This is a story of how one person can make a difference and how Rotary is making a huge difference in communities across the world. 
The reason for choosing Croatia for the Friendship Exchange was because about five years ago the Beloit Rotary Club under the leadership of club President, Cathy Niliaram wrote a Global Grant to “Introducing Coding and Digital Literacy to Grades 1-4 in Croatia. The goal of the project was to equip up to 300 primary schools throughout Croatia with 15,000 micro:bit microcomputers for classroom teaching and learning(grades 1-4).Cathy Niliaram and Fellow Beloit Rotarian, Mary Kaminski worked to put a comprehensive grant proposal together for submission to Rotary 6250 and Rotary International. This Grant not only received approval from Rotary 6250 but Rotary District 1913 and 45 other Rotary Clubs from Croatia, Japan, Taiwan, The Netherlands and Clubs in the U.S.A. followed up with their support. This Grant started as a $25,000 proposal has been matched and now because of the collaboration mentioned grew to over $400,000.
During our Friendship Exchange visit to Zagreb we were able to visit a classroom where some of the students demonstrated how the Micro:bits are used. With the Micro:bits students can create their own projects and learn through exploration how to innovate and strengthen their own competencies.
School libraries in Croatia are being transformed into digital hubs using Micro:bits devices. The grant is helping the Children of Croatia to become more proficient and competent users of technology Cathy Niliaram’s leadership is still being felt in Beloit and across the country of Croatia.
Unfortunately on July 5, 2022 Cathy (in photo right) passed away unexpectantly. She had during her time with our Club helped tremendously in so many ways. She was President during Covid and kept our membership informed virtually. Our numbers did not decrees but we actually gained 3 members while some clubs experienced major reductions. We miss her passion and love for Rotary. 
William L. Beckley
Rotary  Club of Beloit