2023 Project: The call for help came from one of our Frontrunners in Malawi. The need was for a motor boat to act as a water ambulance to get pregant women to the mainland for C-section births before either mother or the baby died due to the long lake crossing in manually rowed boats. The solution involved a team of Frontrunners and a global organization that partnered to get the job done.
Call it corporate responsibility, if you want, but we just call it impact, and it makes us smile. We’d like to share this project completed in early 2023 that crossed 3 continents and took 4 Rotary Clubs to accomplish as an Rotary International project. It involved the Yorghas Foundation based in Poland with their Ambassador on location in Malawi, the founder of a US-based company (Climate Prosperity Enterprise Solutions) who happened to be a very involved Rotarian, a diplomat in Malawi, and us. We at Frontrunners Development assumed the role of connector to get the project in the hands of the right leader and set up the group, but, the heavy-lifting credit belongs to the rest of the team. Soon, a motorboat was ready to be launched and the water ambulance the island dreamed of became reality, taking the nearly 45-60 minute trip in often dangerous circumstances down to about a 15 minute ride to the mainland, much closer to the hospital and needed healthcare.
And, the work didn’t stop there. Alina Pelka, Founder and CEO of the Yorghas Foundation, raised money and bought safety equipment for the boat (see her list below), and when a flood came along not long after the boat was functional, our US-based partner in collaboration with our diplomat partner in Malawi, started an effort to help the people in the Chisi island area. We are all bonded now and will continue to work together for the greater good.
Yorghas Foundation raised funds that provided the following for the Chisi Island Water Ambulance Project: (In Alina Pelka’s own words…)
“We managed to raise over 1000 USD in total from all activities to equip the boat with:
1. 7 life jackets (incl. 2 kids-size)
2. Foldable strecher
4. First Aid Kit
5. Marine torch
6. Marine whistle
Handover of the goods took place at the Lake Chilwa on 12th June, 2023. Now our Water Ambulance is fully equipped to serve patients from Chisi Island and the staff is no longer afraid of sailing in darkness.”
Special thanks to the following Frontrunners:
(Click their names to see how they’ve been featured in Frontrunners Innovate)
and the Rotary Clubs in Bow, New Hampshire as well as the Rotaract Club in the Zomba region of Malawi.
President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.
Global Business Developer for Frontrunner Partnerships (UN SDG #17)