SERVICE AND FRIENDSHIP SINCE 1986
1986: May 29, letter of incorporation from ROTARY INTERNATIONAL.
Objective: Community service throughout sincere friendship. Twenty-five members then; today, October 2013, 34 proud members…and growing with activities of social benefit, meeting ROTARY’s “SERVICE ABOVE SELF”.
MAIN COMMUNITY PROJECTS
1990-1993: Construction of community facilities at Villa Santana, a socially troubled neighborhood in Pereira. Rebuilt in 2000 after a strong earthquake in 1999 destroyed it partially, was handed over Fundación Manos Unidas (United Hands foundation) for the same purpose of community work. Our commemorative Rotary plaque still is part of the main front.
Our wives, organized as a group called Damas Rotarias (Rotary Ladies) continuously carry out different activities and fund raising events.
One of those activities is the First Communion every November for about 50 children from vulnerable poor rural and marginal urban neighborhoods.
In Rotaplast missions they are our main support in logistics for patients and their families, visitors and local volunteers.
During the fist part of the 90’s the Perla del Otún Rotary Club funded the construction of a day care center inside the high school Little Sisters of the Annunciation that offers education to hundreds of children from low income families.
Facilities were built and provided with all necessary educational elements to host up to 100 children 2-to-5 years old during the day time while their mothers would work in domestic service in the city. The day care center is now fully integrated with the high school located at 2-29 20th Street in downtown Pereira.
2000: The new century reinforced our desires to undertake larger community projects, and we started looking for international help. The first main activity was the construction of a day care center in Calarcá, neighbor city affected by major destruction by the 1999 earthquake in the area. The center has been managed since then by the Little Sisters of the Annunciation.
2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
- 1025 persons clinically evaluated
- 555 operated
- 826 surgical operations
ROTAPLAST and ROTARY bring hope to hundreds of the 270,000 children born every year worldwide with cleft lip and palate problems.
The 20th birthday of our Club was celebrated with the first version of what is now our institutional activity: Rotaplast Missions to operate patients of cleft lip and palate, from vulnerable communities, at no cost. Starting 2014, Rotaplast missions would be permanent to provide an integral treatment to patients and their families. After 2014, those missions would be sustainable. We are working on that objective with Pereira´s Sonríe Foundation and the support from Rotaplast International and Pennsylvania Rotary Districts 7430 and 7450.
HEALTH CARE FOR GITO DOKABU, AN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY
In 2007, funded by Chelsea (Massachusetts, USA) Rotary Club, a project was started to provide a community center to the reservation Gito Dokabú, of the Indian family Embera-Chamí, in the municipality of Pueblo Rico, in the western mountains of Risaralda State. Designed by fellow Rotarian engineers, in 2009 the construction was handed over, complete with basic medical equipment to provide first aid, to the Sisters of Mother Laura, a religious group working in the area. Starting 2013 the installations and medical attention are under the full responsibility of the town of Pueblo Rico public hospital. The agreement signed includes medical attention with continuous visits to the area that is affected by the presence of subversive groups. Part of the agreement was the donation of a dentistry equipment to the hospital.
Since 2005 our Perla del Otún Rotary Club has implemented several important projects for the Fundación Gedeones (Gideons Foundation) in Altagracia, a rural community near Pereira. Gideons takes care of some 100 homeless children that have been practically rescued from the streets. Dorms for girls, sanitary installations, bunk beds, soybean processing equipment donated by California´s Danville and Walnut Creek Rotary Clubs, agricultural training by Sena (Colombian apprenticeship system), were the first projects in benefit of Gideons.
In 2012 we obtained the first Global Grant in our District. Funds in the amount of US$45,000 provided by TRF (The Rotary Foundation), California´s Danville y Redding Rotary Clubs, and Rotary Districts 5160 y 4280, were dedicated to drill a deep drinkable water well and build a reservoir tank for Gideons.
In August 2013 the Club carried out an optical evaluation to all children, providing prescription glasses to 15 of them.
2007: Manos Salvadoras (prosthetic limbs for disabled persons) have been donated to 150 persons that have lost part of an arm. California´s Rotary Clubs have supported this project that is now permanent.
2000, 2004, 2006: Minivans donated to solve transportation needs in non-profit organizations: Calasanz nursery homes, school of Little Sisters of the Annunciation school, Fundación Acción Motora (disabled persons). Cash donations by international Rotary Clubs supported these projects.
2007, 2009: Wheelchairs donated by California´s Colombian-American Rotary Club benefited the nursery home of Sisters of Calcuta, Pereira’s public San Jorge Hospital, San José nursery home also in Pereira, Saint Vincent Sisters nursery home in Alcalá.
2012, 2013, 2014: Our Club has been able to move the Pereira society back to its traditionally recognized civic spirit. The campaign “Por amor al San Jorge” (Love for the San Jorge) has resulted in donors for 80 modern full hospital bed kits for the city´s public hospital San Jorge. Donations so far amount over US$130,000. The other two local Rotary Clubs have donated nine kits.
2012, 2013, 2014: Logistically supported by California´s Santa Clara Rotary Club, Volunteer Fire Departments of Pereira and neighbor cities (Dosquebradas, Cartago and Santa Rosa) have received and will continue receiving donations in kind from their counterpart of Santa Clara. Used fire extinguishing equipment is of exceptional help for local fire departments that barely have basic elements. Total nominal cost of equipment available for donation is above US$600,000, part of which is already in service. Importation and customs clearing costs add up to US$60,000.
2012: Global Grant approved to provide a respirator for newborns treated by Revivamos foundation, a non-profit organization that works inside the San Jorge hospital. US$43.000 were donated by TRF, California´s Redding Rotary Club and Rotary Districts 5160 y 4280. A second respirator, this one for adults, was donated by the Redding Rotary Club.
2013: Eye exams program for 1,000 children 5-to-8, from high vulnerable areas in and around Pereira. Prescription glasses at no cost are provided to children that require them.
MARIO ANGEL, President 2013-2014