By Eve Fraser, charter president of the Rotary Club of Global Water Safety & Drowning Prevention
Who would have thought a soccer team getting stuck in a cave in remote Thailand would lead to the chartering of a new Rotary club for water safety and drowning prevention? Yet here we are!
In April 2021, the United Nations declared drowning to be the number-one cause of preventable deaths around the world. Africa and Asia were identified as the most affected regions. I had observed over the years swimming teachers delivering lessons to communities in need, struggling with the sheer volume of people who needed to learn to swim and the funding to deliver those programs. I imagined a club where members with the knowledge, skills, and experience worked together to train swimming teachers and help communities deliver sustainable programs.
By Dr. John Philip, a member of the Rotary Club of Newbury, Berkshire, England, and Chair of the International Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals
I recently traveled 1,350 miles from my home in Newbury, South England, through France, Germany, and Poland to the Ukraine border. My role was mainly one of providing navigation for the relief supplies we were delivering. I was joined by two Scottish colleagues, each driving a van packed tight with 120 boxes of vital medical equipment.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some trepidation about the journey, but it was one I felt compelled to make. I felt a deep sense of personal responsibility, both to the Rotary members who’ve generously supported the International Fellowship of Healthcare Professionals’ relief work, and to all the Ukrainians whose lives this equipment could ultimately save.
By Ada Wikina, international service chair, Rotary Club of North Cobb, Georgia, USA
As a young girl growing up in Nigeria in the 1960s, I did not talk about feminine hygiene, as it was almost taboo. So much so, that women either simply didn’t broach the subject with their daughters or they gave the responsibility to others. Or, as in my case, they would let an aunt who was a nurse explain it. Things have come a long way since then. I recently worked on the “Pad A Girl” project in my home country along with two Nigerian-based Rotary clubs. How did I get there?
By Elizabeth Usovicz, Rotary International Director, chair of Rotary’s Empowering Girls Task Force
What does it mean to be empowered? For girls throughout the world, empowerment is the ability to make choices and create positive change in their own lives, as well as in their families and communities.
Empowered girls become empowered women. Reaching out to the girls of our world is the heart and purpose of Rotary’s Empowering Girls Initiative. Our stories of supporting girls are interwoven with their stories of empowerment, like the story of Atupele, a girl in Malawi.
I was shocked and stunned as I sat in silence listening to the pain in my daughter’s voice. She was calling me from Kenya where she had travelled as a volunteer with an Australian volunteer organization.
She described witnessing first-hand the impact poverty was having on the health and wellbeing of families and especially the children she was working with. The main focus for her at that time was lack of education about puberty, sexual health, and sexual violence.