//The Friendship Bench: Bringing mental health to communities

The Friendship Bench: Bringing mental health to communities

Meeting for the week of August 19 – August 25, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: The Friendship Bench: Bringing mental health to communities

Speaker: Ruth Verhey

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.

Special thanks to member Olukunle Abolade for putting together the information for each week’s meeting into this program page for all of us to enjoy. Thanks Olu!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

You may have noticed two cool changes to our website over the past week:

1. We have added a quick way to get to the weekly program page right from the home page! Some of you had suggested this as a way to have a little something new on our homepage every week — thanks!

2. Now there is a map of where in the world our member are located on the “Our Members” page (https://www.siliconvalleyrotary.com/ourmembers/). We are truly so global – wow!

This week’s program is by Ruth Verhey of Zimbabwe’s The Friendship Bench. We’ll learn about their innovative approach to addressing mental health issues in Zimbabwe and around the world.


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!

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!”

It’s officially back-to-school season! Grab your backpacks and school spirit for this week’s jokes!

How do you get straight A’s?
By using a ruler!

Why was the math book sad?
Because it had so many problems!

What did the pen say to the pencil?
So, what’s your point!

Weekly Inspiration

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

Ryan Hartshorn’s family runs a sheep cheesery in Tasmania. But it wasn’t enough for Ryan to simply make cheese. He aspired to make vodka, too, using the whey leftover from the cheese-making process. Vodka? From sheep’s whey? But how? Never been done before, but Ryan figured it out, and his boutique spirit has won top honors at the World Vodka Awards. Baa-toms up.

Making Vodka From Sheep

World of

What’s all the buzz about bees?

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/07/18/whats-all-the-buzz-about-bees/

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.

Two years ago this week, I went to Northern Oregon to photograph the Solar eclipse. This required a special filter to block the strong light from the direct sun and a very sturdy tripod. This series shows the moon as it gradually covers the sun at the full eclipse. Notice the sun spots in the first full images.

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.

Bananas are not only the most popular fruit in the United States, but the entire world! In fact, over 100 billion bananas are consumed worldwide each year. A large reason why the banana is so beloved is because of how versatile it is — here we’ll show 6 useful tips and tricks to get the most out of the amazing fruit.

Genius Everyday Trick: Slit 3 Bananas – Here's Why!

Scrumdiddlyumptious YouTube channel


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 Nate from Nagoya, Japan reporting on a chat with Nan from Penngrove, CA, USA.

Coffee with a Rotarian | Chat with Nan & the Halifax Public Gardens

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!

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.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, 28 August:
Membership Webinar: Advancing Women as Leaders

Join Rotary International on Wednesday, 28 August, for a webinar on the topic We Are Rotary: Advancing Women as Leaders.

The webinar will take place 15:00-16:00 Chicago time (UTC-5) and more information is available here.

Saturday, September 14th:
Cupertino Rotary’s Annual Crab Feed Fundraiser

Cupertino Rotary’s annual Crab Feed Fundraiser is Saturday, September 14th, and tickets are $50 per person.

From their mailing:
Crab in September?  No, no way – yes, way. We are getting this delicious crab from the northwest. Remember last year’s delicious crab? Same crab (well, not really the same crab, that would be disgusting), but from the same place.
Tell your friends and neighbors as well.
Payment must be received by Monday, Sept. 9th so they can order the correct amount of crab. To learn more and buy your tickets, go to: cupertinorotary.org

More 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 [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members-only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

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, please

Brian Liddicoat made a $15 donation.
Still enjoying the comic genius of the great Phil Hendrie…..

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
Just back from a visit with the grandkids. Exhausted! Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.

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.

ShagsCA said:

Amazing photo, Keith! And Rushton — you know how much I like your programs. You have an amazing life and it’s so much fun to follow your global exploration!! Hope you all like the recipe — I offered a selection of primary items for those who don’t eat beef or are vegetarian/vegan. To make it even better, use an immersion blender or transfer some to a counter-top blender and turn it into a fine “gravy”.

Ferheen Abbasi said:

Dinosaur jokes are my favorite kind of jokes 😉
Shags, I want to try out your recipe!! It looks sooooo good. Can you make it in an Instapot?
Rushton, while your presentation was long (haha), I was so engaged throughout the entire time that I didn’t even realize it! You are a phenomenal speaker and I hope to be just as good as you one day. Shags mentioned Toastmasters – I might consider trying it 🙂 Thank you for your presentation – I hope I can travel the world and help as many people as I can one day.

Mark Dohn said:

First, let’s talk chili. Having grown up just north of Cincinnati (Middletown Ohio) I can discuss chili. a lot. Keith, your willingness to go the extra mile to find a different perspective for an image is incredible and inspiring! Yvonne, I keep going back to this weeks cartoon and finding a new facet to it! Rushton. Duude. For me what makes this presentation so special is your framing of being of service through a sense of curiosity and asking questions. Thanks for a great presentation!

Dr. Carlos Gabuardi, Ph.D. said:

Fantastic and inspiring program!!!! Great pictures, you have a gift! Congratulations Rushton!

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: The Friendship Bench: Bringing mental health to communities.

Speaker: Ruth Verhey

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.

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!

The presentation will describe the Friendship Bench, what it is, how it works, why it is needed and where we currently are.

Ruth Verhey (The Friendship Bench: Bringing mental health to communities)

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

Additional Resource

twitter: @friendshipbench
Instagram: @friendshipbench

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 [email protected]

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!

2019-08-21T09:13:26+00:00August 19th, 2019|0 Comments