New milk parlor
New Milk Parlor
The Oberlin Rotary Club was one of several partners in the construction of a new milking parlor at the Precious Life Foundation near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The Foundation operates a program home for teenage girls who are pregnant or who have given birth. Many of the women face the double challenge of young motherhood and social ostracism. The parlor project was intended to provide the residents of the Precious Life Foundation with the means to produce dairy products for their own diets and for selling.
Women of the Precious Life Foundation
Oberlin Rotarian Mary Aufdenkampe already had a strong connection with the Foundation through Jack Hopkins of the Geneva Rotary Club, who had all worked together to install a new water well at the Foundation just a few years ago. Mary met with Rotarians from Africa at the Rotary International Conference in Atlanta and they set on this new project to continue improvements at the Foundation. 
Old Milk Parlor
Milk from the new parlor will provide nutrition for the young mothers and their children and operating the parlor provides them with professional skills. The new sanitary standards of the parlor also allow the Foundation to begin commercial production and set more women on the path to self-sustainability. Jack Hopkins coordinated the purchase of materials and initial construction from abroad and then traveled to Zimbabwe in the spring of 2018 to assist with the final construction. When he went, he also brought over 200 pillowcase dresses for local girls and coordinated the purchase and planting of fruit trees for the Foundation's orchard. The dresses were made by Rotarians and volunteers of the Methodist Church.
Jack Hopkins Buying Fruit Trees for the Precious Life Foundation
The Oberlin Rotary Club led the project with a pledge of $4000, which was then matched by Rotary District 6600 through a grant. The remainder of the project costs were supported by Geneva Rotary Club, Geneva United Methodist Church and other churches, and individual donors.  
This was a wonderful collaborative project that addressed several areas of Rotary International's Areas of Service, including Maternal and Child Health and Economic and Community Development.