Woonsocket Rotary and Providence Rotary Awarded District 7950 Matching Grant to perform a water filtration project in Esperanza, Dominican Republic.

 

The Rotary Club of Woonsocket along with the Rotary Club of Providence has been awarded a matching grant of $6,000 with which to perform a water filtration project in Esperanza, Dominican Republic. Both Providence and Woonsocket will contribute $3,000 each and the Esperanza Rotary Club $200. These fund will be matched by Rotary District 7950 which will bring the total to $12,200 for the project.

President Beauregard worked in concert with Anthony Mendez, Kristine David and Barbara Harris from the Providence Club to submit the winning competitive grant application to the District 7950 very competitive grant program. The Woonsocket Rotary Club Liaison to the project is Bob Picard.

THE PROJECT The project will provide a filter system to 600 homes to clean drinking water in order to prevent gastrointestinal diseases. Currently the residents of Esperanza have sufficient water but it is impure and drinking it causes illness. A member of the Providence Rotary Club traveled to Esperanza in October, 2009 and met with the President and other members of the Esperanza Rotary Club and found the club to be small but responsible. The Rotary Club of Esperanza was selected as host partner because of the many family ties between Esperanza and local Dominicans working and residing in Providence. The Providence Club is co-partnering this project with the Woonsocket Rotary Club to fund, oversee, and implement the project. Such a clean water project, while having an enormous impact on the lives of the residents of Esperanza, will also be a vehicle to introduce more members of the Hispanic community to the Rotary Club and to build better friendships and new memberships respectively.

The Providence Club has obtained a written cost quotation for manufacture and delivery of ceramic water filters from Agua Pure, a non-profit company in the Dominican Republic which has supplied water filters in the past in cooperation with this Esperanza Club and with other International Clubs. Upon delivery of the water filters to a central distribution center, there will be an education and distribution process to insure that the recipients of the filters understand how to use and maintain the filters. Rotarians from the Woonsocket and Providence Clubs will participate in this process. It is also our hope that we can incorporate a limited form of literacy project while this education process is occurring. One of the Providence club members has been working with a counterpart in Esperanza to address the literacy problem there and hopes to incorporate a literacy component as part of the water filter project (at no additional cost).

This will be a sustainable project that we hope will be a springboard to further water purification and literacy projects in this town of Esperanza. We expect that the clean water filter project will be completed no later than June 30, 2010 and that it will build better community relationships internationally and locally, that it will enhance the understanding of Rotary internationally and locally, and that it will promote an increase in local media, events (for donations), and membership for Rotary, as it addresses the serious health needs of the poorest families in Esperanza who lack clean water.

The Rotarians from the Providence and Woonsocket Clubs (To be announced) will travel at their own expense to assist in the host country at the meeting when will gather the head of each family to receive the filter and the give instruction on how to use and clean the system. Thereafter there will be site visits to observe that the filters are being properly used and maintained.