John Gallant and the Peru Projects
Why Peru? Possibly for two reasons, John’s father was a U.S. military attaché there during 1954 – 1958 and John lived there. But also, it seems apparent that Sandra Lilo, DDS, who leads the ROTOCLEFT mission to Peru each year, has not only inspired John but has also encouraged him to find his own way to contribute to helping this poor country.
There is an orphanage north of Callao that is home to about 830 children called La Comunidad De Ninos Sagrada Famila. The orphanage provides a secure home to children that may otherwise be living in homes made from abandoned packing crates and abandoned construction materials in what appears to be a landfill. But there was no drinkable water available for the children at the orphanage. A few years ago, John built a cistern, an all-concrete structure consisting of a rectangular tank supported on a base and four legs and was built on the site.
The Medical Outpost
There is a need for a clinic/hospital to provide medical services to the orphanage and the surrounding population of about 200 thousand people. An architect is working on plans for a two-story structure. John estimates that it will cost $120 thousand for the structure. Rotary International will help fund interior furnishing and equipment but cannot fund the actual structure.
Inspired and motivated by our past accomplishments in Peru with the children’s orphanage and ROTOCLEFT, Belleair Rotary Club launched another service project in Peru in 2012 under the leadership of Ana Maria Schweitzer, a native of Peru and that year’s Belleair Rotary Club President.
After careful consideration and research the Belleair Rotary chose to build a full-service bakery in Lima. The bakery service project was chosen in order to provide the local residents, especially the women, with marketable vocational skills that would provide these bakery workers sustainable and gainful employment. The San Francisco Bakery in Villa Maria del Triunfo was established in March 2013 with a formal ceremony on March 11, 2013. Our president, Ana Maria Schweitzer was present in Lima for the dedication.
Since that time, the San Francisco Bakery has accomplished two goals- 1)The facility provides a vocational training center and teaches a trade to the individuals served. It also benefits the community by providing education and employment to a great number of individuals. Product sales supply the funding for the maintenance and operation of the facility as well as offer the necessary job training skills for present and future employment. 2)The San Francisco Bakery offers basic nutrition and food for the local populace in need; single mothers, elderly and orphans.
Presently, the San Francisco Bakery is a thriving enterprise that is self-sustaining and operated by the local residents. Another similar bakery has opened in the area and replicates our original bakery. The federal government of Peru has recognized the success of this project and has begun to support the local efforts.
As one might imagine, this was a major undertaking and an overwhelming success as a Rotary service project.
How Can You Support the Peru Projects?
Rotarian John Gallant is blessed in that he can see a need and envision a solution – not all of us have that ability. You can help by supporting our club’s fundraisers. These fundraisers, in turn, provide money for our service projects. You can support our fundraisers by being a cheerleader, by helping to organize and plan the events, by soliciting sponsorships and donations, by selling tickets, by attending and bringing your friends, or by making a donation. Your participation will make a difference.