Within Rotary there are 5 avenues of service, one of which is assisting others in our International community.
Rotary Waitakere has a major involvement in “hands on” projects in Vanuatu – a country within our Rotary District of 9910.
The advantage of Rotarians taking a “hands on” approach to island projects with major help from the locals was summed up nicely by one villager.
“We love it when the Rotarians come as we learn so much!”
Napangasale High School, Tongoa, Vanuatu
The Rotary Club of Whangaparaoa has taken on the massive job of long deferred maintenance at this school with the help of a number of other Clubs and The Rotary Foundation. Waitakere Rotary are one of the Clubs assisting with this project.
The Waitakere Rotary report on the project
For once their luggage wasn’t full of tools and various materials as, due to the scale of the project, these all went over in a container first.
Peter Wilson from Whangaparaoa sent an interesting report on the joys of delivering a container to a remote island in the Pacific!
Orap School, Malekula Island, Vanuatu
Early in 2011 Rotary Waitakere was approached by the Rotary District 9910 International team and asked if we could help Orap School on Malekula Island.
- The first request was to complete an incomplete dining hall (currently they are using one of the girls’ dormitories as a dining hall – and the second dormitory is slightly overcrowded as a result!)
- The second request was for an entire new building to replace the existing old thatched boys’ dormitory. This one is a major project and needs significant funding. Thoughts are continuing on this one…
2014 Trip Report: A summary of all the work
Craiger and Kerry went to the island for 4 days in June 2011 to scope out the work required and to perform a few repairs whilst they were there.
- A partially built dining hall with significant structural flaws
- 2 pit toilets (not toilet blocks, toilets) for the entire school population of over 100 people
- A limited water supply from rusty roofs. The cook buckets this water across the playing field to use in the kitchen.
More details are in our 6th July 2011 Bulletin
In May 2012 a team of Rotarians and skilled friends went to the school over a two week period and, with the help of the local villagers, achieved the following:
- Structural repairs to the new dining hall columns, trusses and purlins
- Kitchen built, window frames in, walls plastered and painting well underway
- A new composting toilet (half the village turned up to help with this and the plans were left there so they can build more in both the school and the village)
- A new water tank – with new corrugated iron on the roof, and water piped to suitable locations in the school
- Repairs to the library window screens to stop the wasps eating the books
A trip report, with LOTS of photos, is in our 23rd May 2012 Bulletin
Report on the school
Completing various tasks
Tongoa Island, Vanuatu
In 2007 we set out to finish an incomplete Aid Station on the island.
Thanks to a major earthquake on 29th May 2009 projects grew from there…
Our original project:
An unfinished building
Damaged by Earthquake
Water tanks or “wells” are square or rectangular and were built of concrete – usually without reinforcing.
80% of the island’s water tanks were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake
Tank damage included major cracks to the Bonga Bonga village main tank
This was built of concrete with vertical reinforcing only. It cracked down all 4 corners
Bongabonga Village, Tongoa Island, Vanuatu
2007 Aid Station
After participating in joint Australia/New Zealand projects at Port Vila Hospital in Vanuatu two of our members set out to find a project that we could call our own.
After a great deal of communication with both Port Vila Rotary and the Peace Corps they found it. An incomplete Aid Station on the island of Tongoa in Vanuatu.
The Aid Station was started in 1994 but not finished. The villagers from the two villages it was designed to serve – Meriu and Bonga Bonga – were still faced with a one and a half hour walk over the mountain to the nearest hospital for anything more than a cut finger. Child birth expeditions were interesting – and not always successful. Women and their babies have died on the trek over the mountain.
Craiger and Kerry went to the island to scope out the work needed to be done to finish the Aid Station – and whilst they were there started tiling the floor and installed a toilet (no water yet) and built a septic tank.
2008 Aid Station
On this trip a larger team consisting of five people – Kerry, Alan & Heather, Theo & Monique – went, sorted out the water supply to the Aid Station (hey, the toilet now flushes!), added a sink, did more tiling and completed a lot of the painting.
For more details and videos of this project check out our Aid Station page
2009 Aid Station completion & 2 new water tanks Meriu Village
On our third (and supposedly final) trip in June 2009 we not only finished the Aid Station at Bongabonga, complete with Official Opening, but also supplied and installed two new watertanks in neighbouring Meriu Village – and provided books and information to the villages’ joint school on earthquakes.
The island had been badly damaged in an earthquake on 29th May – two weeks prior to our trip. The local hospital sustained damage along with many other buildings – and 80% of the island’s concrete tanks cracked.
The completion of the Aid Station came at the right time. It was promptly upgraded to a dispensary due to damage to other health buildings on the island.
Details in our Rotary Bulletin 24th June 2009
2010 Water Tank Bongabonga Village
In a matter of seconds in the May 2009 earthquake the large tank supplying the bulk of the water to Bongabonga Village cracked in all 4 corners.
After due thought our boys came up with a solution – a double skinned liner. Kerry, Craiger and Phil, a Rotarian Engineer from New Lynn Rotary, went to the island and the entire village turned out to help install it.
Phil also checked out the temporarily closed school for structural damage and designed a solution.
More information on the huge water problem – and videos of the trip – are on the Vanutau Water Tank page
2010 Hiwelo School
Rotary Waitakere organized, co-ordinated, and arranged the funding for repairs to the primary school that was damaged in the major earthquake on 29th May 2009.
Whilst none of our members were able to go on the trip (Rotarians pay their own airfares and it was a little too close to our last trip for comfort) a team of other Rotarians in our district took up the challenge and repaired both the school and the severely damaged school water tank using the materials that we supplied.
Their report on the work accomplished is in our weekly bulletin of 10th November 2010
Whangaparaoa Rotary have now adopted the island and have more plans for future work – including the High School over the hill.
Emergency Response Kits
When disaster strikes the Island Nations – Floods in Fiji, Tsunami in Samoa… Rotary quickly swings into action by supplying pre-packed “Emergency Response Kits” to those who have lost everything.
Over time many of the Rotary Clubs around the world provide funding ($NZ600) for a box and these are strored in warehouses near major airports ready for “Go!”
The boxes, that once emptied can be used for water storage, contain a carefully selected set of items from cooking pots to clothing, tools. fishing line & matches (and numerous other items).
When possible we try to include funding for one of these in our annual budget.
Previous Rotary Waitakere Projects
In our 4 decade plus history we have been involved in many overseas projects that have made a difference to people and their communities.
Reading through the files we have come across donations of books, wheelchairs, carving tools, other tools, a motorcycle and even a tropical piano to a South Vietnamese Hospital back in 1970.
Check out our Club History for a fascinating glimpse into our past projects.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
Meetings are held every Wednesday at 6pm but check our calender for our latest schedule.