Rotary International, partners break ground for US$2 million multi-purpose learning center
Over 150 Rotarians from at least 20 Rotary Clubs from West African countries have excitingly participated in this year’s West African Project Fair (WAPF) held from 10 – 16 October in Monrovia.
The 20 Rotary Clubs are from six West African countries, including host Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin and Sierra Leone, and are also from six Rotarian Districts (9101, 9102, 9110, 9125, 9141 and 9142).
The WAPF 2019 offers Rotary Clubs from 6 Rotary Districts the opportunity to present humanitarian projects for review, funding and partnerships by Rotarians and friends of Rotary from across the world.
This year’s WAPF areas of focus are peace and conflict prevention/resolution; disease prevention and treatment; water and sanitation; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy as well as economic and community developments.
Former member of the Board of Directors, from 2015 – 2017 of Rotary International, Brad Howard, led the delegation of partners and friends from the USA and Canada to the 14th WAPF. Rotarian Howard is one of the outstanding and long serving partners to West African Rotarian clubs.
District Governor Venu S. Rao of District 7870 of Southern Hemisphere and Vermont, USA, was also among the partners in Liberia to ensure that some West African Rotarian clubs benefit from the financial support of international partners in the context of implementing their respective humanitarian projects for the communities.
Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, on Saturday, October 12 formally launched the 14th WAPF. She thanked Rotary International for the providing humanitarian services to Africa including Liberia, especially during the era of deadly Ebola virus. She said Rotarians have “big and good hearts.”
She made the assertions during the Rotary Foundation Training Seminar and Fair Opening Program, which was presided over by Past District Governor Maurice Edorh, chairman of the WAPF 2019.
Past District Governor Edorh and Past District Governor and former Rotary International of Director Howard cut the ribbon to the formal opening to the Project Fair on Sunday, October 13.
Rotary Club of Monrovia
Two of the three Liberian Rotary clubs presented projects at the 14th WAFP. Rotary Clubs of Monrovia and Sinkor participated, while Rotary Club of Gbarnga did not.
Liberia’s mother Rotary club – the Rotary Club of Monrovia – presented six projects. They include Peace building, through the YMCA Peace Clubs; Adult Literacy Program, in order to contribute to improve the 65% illiteracy rate in postwar Liberia; Women’s Economic Empowerment to empower women to be business minded, business skillful and business owners; Disease Prevention which will be the renovation of the Redemption Hospital Oxygen Plant, to serve approximately 95,000 patients annually.
For the 5th project, the Rotary Club of Monrovia joined other clubs around the globe to contribute to the ‘Global Mercy Ship’ to buy medical equipment for the Ship. The 6th project of Rotary Club of Monrovia is the construction of a US$2 million Liberia Learning Center.
Rotary and partners from Canada broke grounds for the construction of a Multi-Purpose Learning Center, which cost US$2 million.
Partners for the project include Rotary International, Rotary Club of Hamilton and other partners led by Canadian Charity Empowerment Squared, the McCallumSather and the Hamilton Public Library, have vowed to fund the first postwar multi-purpose Liberian Learning Center (LLC). The LLC is expected to cater to at least 5,000 students monthly from secondary and higher education.
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor said the construction of a library is a critical part of education and should never be overlooked if a country should want to be developed. She and the partners broke ground on Monday, October 14.
Rotary Club of Monrovia President, Wilson Idahor, said their contribution to the Liberian Learning Center is a way of giving back to make positive impact to the community. He intoned the Center will not only be focused on learning, but also will be center of business and innovation to the community.
The Center will be built in multiple phases on the site of Paynesville City Hall and will be opened to the public. The full score of this transformational project will include Liberia’s first postwar comprehensive learning center and library, co-working and business incubation spaces, sports and recreation facilities and event facilities.
Rotary Club of Sinkor
The Rotary Club of Sinkor presented four projects. The projects were the Interfaith Creative Vacation Program; Reduction of the High Burden of Maternal & Neonatal Mortality; and the Menstrual Hygiene Management.
Club of Ikoyi
The Rotary Club of Ikoyi presented three projects, including Permanent Blood Donor Center at the Police Hospital in Lagos State; Micro Credit Scheme for Sandgrouse Market Traders Association and Beach Clean and Public Awareness on Environmental Sanitation.
Club of Onigbongbo
The Rotary Club of Onigbongbo displayed four projects at the 14th WAPF. They include: Construction of a primary health center for the Irawo Community in Lagos; Micro Credit Scheme; Potable Water for Irawo Community made up of boreholes with reservoirs and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Laboratory for Wasimi Junior Secondary School in Lagos.