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Rotary helps Semilla Nueva reach the next level

One thing most people don’t know about Semilla Nueva is how much Rotary International has supported our work. Rotary is an amazing organization, with clubs in virtually every country in the world which bring together professionals to network and serve their communities. Rotarians have been advisers to Semilla Nueva since our founding. They’ve helped us with small grants or fundraisers at critical times, and now, they are working on a grant to help bring our programs to 5 new communities–nearly doubling our organization’s impact.

Together with Rotarians in four states and two countries, we’ve worked for over a year on building this grant, and this weekend we have made our most important steps yet. Thanks to Kathleen Simco, Idaho’s Rotary district governor, I had the chance to present our work at the Idaho district conference. We shared our work in the fields, stories of new crops to help conquer malnutrition, and some of the motivational educational performances of our lead agronomist, Trinidad Recinos.
While explaining how close we were to meeting the goals of our new project, something amazing happened. Boise Southwest Rotary pledged the last funds we needed for funding from Rotary clubs, and the Idaho Rotary district matched this contribution with $10,000 of their own support. With these last pledges we have the finances needed to make our project a reality–affecting nearly 5,000 rural Guatemalans! It was a very emotional experience for me to watch all of our hard work being recognized by an organization as prestigious as Rotary, and to watch so many people coming behind it. From everyone at Semilla Nueva–Thank you so much!

Banner Swap with President Doug Pill
from Boise Centennial Rotary

The conference, along with our presentations to clubs in the last few weeks, has again opened my eyes to how wonderful Rotary is. One hour a week, a group of individuals come together to banter, joke, and determine things like how they will collectively end Polio worldwide, help a local school, or welcome international exchange students into their homes. Their clubs bring together people of all nationalities, backgrounds, and ages. They meet everywhere from pizza joints to some of the nicest hotels in town. But what brings them all together is something that this world could use so much more of–friendship and service.

Banner swap with Mike Sieler from
Eagle-Garden City Rotary

We’re doing our best to give back to Rotary. We want to ensure these projects can excite our local communities. Together with the participating clubs, we will be hosting a trip to bring 15 American Rotarians to visit the communities they will be sponsoring and their fellow Rotarians in Guatemala. And we can’t put the good word out for Rotary enough. If you want to meet some amazing people, and have an amazing avenue to turn ideas into action worldwide, get on the Rotary website and find a local club!

I especially want to give thanks to the following clubs and districts for their support!
Boise Southwest, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho
Emmett, Idaho
Boise Centennial, Idaho
Caldwell, Idaho
Boise Sunrise, Idaho
Boise East, Idaho
Boise West, Idaho
Eagle-Garden City, Idaho
Boise Downtown, Idaho
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Ashland, Oregon
Fort Collins, Colorado
District 5400
District 5440
Thank you all so much for an amazing experience, and an amazing opportunity to do so much,

Curt Bowen

Banner Swap with President Rob DesAulniers
from Boise East Rotary
Banner swap with President Milon McDaniel
from Caldwell Rotary

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