It started with a visit from an African pastor two years ago and is now in the process of becoming a project for the local club that could save thousands of lives.
Sunrise Rotary is facilitating a Rotary global grant that would fund a water project in that pastor’s village.
The most recent club meeting focused on that project, why it was needed and how best to accomplish the goal.
“We still do not have it totally approved,” said Club President Andy Anderson as he introduced the pastor from Africa who made a return visit.
Pastor Kokou Loko from Togo, Africa, gave a presentation on the need for adequate water in the village he serves.
The need is amplified because of the attempt to build a hospital facility for the village residents.
“We started a program called ‘Compassion’ two years ago and that is one of the best things that has happened because the children there are so poor. Most of them, almost 200, are malnourished,” Loko said.
He said there are also efforts underway to educate the villagers about farming.
By creating a water supply, Loko said it would open the door to create a fish farm which could provide another avenue of nutrition.
Loko is taking back with him a small-scale well drill he was given from Alabama that can reach depths of 300 feet.
Although it is not a large enough piece of equipment to help with the larger project, he said it would help to provide water for smaller projects.
“My own churches have no water to drink and this can take care of that,” Loko said.
He said he often wonders why his and other countries suffer such poverty, but believes it only shows how great America is when it steps up to help in the difficult situations they often face.
“I don’t know if you are proud of your country,” Loko said. “If you’re not, let’s switch. You become a Togo citizen. Without folks in the United States, there is nothing we can do.”
Bruce Williamson, who serves as district chairman of the Rotary Grants program, praised the efforts of the club as he detailed the work needed in pursuing such a major project for a local club.
“Do you know how many of these grants this district has had? One,” Williamson said. “You’re breaking new ground. Congratulations.”
He said the club is now in the world of trying to contribute to longer-impact projects.
“If you submit a polished proposal in January, you may get approval within a May-July time frame,” Williamson said. “You need to take pride in what you’re accomplishing here. You’re gong to be leaders in the district when you’re done.”
“We are doing something good that’s going to make a difference in the world,” Anderson said.