A hospital cannot function without a blood bank and a vocational school cannot teach students a trade if they don’t have wires and switches for the students to work with.
The two projects we visited this afternoon were different from any we have seen. We were at Sunyani Memorial Hospital, where we saw only one refrigerator, which I would describe as office size. The need obviously is for more refrigeration to store donated blood.
The Rotaract Club of Catholic University introduced us to a need at a vocational school that trains physically challenged persons to manufacture footwear. The Rotaractors, the first we have met here, were enthusiastic about their efforts to work with the students at the school. The Rotaract Club wants to buy teaching materials that will give students hands-on experience so that they can earn a living for themselves.
We were so encouraged by the energy of the Rotaract Club and their leadership in seeking funding for this project.
Our encounter with young adults did not end with Rotaract. Tonight we were guests at the Sunyani East Rotary Club, and it looked to us that most of the members were under 40. One Rotarian couple had brought their two children to the meeting.
Like all the other clubs we have visited, this meeting was well organized. Club officers sat at the front and we all had agendas. The meeting room was crowded with 30 local Rotarians, a few guests, and the 18 of us. The club inducted a new member, Laud Mike Tagoe. He looked young too.
Special to us was the Paul Harris Fellow presentation we made to Michael. Michael has driven our “trail truck” since we arrived. It is he who goes out in search of ice for our cooler everyday and makes sure we have plenty of water. It is Michael who goes in search of soccer balls and pumps when we decide we need to give some to a school. It is also Michael who takes care of our animals. We have been given goats and guinea fowl by villagers as gifts of thanks, and we accept them graciously. Michael loads them in his truck, and delivers them to the next village. When we had children at Sagadugu ask us for goats, we wanted to buy some for them. It was Michael who purchased the goats and made sure they were delivered. So we were proud to honor him as a Paul Harris Fellow.
The club also talked to us about the projects they would like to do. One unusual one is to provide educational resources at a local female prison. They need desks, a white board and basic teaching materials, such as workbooks, textbooks, pens and calculators. Rotarians are willing to volunteer their time as teachers. The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is $1500 and local Rotarians have raised $500.
This was another day of seeing and hearing about needs of all kinds, but it was also an inspirational day to see two Rotary clubs and a Rotaract club not competing with each other but cooperating to better their community. We want to do all we can to help.