It was during the presidency of Farid “Fred” Nassr that the Club had its first taste of the fruits of The Rotary Foundation’s grants program.
The project was a rural health clinic for the tiny and remote Polilio Island, off Quezon, an economically challenged fishing community where no health facility existed and where the sight of a doctor or nurse or even a midwife was cause for celebration.
Through the clinic, the fishermen and their families underwent medical checkups, were provided free medicine for simple ailments like colds, coughs, flu, and diarrhea, and were taught the basics of preventive medicine, hygiene and sanitation, and nutrition. The clinic was later given credit for the vast improvement in the health condition of the island residents.
Funding for the project was by way of a World Community Service (WCS) grant from The Rotary Foundation. It is worthy of note that at the time the WCS grant was received, the then four-year-old club had yet to remit its first dollar contribution to TRF, let alone register its first Paul Harris Fellow. That the Club merited assistance from TRF despite its being a non-contributor to its program of giving offered concrete validation of the Foundation’s mission “to do good in the world.”
Carrying on with the vocational service mission initiated the year before last, the Club linked up with Sister Juliane’s Homecraft Industries for a skills training program in manicure/pedicure, sewing, beauty parlor operation, and bag making for unemployed women and out-of-school girls.
Early on, the Club had made up its mind to adopt a holistic approach to community development that integrates as many development areas as its resources would allow. Thus guided, it partnered with the grassroots-based Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement for a community development scheme for the residents of Guadalupe Viejo in Makati, with components in health, skills training, livelihood generation, education and self-government.
Pres. Fred also improved the Kaunlaran Park in Guadalupe Viejo by constructing a basketball court for the use of the neighborhood’s young hard court enthusiasts and building a fence around the property to lend it a measure of privacy.