Dave Newman updated our club on the long-standing D5960 Fast for Hope (FFH) project in Nicaragua. The Fast for Hope name is based on the thought that the money saved by skipping one meal could be used to fund a project that can improve lives. The FFH goal has been $15 per year from each D5960 Rotarian.
The traditional way to help communities is to tell the community what it needs. The FFH model is to ask the community what it needs and to build the means to make and sustain the improvement. The community needs to lead the effort and build the capacity to sustain the effort; this change can build the capacity to address future needs.
Stillwater Sunrise Rotary sponsored a water project in El Corozo, Nicaragua, a village of 400. Many people get up a 2 a.m. to walk 2 miles to get water, walking back with the water in time to do their day's work. Water was stored in rusty buckets and truck beds lined with a tarp. Rotary partnered with geologists and engineers to find water in the area. They had to drill a well 750 feet deep. Wells in this area are more commonly about 25 feet deep.
Since the community used to get water for free, the villagers needed to get used to paying for water based on how much they use. The payments had to cover future maintenance. The $140,000 cost of drilling was covered by Rotary clubs, (including River Falls), with about 20% from individual contributions.
Dave Newman has been a Rotarian since 1982 and is a currently a member of the Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotary Club.  He is the past President of the Fridley Rotary Club and was also previously a member of the Stillwater Sunrise Club.  Dave has held a variety of leadership positions in our Rotary district, including for 13 years as the Chair of Fast for Hope.