After traveling to Cambodia for an international service trip, this year is geared towards serving the local community. The Rossland Interact Club has been focusing on local service, however, because of our continued ties to Roatan, Honduras, a place our club has volunteered multiple times in the past, we could not resist contributing to an area outside of the Kootenays. And so, when given the opportunity to support a community that is so desperately in need, we decided to do just that.
In November of 2010, Chris Charmont and his 10 year-old son, John, tragically lost their lives in an explosion at a hotel during their family vacation in Mexico. The young boy from Drumheller had been passionate about supporting the Morgan Jayne Project, a non-profit organization devoted to fighting the AIDS epidemic in Roatan, Honduras where the HIV/AIDS rate is the highest in Central America. When John passed away, his mother established “Johnny’s Fund” which was an ongoing commitment to the Project. Soon after came “Johnny’s Place”, a playground, and then “Johnny’s Library,” which assists children in having access to education. Now, they are taking another step — Charmont Bilingual Academy, a K-9 school that opened this month for 40-60 kids that would not have the opportunity otherwise. This school will house Johnny’s Library, and high-quality educators will be teaching the students both English and Spanish, which, according to Johnny’s mother Terra, will help them “obtain better paying jobs in their own tourist industry [and give] students a chance to move on to higher education by qualifying for sponsorships and scholarships.” Both a breakfast program and a soup lunch program will be offered to the children, and by offering the chance for literacy and education where children have seldom seen a book, the future of many lives will be drastically changed through the opening of this school.
As one can easily imagine, an immense number of materials are necessary to start the academy, and by setting up an Amazon wish list, they were able to gather the help of many. This cost-effective method allows people to buy the item online, where the item is then shipped without cost to Florida where a company takes it to the island for free. It was through this that Interact was able to choose and then buy items that would go directly to their cause. We were able to donate four Google android tablets, two packages of peanut butter, one package of blueberry muffin mix, and three lentil soup mixes, all for a grand total of $304. The tablets will connect the students to the outside world; the peanut butter and muffin mix will be used for the breakfast program, and the soup for the lunch program. There are still many items that they need, ranging from various kinds of stationery to different types of food. If you wish to support them as well, take a look at their wish list by going to Amazon, clicking on “Wish List” in the top right corner, and searching “Charmont Bilingual Academy.” There you will find a list of items that you can donate to support their cause.
Rossland Interact is excited that the future of many children will be changed for the better and that we are able to make a difference in a place outside of our own comfortable homes.
Rossland Interact Club is a group dedicated to serving both the local community and international ones. Our motto is “Strengthening Communities through Service”. We are always open to new members, so feel free to drop by one of our meetings on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 6:45 p.m. at the Rossland Public Library.