Members of the vocational training team in Uganda.
By Lisa Miller, a member of the Rotary Club of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, USA
Sixteen mothers die in childbirth in Uganda every day. How can we make a difference?
Ryan Smith, then a medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine, posed that question to his father several years ago. The question, and his father’s membership in Rotary, combined to bring together staff from two medical schools — Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, USA, and Makerere University School of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda, to exchange ideas, share technology, and discuss ways to reduce mortality and morbidity during and after childbirth and improve access to essential medical services.
By Kenneth Solow, incoming governor of District 7620 (Maryland, USA)
Can you picture Dr. John Sever, member of the Rotary Club of Potomac, Maryland, asking Rotary’s 1979-1980 Board, at the request of RI President Clem Renouf, to imagine “what if” Rotary adopted the goal of a polio-free world?” The rest is history.
Recently the Zone 33-34 class of incoming district governors asked a different “what if” question. What if the Rotary districts in Zone 33-34 combined to fund an international project using a global grant from the Rotary Foundation? If they could pull it off, the financial contribution from each district would be relatively small, but the impact of their combined effort would be gigantic. The result of asking that “what if” question is the unprecedented cooperation of twenty-two districts to fund a Rotary Family Health Day in the country of Ghana in Africa next year. Continue reading
Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage. Photo courtesy of Yomi Lawson
Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo, Lagos State, Nigeria, decided to celebrate 110 years of Rotary by donating supplies to a Red Cross orphanage that provides a home for 200 abandoned or vulnerable children. The club delivered 10 packs of diapers, 150 liters of diesel fuel, two cartons of infant formula, ten crates of eggs, two cartons of biscuits, five cartons of noodles, three cartons of fruit drink, and detergent. Members stayed to play with the children after dropping off the goods.
Sue Paget on the go for Rotary Family Health Days.
Based in Johannesburg, Sue Paget is one of the driving forces behind the Rotary Family Health Days in South Africa. She has been married to Trevor for 34 years and has three children. This is the last in a series of blog posts leading up to International Women’s Day 8 March.
“Africa is a harsh reality – we see, hear, and live with suffering on a daily basis, most especially in our disadvantaged communities. And yet the people still shine through.
This is why being involved with Rotary Family Health Days has been so rewarding. It has been incredibly gratifying to know that collectively we have been able to help over 120,000 people in two years access free health services and screenings. Continue reading
Teodora Lucero attends to the newborn at the evacuation center in Laguna as the mother rests.
By Teodora Lucero, Rotary Club of Sta. Rosa Centro, Laguna, Philippines. This is the second in a series of blog posts about women making a difference in Rotary leading up to International Women’s Day 8 March.
When I was serving as president of the Rotary Club of Sta Rosa Centro, a big storm damaged and ravaged my community, sending a couple of thousand people to five school buildings which were turned into evacuation centers.The next day, members of several Rotary clubs including my own began distributing relief supplies. Suddenly, I heard a shout. “Help! My wife is about to give birth!” Continue reading
Editor’s Note: In celebration of International Women’s Day, which is 8 March, we are running a week-long series of blog posts from women who are making a difference in their communities and around the world through Rotary.
Celia Cruz de Giay
By Celia Cruz de Giay, 2014-15 Rotary vice president
If anyone had told me that I would be writing a blog post today as vice president of Rotary International extolling the impact of women, I would have thought that person was dreaming. But when I think about it a little longer, I can see how the idea of service modeled for me since my childhood through my Rotarian father, and then through my Rotarian husband, Luis, led to this day, and I recognize that Rotary was always part of my life. That is why I am a Rotarian committed to serve. Continue reading
A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard
By Neal Beard, past president of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA
Rotary members from District 6760 returned from Central America on 5 Feburary, after completing a 59-home electrification project in Chaguiton, Honduras. This was the tenth leg of a journey that began in 2006 for my club.
Over the course of the last ten years, the most exciting and rewarding moments of our lives took place not in the office, or on the shop floor, or while sitting in front of a computer screen, but in the remote mountain villages of southern Honduras.
Those moments have been filled with pure emotion. Like the time when a mother and her children looked on as we built a water storage tank and laundry table that would eliminate their Continue reading
Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, addresses Rotary members in Canada during a recent Rotary Day.
By Douglas W. Vincent, Rotary Club of Woodstock-Oxford, Ontario, Canada
In January, the Rotary Club of Mississauga Meadowvale hosted a Rotary Day event exploring what we as Rotary members can do to improve the health of mothers and their children, through our club projects and working with the United Nations. Rotary has had a long-standing relationship with the UN dating all the way back to its formation, and improving maternal health and reducing child mortality are two of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
We invited a special guest, Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Continue reading
By Pammy Godoy, Rotary Club of Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
In 2006, I took part in a Group Study Exchange (GSE) to Argentina. It was a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity funded by Rotary International which allowed me to travel outside of the Philippines for the first time, learn about Argentinian culture, and interact with Argentinian youth about their issues in relation to relationships, sexuality, and teen pregnancies. Continue reading
Volunteers organized by the African Dream Academy deliver containers of chlorinated water. Photo courtesy African Dream Academy
By Samuel R. Enders, Rotary Club of Yonkers-East Yonkers, New York, USA
The rate of infection from Ebola in Liberia is slowly decreasing. It is a great joy to sit in my office, which is right next to the main road, and not hear every hour the sirens of pickup trucks transporting bodies to be cremated. It is a sound Liberians have come to know as the sound of sorrow.
Our campaign to prevent the spread of Ebola and save lives is now in its third phase. I am grateful to the board of the African Dream Academy, members of the Yonkers-East Yonkers Rotary Club, friends, and partners who Continue reading