Rotary to assist Schools in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00

(L-R) to John August, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns; Bill Butcher Past President for San Ignacio Rotary; Joan Neal Principal of Saint Andrews Anglican Primary and Felix Lopez, ContractorGround breaking for additional toilet facilities for the Saint Andrews Anglican Primary School in San Ignacio was held on Tuesday, November 20th. Present for the occasion was the immediate past President of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, William ‘Bill’ Butcher. Also present were John August, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena and Isaura Williams, Education Officer for the Cayo District.

St. Andrews Anglican will be getting eleven new flush toilets for its four hundred and twenty three students and nineteen staff members, thanks to team efforts of Rotary and other partners. Some sixty thousand dollars have been saved for these toilets, with some funds raised by about seven Rotary Clubs from Canada, also with some being raised locally by the Rotary Foundation and Saint Andrews Primary School.

Mayor August reminded students at St. Andrews on Tuesday that Rotary has done much work in the community, including their assistance to the building of the San Ignacio Library. He said that he hoped that Rotary would also now help the Santa Elena Town Library, which currently is under construction.

A similar ground breaking was held at the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School Campus B this past Friday in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Present for that occasion was the President of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, Doctor Alfonso Ayala. Also present was Luis Carballo, Cayo District Education Officer and Mike Salazar from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council.

Eden Primary School will be getting nine more bathrooms for its four hundred and fifty students. The Eden project will cost some fifty thousand dollars, half of it also coming from funds raised by Rotary Clubs in Canada.

This kind of cooperation towards better educational achievements is being encouraged by the Ministry of Education.

“The Ministry of Education cannot do it alone, we need partners,” said Luis Carballo, during last week’s ceremony.

From the records, this is not the first time that Rotary has come to the assistance of Eden Primary. According to Tharine Gabourel, Principal of Eden Primary, the school has been able to get desks, chairs and even book shelves from Rotary over the past years.

While contractor, Feliz Lopez was securing the grounds for the new toilets at Eden in Santa Elena and Saint Andrews in San Ignacio on Tuesday, his actions were being received with full welcome by both teachers and students from both school populations. But special applause came from Cayo District Education Officer, Isaura Williams, who thanked the Rotary partners for their donations. Williams told us that two years ago, a survey of toilet facilities in primary schools had concluded that the Cayo District ranked second as having poor bathroom facilities in the country.

Both the toilet facilities at Eden Primary and St. Andrews will have stalls for disabled children, in accordance with standards set by the Ministry of Education. Both facilities can also be expanded as the number of children at the schools increase in years to come.

“We hope that within three months the bathrooms here in Eden and St. Andrews will be finished,” says Franklin Syrowatka, treasurer of the Rotary Club in San Ignacio and who is also Project Manager for the construction of the toilet facilities.

Writing on her Social Network Wall last week, Principal Gabourel expressed:

“The world has good people! Praise God for the Rotary Club of San Ignacio!”

According to a CNN Web Report published this week, the United Nations estimate that 2.7 million people die each year due to lack of sanitation with diarrhoeal diseases killing more young children in developing countries than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Proper toilet facilities are also yet another shield to preventing cholera, typhoid and other infectious diseases, which once attained, can spread quickly.