Rotary Club Of Jamestown Brings Clean Water To Cambodian Students

David and Marissa Troxell with students after completion earlier this summer of the new filtration system. Submitted photos

Work was recently completed on a water filtration project for the 315 students at a rural Cambodian charity school with help from the Rotary Club of Jamestown.

The students at Cambodia Academy will have free, clean and hygienic drinking water. The filtration system which the club had installed is a low-tech, high-volume biological sand filtration system. The system now generates 1,000 quarts of water daily, more than enough to fill the drinking bottles of the students and for use in the school’s cafeteria.

Cambodia Academy is a private school for 315 of the poorest of the poor in Cambodia, offering free education for first through ninth grades. The Rotary Club has been involved in support for the school for four years.

Due to the basic design of this filtration system, maintenance is kept to a minimum and ongoing operating costs are virtually non existent. The system was designed and installed by Clean Water Cambodia, a nonprofit organization operating from Phnom Penh to bring safe drinking water to poor rural areas.

Cambodia Academy has been operating for 11 years in the rural village of Mongkol Borie and it is a lifeline of education for children, often living without parents, who would never have an education because of the costs of attending the public schools of Cambodia. The school is sponsored entirely by donations from Rotary Clubs and individuals who care about the education of these children. The school supplies two hot meals a day, two uniforms, books and classroom supplies and transportation to and from classes. Morning classes are taught in English and afternoon classes are taught in Khmer, the traditional Cambodian language.

The Rotary Club of Jamestown has made an effort in recent years to focus its considerable support for international aid on specific projects in partnership with small local Rotary Clubs. At the Cambodia Academy, the club has in the past years donated money for new playground grass, classroom white boards and a schoolwide eye exam which resulted in 22 students receiving free eye glasses. All of the students who attend this school are selected from the surrounding rice fields where poverty is rampant and there is little chance the children will ever have hope of an education. In the war-torn country of Cambodia, where fewer than 38 percent of children ever complete ninth grade, Cambodia Academy boasts a 96 percent graduation rate and most go on to high school. To find out about how to support the academy, visit www.cambodiaacademy.org or contact the Rotary Club of Jamestown by mailing Rotary Club of Jamestown, P.O. Box 454, Jamestown, NY 14702-0454. All donations go directly to the school.

The Rotary Club of Jamestown has a considerable history of support for international projects including Cambodia, Haiti, Nepal and India. With the help of club member David Troxell and his wife Marissa, plans are under way to identify new on site areas of need in Myanmar and also in Cuba, where the club hopes to take a lead role in re-establishing a Rotary Club presence after a long hiatus following the Castro revolution.

Next year the club will celebrate its 100th year of service to the Jamestown community, making it one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in existence. The club has more than 100 members, a significant portion of them being professionals under the age of 55 and half of whom are women. For more information, visit jamestownnyrotary.org or the club’s Facebook page at facebook.com/jamestownnyrotary.


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