By Rotary Voices staff
Rotary clubs in Minnesota, USA, have banded together to send boxes of textbooks to and purchase school supplies for an organization in Guatemala that is helping students from poor families receive an education.
In 2014, the step-daughter of James Benshoof, a member of the Rotary Club of Crystal, New Hope, Robbinsdale, decided to donate dozens of textbooks to Common Hope, a nonprofit based in St. Paul that works to provide educational opportunities, health care, and housing assistance to families outside Antigua and Guatemala City. The books were being replaced as part of a curriculum change at a Spanish-immersion school where she taught.
Benshoof’s Rotary club, and several others in the area, got involved in raising the money necessary to ship the books to Guatemala, and gathered together in December with several Rotary Youth Exchange Students to pack addition materials they had collected. They also received a $7,000 grant from their district to purchase school supplies in Guatemala once the shipment arrived.
“What inspires me the most about the project is the opportunity to benefit these children by giving them access to more books and supplies than they otherwise would have,” says Benshoof. “My wife and I have for several years sponsored a child through Common Hope and a few years ago we brought along a few books for him. We have a picture that always moves me of him smiling from ear to ear with his books. That gives me a feeling that these books and supplies are much appreciated by their recipients.”
The project is just one of many that Rotary members have shared on Rotary Showcase.
Other notable projects include:
- Rotary members in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, distributed 20,000 books to create libraries in 54 government schools as part of the Rotary India Literacy Mission. The books included atlases and other course materials for levels one through ten.
- Rotary members in Toledo, Belize, joined together to purchase and install a medical waste incinerator and provide training on its use for seven clinics that provide basic healthcare to 33,000 people in the Toledo District. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), poor management of health care waste exposes health care workers, waste handlers, patients and the community to infection, toxic effects and injuries, and pollutes the environment
- Rotary members in California and Ecuador partnered together to replace a failing sewage system that serves 1,200 people on the coast of Ecuador.
Is your club’s project on Rotary Showcase? Find out how easy it is to share your project.