As Adnan and I began looking for a worthy cause, I happened to attend a lecture at Howard organized by Dr. Grace Virtue. She spoke movingly of the need for individuals to reach out in any manner we are capable of, no matter how small. I met with her to discuss her work and the Davis Peace Project opportunity.  She encouraged me to develop a project and suggested Hanbury Home as a worthy  beneficiary.
 

  • ADNAN KUMMER:
     
    My name is Adnan Kummer. I am from the United States of America where I have been living for the past 20 plus years.  It is a pleasure to be here.
     
    We are here in Mandeville to implement a project called Davis Project for Peace.
     
    After I completed my bachelor's degree in the United States, I worked for a technology company for a number of years. Then I decided to come back to school. So last year, I went to Washington, DC to attend Johns Hopkins University to get a masters degree in International Affairs. While living in Washington, DC at the International Student House, I met Florence Maher and through her I met Dr. Grace Virtue. And that was the beginning of our project.
     
    FLORENCE MAHER:
     
    Good afternoon Rotary Club of Mandeville. Thank you for inviting us here today. My name is Florence Maher and I recently graduated from Howard University, where I studied economics and political science. I grew up in Oregon on the west coast of the United States. This September I fly to Germany for a year, where I will also be working with local Rotary Clubs, this time on German-Polish integration issues.  Adnan and I are here today under the auspices of the International Student House in Washington, DC and the Davis Projects for Peace foundation to bring computers and educational software to the children of Hanbury Home.
     
    First, an explanation of our supporting organizations is in order. The International Student House is a community center and residence for roughly 100 students in the Washington area. Students come from countries all over the world and study at universities all around the city. Adnan and I lived at the House last year and became acquainted. Last fall, an opportunity was announced to apply for a Davis Peace grant through the House. Adnan and I were both interested and began working together to develop a proposal.
     
    The Davis Projects for Peace foundation provides small grants to students to implement projects which will promote peace in the world. The grants are available to students at select universities and international houses in the United States, including the International Student House in Washington.
     
    As Adnan and I began looking for a worthy cause, I happened to attend a lecture at Howard organized by Dr. Grace Virtue. She spoke movingly of the need for individuals to reach out in any manner we are capable of, no matter how small. I met with her to discuss her work and the Davis Peace Project opportunity.  She encouraged me to develop a project and suggested Hanbury Home as a worthy  beneficiary.
     
    Since Adnan pursued a career in the IT industry and I volunteered in the field of education, a project combining technology and education seemed most appropriate. We are providing 5 computers and about 30 educational software programs for the children. In the next two weeks, we will install the software and work with the children to familiarize them with computer technology and the software we have brought with us. We also hope to share our time and experiences with the children and learn from them about their life and experiences. To this end we will do training sessions and dialogue workshops, and hope to sponsor a field trip.
     
    After we leave, we hope that the project will be self-sustaining for at least two years. We have obtained a two-year warranty for the computers and have money to leave behind for repairs, parts replacement, maintenance, and other related expenses.
     
    Rotary has played an important role in our project thus far.  Firstly, the Kingston Rotary Club sent Dr. Virtue to the United States to study, without which this project would never have happened. Secondly, Mr. Michael Walker provided instrumental guidance and advice and arranged for key details, such as connecting us with the computers and arranging our stay here at the Golf View.  Finally, we are pleased to be purchasing the computers locally here in Mandeville through Mr. Courtney Simpson of Simartsoft. His helpful cooperation has been greatly appreciated.
     
    After we leave, we hope that Rotary will continue to play a role. Namely, we have funds to leave for the maintenance of the project and we hope that the Mandeville Rotary Club will oversee the proper use of these monies. When considering our project's appropriateness to the activities of Rotary, Dr. Virtue suggested that we be guided by the Four Way Test: Is it true? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Thanks to the project's roots in the philosophy of the International Student House and the Davis Peace Project foundation to promote peace through student exchange, education, communication, and mutual understanding, we find that our project also matches the principles of Rotary. We hope that you agree.
     
    Computers and educational software provide computer literacy and educational reinforcement in a globalizing, high-tech world. We hope that the software will support the children's in-school learning and that familiarity with computers through daily access will allow the children to develop savvy with informational technology. This familiarity is necessary in today's world as they grow older and seek higher education or jobs. In addition, we hope that our interactions with the children will foster a greater sense of the world and its people in both ourselves and the children. This is our vision of peace: education and communication as a defense against hopelessness and unfulfilled potential.
     
    ADNAN KUMMER:
     
    While our project has concise and narrow objectives at the implementation level, it does have broader goals to achieve: a goal to cultivate peace, goal to help understand each other better, goal to share our experiences, and a goal to create hope for a better, more peaceful future together.
    It is with these goals that we have come to Mandeville.
     
    Both Florence and I are very excited to be here and we greatly appreciate the help we are receiving from the Rotary Club of Mandeville. Thank you so much for all your help.
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