenhenne made a $20 donation.
TRF-Annual Fund. Happy New Year!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Tanya Martin said:

Happy New Year! Miry, what I love hearing about — besides one helping another — is how ideas come about. Keep up the good work.

Rebecca Fry said:

Loved the Tiny House Veteran Homelessness project this week! Happy New Year everyone!

Rushton Hurley said:

Yvonne, I loved the jokes this week – thanks for all you do to get those for us! The video about the vets and getting into homes was very touching, as well. I was also impressed with the Rotary blog piece about The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers. What a cool group to be part of. Nate, great work with the Christmas tour and game!

Miry, thanks so much for the program. That you’ve found a way to use technology to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable is both inspiring and cool!

Raquel D. Juncal said:

Miry, thanks for all the work you do! Happy New Year everyone! 🥳

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Technology: An Enabler for Empowerment through Education

Speaker: Leo Nupolu Johnson

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley seeks to explore perspectives on service from across the world. The views of the speakers in our programs are their own, and unless stated otherwise, are not necessarily reflective of the views of our eClub nor Rotary International.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

This week’s speaker is Leo Johnson, a Canadian Rotarian who was born in Liberia, but had to flee the country in 1998 during its civil war. He arrived in Canada in 2006 as a government-sponsored refugee and soon after applied and was accepted to McMaster University.

In his second year, he founded Empowerment Squared, a charitable organization that promotes access to education, lifelong learning, and groundbreaking educational projects in his native Liberia. He graduated with a degree in political science in 2011, but not before receiving the Albert Lager Prize for Student Initiative and earning a spot as a semi-finalist in CBC’s Next Great Prime Minister Competition. He’s also received the YMCA Peace Medal, Gandhi Peace Award, World Citizenship Award from the City of Hamilton, Afro-Global TV Visionary Award, and has been recognized among the top 75 immigrants in Canada, and additionally been named one of the Hamilton Spectator’s Top 40 under 40.

Leo now spends his time between Canada and Liberia. His current project, and the subject of today’s talk, is the Liberian Learning Center, a community hub that will house the country’s only public library since the civil war began in 1989. The Center is a collaborative project led by Canadian charity Empowerment Squared, Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Hamilton, the Rotary Club of Monrovia, and the Paynesville City Corporation. The project will include Liberia’s first post-war comprehensive learning center and library, co-working and business incubation spaces, sports and recreation facilities, and event facilities. The initiative is rooted in the principle that local citizens should craft a vision to address their needs, and global partners should rally to facilitate the process of knowledge exchange and transfer in planning, funding, delivering and sustaining the outcome through the innovative use of technology and local assets.

Members and guests, please welcome Leo Johnson!

Leo Johnson – Technology: An Enabler for Empowerment through Education


Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Important: Once you submit the Attendance Survey below, please make sure you see the confirmation message. If you get an error message instead, please try the ‘submit’ button again, and if that doesn’t work, please refresh the page and it should work fine. Thanks!

2020-01-26T23:13:21+00:00January 6th, 2020|0 Comments