Ken Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Burlington, Kansas, USA, during the immunization trip. Photo courtesy 2012 NID Team
By Al Bonney, 2014-15 Governor of District 6290 (part of Ontario, Canada; part of Michigan, USA), and a member of the Rotary Club of Traverse City, Michigan
The sun was just peaking pink and yellow over the roof tops of the soon-to-be-busy street when our team of 15 Rotary members sleepily descended from the bus on the first day of the three-day National Immunization Day trip. Continue reading →
Observation rounds at the Adolf Sice Hospital, Pointe Noire, Congo.
By Dr. Swati Gadgil, Rotary Club of Dombivli East, Maharashtra, India
In December, I was asked by Rotary and Mercy Ships to lead a team of four doctors to the Republic of Congo to train doctors and staff on disease prevention methods at The Adolf Sice and Tie Tie Base hospitals.
Just a few days before the trip, two doctors on our team had to drop out for personal and unavoidable circumstances. I called my friend Sanghamitra, who is based in Albany, New York, and to my surprise and relief, found her as eager as I to pursue this mission. Thanks are due to our assistant governor, Girish Mittal, for his support in making this last minute switch possible. Continue reading →
By Thaddeus Bah Masika, president of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Parklands, Kenya
In November, we visited children at Mother Teresa’s Home of Mercy, run by the Missionaries of Charity. For just a one day visit, it had a profound effect on our club and members, some of whom were moved to tears.
After meeting at 8 a.m. we traveled by public transportation to Huruma, a slum on the northeast edge of Nairobi, and walked the few meters to the home. We had three main goals in mind: clean the place, feed the children, and play with the children.
Women weave baskets at a center in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes
By Walter Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia, USA
What is it like taking a large team to Africa? It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.
In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. Continue reading →
By Ann Lee Hussey, polio survivor and member of the Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise, Maine, USA “Are you willing to lead a National Immunization Day team to Chad?” the email read. My immediate response was YES! Having worked in … Continue reading →
A mother seeks the polio vaccine for her child during immunization activities in southern Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of John Adams
By John Adams, a member of the Rotary Club of Somerset-Pulaski County, Kentucky, USA
At first, I thought the pull on my volunteer’s vest was one of the 50 or so village children who were following us, touching me to see if I was indeed real, because I was so different from them. But this was more than a child’s curious touch; it was a pull that caused me to lose my balance.
I turned in the direction of the pull to find it was not a playful child; but a determined mother, holding an infant. I will never forget her expression. I had no idea what she said in her dialect of Amharic or the local tribal language, but I knew exactly what she wanted. Continue reading →
The shirts strung out on cable between pontoon boats.
By Elsa Venter, past president of the Rotary Club of Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
More than 6,700 shirts fluttered in the breeze on the Vaal River, suspended from three-miles of cable that zigzagged back and forth between floating pontoons. It was an amazing sight, and one we hoped would earn a world record for longest clothesline stretched across a river. Continue reading →
Ann Lee Hussey immunizing a child against polio in Chad.
By Ann Lee Hussey, polio survivor and member of the Rotary Club of Portland Sunrise, Maine, USA.
As a 17-month-old toddler, I contracted polio. Burning up with fever, I was paralyzed from the waist down. It was July 1955, only three months after Jonas Salk’s vaccine was released to the public. I was lucky to regain the use of most but not all of my leg muscles. Today, after multiple surgeries, braces, and physical therapy, I am able to walk with limitations. Continue reading →