Rotaractor recycles gloves to benefit the hungry
Rotaractors in Uganda show of their workgloves during a service project. Photo courtesy of Alexis Tugume.
A Ugandan Rotarian salvaged several dozen pairs of sturdy work gloves from a 2010 Rotaract project and is using them to raise money for starving children in his home country.
The gloves were issued to Rotaractors in June as they took part in a neighborhood cleanup project during the Rotaract Preconvention Meeting in Montreal.
Alexis Tugume with the gloves he collected in Montreal. Photo courtesy of Alexis Tugume.
More than 50 Rotaractors helped clean up Parc Jeanne-Mance, just blocks from the hotel where they were staying. As the volunteers prepared to dispose of their workgloves, an idea struck Alexis Tugume, who was then a member of the Rotaract Club of Kampala Ssese Islands.
"I gathered up all the dirty gloves we were using for the cleanup exercise and brought them to Uganda," says Tugume, now a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala-Ssese Islands. "The idea was to find a way to use those gloves to fundraise here in Uganda and feed a couple of hungry children."
Other Rotaractors who took part in the park project wrote a letter to help Tugume get the gloves through customs on his trip home. After washing the gloves, he rented them out for 50 cents a pair to volunteers constructing classrooms for a school in the Ssese Islands.
The initiative raised US$20, enough to feed a Ugandan child for about one month. Tugume's Rotaract club used the funds to help a local child suffering from severe malnutrition.
Tugume plans another glove rental in March, when Rotaractors from his former club are slated to start building a student dormitory. His aim is to continue renting the gloves for as long as they last.
Tugume's ingenuity impressed other participants in the Montreal park cleanup.
"Our almost-waste has become the source of several projects in Uganda," says Andrea Tirone, a Rotaractor from Toronto and a former Ambassadorial Scholar. "It just goes to show you the power of Rotary and the interconnectedness between us. Great things come about as a result of like-minded youth coming together in service."
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