By Rebeccah Bartlett, 2014-16 Rotary Peace Fellow, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Many refugees rank finding a job and getting a good education for their children as their most pressing needs after finding asylum in a new country. Access to healthcare barely makes their list, even though health affects their ability to acquire and keep a job as well as their children’s ability to perform well in school.
What’s more, refugees are rarely able to focus on accessing prenatal/postnatal health care and family planning services, despite the fact that 80 percent of most refugee populations are made up of women and children. Many refugees in transit through Europe have little or no systematic support or knowledge of the public health resources and legal rights available to them. They are also particularly vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking. Continue reading
The author, third from right, during the Drexel team’s visit to Uganda.
By Ronald Smith, past governor of District 7430 (Pennsylvania, USA) and a member of the Rotary Club of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
I began planning a vocational training team with my son Ryan in 2006, when he was still a medical student at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, USA, with an interest in doing a rotation in Africa. My previous experience with Rotary grants, and my friendship with fellow district governor Francis Tusibira “Tusu” of District 9200 (east Africa),” inspired me to form a team. Continue reading
A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light.
By Neal Beard, Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA
Since 2006, I have traveled to Honduras on numerous occasions as part of a village electrification project organized by the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg and our Rotary district. The Rotary Club of Madison, Alabama, has also been working with us in the same area for about nine years, doing incredible work delivering healthy burning Eco-Stoves, eye clinics, and dental clinics.
Last year, I wired this lady’s home for electricity (photo at right). All she wanted was one light bulb to illuminate her kitchen. On her first attempt the string broke. I had to repair it and let her try again. Continue reading
By Clara Montanez, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., USA
Women are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, supporters, even a shoulder to cry on. Yet women still earn less than their male counterparts. In my field, women comprise maybe 12 percent of all financial advisers. Women need to feel there is a support group, a sisterhood, they can go to for help.
And that is why it is important for us to celebrate this special day, International Women’s Day. Motherhood is one of the most important roles a woman can have. But it can be an isolating role in Continue reading
By Quentin Wodon
Rotary is about service and fellowship. While some value fellowship the most, others place the emphasis on service as the defining characteristic of their Rotary experience. I tend to belong to the second group. I believe in the importance of thinking through the design of our service projects to ensure they have a lasting and measurable impact on those we are trying to help.
That is why I am excited about an upcoming event for International Women’s Day that will feature two Continue reading
Children receive their toys in Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.
By Rotary Voices staff
A girl clutched the new purse she had just received during the annual toy giveaway in the community of Badami Bagh, Lahore, Pakistan.
Another child examined the coloring books and colored pencils with interest, while a crowd of other children and their parents surrounded a table in the market square, waiting their turn to select a free toy. Continue reading
Some of the children at the school we visited. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Dombivli East
By Dr. Swati Gadgil, Rotary Club of Dombivli East, Maharashtra, India
Our Rotary club’s women’s welfare society recently went to a tribal settlement in Katkar Wadi, where we visited 60 households and a 35-student school for kindergarten through grade four, handing out notebooks, writing materials, clothing, and utensils. Many of the women in the settlement have never been to school, and it is a rare occasion when they even travel out of their community. Our youth wing conducted games for the children, also engaging our members in the fun.
We were also able to plant trees in the community and distribute snacks and treats. The team left with the determination to adopt the settlement and make a significant difference for years to come.
A child in Sierra Leone eats some of the specially formulated peanut butter.
By Rotary Voices staff
Severe acute malnutrition kills millions of children around the world every year. Those who don’t die often suffer from stunted growth and other health problems. More children between the ages of one and three die of inadequate food intake every year than from HIV/AIDS.
In Sierra Leone, Rotary members are partnering with more than 20 clubs in the United States and Canada to prevent some of these deaths by supplying jars of specially developed peanut butter, known as “Ready to Use Therapeutic Food,” to treat children suffering from malnutrition. The project, funded by a global grant from the Rotary Foundation, began in January of 2013 and is continuing through September. Continue reading
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