The mission of H20penDoors, as a project of the Rotary Clubs of Redwood City, is to tap into the power of Rotary International. After all, what organization better exemplifies "think global, act local"? For well over 100 years, Rotary has taken on big global challenges while continuing to champion causes in each club's local community. 1.2 million members strong, Rotary has helped to eradicate polio off the face of the earth, and now a commitment is brewing to ensure that every human being has access to clean, safe water.
So, H20penDoors has a mantra: water, education, peace. Each year we place self-contained, solar-powered water purification units in villages in developing countries, providing safe water from any source. At the same time, the surplus water that these units can produce will be the basis for a new "water economy'', allowing a council of women in these villages to operate a social business.
|Jon Kaufman, coordinator
of the H2OpenDoors project
with our Rotary partners
in Thailand, May 2012
Our local efforts with a particular continuation high school in Redwood City, California will be enhanced by the integration of our global initiative. Students who haven't been successful in school, but have a strong desire to graduate and move on to vocational school or college, study the project in their Fall semester. They will also work towards preparing an impact study of the proposed effects on the village population once the water purification is in place, bench marking the villages health challenges and the improvements going forward. In 2013, we brought two students from Redwood High to our installations in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. In September of 2014, we brought the 10 students from Redwood High and Woodside High, along with 2 teachers to Central Mexico to install a system in the poorest district of Cd. Guzman. Hosted by the Mayor and his wife, we also spent three days at Centro Fox at a private leadership academy with former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his staff. Then, in July of 2015, we returned to Mexico with 12 more students and teachers to establish a water bottling business that will support a center for disabled children in San Miguel de Allende, a charitable operation run by the Fox family's Vamos Mexico Foundation.
In between it all, we've been to the Phippines, Haiti, Guatemala, Nepal. Sometimes we bring students, sometimes it is too dangerous to do so. But an H2OpenDoors expedition always has an eye on serving the less fortunate while providing the opportunity for them to get a leg up.
Water. Education. Peace. When you inspire our youth to rise from their own poverty and hopelessness by helping their peers on the other side of the globe, something magical starts to happen. We all start looking over the horizon... and we all are filled with a new sense of hope.