The Fellowship of Literacy Providers

 

 

 

The Fellowship of Literacy Providers is a group of Rotarians, from around the world, who are interested in sharing ideas, information and techniques for improving literacy.

There are many people who don’t know to read just because they were not given a chance to learn. There are people who are not interested are just don’t have the patience to learn to read and write, but there are people who are smart, quick to learn yet never learnt to read or write due to various reasons.

 

One of the main reasons for illiteracy is poverty. People don’t have the money to eat a decent meal in a day, leave alone read and write. As a result, every country has a high illiteracy rate.

 

There are many people around the world who realize this to be a problem and want to do something about it. There are literacy providers who go from place to place to teach the poor and illiterate to read and write for free. There are volunteers who conduct classes on a regular basis, s that a section of the illiterate people can be educated.

 

At Rotary, its visionaries realized this problem has to be handled and people need to be taught, thus the idea of bringing all the literacy providers together. Bringing these people together will not only create a good bond between these people but will also throw the doors open for new ideas and programs that can benefit people in a great way.

 

The idea for the Fellowship was developed by PDG Harold C. (Hal) Shipley of Rotary International District 5180 which covers much of the Sacramento Valley of California, USA.  Hal had been the District Chairman of the Literacy Committee since 1998 and was very interested in finding ways to improve the literacy level in his district.

 

Hal contacted several like-minded District Governors and Past District Governors from around the world and in 2004 applied to the Board of Directors of Rotary International for approval of the Fellowship and the approval was granted in November 2004.

 

The Fellowship started with 18 members from five different countries and three different states.  During the 2005 International Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Hal set up a Literacy Booth in the House of Friendship and was able to increase the size of the Fellowship to 139 members from 34 different countries and 35 different states.  The Fellowship also has members from 137 different Rotary Clubs and 93 different Rotary Districts.

 

The Fellowship maintains its own web site at www.literacyproviders.org and publishes a quarterly newsletter which is posted on the web site.

 

The Founding Officers of the Fellowship, who served for 3 years, were:

 

Chairman:                     PDG Harold C. (Hal) Shipley, District 5180 �USA

Chairman Elect:           PRID P.C. Thomas, District 3200 � INDIA

Chairman Nominee:    PDG Werner Schwarz, District 5160 � USA

Director:                       PDG Henrique Pinto, District 1970 � PORTUGAL

Director:                       PDG Harold Sharp, District 9680 � AUSTRALIA

Director:                       PDG Michael Dunne, District 1240 � ENGLAND

 

The Current Officers, taking Office July 1, 2007 are:

 

Chairman:                     PRID P.C. Thomas, District 3200 � INDIA

Chairman Elect:           PDG Werner Schwarz, District 5160 � USA

Chairman Nominee:    PDG Henrique Pinto, District 1970 � PORTUGAL

Director:                       PDG Harold Sharp, District 9680 � AUSTRALIA

Director:                       PDG Michael Dunne, District 1240 � ENGLAND

Director:                       PDG Harold C. (Hal) Shipley, District 5180 – USA