Students in Tanzania received an early Christmas present this year through the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group project.

ROTARY ROUNDUP: Busy season for Rotarians

Clubs on the Semiahmoo Peninsula give back to community.

The five local Rotary Clubs are all busy in our community, especially during this holiday season.

White Rock and Semiahmoo Rotarians will be at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre and Walmart in December in support of the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. Drop by while you are shopping for loved ones and give to support the many excellent services they provide.

The White Rock club’s November book sale was a big success.

Thank you for book contributions and purchases.

The book bin at the Rotary Fieldhouse  in South Surrey Athletic Park will be closed until January for reorganization of book operations. Please hold any books you may have until then.

Semiahmoo Rotary has several local Christmas projects, which include shopping for gifts and food hampers for at-risk women and children at Atira, Koomseh and Durrant Houses.

Safeway gift cards are also provided for approximately 50 recipients.

Welcome packages for new residents in these houses are provided throughout the year (60 in 2013) as needed.

The money raised from Rotarian purchases of Safeway gift cards is also given to the Sources Food Bank for their food purchases.

You will see the Semiahmoo club out this month and throughout the year, street cleaning 32 Avenue and 148 Street around the King George Boulevard area. Additionally, local seniors’ facilities will enjoy Rotarian carolers again this year.

To help those in our community who are living in poverty, the Rotary Club of White Rock Peninsula is supporting Sources Food Bank.

Members bring food items for the food bank to their weekly meetings. They also held a pancake breakfast Dec. 7.

When Africare and Tanzania’s Ministry of Water conducted water quality tests at 15 local schools, each was found to be contaminated with fecal bacteria. The ministry’s mission was to reduce disease by improving water and sanitation infrastructure and promoting positive hygiene behavior.

The Rotary Club of South Surrey, through the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG), has completed a one-year donor-funded project in Tanzania aimed at reducing disease among the communities. Funding donors include: Proctor and Gamble, African Well Fund, Water for Life and WASRAG.

The project reduces disease by providing water purification tablets, building/improving rain water harvesting and sanitation infrastructure, promoting positive hygiene behaviour and constructing student latrines in schools. More than 7,000 students, teachers and villagers now possess basic hardware and the critical knowledge required to safeguard themselves and their communities from disease. This project has shifted control of sanitation into the hands of the local population for their futures.

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

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