• Rotary Year: 2018-2019
  • Application Date: 5/30/2018
  • Club Name: Rockingham County
  • Project Name: Honduran Help
  • Project Total Expenditures: $8,000.00
  • Grant Amount Requested: $4,000.00
  • Describe the Project, its location and its objectives: Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Rockingham County and Harrisonburg have been working with World Resources Group (WRG) to provide education and community building to those in need around the world. WRG is operated out of Harrisonburg, VA and primarily does work in the country of Honduras.

    Two years ago WRG expanded it’s operations from the rural mountains of the Linaca Valley to the northern coast and islands of Cayos Cochinos. This presents a new set of challenges as transportation from the islands to the main land has always been done by small boat in open, choppy water. In 2016 they were granted a larger boat and purchased a motor that holds up to forty kids. As the programs have expanded, the current boat is not enough (School age kids are 10x that number).

    This grant will cover the costs of a second boat and motor. WRG will own both and will use them to transport additional students. As outlined in the letter of support, the benefit goes beyond students as it allows for emergency services for the island and the potential to support tourism and small business that will help fund the school. Maintenance will be handled by WRG staff and it will provide additional opportunities for mentorship and job training.

    While the objectives outlined in the letter of support are paramount, this grant will also help to build trust between Rotarians in the Harrisonburg area and the local Honduran communities that WRG serves. There is a vision to bring health education, training in trades such as plumbing and electrical, small business startup and more. In a narco state like Honduras even Rotary is not immune to corruption. This grant will help bridge that gap, opening doors for Rotary and WRG to do so much more.
  • This is the Club’s: Secondary Project Application
  • Expected Start Date: 7/15/2018
  • Expected End Date: 4/30/2019
  • Expected Number of Beneficiaries: 200
  • Describe how the project will benefit the community and/or improve the lives of the less fortunate: While many rural Hondurans have access to health care and limited job prospects, the education system is severely lacking. WRG helps to bridge that gap by providing after school tutoring and mentoring, and by providing volunteers to facilitate parent/teacher communication and just be available. The leaders focus on studies, caring for each other and caring for their community at large.

    The benefit goes well beyond education as communities have come together around these centers of learning. While Honduras is a dangerous place, there is a sense of peace among villagers in areas WRG is serving. As student’s graduate high school, WRG is working with them to develop careers as farmers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and more so that they are not limited to work in the coffee fields.

    WRG’s graduation rate is almost 90% with 2,000+ children served each year. The structure of the program is that they are all student led. Older students help tutor and train younger students. This helps to develop leaders and strengthens the community bond. In many cases rural communities in Honduras resemble the feuding lifestyle of the infamous Hatfields and McCoys. As their kids come into community with each other, the parents and families follow. Most importantly, children who have always been told that they have no value now have mentors believing in them and fostering their potential.

    This grant, and WRG in general, hit on three of RI’s stated causes; Supporting Education, Promoting Peace & Growing Local Economies. This grant will provide better access to health for 200 families in the islands which will help to Fight Disease and Save Mothers & Children. As mentioned before, this also goes a long way to building trust that will allow for future community education in the way of Hygiene, Sanitation and Cleaner water. Therefor this grant has the potential to hit on all of RI’s stated causes.
  • Estimated Total Project Volunteer Hours: 112
  • Describe the Rotarian hands-on activities in the project (i.e. non-financial participation): We recognize that it is not common to do a district grant so far away, but this is unique in that the partnering organization, World Resources Group, is located in Harrisonburg, VA in the heart of Area 3. Additionally, Rotarians are actively involved with WRG and the work being done. Former Rotarian, John Neff, is the president of WRG and he goes down to Honduras four times a year. This past fall Dave Larson from the Harrisonburg Club and Thomas Rea from the Rockingham Club joined him to meet the leaders in Honduras and share in the vision.

    While it is impractical to be boots on the ground every day, those in Honduras do not have the time or skills to manage the admin part of running a non-profit. John has assembled a Harrisonburg board that oversees the finances and short-term, long-term planning. Dave and Thomas were the first of what will prove to be several Rotarians who have joined in to help develop the small business training and community education arms of WRG. Basically taking our vocations and sharing with those in Honduras. The target area of the islands of Cayos Cochinos is prime for this. The tourism industry alone has the potential for endless jobs, and the distance from the capital and the highway (used by drug traffickers) insulates Cayos Cochinos.

    Since this will be Rotary money, the purchase of the boat and engine will be approved by the Rotary Club of Rockingham County. Additionally, Rotarians (Beginning with Dave & Thomas) will begin to work with leaders in the islands to develop other uses and ensure that the boat is being used as intended (this hasn’t been an issue with the other boat, but additional accountability can’t hurt). There is a trip scheduled for 2019 that will bring Rotarians to the islands and help to further the relationship.

    Long-term, the involvement from local Rotarians will be on the business development side as we schedule periodic visits to do vocational training, as well as health education. This boat provides an immediate need, but also expands the partnership beyond just WRG and a few dedicated Rotarians to a full Rotary partnership as well. Training teams, internationals grants and more are not out of the question, however this is a necessary step to help identify a Rotarian partner in country that can be trusted, as others have fallen short so far.

    Review of the purchase agreements will be minimal time, but very important (4-8 hrs). The same can be said for monitoring uses of the boat (2 hrs per month – 24 hrs year one). Planning and promoting to other Rotarians who feel called to bring their vocation to Honduras will be the primary use of time and the true value add (80 hrs of presentations, meetings, planning and review minimum).
  • Describe the publicity plan to inform the general public that this is a Rotary sponsored project: Promotion will be a big piece of this grant, but no additional expense. For this grant to be effective, we need to make sure the boat is purchased and used efficiently, but more importantly we need to promote the work and use this opportunity to engage more Rotarians and non-Rotarians in the work.

    The primary way this will be done is through presentations to the local clubs in Area 3, and some Area 2 & 4 clubs. The presentations will share what Rotary has done, is doing, and can do in Honduras and promote the vision of long term involvement while laying a blue print for others who may want to do good work.

    Articles will be prepared for online newsletters (including District website), and it will be promoted through club sites and social media (Facebook & Twitter primarily).

    In Honduras there will be room for signage on and around the boat – however it will not be public due to security issues. The leaders of WRG and the families effected will get the opportunity to learn about Rotary from an international level and meet volunteers who carry the Rotary banner (or polo shirts in this case). The significance of this promotion is that it will help to restore Rotary’s image which is currently corrupt local clubs and foreign clubs who put in a well or bus stop and never come back. Presence will be key and ongoing and is the best publicity in country.
  • Cooperating Organizations – Please list each cooperating organization, if any: World Resources Group (501-c-3), operated and managed out of Harrisonburg, VA will be the cooperating organization that purchases and maintains the boat.
  • Letter(s) of Participation: HondurasHelpLetterofSupport05-29-18.pdf
  • Project Expenditure Budget – list detail uses of funds for the project, or use the Budget UploadSee Budget
  • Project Funding Budget – list detail sources of funds for the project, or use the Budget UploadSee Budget
  • Budget Upload:HonduranHelp-Budget-2018-2019.xls
  • Primary Contact Name: Thomas Rea
  • Primary Contact Rotary Position: Foundation Chair
  • Primary Contact Email: trea@bankofthejames.com
  • Primary Contact Phone: 540.239.0023
  • Financial Contact Name: Ed Yoder
  • Financial Contact Rotary Position: Club Treasurer
  • Financial Contact Address: 
    558 S Main St
    Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    United States View on Map
  • Financial Contact Email: eyoder@pbgh.com
  • Financial Contact Phone: 540.421.7372
  • District Grant Project Authorization LetterHonduranHelpProjectAuthorization.pdf
  • Project Supporting Uploads:SampleBoatPic.pdf