Rotary Peace Fellow reflects on Afghanistan, helping others in crisis

Kiran Sirah Singh at the International Storyelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, USA.

By Kiran Singh Sirah, a 2011-13 Rotary Peace Fellow and president of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee, USA

The news coming out of Afghanistan has been painful to watch. So many of these images of suffering — the cargo plane filled with refugees, and especially the image of the baby being passed over barbed wire to a soldier — reminded me of my own family’s experience as refugees. Forty-nine years ago, they were forced to flee their home in Uganda along with 50,000 others, when a murderous dictator threatened them with genocide.

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3,000 miles for 3 minutes: A global call to end polio

Bill Gates

By Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This week, I am heading from Seattle to New York to speak for 180 seconds. I will be talking at a United Nations meeting about the fight to eradicate polio. I am very passionate on the subject, and I usually prefer to discuss it for hours at a time. In this case, however, I am happy to stop at three minutes. Because the reason my time is short is that so many people are committed to eradication we can barely all squeeze into the program. Continue reading

When women are on the team

Korea NID

A Rotarian from District 3700 (Korea) administers oral polio vaccine to a child at a health camp in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, in November. Photo courtesy of Young Han Kim

Harriet “Pepi” Noble is a Rotarian and author of the blog, A Noble Purpose.

It’s International Women’s Day and I’m celebrating and spreading the news that thousands of women on two continents play a major role in eradicating polio.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative tells the story of these female vaccinators and front line health care workers in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

And they are not working in hospitals or clinics, but in the field, traveling door-to-door, down back alleys to talk Continue reading