Jon Rossman
Paul Harris Fellow +2
Testimonial of Club President, James Hohman /Service Impact
Jon traveled to Africa for a month 4 times a year of his own accord, did the community assessment, ordered all materials, acted as project manager and kept track of all the finances for the grant. Doing a grant in Africa from Massachusetts would not have been possible without Jon. The RC of Gbarnga was 1 year oldwhen we began, they had no resources and Ebola was spreading rampantly in Liberia. Jon worked collaboratively with them and us.
He also made numerous contacts in the community of Deanville, where the project took place. When we needed someone in charge of maintaining the wells for the community, Jon was able to find that person because he had embedded himself in their culture and worked well with the Liberians. This was true on all levels of the grant. Jon traveled to Africa at his own expense 4 times a year for a month each, away from his family, to manage the construction.
• Reached out to the people of Gbarnga to facilitate grant fulfillment. Used local residents to work jobs that brought income back into the community.
• Facilitated 500 students and teachers to have basic literacy and education by leading the construction of the school, drilling of wells, and installing 8
flush toilets at the school.
• Worked collaboratively with the RC of Gbarnga to facilitate hand washing lessons, well maintenance, and financial management of the project. Banking
in Liberia can take all day to open an account (if you are lucky).
• Jon contracted malaria and pneumonia while in Gbarnga and continued to work through his illness to keep things on schedule.
• Reached out to the community to register their children for school. 80% of the population of Liberia live below the poverty level. It is most prominent in areas outside the capital of Monrovia. Deanville, Gbarnga is 120 miles west of Monrovia. People there cannot afford to send their children to the public schools. If they have enough money they will send the oldest child for a year, the next year the next oldest, etc. It is not unusual to have a 12 year old in grade 2 if the family has many children. He realizes that the country will never progress unless the children are educated. Jon has toured the United States to raise funds to sponsor the children in school.