The recent tragic drowning of a child in a pit toilet in South Africa created a national focus on the need for adequate safe toilet facilities at schools. The Gillitts Primary School in the province of Kwazulu-Natal approached our partner club, Rotary Club Hillcrest, for assistance in upgrading their toilets.
With the generous support of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada coupled with funds raised by Rotary Club of Hillcrest and Kloof Durban South Africa and a matching global grant from the Rotary Foundation, R342,000 (approx. USD 24k) has been raised to double the toilet facilities and make them much safer.
The second phase of the project will see the complete renovation of the girls’ toilet facilities so that the female students will no longer be inclined to miss several days of school each month.

Located approximately 300km from Harare in the southeastern part of Zimbabwe in the Mashonaland East province of the Chikomba district, the Chirasauta community is a semi-arid place where the rainy season only lasts for 3 months out of the entire year. In 2015 the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg was approached by Dr. Matanga, Executive Director of the Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc. (CMDCI), with a request for assistance to bring water to his remote home village of Chirasauta.
Rotary Club of Winnipeg took on the challenge. Over a period of 18 months we provided water and sanitation education to thousands of students in numerous schools who helped us to raise the necessary funds, a total of $30,000, which included a grant of $6,000 from the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation as well as a contribution from our Rotary District 5550. Towards the end of 2016, we were able to have a borehole drilled and a solar-powered pump installed bringing a permanent source of clean water to residents of Chirasauta and other villages in the surrounding areas. In addition to the many other benefits the girls are now able to go to school instead of making several trips each day to fetch water.
With water now available in his village it was Dr. Matanga’s dream to have a clinic built so that the villagers would not have to travel long distances to avail themselves of the most basic health services. Nearest clinics are located 27km and 37km respectively, the nearest hospital being 50km away from the community. Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc.
The Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg continued fundraising in 2017 and, by the end of the year, we had raised about USD$8,000 to have the clinic built. The next challenge will be to raise another USD$12,000 to get the clinic equipped.
The project involves the construction, equipping, and staffing of an Early Childhood Centre in Dadaab. The Humankind Academy opened in January 2014 and had 71 students. The school expanded to a total of 150 students in January 2015. The children take two years of early education until they are able to enroll in the primary schools. The school has three classrooms, an additional room to act as an administrative office, training equipment for the three programs, an electrical generator and solar equipment to provide power.
The school has been enormously successful since inception and the need continues to grow. In collaboration with fellow Rotarian Muuxi Adam of HKI our club decided to support the initiative by raising the necessary funds and building 2 additional classrooms at the Centre so that more children can be admitted.
Construction of the 2 additional classrooms was completed end of February, 2019. Please see ( for more details about the Dadaab project.
In 2015-16 the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg partnered with RC of Westville in a Global Grant (GG) project to provide training for child care workers in the most remote areas of the province of Kwazulu-Natal. The project was so successful that our fellow Rotarians decided to apply for a second Global Grant to expand the training to include many more workers. RC of Winnipeg is the international partner in this second phase which is still in progress.
Rotary Club (RC) of Hillcrest has developed a very strong relationship with the headman Mr. Shandu and the people of this village. The Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg helped with the refurbishing and equipping of the community centre which is a gathering place for the villagers especially the seniors. RC of Winnipeg funded the construction of up to date ablution facilities.
As well we helped purchase sewing machines and the cost of training the villagers who wanted to learn to sew garments to help the local economy.
Over a period of 18 years the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg has worked in partnership with the Rotary Club of Hillcrest to provide support for the iKhethelo (formerly Makaphutu) Children’s Village in the province of Kwazulu-Natal. It is a home for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. Over the past 3 years several of the youngsters who had been taken in as babies have graduated from high school and are into post-secondary education.
In the initial stages the RC of Winnipeg sponsored one of the cottages and, subsequently, helped with the refurbishing of the cottages when this became necessary. We provide funds for 2 holiday camps a year for children from IKhethelo and 2 neighbouring villages.
In 2017 we discovered that because of the water conservation program, the Village was without water for several hours a day. We partnered with Rotary Club of Hillcrest in a Global Grant (GG) project to construct a rainwater harvesting system and filtration plant at the Village along with the installation of a solar powered water heater in each cottage.
Over the past several years the Rotary Club of Winnipeg has funded 2 holiday camps (summer and winter) for children and youth from the iKhethelo Children’s Village and 2 neighbouring villages. The camps, organized by our fellow Rotarians at Rotary Club of Hillcrest, have been a huge success with participants enjoying enriching developmental activities as well as nutritious food.
In 2016, in partnership with the Rotary e-club One of South Africa, we contributed to a Global Grant (GG) project to try to increase the graduation rate of high school students in a community near Howick, Kwazulu-Natal (KZN). The project included providing mobile classroom libraries as well as purchasing computers and televisions to help train the teachers to access up to date lessons from the internet. The project was a huge success and resulted in the increase of graduation rate from 40 to 70%.
The Department of Education expressed interest in engaging more schools in this kind of initiative. We partnered with the E-Club One of South Africa in another GG project which involved 10 more high schools. The project was completed at the end of 2018.
For the past seven years, the Rotary Club of Winnipeg has provided ongoing funding support for a number of students from South Sudan to attend school in Kenya. Each term our Club provides financial support for the students to pay for their school admission fees and other school related costs  including school supplies.
The Rotary Club of Winnipeg has been working in partnership with the Rotary Club of Eldoret-Uasin Gishu, District 9212 in Kenya since 2016 to ensure that these students' needs are being met so that they can complete their elementary and secondary school education. Rotary Club of Eldoret receives and administers the funds that our club contributes.
Our club has supported various schools within Guatemala over the past two decades providing basic science equipment for several schools, as well as the scholarship program.
Guatemala Scholarship Program:

A chance meeting of Kim Hannam, when he was a member of Rotary Club of Winnipeg West and at the same time a member of St.Andrew’s River Heights United Church, with a local Guatemalan flower cultivator, lead to a conversation of what they could do to help the local children go beyond primary school. In the following 20 years schools were built, a scholarship program was created and expanded, now all under the umbrella of the Ripple Effect Program. 


With the ongoing support of our Rotary Club and fundraising and legwork by the youth of St. Andrew’ s, many dozens of Guatemala high school and a few university graduates now have hope for a brighter future. The youth from St.Andrews, on their bi-annual visits to Guatemala, have seen the smiles on the faces of the scholarship recipients and their families. As they witness the effect their contributions have made in these people’s lives, they pass the message on to the next youth groups. We are building leaders here and in Guatemala.