Our club’s ongoing international service project for the last two years has been participation in the Rotary Orphan Train Project. The Orphan Train is a project of the Madison West Towne-Middleton (Wisconsin) Rotary Foundation. The purpose of the Orphan Train is to help children living in foreign orphanages in a variety of ways, one of which is to match foreign orphanages with service clubs and other organizations in hopes of establishing an ongoing relationship. Rotary of Sandusky is supporting The Bel Air Children’s Home in Grenada, West Indies.
Thus far we have completed several projects at the Bel Air Home:
Painting a world map mural in the hall.
Repair of drainage and septic problems using club funds and a district grant.
We nominated Bel Air’s director, Alison Greene, for the Orphan Train’s Glenn Koepp Scholarship. Alison was awarded the scholarship which enabled her to go to Mooseheart’s famed “Child City” in Illinois for two weeks of training and seminars in September and October, 2011. After Mooseheart, Alison visited the Madison, Wisconsin Rotary Club, founders of the Orphan Train, and presented a program on Bel Air Children’s Home. She then came to Sandusky for a week and presented a program on the Home and Grenada at our meeting. While in Sandusky, Alison visited Ontario School and talked to the kids about Grenada and Bel Air and visited Beech Brook residential campus for children in Cleveland.
Steve and Kathie Dice visited the orphanage and painted the nursery.
Jack and Jeannie Moran delivered some toys and craft kits, helped the staff with the preschool kids, and repaired a school playground destroyed by Hurricane Ivan.
In 2013 - 2014 We sent 20+ pairs of shoes to the orphanage. Alison, a Peace Corp Volunteer, had said, "kids are rough on shoes and it is difficult to find quality shoes in Grenada that will hold up through the school year". We listened.
2007 – 2009 In partnership with the Karagwe, Tanzania Rotary Club, we furnished over 2,000 storybooks to the schools in Karagwe. We also provided 30 dairy cows and built pens to house them for widows in Karagwe. Both projects used RI matching grants.
And a few other programs are in the works. Little Dresses for Africa is a program that several clubs in District 6600 (out District is 6600 and it includes 62 different Clubs in Northwest Ohio) and we are looking at how we can partner with some of the programs already in the final planning stages.
Here is one suggested at the recent Rotary International Conference in Australia. Bringing the rest of the world to young students of third world countries. http://vimeo.com/98483622