PAUL does good things around the world and let people’s eyes shine with joy and happiness. But who is actually this PAUL? The talk is about a water backpack PAUL, or in other words Portable Aqua Unit for Lifesaving. The water filter was developed by professor Franz-Bernd Frechen from university of Kassel, Germany and is being produced at the local sheltered workshop in order to provide a drinkable water out of contaminated one without any chemicals or energy consumption!
About two years ago Rotaract clubs from district 1820 decided to take part in a water project initiative from Mexico and to finance one water filter. The goal was to supply one commune in South Mexico with clean drinking water. One PAUL cost around 1.600 EUR including accessories. At first we collected the necessary funds with various fundraising projects and later on the district doubled that amount. „Wow, already two PAULs“, we thought that time and our friend Maximiliano Toledo Cruz (project initiator, district 4195) was excited about the progress and support.
But then the idea of PAUL gained increasing attention from Rotary side and it accelerated faster and faster (special thanks to Bastian Siegel!). A district grant together with the friends from district 1860 and then a global grant with the Mexican friends soon raised the donation amount to almost $95,000! Thus, we could afford obtaining and transportation of no less than 35 PAUL water filters.
Success was so overwhelming, so in October 2018 we travelled to Mexico in order to install the first PAUL filter in a primary school in Villahermosa, Tabasco together with our Mexican friends. Joy and gratitude of the pupils, teachers and parents that we were witnesses of as well as the feeling of the help arriving “at the right place”, is impossible to describe in words. Feeling so proud to see what can we manage together with Rotary family!
Alexander F. Storck (Rotaract Club Bad Hersfeld-Rotenburg)