Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rotarians Create TRF DAF Save Swaziland’s Children Fund

Rotarians Work to Save Swaziland’s Children - The Rotary Foundation Donor Advised Fund Quarterly Highlights

Rotarians Cheri McDaniel (Rotary Club of Baton Rouge—Capital City) and Daran Rehmeyer (Rotary Club of Mbabane, Swaziland) have created the Rotary Heart of America – Save Swaziland’s Children Fund, a Donor Advised Fund, to help build a school, clinic and community center to serve children and families devastated by the AIDS epidemic in the remote villages of Maphiveni and Vuvulane, Swaziland.
Daran and his wife Teresa packaged up their home and sold their business in 2005 and moved with their young children to Swaziland.

Teresa and Daran Rehmeyer

Teresa and Daran Rehmeyer

Teresa recalls, after a two week visit, “God broke my heart for Swaziland.” Swaziland suffers from the world’s highest HIV/ AIDS rate and the lowest life expectancy, 32 years. The children bear the burden of having lost parents, aunts and uncles, often leaving the oldest child in the family as the head of the household. Too many children also struggle to survive with HIV/AIDS. Untreated, only 15% of these children will live to age 10.
The Rehmeyers, an engineer and a nurse, created a program to transport HIV/AIDS patients to a medical center to get life-saving medications, a necessary measure, but not a long-term sustainable solution.
To create that solution, the Rehmeyers have identified an unused four acre property with 30,000 square feet of buildings. It will be redeveloped to serve as a medical clinic, vocational school and commercial center. The plans include storefronts that will be leased to local entrepreneurs, improving the economic base of the villages. The rents will also help underwrite the cost of running the health and education center. In addition to providing medical care, the center will teach local leaders and workers about disease prevention and nutrition, and provide adult literacy and job skills training. Beyond the clinic and community center, future plans include, as funds become available, a much needed primary school for the children in this area.
In collaboration with the Kudvumisa Foundation, a Swazi/U.S. non-profit, the Rotary Heart of America—Save Swaziland’s Children Fund seeks to raise $400,000 for this project. Having lived and worked in this community for nearly four years, the Rehmeyers know how this health and education training center will change the lives of children and families, bringing hope where it is needed most.

Additional information about the Rehmeyers work and the project can be found at www.KudvumisaFoundation.org. U.S. tax-deductible contributions to the Save Swaziland’s Children Donor Advised Fund can be made at http://kudvumisafoundation.org/RDAF/HowToContribute.asp
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