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.
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 →
By 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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
In December 1995, my husband, Luis, and I visited Bombay (now Mumbai), India, during his year as president-elect of Rotary International. We were there to participate in a national polio immunization day and were very impressed by the social mobilization that went into it. It was the largest immunization day to that point.
When the day arrived, more than 10,000 volunteers were distributed throughout the country, easily identifiable in their yellow jackets and caps imprinted with the Rotary wheel. Continue reading →
By Marion Bunch, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (formerly RFFA)
For three days in May, Rotarians from 365 clubs fanned out across Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa to help medical professionals and government workers provide free health services to 250,000 disadvantaged people.
Rotary Family Health Days, the third event organized by Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA), was an incredible success! The program, initially developed to address the critical issue of HIV/AIDS in Africa, has always included other health care services. This year, we conducted polio and measles immunizations, dental and eye clinics, family counseling and screening for HIV, diabetes and hypertension, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. Continue reading →