Past President John Manks first visited Sabu when he and his wife Sue were on a Lesser Sunda Island cruise in 2002, aboard the motor vessel Ombak Putih. They saw how the Sabunese people struggled, living on a very remote island with a very dry climate (no rain for 6 months of the year).
They felt at the time that there was a dire need for help in the supply of clean water, a major problem in most of the villages on the island.
After John joined the Rotary Club of Beaumaris in 2005, he returned to Sabu and met up with Pastor Franz Lackner, an amazing man who has lived on the island for about 30 years, doing so much to help the Sabunese. When asked how Rotary could help, he very quickly responded “water wells”. As a result, RCOB’s first project on Sabu was to provide moulds used in making concrete rings for wells, which Franz was providing to local villages to use in the wells they were digging. The rings prevent cave-ins in unstable ground.
So our work in Sabu had begun.
Following on from this project, RCOB applied for a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation to build water wells on Sabu. With the support of other clubs, our District 9810 and District 3400 in Indonesia and the matching grant, we had a project with funds totalling $27,765 to build 15 water wells.
This has been a very successful project with nearly 30 wells built to date, plus hopefully many more into the future, with an ongoing provision of funds for at least the next few years.
Other projects that we have initiated at Sabu are:
• Student hostels, both in Kupang and Seba
• Mosquito nets
• Assistance in supporting Sabunese students
John very much appreciates the support and enthusiasm given to the Sabu projects by all our members, as well as the support provided by other Rotary clubs and friends of Rotary.
It is an example of how Rotary works where one person’s vision can be taken on board by the Club.
Our most urgent current priority is the funding of students at the hostels on Sabu and West Timor. Further details on this need and how you can assist are contained in the brochure shown below.
The following video shows more of this work.