In 1994 the 1stMerton Park Scout Group in south west London linked with a Sea Scout Unit in Mombasa, Kenya to carry out a community service project at Mbarackachembe in the coastal zone of Kenya some four hours drive north of Mombasa. The project was to construct a rural health centre as a response to the high infant mortality rates in the area caused by lack of preventative health care and poor quality drinking water.
Over a period of twenty years the Scout Group sent out teams of scouts aged 14 – 20 years at two or three year intervals, the intervening time was spent fundraising. With the aid of local labourers (fundi) the scouts built two six room units for a maternity block and general practitioners rooms, a house for residential staff and a water tower to supply sinks and a cold water shower in the maternity delivery room. They also constructed two “drop pit” toilets.
The local primary school provided three classrooms for the scouts to sleep in, on camp beds under mosquito nets, during each visit and every day the school children bought one stick for the kitchen wood pile. As the infant mortality decreased the school numbers grew from 600 to 1200 so there was plenty of firewood!
The project is now complete and has included the supply of treadle sewing machines for the Ladies Sewing Cooperative in the community, they have more time available as there are fewer unwell children. An ongoing support project ensures that the health centre remains sustainable. Rotarian Martin Whiting, who was previously a scout District Commissioner in south west London, gave an illustrated talk to Club to inform them about the project.
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Rotary Club of Bridport members get involved in many and varied ways to support local causes, and other good causes too. Click on the related pages button for some specific activities...and scroll down to see some other examples of our activities...more