By Valentine Nyakiere, a member of the Rotary Cub of Nyeri, Kenya
We wanted to celebrate The Rotary Foundation Centennial by addressing the health challenges of people in Kenya. So clubs in District 9212 came up with the idea to hold medical camps across the country and provide much needed health services to hundreds. This was also perfect timing as doctors in Kenya had gone on a strike that lasted 100 days!
We formed a district centenary committee of club presidents chaired by Joe Kamau, president of the Nairobi East Rotary Club, and held our first medical camp at Kashani Primary School in Kiembeni, Mombasa, on 11 March.
The camp served over a thousand people; with the major benefit being that the community was educated on TB Guinea Worm which is quite rampant in the area. A second camp was held at ACK St. Paul’s Cathedral Church in Embu on 18 March.
In the July 1965 edition of The Rotarian magazine, then RI President C.P.H. Teenstra stated:
“This, fellow Rotarian, is what binds us together: a unity of desire and a unity of purpose to serve society and to serve mankind, but a unity in diversity.”
This spirit is what kept the team together, as visiting clubs had to travel not less than 100 kilometers to make the rotational meetings.
The third and final medical camp took place on 25 March at St. Catherine’s Primary School in Nairobi. The camp focused on services to children under 15 years old and their caregivers. The camp served 1,200 people, more than half being children. The St. Catherine’s Clinic staff and local community health workers played a huge role in providing services and controlling the lines.
After the final medical camp, the main committee donated surplus medicine to three charity projects: The St. Catherine’s School Clinic, HOPE Citadel Foundation, Rotary Club of Utumishi and The Kuwinda fire tragedy.
Rotarians made the centennial project happen. They offered their medical skills, provided entertainment, and helped secure media coverage. To a person, they described the experience as rewarding and satisfying.
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