Victor-Farmington Rotarian Lynn Freshman recently presented a follow-up program to her previous presentation on her involvement with polio eradication efforts in India.
Her last talk concentrated on a Rotary project to immunize children in the small Muslim community of Chahalka in the Mewat District of Haryana State, India. Her most recent presentation involved a work project in Chahalka where the international team of Rotarians spent a week remodeling two buildings that were converted into a community learning center and a day care center.
Freshman used a slide program to provide a visual representation of the team’s work in a community that had few local resources to accomplish such a project. The team also made improvements to the community well, which serves as the main water source. Utilizing bricks left over from the remodeling project, the team built steps around the well to better residents’ access.
Freshman said local residents were friendly in their interactions with the team. She also discussed her experience of spending a week with people from a society and culture that was different from her own. One impression that remains with her was the cheerful and happy countenance of “so many people who had so little.”
“You don’t need money to be rich,” Freshman said.
Women from the village expressed their gratitude by presenting each woman on the team with a scarf they produced from local textiles.
Freshman hopes the team’s efforts provide a better future for the community through opportunities for residents to increase their educational opportunities and skill levels to adapt to the modern job market, better access to clean water, and protection from polio.
Joaquin Ellena, the club’s current exchange student from Argentina, briefly spoke about his first month in the Victor-Farmington community. Ellena attends Victor Senior High School, where he plays on the soccer team. He recently visited Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Toronto with his host family, and attended an orientation weekend hosted by Avon Rotary Club for local exchange students.
“It’s great to be here,” Ellena said.