Our Club is participating in the development of a proposed global grant supported by Olympic Peninsula Rotary Clubs entitled Dignity Toilets for Togo under the leadership of the Port Angeles Nor’wester Rotary Club. Our Board has authorized an eventual allocation of $2,000 to the project. 

 

The seven Rotary clubs involved include: 

 
  1. Nor’wester Rotary (lead)

  2. East Jefferson County

  3. Port Angeles

  4. Port Townsend Noon

  5. Port Townsend Sunrise

  6. Sequim

  7. Sequim Sunrise  

 

The Togolese Republic is a small impoverished country in Africa, on the continent’s southwestern coast. It is on the eastern border of Ghana. Many remote Togolese villages have no access to even the most basic fresh water, sanitation or handwashing facilities, with the concomitant higher incidence of disease, violence against women, and loss of human dignity.   

 

Bill and Melinda Gates have identified this issue as an important one worth taking on as a challenge, Melinda writing Life without a toilet is hard for anyone, but it tends to be women and girls who suffer most. 

 

Toilets may not be a favorite topic of conversation. But if you care about keeping girls in school, expanding women’s economic participation, and protecting them against violence, then we have to be willing to talk about toilets.”    

 

The grant proposal being developed will seek to improve access to sanitation in Togo. Find out more about the specific Rotary International Area of Focus addressing clean water, sanitation and hygiene here, and more broadly, Areas of Focus here

 

As it turns out, the Nor’wester Club has been involved in supporting this project for several years. They have already identified a Rotary Club in Togo to work with, and they have been supporting the project themselves, without a global or District 5020 grant, for several years, fundraising among the Port Angeles community to support it.   

 

Our Club has supported this Area of Focus via our most recent Global Grants, through which we supported the construction of toilets and hand-washing facilities in remote rural villages in Ecuador, and the construction of village wells and water distribution systems in rural Honduras.   

 

Dignity Toilets are pairs of composting toilets built with community labor and resources for each family or organization. One is used while the other composts. The pair costs about $400 US in labor and materials. Every Dignity Toilet built helps to improve groundwater cleanliness, the health and safety of the people using it, and the dignity of the family.  

 

Rotary encourages clubs to work together to maximize the positive impact a global grant can have on a supported community. Our Club president, Paul Wynkoop, suggested that Olympic Peninsula clubs work to identify a need that we can tackle together, a course of action supported by our District. In July, Paul arranged for Olympic Peninsula Rotary Clubs to meet with District 5020 global grant expert Judy Byron to consider a range of possible projects generally focused on the clean water, sanitation and hygiene area of focus.  Since the Nor’wester Club was well along in their project, “supercharging” it with the support of the other six Olympic Peninsula Clubs and developing it into a Global Grant seemed to be a natural fit.  

 

Working together on this proposed global grant allows Olympic Peninsula Rotary Clubs to bring more expertise and resources to bear on the challenge. We can pool our resources under the leadership of the Nor’wester Club to work with the Rotary Clubs in Togo to enable more families in Togo to leverage their resources to build more toilets, which in turn will lower the incidence of disease, decrease violence against women, and improve community life.   

 

In fact, all global grants require Rotary clubs to work together.   

 
  • The host sponsor club is the partner that is in or near the community that is to implement the project. The host sponsor club initiates the project, conducts the mandatory community assessment to determine needs, manages project implementation and budget, receives and expends the funds, and provides local assistance and support. 

  • The international sponsor, which, in this case, would be the Nor’wester Club (supported by the other six Olympic Peninsula clubs) works with the host sponsor, but is located outside the host sponsor’s country. The international sponsor provides financial assistance, technical support and other guidance, performs the tasks that can be done remotely and those that can be accomplished during site service visits, and prepares vocational training team members or scholars, if used, for travel and study abroad. 

 

Both clubs work together through project committees to develop the project plan, and partner with cooperating organizations such as other nongovernmental organizations, community groups, or government entities if needed.  

 

In our case, the Nor’wester Rotary Club has agreed to be the international sponsor club, and the other six Olympic Peninsula clubs, including ours, have agreed or are in the process of doing so to formally act in support of the Nor’wester Club.  Olympic Peninsula club members from all seven clubs will form the sub-committees to develop the global grant proposal. 

 

During the East Jefferson Rotary Club Board meeting on August 22nd, 2019, our Board agreed to support the development of the proposed grant. We expect that our Club will provide up to a maximum of $2,000 to the proposed grant at some point in the future to support its execution. Other Area-8 clubs will contribute similar amounts.   Members of our Club will be asked to serve on a number of subcommittees to further develop the proposed grant with the objective of submitting it for approval so that execution can begin in Rotary Year 2020-2021, on or after July 1st, 2020. 

 

President Paul Wynkoop, President-Elect Cheri Van Hoover (RY 20-21) and Foundation Chair Pete Leenhouts can answer questions and suggestions about this grant as it is developed and will keep members informed of our progress towards Rotary International approval.

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