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Island Rotary exchange student demonstrates the ‘power of youth’
Mercer Island Rotary Club secured a Regional Rotary World Community Service grant to help Creche Dona Maria de Lourdes Almeida Junqueira (Creche Junqueira) in Brazil. The grant was spearheaded by 2012-2013 Mercer Island Rotary Club exchange student, Nilton Santos Biazi Junior from Brazil.
“I am very proud to be an ambassador and advocate of my country and my culture”, said Junior. Island Rotarians learned about the Creche project from Junior, and would like to extend help to improve the lives of families at Martinopolos, Brazil.
Creche Junqueira is a day care center, which serves low-income families in Martinopolos, Brazil, a small city of about 24,000 in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The center is the only day care service of its kind in Martinopolis. It meets the pre-school needs of 165 children ages 6 months to 6 years. The Nursery (crèche) provides care, meals, health services and education to all children regardless of their ethnicity, learning abilities and family income or lack of. In recent years Creche Junqueira has had to turn away many needy children for lack of space and equipment. At present there are over 150 children on its waiting list.
Through a competitive selection process, the Creche Junqueira proposal was selected by Rotary District 5030. Mercer Island Rotary Club granted $3,700 to this project. Partner Clubs, Bellevue Club and International Club in Seattle also contributed $1,000 and $500 respectively. District 5030 matched the contributions for a total of $12,000 granted to Creche Junqueira.
To ensure the project is successful, Creche Junqueira will be frequently visited by Junior Biazi, who plans to continue volunteering at the Creche. Junior’s father, a dentist, provides free dental care to the Creche children yearly.