The Dayspring Story
The Dayspring Story (A Global Grant Project)
15 years after its humble beginnings as a ‘Buckets for Bores’ project initiated by children from Sacred Heart PS in Yea, the final bricks have been laid and the plumbing completed at the Dayspring Children’s Village in South Africa for a toilet and ablution block; and a wastewater treatment facility.
The students approached the Rotary Club of Yea in 2005 to support their project to provide safe, clean drinking water to a school in South Africa. The club matched the students’ contribution of $1,000 and after a visit to South Africa (as a member of a Rotary Friendship Exchange to District 9400) Past President Ruth Konig identified the recipient school - Dayspring Children’s Village near Rustenburg. The Rotary Club of Rustenburg Kloof already had an association with the school. The two clubs were then instrumental in completing this small but significant project with fire equipment, rain tanks, an artesian bore, stands and gutters.
Having established a strong rapport with the students and staff at Dayspring – and friendship with Cheryl Phillips from the Rotary Club of Rustenburg Kloof, Ruth returned to Dayspring several years later. She identified an urgent need for a plumbed ablution block and a sustainable sewerage system that would cater for the whole school. Such a project was going to be costly, but Ruth was indomitable in her quest to raise the necessary funds of over $120,000. Ruth persuaded the Rotary Clubs of Yea (sponsor club) and Rustenburg Kloof (host club) to apply for a Rotary Foundation Global Grant as this would provide a significant portion of the funds required. She also embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign, speaking at clubs across Rotary District 9790, conducting raffles, a trivia night and completing a sponsored walk of over 900kms on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
 Ruth’s passion and commitment to improve the health and sanitary conditions at Dayspring never wavered despite her own declining health. The process of writing, revising, and submitting (and resubmitting!) the Global Grant application took almost two years but finally in March 2016, Rotary Foundation approved the first award of a Global Grant to a club in District 9790. Ruth passed away only a few days later, content that her work was complete and the funding secure.
There was much procrastination and delay during the ensuing planning approval process. Ms Kim Katuta (General Manager of Dayspring) continued to lobby and liaise with the relevant authorities until the Mogale Local Government Authority finally provided the necessary permits. Without Kim’s committed tenacity and drive, often during times of personal ill health, Ruth’s dream may never have come to fruition. The COVID-19 pandemic and stringent lockdown in South Africa further delayed the commencement of the building works but in Mid July 2020 the first foundations were laid, and the footings excavated. A journey that began way back in 2005 had finally come to completion when the ablution block and sewerage system were completed in May 2021 and officially opened in June 2021.
 The compassion of the children of Sacred Heart PS who kick started the whole process; the determination of Kim Katuta at Dayspring and the commitment of Rotarians from Yea and Rustenburg Kloof; and from across District 9790 and District 9400 have seen Ruth’s inspirational vision to improve the lives of the Dayspring community, finally realized. Ruth would have been so pleased with this great outcome as she loved and was much loved (they called her Aunty Ruth) by all the children who attended the school.
Ruth and Students                Ruth training for the Camino                Fundraising for Buckets
  Ruth leaving Dayspring