It’s a project that keeps on giving, due to the support of the community and the local Rotary club.
This past Friday, the Lacombe Rotary Club continued on their support of A Better World Canada (ABW) and a school project in Kenya.
Over the past two years, the club has supported the building of a school in Lodwar, in northwest Kenya, called the Turkana Education Centre.
“Several Rotary members, their wives and families attended the opening of the school in October 2013,” said Bev Randell of the local Rotary club. “The school has been so successful that it is currently being enlarged with the addition of new classrooms.”
ABW has been working in the Lodwar district for many years, working with the community to improve living conditions and to provide education to the children. The very first project completed in the area was drilling two wells, followed by the building the Turkana Education Centre.
The school was funded in partnership with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer and the Lacombe Rotary Club, which contributed $25,000 to the project in 2013. Individual Rotarians also continue to support the school by paying the teachers’ salaries.
Project manager Rick Wiebe recently visited the school to check on the progress of the facility and to determine the cost estimate for building two additional classrooms.
“Building in Lodwar is difficult and relatively expensive because it is so remote, the road south is very poor and everything has to be trucked in except for sand and water,” said Randell. “However, although the building materials have gone up in cost, based on the initial cost to build the school in 2013, it it believed that two additional classrooms can be built and furnished from $20,000 to $25,000.”
The group expects that there will be a need for 12 to 16 additional classrooms in the school as it expands to accommodate up to Grade 8 and moves towards being an adult education centre.
Last December, the Randell School of Music presented its annual Winter Variety Concert in support of the ABW project at St. Andrew’s United Church. The concert was kicked off by a presentation by Wiebe followed by the music stylings of 12 students from the music school along with three guest performances.
During the intermission, an offering was taken that raised $5,750 in cheques and $1,750 in cash, all towards ABW. Melrose Randell, director of the Randell School of Music, chose to donate the cash receipts to the Lacombe Rotary Club, which then added an additional $3,250 to the fundraising efforts.
The Rotary club then applied for a Rotary District Grant, which was awarded this month to the local club to the maximum amount of $7,000.
Last Friday, the club presented a donation of $12,500 to Wiebe and ABW to fund the new classrooms in the education centre.
In total, the group has raised $18,250 towards the school.