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President's Corner 

by Bruce Flohr

TWM got an early Christmas present this year when the first water well under our new Rotary-World Vision Project was successfully completed in early November in the community of Rio Azul. The new well is delivering 25 gallons per minute, more than twice what was needed to support the plans for water distribution and sanitation/latrines, thanks be to God! Our Maestras (Teachers) also completed the 6-day community Health & Hygiene training with excellent results, instruct-ing the community in how to keep the water from the well clean, along with basic hygiene for families and homes and nutrition classes. But before we concentrate too much on the current results, let’s go back and share key information about this project that was over 4 years in the making.

The funding for the Rotary/World Vision Partnership started over 4 years ago when representatives from World Vision-Honduras approached TWM about the possibility of a jointly-funded project. Members of Rotary International were represented on both sides. The success in raising the funds for the 23 wells plus the accompanying sanitation/latrines component came from a combination of the Rotarians, their Clubs, and the District Governors of District (San Antonio as the major city) and District 5020 (Western Washington and Victoria Island, BC). District 5020 was one of only a few districts selected by The Rotary Foundation to test new grant application and funding initiatives during that period. The 2 Districts raised one-fourth of the total amount, which The Rotary Foundation matched. World Vision then matched the total amount raised by Rotary, resulting in a $550,000 project! Having an outside party not affiliated with Rotary matching the funds from Rotary was very unusual, and a key part of why The Rotary Foundation was reworking its grant process. Honduras is one of the first areas to benefit from these changes.

When all of the meetings and negotiations were finally settled, TWM was selected as the “Contract Driller” for the Project of 23 new water wells in the district of El Paraiso, Honduras, with 50% of the funds coming from Rotary and 50% coming from World Vision-United States. Interest-ingly, despite World Vision’s great success in humanitarian projects all over the world since 1950 and yearly revenue of over $1B (yes, billion) they did not have a “water component” for their ministry in Honduras until now with Texas Water Mission. One of the important attractions for World Vision about TWM is how well our Health & Hygiene community training fit with the Health initiative of World Vision. World Vi-sion’s approach to assisting a country is to organize and empower leaders in a poor community with an Area Development Program (ADP) promoting sustainable development with the following areas of focus: 1) medical/health; 2) education; 3) agriculture; 4) micro-finance and now in Honduras, 5) pure water.

The participating Rotary Clubs from the U. S. were very pleased that TWM had done several water wells in Honduras from 2006-2008 under a previous Global Grant with the Danli, Honduras Rotary Club as the local partner and “verifier” for Rotary International under those grants. Under the new Global Grant, the Danli Rotary Club will once again provide monitoring of the use of funds and confirmation of the completion and functioning of each well. World Vision-Honduras will add the critical components of pure water and sanitation/latrines to their sustainable development of the micro region of San Matias and El Paraiso, resulting in improved health for the families of this area. And, because TWM will be using our Honduran: 1) drilling team; 2) Maestras for teaching the Health & Hygiene classes; and 3) our Honduran Well Maintenance team for monitoring and repairing wells during the first 5 years after a new well is successfully drilled, we are providing more income and work opportunities for our Honduran Team and putting more money into the economy of Honduras.

None of this would have been possible without the wonderful TWM volunteers whose dedication over the past 12 years made it possible for us to be ready for this opportunity. We thank God for them and for this wonderful Christmas present which we hope will continue to bring joy to our wonderful Mission and the people of Honduras for many years to come.