Four of the areas of focus for Rotary International is water and sanitation; disease prevention and treatment; basic education and literacy and community development. Kitchener Westmount Rotary club, with the build of the literacy centre three years ago and with this clean water project this year, will affect all four areas of focus. With these two projects Kitchener Westmount Rotary Club has invested $26,000 into the community of Parika, Guyana South America.
Three Rotarians and their family members will be heading down to Guyana on July 6-14/13. Alison Scott, her son David and her husband Mark, Jack Kinch and his partner Trisha, along with Kathy Loveys and her son Sam. Our busy schedule will include officially opening the literacy centre which our club provided funds to build by hosting a literacy day with fun filled events for children and their families.
An update on the literacy centre: an additional $40,000 was raised last year by the Westgate Dove Christian Fellowship in the USA to add a second story to the center to be used as a skills training and recreation centre for local youth. The building was wired to support the many laptops donated to the literacy centre and the finishing touches have been completed. The seed money Kitchener Westmount Rotary club provided has allowed this addition to occur and will have a greater impact on literacy and community development projects.
We will visit the Georgetown Rotary club and a local hostel to provide much needed personal needs items for Amerindians from remote villages who have come to support loved ones at the hospital who have nothing with them; we will take a one day trip into the jungles of Guyana to visit two local villages accessed by boat and distribute school and medical supplies. Alison will work with the local social workers, teachers, volunteers and community members by providing a train the trainer workshop on recognizing and reporting abuse to assist children and families in Guyana. We will visit the local schools where the UV filtration system will be installed and assist in projects there if needed.
Seven Rotarians sponsored the cost of shipping 7 barrels, which cost $200 each to send. Many more Rotarians and their friends and family provided clothing, personal needs items, school and sports supplies, laptops and printers etc. to fill the barrels to send. A special thank you to Brad Swanson at Swanson’s Home Hardware for providing 50 soccer (footballs) balls and 10 pumps to the children of Guyana.
On behalf of Alison, Jack and I , we thank you for allowing us to be the ambassadors of Kitchener Westmount Rotary club and we look forward to keeping all of you involved in this process leading up to our trip as well as sharing of our adventures and learning from the peoples of Guyana.
We couldn’t do this, of course, without the support and leadership of Kim Cook, Director of the Youth With A Mission campus centre, who is our host and guide on this exciting trip and who has coordinated all the efforts to make these projects happen. Kim has been living and working in Guyana for over 22 years. She is an amazing, humble, knowledgeable and courageous woman, whom I like to call Jungle Jane or Indiana Kim!