Posted by Jennifer Bennerotte
The Edina Rotary Foundation recently awarded $4,500 for three international service projects. They included grants to Protect Me Project, Open Arms Home for Children "Suds of Hope" program and Nibakure Community Village. 
A $2,000 grant was awarded to the Protect Me Project, a non-profit at work in six countries of Latin America to prevent commercial sexual exploitation. The money will be used for printed materials to introduce the organization in new countries and train and mobilize volunteers.
The Foundation gave another $500 for the Open Arms Home for Children’s “Suds of Hope” program in Komga, South Africa. On a family trip to South Africa, Rotarian Bob Solis from the Rotary Club of Sun City, Arizona, saw the devastation caused to families by the AIDS pandemic. He and his wife took their life savings to buy a 70-acre farm there on which Open Arms now sits and is home to 57 children. Open Arms has outgrown the two washing machines and one dryer to serve everyone there. “Suds of Hope” will provide funds for a new laundry building on the campus. Earlier this year, the Foundation provided $1,000 for the project.

A $2,000 grant was approved for Nibakure Community Village, a Minnesota non-profit organization started as an orphanage in Nyamata in Rwanda. Due to government policy changes in phasing out orphanages through the country, Nibakure Community Village’s three homes that had housed orphans have been turned into classrooms to continue serving youth and illiterate adults in Kanzai, Nyamata, Bugesera District, Rwanda. The Rotary Club of Minnetonka is leading a project to replace two large greenhouses, repair or upgrade the school bus and build a sun shelter on the playground on the properties.

Money for grants awarded by the Edina Rotary Foundation is raised at an annual fall fundraiser and gala and donations made throughout the year.