Plan to develop Rotary Global Granta Water First Education and Training Inc., a Non Governmental, Not for Profit organization has provided a practical solution towards addressing First Nation water challenges. Since 2009 Water First has been working with Indigenous Communities and their leadership to identify what practical measures can be taken to make the water safe to drink. Together First Nations communities and Water First have partnered to identify the lack of trained personnel available to manage and operate community water systems that meet the current standards for safe drinking water in Ontario. Water First has developed a 15 month “Drinking Water Internship” training programme for young indigenous men and women. Interns who complete the program will graduate with provincial accreditations such as the Operator in Training certificate (OIT), Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators (ELC), and Water Quality Analyst (WQA), all enabling them to be water treatment professionals in their communities. Rotary Clubs in Southern Ontario, led by the 100 year old Rotary Club of Guelph, are actively engaged in providing Safe Drinking Water Internship Training Bursaries for Indigenous youth.. The goal is to train more indigenous youth to become qualified operators allowing them to provide safe, clean water in their home communities. The Rotary Foundation Global Grant programme requires Rotary partnership funding from both inside and outside of Canada. The pilot Internship wrapped up in March 2019, a $1.7 million, two year project in partnership with seven First Nations communities on Manitoulin Island. The project was very successful (it has been highlighted by Water Canada Magazine, the David Suzuki Foundation, MacLean's, the CBC, and in May 2019 the partnership was awarded the national Water’s Next Award in Drinking Water Projects and Technology). 10 Internship graduates completed the program with many accomplishments. Within eight weeks of graduating, 90% of interns were already working in the field or pursuing further study. Support from Rotary Clubs is vital at this time. Over the next five years, Water First will be scaling up the Internship aiming to reach over 20 First Nations communities and train even more Indigenous youth. The Water First Internship increases investment in youth employment, job creation and technical skills training among Indigenous Peoples in the fields of water treatment and environmental water science. For more information on the project or how to credit the grant and receive PHF recognition, please contact: Dr. Ab Moore of the Rotary Club of Guelph, Ontario Canada.
Dianne Dance
Buffalo Rotary club
Jun. 12, 2020 3 years ago
RC of Guelph
Buffalo NY
10 internships graduated and Seven First Nations partnered with the program
Canadian Indigenous communities