The Rotary Clubs of Woonsocket and Providence collaborated on a project to purchase and install water filtration systems for a rural village in the Dominican Republic. In May 2010, a group of 8 Rotarians spent a week of adventure and work in the Dominican Republic. In addition to the water filtration project, the Rotarians distributed dictionaries to children
The Rotary Clubs of Woonsocket and Providence combined forces in a $12,000 International Service project to bring clean water to hundreds of families in the village of Esperanza, Dominican Republic. Funded by $3,000 from the Woonsocket club, $3,000 from the Providence Rotary Charities Foundation and a $6,000 Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation, the project provided ceramic water filters to 600 homes in the community.
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. Currently the residents of Esperanza have sufficient water but it is impure and drinking it causes illness. Providence Rotarian Kathy Swann 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 filters are manufactured in the Dominican Republic by a non-profit company that has supplied Rotary projects in the past. In addition to installation in hundreds of homes, the project includes education for the families on maintenance and proper use. In May, Members of the Providence and Woonsocket clubs will travel to Esperanza in mid-May to take part in the education program and initiate what is hoped to be an ongoing relationship.
Leading the effort from the Rotary Club of Woonsocket was Robert Picard with 7 members of the Rotary Club Providence including Tony Mendez, Barbara Harris, Kris David, Kathy Swann, Anthony Hollingshead, Richard Applebaum, Wendy Marcus and Jim Alexander.