Clean Water Changes Lives

As a member of a 37 person Rotary work team that traveled to the Dominican Republic last month, I saw firsthand the power Rotary can bring to a poor community seeking to carve out a better future for themselves and their children. Armed with a $34,000 Global Grant from The Rotary Foundation, we partnered with Rotarians from the Santiago Monumental Club to build and install 94 latrines for families living in homes constructed of wood planks with weathered tin roofs.

The highlight of the trip for me was the afternoon I spent at their community school, Santa Maria, in a classroom of High School Juniors. This school is a public school but Santiago area Rotarians have solicited the help of local foundations to invest resources and vision to give the school the look and feel of a private school. These students were excited to tell us about the service project they had just completed using a $1000 grant our district had given them one year ago. Over the course of 3 months, these students had approached dozens of homes, knocked confidently on the door, and said “I am a student at Santa Maria School down the street. I would like to paint one wall of your home at no charge. Which of these 7 colors do you prefer?” The reaction in the community was fantastic and the students returned in groups of 2 with paint brushes and youthful vigor. They told me the next problem they want to tackle is reducing litter in the streets by distributing trashcans in key locations. These students are learning they can be agents of change in their own community!

So there it is: we as Rotarians identified the need for improved sanitation, rolled up our sleeves, and made a small dent in a global problem. Along the way we helped the community help themselves. I am proud to be a Rotarian. I hope you are too.

Matthew Kane, District Governor 2014-2015
Rotary International 7710

How Lives are Changed

The following words from Patrick McCoy, posted on Facebook, captures the impact and significance of the work of the 37 District 7710 Rotarians that travelled to the Dominican Republic.

“A mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging week in/around Santiago, Dominican Republic. Partnering with the fantastic hard working Club, Rotario Santiago Monumental, on building 90+ latrines and planning the foundation for a health and sanitation program for the years to come starting at the schools. Each person pictured and those who aren’t, yet helped us, are the most amazing people I’ve ever met and got to build a stronger relationship with each and every day side by side for a true Service Above Self mission!”

Patrick McCoy of the Cary MacGregor Rotary Club

The Dominican Republic Clean Water project had four objectives:

  • Build latrines
  • Provide water filters
  • Teach the importance of hand washing, and
  • Meeting basic community needs

During the one week, the 37 Rotarians accomplished the following:

  • Build 95 latrines, making for a total of 250 over the last three years
  • Renovated 26 homes
  • Provided educational sessions on leadership, public health and nursing
  • Held a health screening session attended by over 400 people
  • Provided sheets, towels and other household items to families

The following montage of pictures were provided from the various photographs posted on the Rotary Dominican Latrine Project Facebook page by Pat Bridges, David Crowe, Patrick McCoy, Kelly Norman, Subir Mukherjee and Carlos Pantaleon. 

Lighting up Uganda

unlit2A little light for your day – Amity Senior has Solar

With the assistance of a District Grant the installation of lights for the first school in Uganda as part of this project is complete (three more to go). Thanks to the support of: Raleigh Midtown, North Raleigh, Raleigh, Cary Kildaire, Research Triangle Park, West Raleigh, Wake Forest and Durham Rotaries and Past District Governor Matthew Kane.

Our team of electricians installed 88 LED lights throughout Amity Senior Secondary school campus.

The following video highlights the project;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHKMMJVqcEE

Pictures from the Amity Installation: Link

Thank you from Amity’s Headmaster: Link

Video proof of the difference between lit and unlit schools: Link

 

GlobalRun4Water Funds Peru Project

he GlobalRun4Water Committee allocates the money raised at the event to support water projects. This year part of the money went to support a global grant to provide a solar-powered water treatment system, hygiene education and management training for the community of Loma Negra, in Peru. This system will empower the community to manage the system as a public utility which will generate income for future operation and maintenance, in addition to powering 50 flush latrines. The project cost $47,894 and was submitted by the Rotary clubs of Piura Oeste and Cary-Kildare.

The community of Loma Negra is not unlike the millions of communities across the world that lack access to safe water. The regional government lacks resources to tackle these problems and promote development which leaves the community with underdeveloped infrastructure. Children are constantly sick and missing school. Parents are trapped, desiring more for their families. Progress is stunted. Without help, there is little hope for this forgotten community.

Contaminated water is a primary factor perpetuating the continuous poverty cycle plaguing this community. Currently, diarrheal illness, cholera, and malaria are prevalent in Loma Negra and members of the community know that their existing hand-dug well is contaminated.

Their average household income is $175 USD per month and there is electricity available in the community. The community and local municipality have agreed to partner to provide the treatment system enclosure and help promote health and hygiene education. The community also understands that safe water fees will be collected for sustainable operation of the water treatment system.

Dominican Republic Global Grant Project

2016-04-07DR-Global-Grant3 2016-04-07DR-Global-Grant2On February 20, 2016, Rotarians from District 7710 flew to  Santiago, Dominican Republic, to continue work that began four years ago with the Monumental Rotary Club. This year, we built 20 latrines and constructed a playground for the children. The construction on the market is expected to begin shortly. Overall, we have built over 200 latrines, a playground, repaired and painted homes, visited their schools and provided supplies for families. This year we had a group of 27, but overall we have sent 65 different Rotarians from District 7710, and our friends in the DR have become like family.