Rotary started in Chicago, when Paul P. Harris began the Chicago Rotary Club so that professionals could get together to form friendships and share ideas. Just 16 years later, there were Rotary clubs on six continents.
Since Rotary’s founding in 1905, Rotarians have worked tirelessly to improve their communities and the world. Today, Rotarians live and work in over 200 countries and geographic regions around the world. This diverse community is united through a common commitment to the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through service.
The following areas are priorities for Rotary:
- Promoting peace
- Fighting disease
- Providing clean water
- Saving mothers and children
- Supporting education
- Growing local economies
Westlock Rotary Club
In 1968, a group of 23 community-minded individuals had a vision for how a Rotary club in Westlock and area would benefit the community, the Rotary District, and the world. From those beginnings, a strong, multi-directional organization has evolved. It’s built on experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm to make the world a better place!
Rotary has been committed to service and the Westlock Rotary Club is no exception. Rainbow for the Future has partnered with Rotary on an extensive array of different humanitarian aid activities, matching all of Rotary’s “future vision” areas of focus.
Over the years, many projects have been developed, implemented, and shared with other clubs and NGOs both here in Alberta and internationally. The history of these projects is a colourful and uplifting story all Rotarians can be proud of.
The Westlock Rotary Club has been involved in international service projects for much of its history. Some of the more recent projects include:
Didimtu #1 Primary School Reconstruction
The Rotary Club of St. Albert, Rainbow for the Future, and the Alberta International Development Fund contributed to the building of a new school for grades 1 to 4. The school facility could also be used for adult education and training and is a source of water for the community.
Rotarians have worked tirelessly to improve their communities and the world since 1905.
Seke Solar Power Project
In July 2011, the Seke Town reservoir was rehabilitated and a new reservoir was built along with new water pipes to 42 water points throughout the community. It was originally powered by electricity but was later converted to a solar power system that would be more reliable and cheaper.
This project is the result of a partnership between the Barrhead Rotary Club, Rainbow for the Future, and the Alberta International Development Fund. The implementing partner was Support For Sustainable Development in Ethiopia and the community of Seke.
Didimtu Water Expansion Project
As part of the 2009-2011 Didimtu Rural Development Project, a water reservoir was built to supply clean drinking water to the community of Didimtu. The second phase brings water to outlying communities. Now people have safe water and women and girls do not have to walk six to eight kilometres to fetch water. Girls can attend school and there is a reduced risk of abduction and rape.
Seka TVET School
In the Sentema area, girls walking far distances to work faced an extremely dangerous situation—some were being killed so their organs could be harvested and sold to rich people. Our local Westlock Rotary Club became our champion and saviour, donating Cdn$50,000 in seed money, and then our Rotary District and Rotary International Chicago donated US$108,000! Rainbow for the Future also donated money, and the Rotary club in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa West, served as local sponsor. The funds were used to build the Seka TVET School, which opened in February 2015.
The completed project is a community asset and is managed by a local Water Management Committee that oversees maintenance, sets fees and keeps usage records.
Sageda Development Association, an Ethiopian NGO, implemented this project with support from The Westlock Rotary Club, the Alberta International Development Fund and Rainbow for the Future.