Running a school for profit by a business entity is no child’s play. Running a special school as a public service by a Rotary Club can be daunting challenge.
Such was the situation RC Makati found itself in with its operation of the special school, or school for children with special needs, as it is now properly known, given the call for political correctness. Its financial woes were compounded by the fact of a growing population of pupils, many of them with little means whom the school did not have the heart to turn away.
Pres. Leocadio “Cady” Dominguez was in a dilemma, faced with two hard choices: one, opt for a permanent shutdown of a favored project it so wished to sustain but could no longer afford to run on its own; or two, seek assistance from other organizations with similar goals.
The choice was not one but both. First it decided to dissolve MRDC; then it invited seven other Rotary Clubs in Makati to form a new entity to take its place—the Development Center for the Handicapped Foundation, Inc. (DCHFI). While the new Foundation was being organized, school operations were suspended. With a heavy heart, the Club had to let go of its pet project.
With poverty reduction in mind, Pres. Cady initiated a program designed to lend a helping hand to residents of Brgy. San Isidro and Brgy. La Paz, both in Makati. Through the Barangay Upliftment Project, the Club organized a workshop in candle-making for women in La Paz and provided them assistance in marketing their products. Tapping the help of club members, the Club also made arrangements for qualified residents of La Paz and San Isidro to find employment in Rotarians’ companies.
When insurgency in the rural areas became alarming, club members brainstormed ways to help stem the tide of unrest in the countryside before it streamed into the city. It was decided that a positive approach was the best course of action. A new committee was created to organize the Countryside Development Corps, whose task was to undertake a pilot project that would provide employment to jobless residents of Bulacan in the fields of reforestation as well as repair and maintenance of roads and heavy equipment. To this end, the committee took a trip to a forested area of Bulacan for an ocular inspection of the place and to meet the barangay leaders with whom it would be working.
The Club’s push for international service was made manifest with the inking of a sister- clubs agreement with the Rotary Club of Central Park in Dallas, Texas, sealing the relationship by supporting RC Central Park’s Operation Mercy Project. The Club also received a dental chair and a cash donation from RC Osaka-Shirokita-Japan and cash from RC Itako-Japan and RC Peninsula HK.