Improving Communities: Locally and Internationally

Backpacks for Students

For many years, the Rotary Club of Ottawa South has been providing backpacks topped up with school supplies for some students in the Ottawa South community. We all realize how expensive it is to send kids to school and it is definitely felt by new Canadian families. It eases the financial burden during this costly time of year and makes for many happy students and parents on the first day of school.

The Salvation Army Citadel on Walkley Road distributes most of the backpacks, and the rest are given to the Banff Community House.


Somali Hope Foundation

Somali Hope Academy is a school in Bursalah, a small town in Puntland, Somalia that provides 100% free education to underprivileged girls and boys who would otherwise not receive an education. Currently, there are over 500 students (and over 50% are girls) attending Somali Hope Academy. Of the total number students, 41 are orphans and 283 are considered marginalized, needy or displaced. Three streams of Early Childhood Development along with Grades 1 to 9 are offered at the school. The Academy employs a headmaster, teachers and school staff (15 staff in total) and works in partnership with the local Education Ministry in developing and delivering the school curriculum.
Mahamud Elmi, a former member of the Rotary Club of Ottawa South, started the Somali Hope Foundation in 2008. Our Club is proud to be on of their many supporters.

Uganda Project

Helping girls stay in school in Uganda: a project of the Rotary Club of South Ottawa. 

Research shows that as girls attend more school, they are better prepared for their own future and more determined to have their own children attend school. Capacity building in local communities flourishes with the education of girls.  Just the fact that more girls attend school has lead more families to realize the importance of educating their daughters. Simple means to avoid conflict and establish peace has been demonstrated at the school by benefactors, as viewed in person by Rotarian Jeanine Parker.

Over the years, this wider project has resulted in a 40-bed hostel with solar panel power and furnishings, four 30,000 litre water tanks, four toilet blocks and four eco-stoves being built at Birere and another local school. Rotary International’s focus of Water and Sanitation is addressed, as well as Disease Prevention and Treatment, specifically related to malaria and use of bed nets.

This project is truly a Rotary project: the problem was identified and assessed by the Rotary Club of Mbarara, Uganda, working with KAWODE (a small but mighty group of women in the village) and Birere Secondary School. 

A contribution of $400 will house, feed and provide schooling for one girl in this rural community in southwest Uganda to attend school for an entire year.  Would you like to help or do you have questions? Please contact Jeanine Parker.