Penticton Rotary launching second phase of humanitarian aid program for two Bangladesh villages

Aid for far away villages

The Penticton Sunrise Rotary Club has pitched in to help two Bangladesh villages by securing an international humanitarian grant to help alleviate extreme poverty issues in the communities.

The club worked to secure $58,300 through the international Rotary Foundation that will be used over the next 12 to 18 months in the villages of Bariasoni and Yesufganj, concentrating on income generating initiatives and vocational skills.

The program will help create work in the communities through entrepreneurial opportunities in areas like textiles, agriculture, mechanics, welding and crafts.

There will also be health and hygiene education, youth activities and emergency response planning.

This is the second time the local Rotary has worked on a humanitarian project with these two villages, which have roughly 7,000 residents between them. Phase One in 2019 saw the drilling of several wells for clean water, installation of pumps and pipes to transport that water and the construction of over 100 sanitary toilets.

The Penticton Sunrise Rotary Club partners directly with the Sonargaon Dhaka Rotary Club in Bangladesh. This host club works with a village committee made up of a diverse cross-section of residents to oversee the implementation of the project’s objectives.

“Despite lockdowns and the pandemic prevailing in Bangladesh we look forward to initiating the second phase of our work in the Bariasoni and Yesufganj villages,” said Rotarian Iqbal Hossain of the Sonargaon Dhaka Rotary Club.

Funding for such humanitarian projects starts with the residents and businesses of Penticton and district who support and participate in the various Penticton Sunrise fundraising events. These funds are matched by the Rotary District 5060 (Okanagan Valley and Central Washington) and then by the Rotary Foundation. Contributions were also received from the Rotary club and district in Bangladesh.

“The Penticton Sunrise and Sonargaon Dhaka Rotarians are proud of their international service work and there are 7000 villagers in Bangladesh who identify with and love the people of Penticton,” says project chair Barry Reid of Penticton.

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