Where there’s a need

Quesnel Rotary Club aids South Africaqn seniors' home

As representatives of Ons Huis seniors housing project Bill Kimmie

After Quesnel Rotary Club’s very successful Toast to Africa fundraiser in 2013, members were looking for a suitable recipient of the $9,000 raised.

Rotarian Liane Kimmie, her husband Bill and South African friends Dr. Fred Van Dyk and Kobus Westraadt travelled to Mossel Bay, South Africa where they toured the only seniors home in the community, Ons Huis and found their project.

The facility houses 81 seniors (22 with Alzheimers), there are just two bathrooms for the entire home, neither of which have proper showers, double occupancy means a curtain separates the two residents and there’s no security system therefore no safe outside access for the residents. The entire building needed updates.

“The more we saw, the more the needs became apparent,” Kimmie said.

Once they returned to Quesnel, the local Rotary club endorsed the project and it was determined 60 per cent of the proceeds from the very successful Toast of Africa would be dedicated to Ons Huis and the balance would be shared between a donation of $2,000 to Dunrovin Park Lodge for a garden project and $2,000 to Refilwe, a charity for sustainable development for community care, education and support for local lower income and needy people in the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. Refilwe has local Rotary support.

Kimmie then applied for a District Rotary Matching Grant of $3,000 bringing the total to be sent to South Africa of $9,000 for Ons Huis updates.

“It’s taken the last two years because of the matching grant program process,” she said.

In the meantime it was determined by Quesnel Rotary, Ons Huis and the Mossel Bay Rotary the scope of the project.

“The bathrooms, a security system including cameras to monitor the residents for safe access to the grounds and a buzzer system for safety and movement of residents will be the focus,” Kimmie said.

“I’m thrilled this project is finally completing and expect the funds to be in Mossel Bay before the end of August. Mossel Bay Rotary will manage the project.

“Mossel Bay Rotary has also committed to a multi-year fundraising effort to complement and expand on the work Quesnel Rotary has started.”

Quesnel Rotary Club is always interested in discussing any worthy projects either at the local, provincial, national or international level. Visit the website quesnelrotary.com.

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