Posted by Anne Decker
Waynesfield-Goshen students are raising money to build a well in the Congo.
After reading in the book A Long Walk to Water about Nya, a child in the Congo who can’t go to school because she must walk eight hours a day to collect water for her family, Mrs. Johns' 5th grade students began researching how they might be able to make a difference in the lives of other students seven thousand miles away on a completely different continent. Eli Zechman, their amazing spokesperson, told us that the students discovered that not only do the children have to walk long distances to gather water, but that water is dirty and makes the villagers sick. They were inspired to do something. So they began Coins for the Congo, a fundraiser that would enable them to build a complete water well with pump, storage tanks, a generator, and the labor to do this project for the school of 327 children (mostly orphans) in the N’sele District of the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the time of our meeting, they had already raised $10,000 of their $15,000 goal. Lima Rotarians donated almost $800 that day. A local couple who immigrated from the Congo are helping the children complete the project.
Also at Monday's meeting, Bob Ruehl announced that he will not be involved in future international projects. Bob has made numerous trips to Central and South America over the past fifteen years to work on water and sanitation projects and has spent thousands of dollars of his own money on these trips. Thank you, Bob, for your hard work, your generosity, and your commitment to make life better for people all over the world.
Beth Seibert also encouraged Rotarians to support clean water efforts. She told us that 785 million people, 10% of the world's population, do not have access to basic drinking water service.  Beth told us that if children can raise $15,000 for a well, we should be able to do the same.
Also Monday, Jennifer Mason and Chris Horn were inducted into the Lima Rotary Club and Russ Decker exchanged his red badge for a blue badge.
Jacque Daley-Perrin did a cute presentation for National Read Across America Day. Celebrated every March 2nd on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the day encourages children to read.