Bringing Health Care and Education to a small village in Ethiopia

When Beyene Haile joined the Rotary Club of LaSalle Centennial, he shared his story of his beloved homeland of Ethiopia. His small village there was a poor one and did not have any schools nor a medical facility. He shared tragic stories of pregnant women dying during the 3-hour walk to get to the nearest hospital to give birth.

Some, like Beyene, were able to go abroad for schooling, but most of the people in the village, including his siblings, were not as fortunate.  Beyene became an educator and Deputy Mayor of his village. He promised that if he were afforded the opportunity, he would bring health care and education to his village. 

Thanks to the power of Rotary, women no longer have to die enroute to deliver their babies. Many thanks have to be given to Past District Governor Donna Schmidt for leading the way in this humanitarian effort. Using a Rotary Global Grant, and the Chuck and Dee Howie Foundation, a new hospital was constructed and now is fully functional. Dr. Nick Krayacich, a Past President of the Rotary Club of LaSalle Centennial, led a Vocational Training Team to train the nurses and healthcare workers who work at the medical facility.

The Rotary Club of LaSalle Centennial and a local organization called Voices for Hope provided funding for the village’s first elementary school and high school. We provided clean water and sanitation to all of the facilities. We also started a microcredit project to help local women sell their gorgeous homemade baskets.

In all of the above-referenced projects, the local government promised to staff and maintain all of the facilities.

These projects provided service in six of Rotary International’s areas of focus. Beyene showed us the power of one individual’s passion and commitment! With Rotary’s partnership we have forever changed the quality of life in his beloved village.