Lifestyle

ROTARY ROUNDUP: Building blocks take shape

A local Haitian man in the beekeeping training program. - Contributed photo
A local Haitian man in the beekeeping training program.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Local Rotary Clubs have been engaged in international projects for years.

Currently, the White Rock Club supports projects in Kenya, Haiti, Uganda and elsewhere in Africa, and is examining a possible project in Nigeria.

Projects focus on health, education and sanitation.

Peace Arch Rotary and Semiahmoo Rotary clubs – which have both been involved with the Global Wheelchair Program for years – are joining forces to make a huge impact in Mexico.

Internationally, Semiahmoo Rotary’s focus is working with people in the Jereme region of Haiti. For more than 10 years, the club has supported road-building, housing, healthcare services and, most recently, a concentration on the agricultural food-supply chain.

A dollar goes far, and recipients gladly match it with sweat equity.

Semiahmoo Rotary offers a hand up, not a hand out, therefore preventing dead aid. They talk to the people to determine what they need in the way of building blocks.

For example, training beekeepers to increase pollination will create surpluses for market.

At the same time, they support individuals with hand-grinding mills so they can use their crop surplus for retail sales.

Rotarians regularly go to Haiti to check on projects. They are going so well, the original beekeeping budget can be re-allocated to training and supplies. The next stage, when honey yields are sufficient, will be to support a facility for export.

From small building blocks, big things can grow.

South Surrey Rotary – with Rotary Clubs of Bangkok, Amsterdam and Battembang, Cambodia – is renovating an orphanage in Battambang.

The project builds on Rotary’s themes of sanitation, conflict prevention and disease prevention. It includes hygiene-related renovations, supply and installation of the water-harvesting system, improvements to sanitary capacity and supply of furniture.

Secondary goals include training to provide opportunities for orphans to contribute. They will benefit significantly with improved hygiene education, providing a safer, more comfortable environment.

All proceeds from club’s annual “Fool’s Night Out” on April 5, will support the Cambodia Orphanage Project.

Book Sale update

The White Rock Rotary’s warehouse is re-organized and book bins are ready for your donations at the Rotary Fieldhouse and Semiahmoo Shoppin Centre.

We are looking for volunteers for the annual book sale which runs March 2-9. For information, email wrrotary2014booksales@gmail.com

Valerie Giles writes monthly on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s five Rotary Clubs –valeriegiles@shaw.ca

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