CLAYTON — Ariel Miller recently spoke with the Northmont Rotary about the benefits of combined efforts to bring about a larger impact.
Miller and her husband Huxley Miller, M.D. (Internal Medicine physician) help lead Caring Response Madagascar Foundation. One of the greatest challenges in the rural areas of Madagascar is sanitation. Many villages lack sanitary latrines, potable water, water filters, and basic hygiene education. As a result, waterborne diseases account for more than 10 percent of the nation’s yearly death toll, and diarrheal illnesses are a major cause of death for children under five.
The Model Healthy Village is a program designed to decrease illness by providing people with an understanding of safe hygiene practices, the tools to implement them, and the ability to maintain them. There are three components involved in the process of becoming a Model Healthy Village. They include: a sanitary latrine for each family in the village, hygiene education for the village, and a potable water filter for each home.
The cost to provide the latrines and water filters can be beyond the ability of smaller organizations to fund. However, by joining with other, like-minded service organization and foundations, such projects can be jointly funded. For example, the Northmont Rotary Club partnered with other interested Rotary Clubs in the district to harness the financial resources of multiple clubs, thereby establishing the necessary base funds to cover such projects as latrines and water filters.