Past District Governor Roger Hassler began by reminding us of the many local projects the club has done and then telling us why he is so passionate about international projects. Like many of us who have traveled in developing countries, he has seen the effects of poverty and undue government control on the people who live there.
          Roger reminded us that Bill Gates has stated numerous times that assisting people to have better lives has made this world a better place and a safer place to live. Our world has less dictators than ever before, we have less conflicts than ever before; yes we do see too many conflicts with groups like ISIS, the Taliban, and Boko Haram but their influence is becoming smaller, again because of help from organizations like Rotary. Remember that world peace is one of Rotary's major goals.
          Our club has done some outstanding work in support that goal around the world. The medical boat and water projects in the Philippines and the building of shelters fro indigenous people in Costa Rica are prime examples of what our club has done with the support of matching grants from the Rotary Foundation.
         When we donate to the Rotary Foundation we are making progress to remove the need to send our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters overseas to combat those who would enslave others.
         Roger told us why he is so passionate about water projects and sanitation projects. When DK Lee was the Rotary International President we learned that 25,000 kids under the age of 5 die each day because of waterborne disease and dehydration.  We know that in certain areas girls cannot go to school because it is their job to fetch the water that the family needs, some times traveling up to five miles twice a day with the burden of heavy containers of water. We also know that young girls will miss days at school because they do not have the proper sanitation and privacy to tend to their monthly cycle. Finally, we all have heard, even been warned, that our need for water will eventually lead to more conflict than the world has ever known. That is why Roger believes that the more we can do to solve these problems, the more we are doing to obtain the goal of world peace.
         Now about the plans for this Rotary year: We had planned to start a project earlier by supporting the Rotary Club in Jaco, Costa Rica, with a Zika prevention program providing mosquito nets to prevent this infestation. Just as we were getting ready to submit the grant the Costa Rican government took over the project, ending that as a club project.
          So now Roger is working with the president of the same club on a potential project to build restroom blocks near the beach to improve tourism and sanitation in this area. Of course, this is a community development project, which has a water and sanitation element.
          One of the best things about international efforts is the opportunity for our club members to visit these sites and be involved with the project. He is working with the Jaco club to perhaps establish a Rotary Exchange where some of our club members would travel to and be hosted by the Jaco club and then we would return the favor by hosting their club members when we return home.
 
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