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Rotarians excel at international service
Category: Service Projects | By Steve, 15-Apr-2011 | Viewed 5471  Comments 0 | Source High River Times
The time and energy High River Rotarians devote to international service appears to be endless.

Wally Gardiner kicked off the 2011 efforts by attending a project fair in Oaxaca, Mexico in January. Rotarians from southern mexico and people from nongovernmental organizations participated.

Gardiner gave a talk in Spanish on the Rotary Action Group for Microcredit and southern Alberta Rotarians' Microcredit Task Force. That was not all Gardiner contributed.

"Every 30 minutes for seven hours, over two days, I gave interviews in Spanish to participants at the fair," Gardiner said. "We were sharing ideas."

Through Gardiner's efforts the Rotary Club of High River is funding a school for the deaf to replace computers in partnership with the Rotary Club of Tuhuacan Manantiales in Puebla State.

Following that success, High River Rotarians learned that Rotarians Daryl Schueller and Ken Zuehike had been building more houses for needy Mexican families near the Texas border. One of the houses was funded by the Rotary Club of High River.

Next on the agenda was Rotarian Paul Terrant who gave a presentation on Panama at the club's meeting on March 3.

As a geophysicist, Tarrant has spent time working at copper-mine sites in Panama.

"Staying in a mining camp made a big impact in my life," Tarrant said. "It was a big adjustment.

Tarrant said he found it different from staying in Northern Canadian camps where supplies and food are more plentiful. Also, working with young Panamanian men made Tarrant realize how hard they had to work for meager wages.

While in Panema, on the recommendation of Gardiner, Tarrant attended a united Americas project fair in David, Panama, Jan. 27-29, 2011.

Tarrant said the fair brought Rotarians together for Central American service opportunities. Canadian and American Rotarians were among the delegates as well as Shelterbox people from B.C.

In partnership with the Rotary Club of Panama Sur, there are opportunities for the Rotary Club of High River to fund mattresses for the Yaviza boarding school, 10 libraries for boarding schools, equipment for a dental clinic at a prison, and a music conservatory atFatima Parrish school.

As a result of Tarrant's presentation, the Rotary Club of High River granted him $2,600 for the much needed mattresses and their transportation.

"The school was flooded," Tarrant said. "The children have been sleeping on the floor."

Meanwhile, High River Rotarian Chris Wilson is working on a joint Rotary project to educate children in Nepal.

"Education is the way out of poverty," said Wilson at the Rotary club on March 17. "One hundred dollars will support a child for one year with uniform, school fees and some food."

Wilson has the Rotary Club of High River partnering with the Rotary Club of Pokhara Fishtail in Nepal to benefit the children of Annapurna. Wilson has visited this club in Nepal, and many adventurous Canadians trek and mountain climb in the Annapurna region.

Maureen McManus
Rotary Report
High River Times
Tuesday April 5, 2011
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