Katie Picchione, WPI Rotaractor and speaker, with club members Ron Bott, Mary and Rich Garcia.
  • Gino Frattiloni
  • Review for morning group: a recap of three large and important projects from the past month: Power of Change, Bolton Repair Café (th next one will be in May), and Stop Hunger Now.
  • February 24 marks our third birthday, which we will celebrate at our next evening meeting.
  • Interact: 26 interested students remained after the Stop Hunger Now event, to hear our presentation; the next step is organizational meetings and an application for a charter from Rotary International.
  • NE PETS  (president elect training session) begins next month for Jim Stone; Carol Toomey will be conducting two sessions.
  • Rotary Learning Institute is in April, open to all.
  • March 20 is the PR expo, presided by our own Laura Spear, the district PR chairman.
  • Gift of Life: a slide show featuring Gabriel and his journey back to health and well-being followed.
Happy/sad fines
  • Carl Gomes: gave $10 for Rotaract
  • Carol Toomey: sad that she will miss the next two meetings; also that her son has to travel on the T.
  • Mary Garcia: happy for Rotaract and for Gabriel’s progress.
  • Ron Bott: his daughter underwent a procedure on her leg at Children’s Hospital.
  • Ray Pfau: his daughter’s furnace broke.
  • Bob Johnson: his cataract surgery was easy and successful.
  • Richard Simon: happy for Gabriel’s progress. His daughter has mice. His roof is leaking from the snow.
  • Karen Gaffney: glad to live in the suburbs free from the hassles of the T.
Katie Picchione, of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Rotaract club, accompanied by Tom, Aaron, and Amanda.
First, she expressed the Rotaract club’s gratitude to Nashoba Valley for our support and the global grant.  Water and sanitation are a common interest between Rotary and Engineers Without Borders; this means adequate quantity, quality and access. There are 2.5 billion people who lack proper sanitation; 3000 die every day from disease spread by not having clean water.
As an example, Filomena used some 3-6 hours every day fetching water; she has no access to water at home.
There are 35 homes in the village of Guachtuq, Guatemala. Available water is in the form of runoff from a farm into a large basin, in the valley at the foot of the mountain where the village is located. The people rely on this water for all their water needs, for cooking, drinking, bathing, washing clothes, etc.
The best solution to bring clean water to everyone’s home is rainwater harvesting. During the dry season, contaminants build up on the roof; with the first rain, these wash off, in a first flush; this is followed by water quality tests for bacteria. With the RI grant, they’ll build systems for the remaining 22 families. Many in the community are construction workers and farmers; they have the skills to to organize, transport materials, and work construction. This project represents a transfer of knowledge to maintain systems, how to utilize resources they already have.
They’re also building a rainwater harvesting system at Tatnuck School, to teach students, increase their understanding, and create interest.
Question: How did you connect with this village? In 2009 they contacted Engineers Without Borders, which identified the need and included the village in their list of open projects, and matched the two.
Question: What size system is needed for a household? 2-4 tanks, with a total cost of $1,000 per system. Yearly income is about $2,000,
Liberation from fetching water creates opportunities for the women: they’re able to spin thread, sort cardamom, get extra jobs, and spend time with the family. Kids don’t have to miss school to collect water.