Friday, May 10, 2013

Making The World A Better Place....

"There's no better time to make a difference is some ones life...then now," said retired computer engineer Clinton Donnelly.  An active participant of Engineers Without Borders Panama, he and his wife Linda have been helping to change lives since it's inception over a year ago.  "We work closely with Peace Corp volunteers living in remote areas who recognize a need, and we come up with a solution," said Clinton. 

Just imagine living in a remote location on a river with no way to cross it to buy food, seek medical care, go to work or school.  Children would need to walk through moving river waters to get to school.  Mothers would wade through dangerous waters over slippery rocks with sick babies that needed to see a doctor. Then during the rainy season when the waters  became to high to cross the entire village would be cut off from civilization. 

Can you Imagine having to do this
to get to your own home?

The completed bridge


This is where EWB-P can help by coming up with a project idea to build a bridge, a school or medical clinic, a community center, install irrigation systems, provide electricity, clean water or sanitation.  Made up of volunteers with engineering backgrounds, or students in engineering programs, EWB-P is helping to change lives, one project at a time.  A not-for-profit, secular, non-government organization, EWB-P is part of Engineers Without Borders International with partners in over 45 developing countries.

"Our goal is to come up with sustainable projects with affordable technology and teach the people in these communities how to use the materials," said Clinton.  Volunteers work closely with Panama's indigenous people and poverty-stricken communities to provide them with basic human needs like clean drinking water, sanitation and electricity.

Community Center

Old Tree Bridge


Troubled by the plight of Panama's poor population CH2M-Hill, a global engineering and construction firm decided to establish a division of Engineers Without Borders International in Panama.  They supported their decision with a generous grant in 2012 and Engineers Without Borders Panama was born.  But change doesn't come cheap and they need donations, grants and people to come up with the ideas that can make a big impact on communities in need.

Water Purification System

Water Catchment System
 

Clinton and Linda are passionate about this cause and need to spread the word.  I had the chance to chat with this dynamic duo who are just trying to make positive changes in the lives of others.  Mahatma Gandhi once said, "be the change you wish to see in the world," and these two certainly are doing just that.

It's always fascinating to see who we bump into on our daily lives here in Panama....along the gringo trail. 

5 comments:

  1. This is just fantastic! Amazing people doing wonderful things for those that are even more amazing and indeed have challenges!

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  2. Great post guys. This really is a cool group. I've been in contact with one of their leaders by email. I haven't had the chance to attend any of their meetings, but I know they're very passionate about all they do, and they need as much help (money and volunteers) as they can get. If anyone wants to learn more or check out their site, you can find it at www.ewbpanama.org. These are the kinds of people really making a difference here in Panama, and from the goodness of their own hearts.

    Thanks Clyde and Terry for sharing this.

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  3. Clinton is doing good work in Panama, yet he left his wife and said he wanted a divorce in 2010. He dragged out settlement negotiations, while secretly maneuvering their joint assets into personal accounts and emptying all retirement accounts. Clinton Donnelly then fled the United States, absconding with all the marital assets but their house. (over 2 million dollars). He neither showed up for the divorce trial, nor honored any of the divorce decrees (no sharing of assets, no alimony); he's in Contempt of Court on 8 counts in the state of Connecticut.

    Clinton Donnelly married his first wife, Susan Donnelly, in 1986 when she was a junior in computer engineering at Ohio State University. They moved to Connecticut for Clinton's job a year later, before she had completed her degree. They sold Susan's home, in which she had $130,000 equity. They became pregnant with their first child in 1988. Clinton encouraged Susan to give up her career aspirations to be a stay-at-home mother to their children, something they both valued. In 2005 Susan had back surgery for three torn discs in her back, and became permanently disabled, limiting her ability to work and care for the home. Susan borrowed money from her children in order to pay for the expenses of the divorce trial, cover living expenses and pay for upkeep on the house after Clinton left the country in January 2011, and left her without any means of support. He managed to continue delaying the divorce trial until November 2011, at which time the judge ordered that Susan be given the house, the money be divided equally, and Clinton provide Susan with monthly support. He is In Contempt of all the judge's orders.

    The state gave Susan legal title to the house in April, 2012. After Susan sold the house, she was able to repay her loan, and was left with roughly the same amount as she had when she entered the marriage in 1986 (after adjusting for inflation). She applied and was accepted to a Master's program in Counseling (without a college degree) based on her college transcripts and written essays. In three years she completed the academic and internship work towards professional counseling licensure, but ran out of money before she was able to take the National Counselor's Exam. Clinton refused to give her even short term help unless she recuse him of all his legal responsibilities toward her in exchange.

    Susan isn't eligible for Social Security Disability insurance. She's 62, but has no Social Security funds on which to draw, having no outside-the-home employment history. Clinton will not be eligible to receive Social Security for another four years, so Susan cannot draw on spousal benefits (due to the long marriage) until then. Currently, she's on Medicaid, and receiving state assistance with energy costs and groceries.

    Clinton may be helping the needy in Panama, but his actions toward the woman who trusted him with her future, the mother of his children, has been fraudulent, despicable and hypocritical, given the ongoing, cold-hearted negligence of his moral and legal responsibilities to his wife of 25 years.

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    1. Fantastic to see that justice has been served. My ex-wife stole every asset I ever had, stole my house, my savings and most importantly, my children. The courts gave me absolutely nothing what-so-ever. But none of this is news to anyone, it is all a fact of life for every married man. Thieving bitch that did nothing gets everything. So I´m pleased to see a man that manages to keep WHAT HE EARNED. This should be a lesson to every man on the planet. Keep your assets away from thieving scum that feel entitled to everything that you earned. I am happy to see that for once, justice is served.

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