Changing Lives In Colombia

We head to Ibagué, Colombia to see the impact of a Global Affairs Canada and The Rotary Foundation project for approximately 1,200 biosand water filters. 
First published in Rotary Canada Magazine, April 2020
From Bogatá we flew west to Ibagué, a city in the Colombian Andes. At the airport we were greeted by another fervent group of Rotarians, members of the Rotary Club of Nuevo Ibagué. They drove us immediately to a facility where biosand water filters are manufactured. The facility is made available to Rotarians by a local organization working to bring clean water to Ibagué and its surroundings. It not only provides the space free of charge, but also assists in the transportation and delivery of the filters. Because of those cost savings, Rotarians financed about 1,200 biosand filters — 400 more than was budgeted for in the global grant.
At the facility, we saw the filters being made, and Betty Screpnek and I even scrawled our names in the still-wet concrete of two new filters. We were introduced to the two field representatives (one of them a Rotaractor) who go into the communities and train and support the recipients on how to use and maintain the filters.
Early the next morning, we headed into the mountains and visited about a dozen families who had received the filters. The project representatives knew every member of every family; they even knew the names of the cats and dogs. You could see that their visits are welcomed and that the families have a great deal of respect for them and the program. Rotary and those connected to Rotary shone very brightly that day.
This projects could never have been carried out without the generous funding from Global Affairs Canada and The Rotary Foundation.