Fighting indoor air pollution in Nepal

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

A woman and her clean-burning cook stove.

By Yale Jones, Rotary Club of Taos-Milagro, New Mexico, USA

I first met George Basch when he joined our Rotary Club some years ago. In 2009 we spent two weeks together hiking in the Upper Mustang region in Nepal, one of the main areas now served by the Himalayan Stove Project. 

In 2010, George’s desire to give back to the people of the Himalayas, an area he loves and has visited often, led to a plan to distribute clean-burning, vented cook stoves for free. Continue reading

Training doctors in the Congo

Observation rou8nds at the Adolf Sice Hospital in The Congo.

Observation rounds at the Adolf Sice Hospital, Pointe Noire, Congo.

By Dr. Swati Gadgil, Rotary Club of Dombivli East, Maharashtra, India

In December, I was asked by Rotary and Mercy Ships to lead a team of four doctors to the Republic of Congo to train doctors and staff on disease prevention methods at The Adolf Sice and Tie Tie Base hospitals.

Just a few days before the trip, two doctors on our team had to drop out for personal and unavoidable circumstances. I called my friend  Sanghamitra,  who is based in Albany, New York, and to my surprise and relief, found her as eager as I to pursue this mission. Thanks are due to our assistant governor, Girish Mittal, for his support in making this last minute switch possible. Continue reading

How South-East Asia became polio-free

A child is immunized against polio in Nepal.

A child is immunized against polio in Nepal.

By Rotary staff

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) today will declare the South-East Asia region of the World Health Organization as polio-free, an important milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The 11 countries in the region — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste — are home to 1.8 billion people and represent the fourth of six regions worldwide to be officially certified polio-free.

Continue reading

Transforming lives in Ghana

Women weave baskets at a center in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes Jr.

Women weave baskets at a center in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes

By Walter Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA

What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. Continue reading

Maximizing your giving with the ease of Rotary Direct

140214_rotarydirectBy Terry Ziegler, Rotary Foundation chair for District 5890 (Texas, USA)

I can relate to the frustration of having a cluttered mailbox. Last year, I found one more way to cut out the clutter — Rotary Direct.

In December, I reached out to The Rotary Foundation, delighted by the simple year-end gift Continue reading

Every woman deserves education, access to health care

Divya GopisettyBy Divya Gopisetty, president of the Interact Club of Oakwood High School, Morgan Hill, California

I am amazed at all Rotary is able to accomplish. Each of you, members of Rotary, has an unyielding passion for change, a kind heart, and a determined spirit. You have discovered the importance of taking action instead of merely acknowledging issues exist. You are role models for the rest of the world. Continue reading

Empowering families to end poverty in Peru

Villagers increased their income by learning more efficient ways to raise guinea pigs and other livestock. Photo courtesy of Willem van Immerzeel

Villagers increased their income by learning more efficient ways to raise guinea pigs and other livestock. Photo courtesy of Willem van Immerzeel

By Willem van Immerzeel, a member of the Rotary Club of Inka Cusco, Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru, where I live, is a touristy place. Most visitors get only a glimpse of the poverty that exists in rural areas in my country. But poverty is a very real side of Peruvian society, deeply impacting the lives of the millions engulfed in it. Widespread poverty has a destabilizing effect on society and goes a long way in explaining the extreme violence that dominated life in Peru for decades.

Since I was young, I considered it my duty to contribute to end poverty. In the early 1980s, I worked as a volunteer in Guinea Bissau, Africa, and later in Cusco. I soon discovered that projects can provide relief for some, but eradicating poverty for many requires much more. Continue reading

How your gift to The Rotary Foundation changes lives

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

By Rotary staff

Leonor Fraser and other members of her Rotary club arrived in Masaya, Nicaragua, ready to deliver shoes to the elementary schoolchildren and play with them.

It immediately became apparent that the school, located near a diesel plant, had bigger problems. The plant emitted pollutants into the air, which made the children and teachers lethargic, and the cracked building had no sanitation facilities. Fraser had difficulty breathing during her visit. Continue reading

Invite the media to join your next international project

Vince Dooley, former University of Georgia head football coach and athletic director, with children in Honduras during a Rotary service project. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Atlanta

Vince Dooley, former University of Georgia head football coach and athletic director, with children in Honduras during a Rotary service project. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Atlanta

By Bob Hope, a member of the Rotary club of Atlanta, Georgia, USA

I am a longtime veteran of the public relations business in New York and Atlanta and a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. For the past 17 years, I have organized a group of business leaders who travel to rural Honduras to work on schools and medical clinics as well as in small mountain villages. Our efforts in Honduras have been supported generously by The Continue reading

On a mission of mercy to Guinea

The vocational training team assists with cataract surgeries during the eleventh day of the trip.

The vocational training team assists with cataract surgeries during the eleventh day of the trip.

By Arun Chaudhari, past president of the Rotary Club of Mumbai West Coast, India 

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of leading a team of four eye surgeons to Conakry, Guinea, West Africa to work with our strategic partner, Mercy Ships, on training eye surgeons in West Africa and performing cataract surgeries.

Our trip was coordinated by Mark Wright from Mercy Ships, and made possible through the work of many Rotary members in Mumbai, India, including our district governor, Dr Balakrishna Inamdar, a well-known gynaecologist.  Continue reading