Rotary Club of Clackamas is Impacting Lives Across the Globe
Clackamas, OR - Rotary Club of Clackamas receives matching grant from The Rotary Foundation to provide safe and clean birthing quarters to a hospital in Brikama, The Gambia. The Rotary Foundation, together with funds generated through the local Clackamas club’s generous supporters, is donating $53,000.00 to the Brikama Health Centre’s renovation project in The Gambia.
For years pregnant women in The Gambia have suffered through the pain of childbirth in a hospital without window panes, sanitary bathrooms, or enough power to complete surgical procedures safely. Many women have instead opted to deliver their babies at home, some with devastating results.
Brikama Health Centre is one of the few hospitals in The Gambia providing free medical assistance in the area. As such, it delivers nearly 7,000 babies per year. The hospital is staffed by three doctors, ten nurses, and 23 midwives who are dedicated to the well-being of their patients. One of the doctors at the center mentioned that electricity is intermittent and at night his staff uses the light on their cell phones to help illuminate the operating room for C-Sections when electricity fails.
Ed Gronke, member of Rotary Club of Clackamas and past District 5100 Governor, was inspired to help the people of Brikama after becoming friends with a former resident of the area. Now a practicing nurse here in the States, Lamin Jallow, was born and raised in The Gambia and shared stories of his homeland with Mr. Gronke while assisting him through physical therapy after a medical procedure a few years ago.
Rotary Club of Clackamas and Clackamas Rotary Foundation teamed up with The Brikama Society of Seattle, Washington, Rotary Club of Lake Oswego, Rotary Club of Edmonds, Washington, and The Rotary Foundation to provide funds for this much needed hospital renovation project. The contractor for the renovation estimates project completion by early Summer 2019.
It’s taken four years to get to this point, including visits by two of the club’s members to meet with the hospital staff, see conditions for themselves, and determine both the feasibility and sustainability of the project. Rotarians Bob Johnson and Ralph Carter traveled to The Gambia last February to assess the needs and realities of the hospital. Both men were moved to tears as they walked through the facility and saw first-hand the conditions in which women were welcoming their new babies into this world.
Spearheading local fundraising efforts for this project, Mr. Gronke worked closely with his Rotary Club and the other project partners to make this a global impact project through The Rotary Foundation, the leading non-profit global impact fundraising organization in the world based on reports by Charity Navigator. 91% of funds donated to The Rotary Foundation directly fund their humanitarian projects.
To learn more about this project, how to get involved with Rotary, or other ways to help your local community, go to: https://www.isrotaryforyou.com/district-5100/ or contact the Clackamas Club directly on Facebook at: @ClackamasRotary. Join them for a regular lunch meeting on Thursdays beginning at 12:15pm at Old Spaghetti Factory in Clackamas.