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Building schools building futures - The Ripple Effect
Category: Literacy | By RotaryGlobal, 18-Nov-2011 | Viewed 5940  Comments 0
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The Ripple Effect
Building a school is like planting a seed, or tossing a pebble into a pond. It's a first step that inevitably leads to enrichment of a community in so many ways. The Ripple Effect is a collaborative project to build and equip schools in Guatemala.

In their own words, this is what the Ripple Effect program is all about



What We Do


The Ripple Effect Program is committed to creating a rich learning environment, sustainable schools and the hope for a brighter future for children.

Education improves the lives and outlook of students; then, through "the ripple", affect those around them, who in turn affect others in ever-widening circles. This award-winning program is a District 5550 World Community Service Program. It involves many clubs in District 5550 and has expanded into many other Rotary International Districts.

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Blanca Hilda School Inauguration - October 17, 2011

Our History


  • More than a 12 year history
  • Assisted thousands of students
  • Built or refurbished over 50 schools
  • Over $1.25 million invested in education

Program Partners


  • Rotary Clubs
  • Canadian Rotary Collaboration for International Development (CRCID)
  • District 5550 World Community Service Foundation
  • The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
  • Guatemalan Communities
  • Private Donors & Charitable Organizations

Program Criteria


Guidelines for choosing a school building project
  • Local financial and other resources are unavailable or inadequate
  • The community to be served by the school welcomes the school
  • The community is prepared to contribute to the school, financially or in kind
  • The host country's Ministry of Education welcomes the project
  • A Rotary Club in the host country is prepared to manage the project
  • Teachers are available and prepared to provide advice & support

Additional Project Components could include
  • Building or Renewing School Infrastructure
  • Books, School Supplies & Computers
  • Desks, Shelving, Blackboard & Whiteboards
  • Safety & Security Measures
  • Recreation Equipment
  • Scholarships

The Ripple Effect has been busy...

Here is a brief history of some of the work of this program:

May 2011
Construction is underway on several Ripple Effect Schools!
Joya Verde School in Joya Verde is under construction. 4 new classrooms will be completed in Phase 2. Rotary Club of Winnipeg West is the lead  The school also received 5 computes complete with modem, printers and software from Rotary eClub One.

April 2011
San Miguelito School in Huehuetenango started in early April. They will receive 5 ew classrooms in Phase 1.  Rotary Club of Kenora is the lead club.

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Tierra Blanca School is the first school construction project taken on by Schools Building Schools for the Ripple Effect Program. The school is located in El Asintal, Retaluleu, Guatemala. The project consists of the building of 2 classrooms and washrooms.
December 2010
Funds have been sent to begin constructon of 7 classrooms at El Corcho Sur and Tierra Blanca Schools in El Asintal, Retalhuleu Guatemala.  El Corcho Sur School is a project of R.C. of Regina Eastview for 5 classrooms and washrooms. Tierra Blanca School is a project of Schools Building Schools,Northwesten Ontario.  The construction consists of 2 classrooms and new washrooms.

October 2010
Funds for 4 classrooms and refurbished washrooms at Blanca Hilda School in Gualan have been sent. The 2 story 4 classroom building is a joint effort of the Rotary Club of Prince Albert and the Municipality of Gualan.

October 2010
Funds have been sent to R.C. Metropoli for the construction of 7 washrooms at Rural Mixta 767 El Parasio, Palencia. The sod turning ceremony occurred when Gord & Deb visited the school in October. The workers have begun construction, and should be completed within the next three months. 

June 2, 2010
Project Status:
Xolhuitz II - New Kitchen, books, desks has been completed.
Tameja - Construction is underway to build two classrooms, principal's office
Pajales - funds have been sent to build 6 washrooms and a cemented playground

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Blanca Hilda School
May 15, 2010
CIDA announced a grant to Rotary Canada of $3.1 Million dollars for Rotary World Community Service projects in 8 countries. Ripple Effect Program received $358,837 of that money through CRCID. Rotary in Canada money may be matched with funds at a ratio of 1:.52 and invested in Education in Guatemala through the Ripple Effect Program. 

May 11, 2010
Funding has been sent today to RC Retalhuleu, Guatemala to build washrooms and a playground at Pajales School

May 11, 2010
Funding has been sent today to RC Vista Hermosa, Guatemala to build 2 classrooms, a kitchen and office at Tameja School!

May 5, 2010
Certificates of Appreciation to all Rotary Clubs who have participated in the Ripple Effect Program over the past will be presented at the D5550/D5580 District Conference in Winnipeg on May 15, 2010.

May 3, 2010
Club to Club Agreement Signed

A Club to Club Agreement has been signed with the Rotary Club of Saskatoon and the Rotary Club of Vista Hermosa for the building of a new school in Tameja, Guatemala.
April 2010: Ripple Effect Scholarship Fund:

The Canadian Ripple Effect Committee (CREC) has recruited the Rotary Club of Regina South as the lead funding partner so we can continue to fund the Ripple Effect Scholarship Project at Xenecoj School with the Rotary Club of Vista Hermosa in Guatemala. 

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Tierra Blanca School is the first school construction project taken on by Schools Building Schools for the Ripple Effect Program. The school is located in El Asintal, Retaluleu, Guatemala. The project consists of the building of 2 classrooms and washrooms.
The Rotary Club of Regina South committed $2,500 and has received a $2,500 matching grant from the Rotary District 5550 World Community Services Foundation. The club will work with CREC to lead a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $7,000 or more from other clubs and private donations. 

Matching Grant
A Matching Grant for the purchase of 473 Q Beta Water Filters has been approved by The Rotary Foundation. This is a $23,600 US project to supply Ripple Effect Schools in Guatemala.

For more information contact Gord LeMaistre at 807-548-5390 or glemaistre1@hotmail.com
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