International Humanitarian Projects
Approximately 15% of an Auction & Rummage Sale’s net proceeds are used to support international humanitarian projects. Over the years, the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island has leveraged this money and, at times, has multiplied the money by a factor of 20 times or more. The leveraging is accomplished through grants and donations from other Rotary Clubs in Kitsap County, our Rotary District, the Rotary Foundation, as well as other organizations and individuals.
The positive impact of these investments on the lives of those in need is best exemplified by the Club’s work in Uganda. Since 2002, Auction & Rummage Sale proceeds have been used to help 191 impoverished villages in northern Uganda drill and operate wells that bring clean water to an estimated 160,000 people who never had clean water before. These pictures capture the impact of this work:
In 2013, the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island received word it would receive a new grant worth $1,140,000 to further support the humanitarian work in Uganda for the next 2 years. This grant provides more wells for clean water as well as providing latrines and teaching hygiene and sanitation to these remote villages in Northern Uganda. The grant began with $40,000 in Auction & Rummage Sale proceeds. That money was leveraged to raise an additional $537,000 from grants and other donations. World Vision provided a matching grant to bring the total money to $1,140,000. This $40,000 became $1,140,000 – all made possible by revenues from the Auction & Rummage Sale!
Previous humanitarian projects in Uganda include:
In the Sesse Island, Uganda:
- Dental clinic building and equipment
- Hospital and ward equipment
- Methane gas from capped pit toilet that fire school cooking stove
- Sand filter water purification units at dental clinic, outpatient clinic and patient ward
- Shelter at the ferry landing
- Support of medical day examination and pharmaceutical dispensing
In other locations within Uganda:
- Three (3) shipping containers equipped as a Library with desk, lighting and books
- Electrical infrastructure upgrade to an Orphanage Hospital
- Barlonyo Technical School, Lira, Uganda for equipment for teaching carpentry skills
- Anthony’s School for the Deaf in Nkozi, Uganda – water catchment & holding tanks & stand pipes
- Microsavings Project started in Amolatar, Uganda
LATIN AMERICA PROJECTS
Funds from the Auction & Rummage Sale proceeds have funded international and humanitarian projects in Latin America since 2002, which include:
- Microfinance projects for impoverished women in the western highlands of Guatemala near Quezaltenango
- Clean water and eco-composting latrines for poor Indian families in eastern Guatemala
Over 100 eco-composting toilets have been provided for indigenous (Mayan) families in very rural communities around Lake Atitlan and in the Lake Isabel region in Guatemala. These facilities improve health and sanitation as well as help preserve the environment and drinking water. The composting toilets support family vegetable gardens used for family and commercial trade.
Eco-composting latrine in Guatemala
Our Rotary Club is the Lead International Partner on a grant project with Gift of Life International. The purposes of the project are:
- Development of a sustainable pediatric cardiac program in El Salvador
- Sponsoring training / mentoring visits which enable life-saving surgery for children in El Salvador
- Provide the required surgical supplies and augmenting local medical staff with outside experts from world-class institutions.
So far, this project has benefitted a total of 70 Salvadoran children: 40 with catheterization treatment and 30 with open heart surgeries
Previous humanitarian projects in Latin America include:
- School equipment, furniture, and supplies to a small three room school in Boca Chica, Panama
- Hospital equipment, furniture, and supplies for a new community hospital near San Miguel, El Salvador
- Two powerboats to transport children to school in a Rio Dulce, Guatemala
- Dental clinic furniture and equipment to a poor community in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Reading and educational materials to school age children in Guatemala
Previous humanitarian projects include:
- Projects for land mine survivors in Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar (formerly Burma)
MICROSAVINGS PROJECTS IN TANZANIA AND NEPAL
The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island has launched microsavings projects in Tanzania and Nepal. Using a worldwide proven methodology called Village Savings & Loan (VSL), the projects create microsavings groups are created that connect poor people with basic financial services that are safe, reliable, and profitable. Each group is trained in the VSL model.
The VSL model is a self-managed and self-capitalized microfinance strategy that is beginning to reach the 2.5 billion adults worldwide who are “unbanked.” Members of the microsavings groups (25 – 30 people) pool weekly savings, make loans to each other to fund small enterprises, and keep both an emergency fund for family needs and a capital fund for co-operative business and training.
In 2015, the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island launched the Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Microsavings Project. As of March 2017, the project has created 73 savings groups with nearly 1,800 members (80% women). By training independent Village Agents through project Field Officers the project hopes to reach its goal of creating 120 groups with 3,000 members by mid-2018.
Groups of 25 to 30 people are taught how to form and operate what amounts to a village bank.
People who join microsavings groups, use their savings and loans to help themselves and their families with things like:
- School fees for children
- Home or shop construction
- Working capital for enterprises, e.g. roadside shops, bakeries, restaurants, retail produce, fruit, fish, etc.
- Skills training, e.g. making batiks
- An embroidery machine to make products for sale
- Connecting pipe from a well to access and sell water
- Social fund for funeral expenses and health care
The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island has also begun a pilot VSL project in Nepal in 2016 with a goal of creating 60 groups.
At the end of a one-year cycle, savings groups have a “share out,” in which each member receives their savings back with any interest earned through re-paid member loans. Their return on investment is typically 15 to 20 percent.
Every person who lives in the villages and towns affected by these projects will continue to benefit from these investments. They and the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island thank you for supporting the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale!