The Rotary Club of Gahanna hopes a project it launched to help children and women in the Federal Republic of Nigeria will change even more lives in the future.

Roger Viers, Gahanna Rotary International service chairman and retired Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools superintendent, said education is a primary focus in helping people around the world.

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He said Gahanna Rotary, a member club of Rotary International, channels the group's commitment to service at home and abroad, adding that it is the foundation of club activity.

In partnering with Engraced Royale Academy in Nigeria, the Rotary provided $5,000 that financed the purchase of children's books, backpacks, sandals, pens and pencils, water bottles, notebooks, shelving and floor mats for about 117 children and women. They came from Abuja, Nigeria's capital city, and settled in the village of Iguoshodin N'ebudin North East in the state of Edo.

Shirley Davis, who moved to the United States from Nigeria in 1999, said she has seen the need because she has lived it.

She wrote the grant for the Rotary funding last spring.

"It's such an amazing gift to be able to be on both spectrums and have the opportunity to do good works in the same way my life has been positively affected," Davis said.

She said the grant benefited the people who settled in Iguoshodin N'ebudin, a village where they grow palm nuts.

"It's very agricultural and isolated," Davis said. "These are pockets not far from the city, but help doesn't get to them. A lot of children and women are on their own. This is a group of people who have nothing, but inflation is through the roof."

She said the needs are astronomical.

"They're creative in the way they manage themselves," Davis said of the residents. "They make the most of what they have."

She said the Rotary partnered with Engraced Royale Academy to deliver the items financed through the grant.

As part of Rotary International's support, Engraced Royale also held an event May 27, when some items were distributed to children in hospitals in Kubwa, a residential district in Bwari, one of the area councils in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, and a health-care clinic in Byhazim.

"Part of it is to put in place and not let it die," Davis said. "As a result of something planted by Rotary, there was a continuum of what we started (held) on May 27."

Davis said Rotary members give their time and resources in a way that can change lives globally, and the grant has raised awareness in the community for social responsibility.

In applying for the grant, Davis wrote that in the context of African traditions, I'BOTA is a community after-dinner gathering of family, friends and neighbors for a relaxing evening to share legendary stories, fables and folklore, providing youth with an oral history of culture and literature.

I'BOTA preceded formal education in Nigeria and now offers a way to provide an education to children and adults in the village of Iguoshodin N'ebudin.

"The main goal for this project is to provide learners with basic reading materials and learning supplies, as well as sandals, which will enable them to walk long distances to participate in the I'BOTA Story Tellers Club, where they will find an exciting place for learning, study, exploration and adventure," she said.

Davis said the Rotary donation provided materials for the academy to help provide education.

"It takes kids from the street and settles them with families," she said. "The goal is to transcend kids from the street to class and from the class to the family."

Davis said the Rotary International District 6690 grant is envisioned as a precursor to the submission of a Global Grant Education project for the Story Tellers Club in the village.

Viers said it would be a $40,000 to $50,000 grant if the dream becomes a reality.

"This was a project made possible with money from the Rotary Foundation, a highly ranked foundation in terms of effectiveness," he said. "It spends all money it gets for things that do good."

Davis said anyone who wants to get involved to continue the work in Nigeria should reach out through Rotary International.

"We get in touch with local partners to facilitate the work," she said.

Shane Pyle, governor of District 6690, which includes all of Columbus and the southeastern portion of Ohio, said his district raises more than $300,000 every year for the Rotary Foundation.

He said his district's zone, Zone 30, raises about $3 million each year. Besides Ohio, the zone encompasses Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and a portion of Mississippi.

Pyle said countries receiving help from his district in the past three years include the Philippines, Guatemala, Nigeria, Kenya, Haiti, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Turkey.