It’s 5 pm in a rather wet September. The year is 2002. The little sleepy old town of Naivasha popularly known as the happy valley during colonial times is slowly preparing for a quick evening rush hour. Five gentlemen are seated for a drink at the popular ‘hangout’ place that is La Belle Inn restaurant to enjoy the sunset and catch up with the tales of the town.
‘How come, gentlemen, there is no rotary club in this town?’, asks Hans Scholl. ‘It is such a popular thing back in Uganda and has done tremendous work in giving back to the community back there. Is it something you guys should think about.’
Hans Scholl had lived in Uganda for a couple of years where he was active in rotary work and had been seconded to the Naivasha County Council by the German non-governmental organisation called GTZ.
‘I have heard quite a lot about Rotary but mostly in Nairobi. It is very active down there,’ Richard says. ‘It is something we really should look into getting into for this town’, he concludes. Henry Miheso, seated opposite Richard, nods in agreement, as he sips his cold bottle of Tusker.
And this marked the seed that brought to fruition what is today The Rotary Club of Naivasha.
It was chartered by the Rotary Club of Nakuru, then under President Peter Mbui, who sixteen years later would become the District Governor of District 9212.
The club started very strong, with 35 members meeting every week on Wednesdays at La Belle Inn restaurant.
Among the first projects that the new club undertook was applying for a matching grant for buying water tanks for rainwater harvesting and building toilets for schools and hospitals/dispensaries around Naivasha town.
The club also started an amazing project for rehabilitating abused children around Naivasha. The Naivasha Safe House facility was started within the then District Officer’s grounds for this purpose. This project has been very close to the club since then, and has seen thousands of children get support and rehabilitation over the years.
In addition to this initial projects, the club has over the years undertaken other projects, namely:
- Adopt a village in Nyamathi community at the outskirts of Naivasha town, whose objective was to help build an education facility, a health facility, a sports facility and drill a borehole for the community.
- Toilet project for Ndabibi Secondary School.
- Water and Sanitation project for primary schools in conjunction with WASUP.
- Construction and Installing hospital equipment for the Women’s wing at the Naivasha District Hospital in conjuction with the Flower Business Park and Fairtrade Farms in Naivasha.
- Tree planting in schools and other areas around Naivasha.
- Sanitary towels for needy school girls around Naivasha.
Among many other small projects.
The club also started a Rotaract Club for nurturing young people interested in community service in 2010.
Rotary club of Naivasha currently has 28 members who hare vibrant and ready to serve.