Enriching Dominican Lives with Music

One of the projects our Rotary Club’s International Committee was involved with earlier this year, was an Outdoor Musical Instrument Installation Project in the Dominican Republic.

The purpose of this project was to improve the lives of poor and disadvantaged people living in the Puerto Plata region through the installation of an outdoor xylophone.

The xylophone was purchased in Canada, then shipped to the Dominican Republic and installed in the village of Pancho Mateo by Rotarians during an international service mission that took place between January 15 and February 5, 2020.

HHART (Hispaniola Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Team) is the Rotary Club of Wasaga Beach’s international service team. HHART was the cooperating organization. Its Rotary members were the ones who cared for, helped install and trained the local custodian.

Between 1,800 and 2,000 people will benefit from this project. All members of the community, young and old, can play with and enjoy the xylophone. This musical instrument installation will bring joy and a greater sense of cooperation, and improve the musical literacy of those who choose to play or watch and listen to others playing the instrument.

Cambodian Well Project Underway

Drilling has started at the Ta Prom school in the Kampot Province of Cambodia. Once complete the well will provide clean drinking water to hundreds of students. Cannot wait to see the end results.

Filling Needs in Haiti

I wanted to thank the three Rotary Clubs of Barrie (and the Haiti Committee) for helping to organize the recent volunteer dental project I was a part of in April. With your help, Dr. Tanya Farooq and I saw roughly 100 patients in the new school established by Rea Dol. Rea provided medical tables and a suitable room for us to work in, complete with a fan to combat the heat! We very likely saved some lives from the ravages of unchecked dental infections (with the help of the Broken Earth team delivering intravenous antibiotics).

Your generosity allowed me to purchase a refurbished dental autoclave, as well as other small pieces of dental equipment, such that we were able to deliver safe, First World dentistry, with adequate infection control, to the people of Haiti we saw. I am proud of the level of care these people received.

The items I purchased with your generous donation will be used repeatedly for other international projects. I am leading another dental team to Cambodia in January, and am in discussions about projects to Bhutan, India, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and a return to Haiti (this time, to a remote village accompanied by the Chief of Nursing from the Haitian hospital we stayed at).

It is my passion to carry out this work. I am constantly reminded of how very lucky we are to live in a country such as Canada. It also allows me to see firsthand, the wonderful cultural diversity this world has to offer, as well as the ingenuity people from other countries implement in the face of adversity.

I have been successful in expanding my dental team with additional experienced dental colleagues. I will need to purchase three extra mobile dental units for these additional professionals. Any funding your organization could provide for this would be greatly appreciated. Each unit costs roughly $5000.00 CDN.

It would be my honour to work with people such as your fellow Rotarian Doug Manning, a true humanitarian (who was our sterilizer/infection control/ assistant) again in Haiti, or other countries in need.

I would be most happy to provide your organization with a short presentation about the work we did in Haiti, should you wish me to do so.

Once again, thank you so much for assisting with the logistics of this Haitian mission, and providing for the purchase of much-needed equipment!

Dr. Laurie Houston, DDS

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