The Laguna Beach-based nonprofit R Star Foundation has been awarded a $60,210 Rotary International Grant to supply clean water to a village where hundreds of widows and their children have migrated.
The drinking water project for the village of Kapurdhunga, home primarily to single women, as widows are called in Nepal, will eliminate the need for the women to walk over for an hour several times a day to fetch water.
“I am totally excited,” said Rosalind Russell, founder and executive director of R Star Foundation. “We try to find out from the villagers what they need and go from there.”
Russell has been working to improve the economic status of women in rural Nepal since founding the nonprofit in 2003. She started off by giving women pregnant goats, along with a male goat, with the requirement that they pass on offspring to another village the following year.
Now more than 50 villages have benefited from the goats giving women their first source of income and opportunity to improve their families’ standard of living. Partnering with other organizations, R Star has also built 50 greenhouses, drilled wells, offered literacy classes, micro-financing and built an elementary school—Top of the World Nepal.
Russell worked for a year and a half on a grant proposal for the water project grant with Jill Fabricant, a member of the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club. The project also includes a sanitation station with handwashing facilities and a septic system.
For more details, visit rstarfoundation.org.