The Buckhead Rotary Club came to Victoria at the beginning of October to visit the Oak Bay Rotary Club and get a tour of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. (Submitted)

International Rotary project benefits local resource centre

New Computer Learning Centre to be built at Victoria Native Friendship Centre

A global grant and a partnership between Rotary clubs in two different countries have led to an international project to establish a modern education and training facility at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre – a project that also provided education to the donors.

The Buckhead Rotary Club in Atlanta approached the Oak Bay Rotary Club to do an international project together. After much discussion around different possibilities, it was decided to work with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC).

The VNFC provides cultural, educational, social services, programs and support to First Nations, immigrants, and those in need. The Rotary project is providing funding to establish a Computer Learning Centre to increase capacity for the delivery of literacy, economic and entrepreneurial incubator programs and employment services.

“This is very exciting and it’s unusual. Most international projects wind up overseas,” said Lorna Curtis, who is on the grant writing committee for the Oak Bay Rotary Club. “I think it is exciting that Rotary International is funding something locally.”

The Buckhead Rotary Club came to Victoria at the beginning of October to get a tour of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, spending 90 minutes with VNFC Executive Director Ron Rice. The discussion during the tour ranged from the residential school system to the controversy around the removal of the Sir John A. McDonald statue to the Truth and Reconciliation Report and institutional racism.

“The Atlanta group had some interesting perspectives and a lot of questions. B.C. is a bit further along in terms of actions and awareness resulting from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” Rice said. “The tour and discussion were eye-opening for them and they were eager to learn more.”

Rice stressed to the group that while the Centre is grateful for the generous gift, they are equally interested in the relationships that go with it.

“Sometimes the things we need are not money,” Rice said. An eagerness to build those relationships was expressed by all.

VNFC will use the funds to take the shell of a portable and make it into a functional wheelchair-accessible classroom space, with 14 computers and wired for internet.

The Buckhead Rotary Club and their district contributed $18,000 to the project, the Oak Bay Rotary Club contributed $5,000, the local district and Rotary Foundation added the global grant monies and the Downtown Victoria Rotary Club and Rotaract contributed as well. The $54,900 (US) project should be completed this Rotary year.

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The Buckhead Rotary Club came to Victoria at the beginning of October to visit the Oak Bay Rotary Club and get a tour of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

Driver crashes into Langford physiotherapy business

Crews on scene, traffic may be impacted

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read