So . . . you think there a lot of McDonald’s in the world? Well, there are almost as many Rotary Clubs!! Over 35,000 Rotary Clubs exist worldwide. These clubs have a joint membership of over 1,200,000 members. That’s right, there are well over 1 million Rotarians worldwide.
We Rotarians understand that the whole world is our community and that we are responsible for the health of that community. We can see the effects of climate change in our community, and we aren’t waiting to take action. We’re tackling the problem the way we always do: coming up with projects and planning for the future.
Supporting the environment has become Rotary International’s seventh “area of focus”, sometimes called “categories of service activities”. Along with the other Rotary Clubs, Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset [RCBUS] is committed to peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; community economic development; and supporting the environment.
As RCBUS plans for our next fiscal year, our emphasis is on environmental projects. Such plans include supporting water harvesting education and the Wehea National Forest Project while expanding our water projects in the Karangasem Regency.
Rotary Club Bali Ubud Sunset [RCBUS} will initiate water harvesting in the arid Karangasem Regency. Water harvesting is the collection of rainwater runoff in order to provide water for use by humans, animals, or crops. RCBUS water harvesting methods are of little or no cost and will help alleviate some of the water shortage problems in this area.
The Wehea Project is part of an effort to preserve the tropical rainforests in Indonesia. The Wehea National Forest is located in East Kuatai Regency, East Kalimantan, Borneo and is home to endangered primates such as the Bornean Orangutan, the Miller Grizzled Langur, the Sun Bear and the Sunda Clouded Leopard. Thirty percent of this rainforest has already been logged. Because of the logging activity coupled with recent heavy rains, thousands of homes in this area have either been submerged in water from the Sangatta River or simply totally washed away. The destruction of these rainforests also diminishes the Earth’s supply of CO2.
RCBUS will continue to work to bring running water to remote villages in the Karangasem Regency. What we do is work with the local people in the villages and help them design, build, supervise, and maintain simple solutions to their water problems. Gravity fed systems from freshwater springs or reservoirs have proven to work well. People who are current members of RCBUS have completed 16 such projects in the past several years.
Some of the other environmental projects that RCBUS has completed included the:
- Purchase of a chopping machine for Rumah Kompos Taro that allows organic refuse to be converted into compost, freeing local farmers from using expensive chemicals to fertilize their crops and creates new business opportunities which, in turn, generate income for the community.
- Completion of a partially constructed bridge in the area of Kerta, Tabanan, Bali to reduced travel time by at least one hour to fields, markets, and schools for over 1,000 people and eliminate destructive wear of much overused paths.
- Construction of a well and two water tanks to a village in East Bali.
- Assisting of disaster relief after floods, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
- Supplying of water tanks, wells, and toilet to schools in East Bali.
How does RCBUS fund these projects? They are funded in a variety of ways. Interested persons can donate cash directly to specific RCBUS projects via PayPal or that cash can be donated directly to RCBUS via PayPal to be used at the Club’s discretion. Please rotarybaliubudsunset.org/how-to-contribute/ for more information.
Membership dues help pay for a portion of the projects as do collaborative efforts with other Rotary Clubs in other parts of the world. RCBUS can also apply to Rotary International for grant money to support such projects, or we can apply to independent foundations and companies for monetary support.
Please consider helping RCBUS to implement Professor Wangari Maathai’s plea to protect the environment by educating and empowering people to understand that the environment is theirs to protect and then helping them to protect it. To do this, you can join RCBUS or donate to a project of your choice or do both. We welcome your help.
More information about RCBUS’ projects can be found at rotarybaliubudsunset.org/club-projects/.
If you would like to join this dynamic group of people who love Bali and work to help the people who live here, information to do so can be found at rotarybaliubudsunset.org/how-to-become-an-rcbus-member/.
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