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Club Meeting - Roll A Hippo

We began our meeting with our own Rev. Dave Stechholz providing a heartwarming message for President Tammy Bonifield and her family on the transition of her husband Brad, a great man, and a true friend of Rotary. He is loved, and he will be missed.

K.I.S.S. and the Roll A Hippo

Often, we overcomplicate things to the point where we give up trying to solve our problems because we think they are too dang complicated. Other times, when we employ the K.I.S.S. method of problem-solving (keep it simple stupid) the answers to our problems are right in front of our noses.

In many parts of the world, people live in rural villages and are many miles from the sources of freshwater creeks, rivers, or lakes. Without sources of animal or mechanical transportation, they are often left to carry the water in containers they place on their heads. This makes for many trips from the water source to their villages.

To increase the amount of water that can be transported, enter the Roll A Hippo. A device made from plastic that can roll up to 24 gallons of water, as opposed to the usual maximum of 5 gallons of water on their heads. They just fill the rolling hippo and push it back to their destination, which is often miles from their water source. This drastically reduces the number of trips needed to provide water and does not strain the neck and back muscles of the women who do the heavy water transporting.

Our speaker on the subject was Luke Vorstermans, founder of the Roll A Hippo Foundation, and a member of the Rotary Club of Gibsons, British Columbia. Luke spoke about his club’s work providing Roll A Hippos to people in rural areas of South Africa. The Gibsons Rotary Club solicits funding for the Roll A Hippos and partners with the Hillcrest Durban South Africa Rotary Club. The Hillcrest Durban club purchases and distributes the Hippos locally for approximately $150 per unit. They also throw in some seeds and hand-held farming equipment. Pretty simple solution to a pain in the neck (literally) problem.

Below is a link to the material that Luke used during his presentation. Creating awareness is a big part of Luke's challenge!

Mike Ladwig


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Rotary Club of Livonia AM

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Livonia, MI 48154

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