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

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

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

Rotary collaborates with others for clean water

Ron Denham, chair of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, addresses Rotary’s commitment to water at an independently organized TED event.
 
By Ron Denham, a member of the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton, Ontario, Canada, and chair of the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group.

A change is taking place in the way Rotarians approach water and sanitation programs.

We realize that the challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals is something that no organization can achieve on its own; not even Rotary with its 33,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members. To be successful we need leverage, the leverage that comes from collaboration with others who share our goals. Continue reading

RI President visits Ghana, breaks ground on vaccine cold room

RI President Sakuji Tanaka joins children in a dance while visiting a literacy project in Accra, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Accra Ridge

By Eric Xavier Amedzo, past president of the Rotary Club of Accra Ridge, Ghana

In early July, Ghana was blessed with our second visit by an RI president in a year, as President Sakuji Tanaka took part in breaking ground on a vaccine cold room in Accra.

This was quite an unprecedented event, coming so soon after past RI President Kalyan Banerjee’s visit in November. I guess Ghana is now a hotbed of Rotary action, and everyone wants to come and see for themselves! Continue reading

Providing clean water in Ghana: priceless

Borehole in Amansie West, Ghana

Villagers gather to celebrate a borehole in Diani, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes

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

Have you ever questioned if your involvement in Rotary is really making a difference?

Rest assured, you are, and I’m the lucky guy who gets to witness and experience your involvement. I’m passionate about bringing clean water to remote villages in the African bush of Ghana.

Ghana well

Jon Morris and Walter Hughes, members of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA, at a new pump in Ghana.

There are two priceless moments that happen when we provide clean water to a village. The first occurs when that big drill rig finally hits water. Imagine the people’s anticipation as they see the trucks and equipment roll into the village and as they watch the drill rig crew work. Everyone cheers when the water flows.

The second priceless moment comes when the hand pump is installed. People throughout the village come to the well with their buckets and cups in hand. Everyone is silent as one of the elders starts pumping the handle. Cheers erupt when the water comes forth. Seeing the smiling faces of the men, women and children make all of the challenges worth it. Continue reading