Ruth - Julie's Talk
Ruth Konig and the Dayspring School
The seed for the project came from the students of Sacred Heart Primary School who had conducted a fundraiser they called “buckets for bores”. They wanted to raise money for a project to provide safe, clean drinking water for a school in South Africa. The Rotary Club of Yea agreed to match the student contribution and following her participation in a Rotary Friendship Exchange to District 9400 in South Africa, Ruth identified the recipient school – Dayspring Childrens’ Village in North Western Province, 70 kilometres from Rustenburg. The Rotary Club of Rustenburg Kloof already had an association with the school and Ruth soon developed a close friendship with one of their members, Cheryl Phillips, who herself had been a Rotary Youth Exchange student years before hosted in Hamilton, western Victoria.
Once that small but significant project was completed, Ruth returned in 2010 and again used her vocational skills at the school where she became known to the bright eyed students as “Aunty Ruth”. Having attended a School Council meeting whilst there, the need was obvious for a properly plumbed ablution block for all at the school and a waste watered treatment facility where the grey water could be used to water the school’s vegetable plot and employment during the construction phase could be provided to local workers.
Such a project was going to be a costly one and the long road to fundraise began. And a long road it was as Ruth, together with Robyn Kirby, walked the in excess of 900 km of the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. It was as much a personal journey for Ruth as well as a fund raiser for she discovered her inner self during the pilgrimage and the importance and meaning of family.
Her real success was in encouraging the Club to take on the Dayspring project as a Rotary Foundation project for, through the Foundation, a significant part of the required $120,000 for the project could be financed. It took over two years for the submission to be written, revised, submitted and reviewed – and just a week ago, the first Global Grant awarded to a Rotary Club in District 9790, was approved.
Ruth could now rest easy. Her work was done. The funding was in place. The project could proceed. Her name will be forever in the hearts and minds of the children of Dayspring (and perhaps on a toilet wall!).
The bucket Brigade