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Rotary Happenings: Trust continues to fund charitable projects near and far

By Staff | Aug 24, 2016

Our Rotary Club meeting this week focused on our Rotary of Sanibel-Captiva Trust giving; Rotary of Sanibel-Captiva Trust is the giving arm of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club. The Trust currently tries to divide available funding 50/50 between local and global projects, which includes large contributions from the Club directed to Rotary International’s ongoing fight to eradicate the polio virus globally and the Wheelchair Foundation’s ongoing distribution of wheelchairs to those in need throughout the world. The focus of this particular meeting was an overview of our club’s three smaller global projects: Clean Water Project/Artibonite Valley-Hati, Micro Finance Loan/Uganda Women’s Co-op-Uganda, and Micro Finance Loan/ Guatemala Coffee Co-op.

San-Cap Rotary Club has been involved in Haiti for approximately eight years now starting with a funding partnership with Missionary Enterprises to supply needed food (rice and beans) for the students of Haute St. Marc’s School. This project led to a relationship with the school and Rotary joining Missionary Enterprises in construction of a second-story for the school housing classrooms for middle and high school students, and digging a water well to provide clean water and a underground water storage tank for the school and the surrounding community became evident. Needing boots on the ground in Haiti to oversee this project San-Cap Rotary joined with the St. Marc Rotary Club. After many false starts, a clean-water pipeline was eventually established and plans then started percolating for a bathroom facility.

In 2010 Haiti was hit by a 7.0-point earthquake. Rotary International was there immediately and distributed thousands of shelter box tents and humanitarian aid throughout the capital city of Port Au Prince and some surrounding areas. Cleanup and rebuilding of Haiti then took first priority in the earthquake-hit areas. Fortunately for St. Marc’s the earthquake had very little effect. The rest-room facility would be back on the table, when construction was allowed sometime in the summer of in 2010 and has since been completed. This facility housed separate area restrooms that include Girls-7 toilets and sinks, Boys-3 Toilets, urinals and sinks, Teachers-2 toilets, sinks and showers. The cost of $75,000 was funded by financial support from many sources including Sanibel-Captiva Rotary and our Islands Community Residents, along with matching funds by Rotary District 6960 and Rotary International.

After the completion of the St. Marc’s school restroom facility, in 2015 Sanibel-Captiva Rotary joined with the Rotary Club of De Hitchen Tilehouse (UK) District 1260 and Duclas Rotary Club Des Marc District in building a Water Mission’s community water system in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Each of these water systems brings safe clean water to approximately 3,000 surrounding residents and businesses. Each water system is overseen by a local water committee that sets a nominal charge (less then normally charged by the government) for this clean water. The fee pays for maintenance of the system. Sanibel-Captiva Rotary will again this year fund another water filtering system in Haiti.

This year our club’s Trust Board has voted to continue their micro-finance loans in the Uganda Women’s Co-0p/Rukungiri Women Development Trust/Ruwodet. This small co-op serves approximately 40 women in granting small six-month business loans to help them establish a better income for their families. Part of the loan process is an educational component helping the women understand successful business practices. The six months loans are small and come with a 20 percent interest rateless than bank loans in Uganda. Loans range in type from using the loan to purchase livestock or the hiring of vehicles to take crops to market. This co-op is successful and defaults on loans are very rare. Sanibel-Captiva Rotary reinvests any monies returned to our club from our investment. San/Cap has approximately $6,000 invested, as of this year.

This is the third year that the San-Cap Rotary will continue with their micro-finance loans with the Guatemala Coffee Co-op. Loans are used for equipment; rebuilding of equipment; tree saplings; education in growing, fertilizing, and managing crops; and varied needs for co-op members. Again this has been a successful investment for our club and all repayments on loans are reinvested in the co-op. Part of this investment is the receiving of coffee beans from the co-op. Sanibel-Rotary imports the beans, roasts and packages the coffee in Cape Coral, and sells this coffee at selected events and stores on the Island and reinvests this money back in the co-op. Check out Bailey’s.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7 a.m., Friday mornings at the Shell Museum, Sanibel. Guests are always welcomed.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary will be returning to the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, Sanibel for their meetings starting on Friday, Sept. 26.