Teacher, students speak to Lebanon Noon Rotary Club about work in other countries

Jacob Smith • Nov 7, 2017 at 4:50 PM

Greg Armstrong, a life science teacher at Friendship Christian School and the founder of Run4Water, spoke to the Lebanon Noon Rotary Club on Tuesday about the work his organization does in other countries.

Run4Water is a nonprofit organization with the goal to raise awareness and provide solutions for the worldwide water crisis.

Armstrong, as the founder of the organization, takes groups to different countries where they work on service projects to help restore water within the communities.

Two of Armstrong’s students, Caleb Ross and Marti Taylor, participated in his organization’s project and spoke, as well, about their experience as volunteers.

Ross spoke about his experience digging wells in Nicaragua. He designed a new part for the well that made it much cheaper to build.

“This plunger is what I ended up designing during missions class,” said Ross. “This goes inside, which dropped the cost down for the well majorly. It brought it down from $60 to $15-$20.

Ross also participated in a trip to Africa where, rather than build new wells, they fixed broken wells that were already there.

“There are thousands and thousands of broken wells in Kenya, in Uganda,” said Armstrong. “You walk into a village, and you ask them, ‘do you have a broken well?’ There are two different kinds of wells, but generally the process of repairing them is pretty much the same.”

Taylor spoke to the club about a project she and a friend invented called 84 Days. The mission of the project is to provide women with proper hygiene products and education. The 84 Days program provides hygiene products, teaches self-defense and health and sanitation when applicable. It also strives to provide micro business opportunities for women.

“I guess it was last fall that my friend, Madison, came back from Africa and she informed us that these ladies have no source of feminine hygiene,” said Taylor. “They were using whatever they could find. In some cases it was cow dung or leaves from banana trees.”

Taylor and her friend created 84 Days as a result of the information. The name comes from the average amount of days a woman spends on her menstrual cycle in a year.

“These 84 days, they can’t leave the house; they can’t go to school,” said Taylor. “In Africa especially, they run society. They’re fetching water; they’re raising kids; and they’re making meals.”

The group put together a kit full of hygiene products for women and, in connection with the Run4Water program, goes to Africa and Nicaragua and teaches the local women about the kits.

“We try to do two days of kind of a program where we talk about the kit and then we come back, and they show us how they use it,” said Taylor. “Then we just talk about the body and why this is happening, and we get to talk a little bit about women’s health and just share life with them.”

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