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.
With contribution from so many districts, and a grant from the Rotary Foundation, it looks like 100 percent of the $109,000 project will be funded through the generosity of thousands of Rotary members throughout the East Coast of the United States.
Rotary Family Health Days is the brainchild of Atlanta Rotary member Marion Bunch, who has created a Rotarian Action Group called, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA). The group has successfully planned and carried out Family Health Days for the past five years in South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria. The 2015-16 Ghana project will serve an estimated 40,000 men, women, and children in urban and semi-urban areas in 40 different communities across the country. It is managed by RFHA, in partnership with 25 Ghana Rotary clubs, the Ghana Health Service, USAID, and country NGOs.
Each and every Rotarian who contributes to The Rotary Foundation in the participating districts can legitimately say they are supporting Ghana’s Rotary Family Health Day. What a great example of how districts can work together to Do Good in the World. And what a great example of what can happen when Rotarians think big, AND ask, “what if?”
- Read more from Solow on his blog Ready, Fire, Aim
- Learn more about the RFHA and Rotary Family Health Days
- Learn how your donations to The Rotary Foundation support projects around the world