March is Literacy Month in Rotary International.

Books Asian Adventures with the Active Poor
G.E.M. Munro
Tangent Books
pp. 241
Wilf Wilkinson, Past President, Rotary International has said of South Asian Adventures of the Active Poor:
“I found this book amazing and couldn’t put it down. I salute the author and his family for their dedication and service to these poor children and their mothers.
Enlisting and training uneducated mothers and making them the vehicle to teach others is almost unbelievable. However, it is happening, and that is what makes the story about this project so fascinating.”
In 2004-05 G.E.M. Munro, his wife and family of 4 children travelled to Bangladesh
 under the auspices of The Commonwealth of Learning to assist in the development of education in that country. Little did they realize how chance would take them into the poorest of the poor neighbourhoods; what we call slums!
Even though the Munros had spent years working in the Northwest Territories facing the task of First Nation education, meeting illiterate mothers, with children too poor to go to school, presented a challenge they could not resist.
The result was the development of a literacy initiative dubbed “Mothers of Intention” and “South Asian Adventures of the Working Poor”  is G.E.M. Munro’s attempt to share their experience through a series of semi-autobiographical and biographical stories of how the program came about and some of the people they educated in the process. times the book is very personal, especially when the author can’t resist sharing the stories of his children. At other times it is full of pathos and conundrums mixed with healthy doses of humour. Wahid, Rohima, and Munni provide a few such stories.
Michael Maloney, literacy chair of the Rotary Club of Belleville and bestselling author of “Teach Your Children Well” has said: 
 “Gem’s book will make you laugh and cry at the same time. (It is…) a heart-rending  account of a courageous family in the depths of the world’s worst slums making changes that everyone said was impossible.”
Being a Rotarian however, Maloney did more than just read the book. He took the Munros to Rotary International’s 2010 Montreal Convention where he shared the Belleville Club’s convention table and came away with a new RI Literacy project. As a result of his efforts an agreement was put into place between the Rotary Club of Belleville and the Rotary Club of Dhaka-Midtown to jointly monitor and support the program. 

To date seventeen (17) Canadian Rotary clubs in Canada representing four (4) Districts have contributed over $17,000 to the Amarok Society’s “Mother of Intention” program.  On March 30th, the Rotary Club of Dryden, in partnership with the Retired Teachers of Ontario – Dryden, will be holding a fund raising dinner with the goal of adding another $2,500 to this total. For more information on this event LINK HERE.