Posted by Claire Gierat on Nov 10, 2018

You probably remember that our Belvidere Rotary Club does a lot of service projects locally, like what we have done for NASR.  We raise funds and apply for district grants to help us pay for the projects.  Rotary is a premier international service organization doing wonders world-wide to promote peace and goodwill. 

After helping for over three years to secure a Rotary Global Grant, I got on a plane with another Rotarian from our Belvidere Rotary Club on September 26th and headed to Casablanca, Morocco!  For those of you that are not sure where that is, if you look at the map of Africa, you will see it on the northwest corner, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic.  It is less than 50 miles from Spain by water.

Our mission was to visit the Village of Timoulilt (pronounced Teemolilt) and see the result of our club’s global grant efforts at the elementary schools there.  Through the joint efforts of the International Rotary Club of Casablanca, the Association in Timoulilt, and our Belvidere Rotary Club, we acquired the global grant for over $52,000!  The old desks and chairs were in disrepair, and their bathroom “facility” was one Turkish toilet with no door.  We provided new windows, flooring, white boards, and backpacks filled with school supplies.  We provided two toilets with doors and a great hand washing basin.  We had a great dedication ceremony that lasted all day, and I found myself interviewed on their national television and radio!  The Rotarian with me is originally from Timoulilt, and was an amazing tour guide and spoke all of the four languages I encountered that I could not understand!  I had the immense pleasure of meeting the most wonderful people.  I have some fabulous pictures and videos just packed with memories.  I learned a great deal in the 14 days I was gone. 

What I was reminded of the most is that we are so blessed, here in the USA!  We could all remind ourselves more often just how much!