Service above self
Clintonville Rotary helps with Ghana Water Project
By Erik Buchinger
The Clintonville Rotary Club worked with other Rotary clubs to make a difference for citizens living in Ghana.
Clintonville Rotary partnered with the Houghton Rotary Club in Michigan as well as the Accra-Westlands Ghana Rotary Club to apply for matching funds through the local Rotary District 6220.
The Clintonville and Houghton Rotary Clubs each provided $2,500 for a total of $5,000. With the district’s matching grants, we were able to cover the total $10,000 cost of the project.
• Drill a borehole at the Gye Nyame Kidz Foundation School in Ahodjo, Ghana to provide water for cooking, cleaning, washing hands and potentially for a toilet system in the future.
• Support water, sanitation, and hygiene training sessions for students and community members. These sessions will be run by Gye Nyame teachers as well as Accra-Westlands Rotarians.
• Hold a “Clean Water Day” celebration. Students sing songs, dance and recite poems about the role of clean water in their lives.
The Rotary clubs partnered in June 2016 to apply for the district foundation grant funds, and it was approved in July 2016.
Funds were transferred to the project fund through the Accra Club in August 2016. Well drilling began in November 2016 and the project completion was celebrated on Feb. 8.
Clintonville Rotary Foundation Committee Chair Connie Mitchell was the lead in the project.
“Foundation grants such as this Ghana Water Project assist Rotarians to provide sustainable solutions with a lasting impact for challenges both locally and around the world,” Mitchell said.
This was the first time the Clintonville Rotary Club has done international work, according to Mitchell.
“The Houghton Rotary Club has had previous experience in international projects,” Mitchell said. “When they reached out to other Rotary Clubs in District 6220 to partner with them on the Ghana Water Project, our club felt it was a great opportunity for us to “get our feet wet” with an international project and have the support needed to guide us through the process.”
While Mitchell said the Clintonville Rotary Club has thought about international projects in the past, the Ghana Water Project provided the best opportunity.
“The Clintonville Rotary Club was interested in working on an international project for some time,” Mitchell said. “However, being a smaller club, we found it difficult to provide the full amount of funds needed. This partnership provided the perfect opportunity.”
Mitchell said she hopes to continue working internationally on projects.
“Our plan is to continue to pursue additional projects, both locally and internally, in the future,” Mitchell said. “Part of the reason we decided to partner on the Ghana Water Project at the Gye Nyame Kidz Foundation school is that there will be potential for additional grant projects in the future.”
Mitchell said the Clintonville Rotary Club was updated throughout the project on how things were developing on the Ghana Water Project.
“We received feedback throughout the project as the borehole was drilled and the wells installed,” Mitchell said. “By partnering with the Accra-Westlands Club, we were able to have Rotarians do site visits to view and report on the progress of the project. We received feedback through the Gye Nyame Kidz Facebook page, along with direct emails from the Accra-Westlands Rotarians. We also received a PowerPoint presentation from the Ghana Rotary club which provided details of the project and celebration.”
Mitchell said the rotary clubs genuinely feel good about what they are doing when making an impact like the Ghana Water Project.
“The Rotary motto is, ‘Service Above Self,’” Mitchell said. “As a Rotarian, when you get involved in projects whether locally, around our country or around the world, the impact of seeing lives changed for the better is sometimes hard to describe. It feels good, and it is the right thing to do.”