Life-giving water in Ghana

Theresa Osei Tutu

Theresa Osei Tutu

By Theresa Osei Tutu, a member of the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, Ghana

It is often said that water is life. But for many in Ghana, water is disease and death. It is for this reason that Ghanaian Rotarians have embraced the RI-USAID Water and Sanitation Project, to help reduce the diseases that break out as a result of poor water quality and improper sanitation.

About 80 Rotary members from 31 clubs assembled at the Tema Rotary Centre on 12 March to get more insight on their role in the project. Continue reading

Ghana excited to take part in next phase of H2O Collaboration

School children at spigot in Volta

Primary school children in the Volta region of Ghana use a new spigot to wash their hands.

By Ako Odotei, a member of the Rotary Club of Tema, Ghana, Africa. This is the first in a series of planned posts from Rotary members involved in the Rotary-USAID International H2O Collaboration that supports lasting, positive change to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives.

When the Rotary-USAID International H20 Collaboration asked Rotary clubs in Ghana to participate in the second phase of the partnership, there was a lot of excitement as well as some trepidation. US$4 million (the amount the collaboration has committed to each country for 2015-18) is a lot of money! Continue reading

WHO’s new director of polio eradication: the end is in sight

Michel ZaffranIn February, Michel Zaffran will take over as director of polio eradication for the World Health Organization (WHO). Most recently, Zaffran has served as coordinator of WHO’s Expanded Programme on Immunization. He has also served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), and  represented WHO on the working group that designed and launched GAVI. We caught up with him recently to ask his thoughts about this new challenge:

I am extremely excited, but also emotionally very moved, to have been selected for this position. I started working for the World Health Organization in September of 1987 in the immunization program. A few months later in May the World Health Assembly endorsed the resolution to actually eradicate polio. I was just at a very junior level but remember seeing my bosses work on the resolution, and so I was there from the very beginning. So to actually toward the end of my career be coming back and heading the program for its last miles basically is very exciting and very moving. Continue reading

Peace Corps, Rotary bound by service

140505_Hessler_RadeletBy Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps

I come from a family of Rotarians. My father is a Rotarian, and my Aunt Ginny — whose Peace Corps service inspired me to become a volunteer — was also a Rotarian. Peace Corps volunteers and Rotarians like my father and aunt are bound by a common purpose: service. That’s why I’m excited about Peace Corps’ partnership with Rotary International and to see what we can accomplish together. Continue reading

On a mission of mercy to Guinea

The vocational training team assists with cataract surgeries during the eleventh day of the trip.

The vocational training team assists with cataract surgeries during the eleventh day of the trip.

By Arun Chaudhari, past president of the Rotary Club of Mumbai West Coast, India 

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of leading a team of four eye surgeons to Conakry, Guinea, West Africa to work with our strategic partner, Mercy Ships, on training eye surgeons in West Africa and performing cataract surgeries.

Our trip was coordinated by Mark Wright from Mercy Ships, and made possible through the work of many Rotary members in Mumbai, India, including our district governor, Dr Balakrishna Inamdar, a well-known gynaecologist.  Continue reading

Dolly, Rotary put books into the hands of children


Above: Dolly Patron talks about the Imagination Library and the partnership with Rotary during the 2010 Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

By David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation

The wonderful partnership between Dolly Parton and Rotary International continues to flourish in communities both large and small all across the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most recently Australia.

Although every community approaches the program in its own way, one thing impresses me much more than dollars raised or even time invested –and this is the enormous influence Rotarians exert in their communities. Continue reading

Join us in celebrating World Polio Day

By Amanda Peet, actress and vaccine ambassador for Every Child By Two

Today is World Polio Day. To most Americans this day of observance will quietly slip under the radar; and understandably so. Here in America, our children are protected from this horrible disease, which prior to the development of a polio vaccine in 1955, paralyzed up to 20,000 and killed nearly 1,000 of our citizens each year. Most of the victims who survived polio were young children, many who remained in iron lungs for a lifetime. Today, polio remains endemic in only three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan) and in 2011, less than 700 cases were reported. This is a reduction of more than 99 percent since 1985. Continue reading