Bringing light in darkness

Dr. Harminder Singh Dua receives the 2012-13 Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

Dr. Harminder Singh Dua with the 2012-13 Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

Dr. Harminder Singh Dua, an ophthalmologist in Nottingham, England, is the recipient of the 2012-13 Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award. The following is an excerpt of his acceptance speech before the Rotary convention in Lisbon, Portugal.

As a young trainee doctor in the city of Nagpur in India, all those many years ago, I had made a trip to a city called Vijaywada to be interviewed for the Group Study Exchange team selection. I was one of about 103 young men who had descended on a hotel in Vijaywada.  Each of us had been picked from amongst several others by the local Rotary clubs. Continue reading

Listening is sometimes the best education

The vocational training team to Dar es Saalam. Photo courtesy Susan Meskis

The vocational training team to Dar es Saalam. Photo courtesy Susan Meskis

By Susan Meskis, RN, member of the Rotary Club of Fishers, Indiana, USA, and leader of a vocational training team to Tanzania

After a year of planning and with much anticipation, I set out for Tanzania, Africa, as part of a vocational training team (VTT) comprised of nurses to share my expertise in nursing education with the faculty at Aga Khan University’s (AKU) School of Nursing.

We had built a curriculum, created slides and documents, and spent many hours fine-tuning Continue reading

Rotarians work together to restore sight to the blind in Ghana

Dr. Albert Alley, director of the World Blindness Outreach, and six villagers who received free cataract surgery during the mission.

Dr. Albert Alley, director of World Blindness Outreach, and six villagers who received free cataract surgery during the mission.

By Sue Carlson, M.D.

“Medase me adamfo” is Twi for “Thank you, my friend.”

We heard and said these words many times on our recent medical mission to Apam, Ghana, 4-11 May.

We heard them from the 87 patients who received cataract, pterygium, or glaucoma surgery, and from the patients’ family members, hospital personnel and administrators, and village elders. Continue reading

Health days event invests in the future of children

Stéphanie Tobler Mucznik and the film crew in South Africa.

Stéphanie Tobler Mucznik and the film crew in South Africa.

Stéphanie Tobler Mucznik, senior media relations specialist for Europe and Africa in RI’s Zurich office, spent a week with a film crew in Johannesburg, South Africa, documenting the three-day family health day event organized by Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention.

“I believe God sent us the Rotarians”, says single mother Innocentia.

We are chatting in her family’s backyard, Innocentia is sitting on a wooden stool, and her baby is sleeping on her back, wrapped in a towel, while Grandmother Gloria is doing the laundry in a metal bucket. Continue reading

Providing free health care to thousands in Africa

Marion Bunch

By Marion Bunch, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (formerly RFFA)

For three days this month, 9-11 May, Rotarians from 225 clubs in Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa will be helping provide free health care service to thousands of families. I am excited about the campaign, which will be the third annual event organized by Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA), Rotary’s mobilizing and implementing partner in disease prevention.

The program was initially developed to address the critical issue of HIV/AIDS in Africa, but has always included other health care services. Continue reading

Daily litter walk improves your health, and your community

Robin Roberts picks up trash during his daily litter walk.

Robin Roberts picks up trash during his daily litter walk.

By Robin Roberts, a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile West, Mobile, Alabama

Would you like an a easy way to change the world?  What if there was a project you could start today, in your own neighborhood regardless of where you live?  Implementing it requires no fundraising and no committee approval. You can take part starting today. It improves your mind, body and spirit and improves your environment too.

Here’s the idea: Every day take a daily litter walk. You will be happier, you will be leaner, and your community will be cleaner. Continue reading

Texas Rotarians light the way to a better future

By Steve Welch, president of the Rotary Club of Northwest Austin, Texas, USA

In the squatter’s village of San Mateo, Belize, my Rotary club is providing solar lights for more than 100 school children who previously attempted to study by candle light. We are working in partnership with the Grid Earth Project, which was founded by members of our club, a charity dedicated to providing solar powered lighting to replace other dangerous light sources used in remote areas of the world. Continue reading

Eye camps help schoolchildren in Mumbai

Students line up for eye screening during one of the health camps.Photo courtesy Rotaract Club of the Caduceus

Students line up for eye screening during one of the health camps.Photo courtesy Rotaract Club of the Caduceus

By Pankaj Jethwani, president of the Rotaract Club of the Caduceus, Mumbai, India. The club’s project, Vision Six by Six, was selected as the 2013 Rotaract Outstanding Project Awards international winner.

In June of last year, I was interacting with a group of kids at a school health camp in Dharavi. There, among uninterested and bored kids, I met Payal. She was bright, talkative, and a lot of fun! But I was surprised with her teacher’s feedback: Payal hated studying.

A quick vision test revealed she had myopia in both eyes. Continue reading

Taking on Guinea worm in South Sudan

Walter Hughes Jr. watches a water pump in action in South Sudan.

Walter Hughes Jr. watches a water pump in action in South Sudan.

By Walter Hughes Jr., a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA. Hughes is one of 12 Rotarians being honored 5 April at the White House as a Champion of Change.

I am honored to be a White House Champion of Change. I’m accepting on behalf of Rotarians and friends from a team of more than 80 Rotary clubs in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Ghana, and South Sudan. We are celebrating the end of Guinea worm disease in Ghana in West Africa. It all started with a dream. I’m the lucky guy who gets to witness lives transformed around the world. Continue reading

Eye camp gives the gift of sight

RI Director Gideon Peiper looks at a patient recovering from cataract surgery during an eye camp in Lagos, Nigeria, in October.

RI Director Gideon Peiper looks at a patient recovering from cataract surgery during an eye camp in Lagos, Nigeria, in October.

By Suman Ramesh, a member of the Rotary Club of Lago-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria

Seeing the joy on people’s faces when they receive their sight back is an unforgettable experience.

Every year, the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria, sponsors an eye camp with medical staff from the Eye Institute in Navsari, India, treating nearly a thousand patients in the Nigerian states of Lagos and Ogun spread over 10 days. Continue reading