Water – Essence of Life [08/02/2009]


  • Lin Mattison, Executive Director, Associate Director, International Action
  • May Gwinn, World Community Service, Rotary Club of Washington, D.C.
  • Youngmin Chang, Associate Director, International Action

Segment 1

Lin Mattison, Executive Director, Associate Director, International Action
Lin Mattison, Executive Director, Associate Director, International Action
Segment 2

May Gwinn, World Community Service, Rotary Club of Washington, D.C.
May Gwinn, World Community Service, Rotary Club of Washington, D.C.
Segment 3

Youngmin Chang, Associate Director, International Action
Youngmin Chang, Associate Director, International Action
Segment 4

Panel Discussion among May Gwinn, Youngmin Chang, and Lin Mattison with Dr. Sam Hancock, Director and Host, The EmeraldPlanetTV
Panel Discussion among May Gwinn, Youngmin Chang, and Lin Mattison with Dr. Sam Hancock, Director and Host, The EmeraldPlanetTV

Program Summary:

The EmeraldPlanet weekly television programs are broadcast and distributed via Channel 10 TV in Fairfax, Virginia USA.  The programs are being simulcast to 2095 stations around the United States and then overseas by the Internet and C-SPAN television.   The EmeraldPlanet programs are currently available in all countries and 214 territories around the world. The Emerald Trek and companion The Emerald Mini-Treks are identifying the 1,000 “best practices” on location from the 143 nations, 750 cities, and 50,000 communities by Internet TV, local television stations, main stream media outlets, YouTube, Facebook, The EmeraldPlanet Meetup, Twitter, among other social media networks, and all manner of print media.

The EmeraldPlanet TV is broadcasting weekly a number of the “best practices which are identified through collaboration with:  major non-governmental organizations (NGOs); United Nations, universities and colleges; research institutes; government ministries and agencies; Embassies; banking and micro-lending organizations; Chambers of Commerce; World Trade Centers, international bodies such as The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Inter-American Development Bank, African Development Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), citizens groups; multimedia organizations; among others by utilizing the most advanced broadcasting hardware and software along with an outstanding television Production Crew to reach an ever expanding global audience.  The Emerald Trek is focused upon linking principals identified among the 1,000 ‘best practices’ in the 144 nations being visited through this world-wide movement. The Emerald Trek is encompassing over 300,000 miles, visiting 750 major cities, and 50,000 suburban and rural communities in the identified nations.

This program features:

  • Segment 1: Lin Mattison, Executive Director, Associate Director, International Action
  • Segment 2: May Gwinn, World Community Service, Rotary Club of Washington, D.C
  • Segment 3: Youngmin Chang, Associate Director, International Action
  • Segment 4: Panel Discussion among  May Gwinn, Youngmin Chang, and Lin Mattison with Dr. Sam Hancock, Director and Host, The EmeraldPlanetTV

Rotary Club of Washington D.C. & Rotary Club of Washington D.C. Foundation

The Rotary Club of Washington, DC is a volunteer service organization for professional men and women. It conducts projects both locally and globally. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

The Rotary Club of Washington, DC was founded as the 46th club of Rotary International. The club conducts a lunch each week with a keynote speaker. Our speakers have included Supreme Court Justices, high-ranking military officials, former Cabinet Secretaries, ambassadors and more.

All Rotary Clubs operate under the same four ideas called The Four-Way Test.

Of the things we think, say or do:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The Rotary Foundation of Washington was established over 8 decades ago as an incorporated, not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is to engage in works of charity with a principal focus on the District of Columbia. The Foundation collects, holds and administers funds to carry out this function. The Foundation is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is governed and managed by a separate, unpaid Board of Directors elected by the Rotary Club of Washington DC from among its members.

The Foundation consists of two funds totaling over $6.5 million — the Permanent Charitable Fund and the Jelleff Charitable Fund. Both funds grew from generous bequests by members and former members, particularly Frank Jelleff and Spencer Brenizer.

Grants from the Jelleff Fund were designated by its donor, the late Frank Jelleff, to be used only for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. The Fund annually distributes 4.5% of the three-year average of the market value of its principal.  The average annual grant is approximately $80,000. Distributions from the Permanent Charitable Fund are for all works of charity. Local grants may vary from $1,000 to $5,000. Each year about 50 local charities receive grants from the Permanent Fund.

The Club’s Community Service Grants Committee and Board reviews applications for funding requests and makes recommendations for approval to the Foundation’s Board, which has final authority for approval.  Money is awarded to projects that have the greatest need for small capital items or ‘seed’ money for special services that benefit the most people in the city.

Permanent Fund dollars are also used for planting trees around the Tidal Basin in honor of Club speakers and other worthy individuals; conducting an annual career fair for DC high school students; mentoring high school students with Rotarians who share their vocational and professional interests; sponsoring high school students to participate in the Rotary District 7620 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program; and other worthy projects approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The Permanent Fund also provides money for international projects, usually matched with money from Rotary International and from other Rotary Clubs around the world. Rotary funds helped pay for reconstructive surgery on children in Honduras, artificial limbs for amputees in Kenya; dialysis machines in Algeria; and medical equipment and training materials for community health projects in Mexico. There are many more such humanitarian examples.

The principal in the Permanent Fund is augmented by annual contributions from members plus bequests, pledges, appreciated securities and life insurance policies from members and non-members. The Club has an annual fund drive, and each Rotarian is asked to make a contribution of an amount of his or her own choosing. Contributions are tax deductible.

International Action & Haiti Water

International Action is helping create a healthy Haiti. The organization is working toward a future in which every Haitian child is healthy, attends school, and grows up to lead a fulfilling life. This vision begins with clean water.

International Action’s mission is to empower the people of Haiti by bringing clean water to communities and community organizations in need. The organization believes that simple, sustainable clean water solutions are key to creating a more educated, healthy, and productive Haiti. It is accomplished by providing water tanks, installing and maintaining chlorinators, delivering water, educating and training local communities, and distributing de-worming pills.

International Action is a community-led and community-based organization. The organization believes that the best, most effective programs include the communities they serve. The organization willingly works with partners of all kinds – from large NGOs like the International Committee of the Red Cross to individual schools in the poorest slums of Haiti. Our projects are designed with sustainability and ease-of-use in mind. And they’re expanding every day.

The organization has worked hard to establish their presence in the Haitian communities we serve. The team in Haiti makes water deliveries, installs equipment, handles repairs and maintenance, and provides training five days a week. They’re also available for 24-hour emergency relief and respond to customer service requests – the first such service in many Haitian’s lives.

The local water boards established at each water sites take “ownership” of the projects serving their communities – from chlorine testing to de-worming pill distribution – and train alongside teachers and school directors to learn the value of clean water, how to safely retrieve water, simple chlorinator maintenance, and even best hand-washing practices. These leaders educate others (students, neighbors, family) who pass the knowledge on. This train-the-trainer model encourages the communities to use their water systems as a rallying point and feel connected to and responsible for their care. This is the foundation for a self-sustainable water system and community.

For the organization, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. The best help is the kind that provides long-term solutions. The water projects in Haiti are designed with ease-of-use and cost-effectiveness in mind. The organization treats the problems affecting whole communities, not individuals or small households, and don’t install expensive, complex systems that have dependencies like electricity – which can be hard to come by in Haiti.

The energy-free tablet chlorinators have been proven effective by both scientific studies and personal testimonies and cost less than $300 to manufacture and ship. The chlorine tablets and granular chlorine provided are safe and stable, even in harsh conditions, and can disinfect up to 25,000 gallons of water for days. The albendazole pills delivered eliminate and prevent intestinal worms with only a few treatments per year for only 1¢ per pill. Additionally, many of the communities charge a small fee (6¢) for water collection and use the profits to buy water, chlorine, educational materials, or medical supplies – providing a truly self-sustaining water system in their neighborhoods.

The most important thing is to create a healthy Haiti. Cooperation with other groups in Haiti is essential, and the different organizations collaborate to achieve that goal. The organization gladly provide training and materials to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other groups serving communities throughout the nation – particularly those in areas that can’t currently be reached. The organization partner with local churches, schools and orphanages, DINEPA (the Haitian water agency), and with NGOs like the International Committee of the Red Cross, the American Institutes for Research, Oxfam, and many others. It is essential to actively seek opportunities to add to the list of partners.

As you may know EmeraldPlanet is a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to identifying at least 1,000 ‘best practices’ for sustainable environmental and economic development. Our efforts are to link those having such “best practices” with those needing the technologies, processes, services, and products to be outstanding ecological stewards of their resources. Please support The Emerald Planet Television and The Emerald Trek through your generous donations of US$25, US$50, or US$100. Click the donations button to make your contributions now

Tune in and learn from our outstanding guests and Dr. Sam Hancock, Director and Host of The EmeraldPlanet television productions at 6:30 – 7:30 P.M. (Eastern); 5:30 – 6:30 P.M. (Central); 4:30 – 5:30 P.M. (Western); and 3:30 – 4:30 P.M. (Pacific) time zones.