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Water and Sanitation Month

“It is the first mild day of March. Each minute sweeter than before…There is a blessing in the air….”- William Wordsworth

Each minute spent for Rotary is sweet and a blessing to others.

March is water and sanitation month. In RID 3850, it is hoped for that Rotarians will have serious commitment to embark on projects that will address the water and sanitation.

The main question is, Are Rotarians contributing to the achievement of global goals on water and sanitation? Statistics are alarming and there is a need to move fast towards the right direction.

Let us be reminded of the Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. “While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people--- mostly in rural areas—still lack these basic services. Worldwide, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practice open defecation. ( Rotary aims to help in accomplishing this goal and is facing a continuing but surmountable challenge to provide access to water supply and sanitation and augmenting government initiatives.

During the RID 3850 WASH Summit held last March 12, 2022, a volume of information was shared about facts and figures in water and sanitation, advocacies, and the implementation and management of global grants on water and sanitation. Hope we can use this information as a guide on what WASH project to do in respective areas.

There are many suggested projects on WASH like information and education on WASH advocacies through multimedia platforms. Printing of posters in tarpaulin and posting them in conspicuous places like schools, markets, community clinics, barangay health centers and hospitals. Club leaders may speak about WASH or water projects in radio interviews or in vlogs. Clubs may donate soaps, alcohol, hygiene kits, handwashing facilities to chosen schools, private or government, charitable organizations or foundations, adopted communities of the clubs (especially where they have RCC), and communities of indigenous people. Clubs are encouraged to apply for global grants and embark on projects involving water supply development, water distribution, water filtration, toilets built based on environmental standards, and other WASH related projects.

“Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all”- Nelson Mandela

During March 2022, I continued my visits and reached Mindanao and Panay Clubs. All clubs gave me the warmest welcome. Thank you for the gifts, the sumptuous food, and the memorable fellowships. The joint meeting of clubs from Zones 1 to 3 in Iloilo City Diversion 21 hotel was a night of giving, music, and overflowing drinks. In all my club visits or joint fellowship, I continuously update and campaign for The Rotary Foundation giving to reach our life changing annual fund goal of $222,222.22. Every generous donation we make to The Rotary Foundation is a commitment of doing good in the world.

Through Rotary Foundation district grant, the district ordered 224 Rotary wheelchairs for all 54 Rotary Clubs and 2 Satellite Clubs. Some clubs have started distributing the wheelchairs and started changing lives of the beneficiaries and the caring families.

Another highlight of my visits was to personally invite Rotarian is to personally invite Rotarians to visit Zamboanga again (Visita Otra Vez) for District Conference (Discon) on April 22 and 23, 2022. Discon is the most exciting and fun-filled event in the District organized by the Discon Team. After missing 2 Discons in District 3850, it high time we come together to celebrate our Rotary Life. It is also a great opportunity to be inspired by the outstanding achievements of the district.

We still have 3 full months to change lives, may the sweet smile of our beneficiaries inspire us to keep serving to change lives. We can make possible the impossible and be blessings to others.”

See you all in Rotary District Convention in Zamboanga on April 22-23, 2022!

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