A Christmas Thank You

Christmas in FANDIC

Thank you to all who put a smile on the face of children and adults alike through your donation of time and funds. Your investment in the lives of others has lifted the spirits and improved the lives of many families.

Wishing you a joyous Christmas,

Marlene Wiens and CAPD Board

Filter Delivery in Ubaque

The following blog is a picture diary of the process of delivering filters to a mountain village.

It was a two-hour drive from our location in Bogota to the village of Belen in the township of Ubaque with ten Rotarians from the Bogota Chapinero Rotary club. We were delivering 40 BioSand filters in the last phase of a project that provided 120 filters in all.

The filters, sand and gravel arrived carefully packed from Ibague the capital city of Tolima. The filters were assembled by the Nuevo Ibague Rotary Club and purchased by the Bogota Chapinero Club. This cooperation is an example of word of mouth amongst Rotarians about providing safe water to rural families.  

Local men and Rotarians got busy unloading the truck and organizing the filters and all the components.

They fitted each filter with a lid and made sure each one had a bucket with lid and tap.

Later the buckets were grouped and filled with various components required for installation.

Club President, Jaime, stands with Julio, a resident proponent of the project.

Bob tells the story of the development of the filter and the function of each component.

The official Rotary photo documenting the event.

As the Rotarians file up the hill to their transportation, the villagers begin the process of loading up the filters for distribution to their homes.

These projects come together through cooperation. CAPD provided the molds that built the filter boxes and financed the transportation of the first shipment. The Nueva Ibague Rotary Club built the boxes and put components together. The Bogota Capinero Rotary Club raised the funds and implemented the project with the help of local community leaders. Now that they have this experience behind them, they are aiming to scale up to serve more families by writing a Rotary Foundation Global Grant.

Rural home visit – Hugo Andres

We finally reached the home of Hugo Andres and his grandparents at the end of a tortuous road, and there he was, like a pop-up, at our car window, welcoming us to his home. He had been waiting for us.

Hugo Andres shares a smile with Marlene.

Hugo Andres is an amiable 23-year-old with an intellectual disability. He lives on a cacao farm of one-half hectare with his aging grandparents, Mery and Hugo, in a barrio called La Sabana. Hugo Andres loves his life on the farm. He helps his grandparents with the cacao farm but needs direction for each step.

His grandparents are concerned about what will happen to Hugo Andres once they pass on. They want him to have the cacao farm, but at this point, he can’t manage it on his own. Another concern is that Hugo Andres doesn’t know about money – the denominations, how to make change, how to budget etc. He will have help from neighbours, but there is a lot to learn if he will be able to live independently on the farm.

Olguita with Hugo in the midst of the cacao farm.

Hugo kindly showed Olguita and me around his farm while therapists worked with Hugo Andres indoors. He showed us part of the cacao growing process and talked about Hugo Andres. He looks after himself very well. He studied up to grade 2 in school, goes to the country store to buy items for the house, gets along with everyone and has lots of friends. But he has never had any special attention of any kind until now and his grandfather is worried. Hugo Andres has been with Fandic for five months. There is opportunity, but time is short.

The little walk through the farm was very helpful in giving Olguita thoughts about a possible 3-point therapy plan which she discussed with Hugo. The plan requires up-front work on the part of the therapists to learn the process of cacao farming and to represent it in picture form; then to go over it repeatedly with Hugo Andres until he learns it. Secondly, to give him a plot of land as a practice plot but also a plot over which he will have ownership. The last point in the plan is to learn money management, something that Fandic already includes in their therapy plan for other adolescents.

Hugo Andres poses with his grandmother, Mery, and his grandfather, Hugo.

I sensed the love in this family. The grandparents want their grandson to succeed. They want him to have a future. But they have not had the orientation required to achieve this goal until now. With God’s help and with that of Fandic, their goal will be realized.