After Joliet Rotarian Doug Spesia's death in 2010, a memorial fund was started to construct the Douglas Spesia Centre in Thyolo, Malawi. In Malawi, water-related illnesses, including cholera and typhoid, are common due to the lack of access to clean water. The village of Thyolo was in need of a clean water source. Recognizing this need, the Joliet Rotary Club stepped in to help. On July 21, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Joliet Rotary Club approved funding to construct a deep well at the site of the Douglas Spesia Centre to provide clean water for the people of Thyolo.

Peter Nkata, President of the Blantyre, Malawi Rotary Club discusses his Club's involvement in Malawi and role in the deep well construction project. Click here to view transcript of Mr. Nkata's comments

Fr. Philip Mbeta discusses the importance of having a clean water source near the Centre.  Click here to view transcript of Fr. Philip's comments.

The Centre would not be complete and effective without a nearby source for clean water. Who better than to provide funding for a deep well than Rotary, an international service organization with a nearly 100 year presence in Joliet, Illinios? With Rotary's motto of "Service above self," and Doug Spesia having been a past president of the Joliet Rotary Club, it seemed a perfect fit. Shortly before the group departed for Malawi in June of 2011, the Joliet Rotary Club agreed to consider funding clean water deep well at a location near the Centre. Then, while in Malawi in June, 2011, Lori attended a meeting of the Blantyre, Malawi Rotary Club and met its president, Mr. Peter Nkata. During the meeting they discussed a partnership between the Joliet, Illinois Club and the Blantyre, Malawi Club to complete the deep well project near the Spesia Centre. During the visit with Mr. Nkata, Lori learned the Blantyre, Malawi Rotary Club had been involved in constructing several deep wells to provide clean water to people in rural Malawi.

The well construction was completed on September 14, 2011 and is similar to the one in the video below: