March is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Month for Rotarians worldwide. Let the people in your community know how Rotary is helping improve lives of the less fortunate people by sharing this story about how a Nebraska Rotarian, how District 5650, how we are making an impact.
It started with a $500 humanitarian project to purchase two sinks for a pediatric ward at a Zambian hospital.
Twenty years later, Rotary District 5650 has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars – $423,000 in grants alone – in its Zambia Project to secure viable water sources so women don’t have to walk so far to get water. The project also oversees efforts to combat malnutrition and enhance economic development.
Outside knowledge, skills and resources are the catalyst, but Zambia Project co-director and social worker Mumba Chisebuka said empowerment is the ultimate goal to assure workable solutions for rural Zambians.

“When you empower people, issues like nutrition and water can be resolved,” she said. At the same time, she realizes resources are limited, so they need to be used in the wisest way.

Although not from the current project area, Chisebuka has visited there. She and Erickson have been collaborating since 2016. Currently, she and her children are residing in Lincoln with her husband, Dr. Peter Julius, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln research fellow.

Erickson, a retired Lincoln pediatrician, was first drawn to finding solutions to Zambia’s health issues when he spent a six-week stint working at Livingstone General Hospital in 2003. Upon his return, he related some of his encounters to his fellow Rotarians and was encouraged to develop a district-wide project to help the Zambian people.
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