Archive | October, 2017

World Food Day 2017: Every Child Matters

18 Oct

Service in Action

By Past District Governor Una Hobday, Chair of Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group

Did you know that recent statistics show that every minute approximately five children, under the age of five, dies from malnutrition?

Every time I read this, I find it hard to comprehend. As Chair of the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group, we have taken an Every Child Matters approach to address this alarming fact.

The first 1000 days from conception are critical in a child’s development. If children do not receive adequate quantities of key micronutrients during this period, they can be irreparably impaired for life. Malnutrition and other serious health problems, such as blindness, cognitive disabilities, anemia and impaired growth can be due to nutritional imbalances in the diet.

The Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group was organized to address malnutrition through the use of readily available and local food sources. We create…

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That’s a nice flower, what’s it for?

17 Oct

Rotary Voices

A boy awaits the results of tests to determine if he has contracted polio.

By Mike Parry, regional Rotary Foundation coordinator for Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, northern and central England

As an RI representative on a World Health Organization post-polio outbreak surveillance audit in Ethiopia, I saw first-hand the front line difficulties experienced by doctors and local health workers. I also witnessed the very real fear of a child awaiting the result of tests to see if he had contracted polio. On my return to the United Kingdom, I was determined to be as involved as possible in supporting Rotary’s number one humanitarian project.

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Why we will eradicate polio in Nigeria

16 Oct

Rotary Voices

A boy in the displaced persons camp waves at the visiting team.

By Carol Pandak, Director of PolioPlus for Rotary International

As we drove away from the Muna camp for Internally Displaced Persons on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the capital city of restive Borno State in Nigeria, a young boy dressed in brown tunic and pants gave us a  friendly, somewhat surprised wave.

At 60,000 inhabitants, the camp had doubled in size since the same time last year as conflict continues to push people from their homes. My visit to the camp was the final stop on a trip to Nigeria with the Chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, Mike McGovern, on the occasion of the country having not reported a case of polio for a year. But while we marked the date on the calendar, the visit was not celebratory. 

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My dad’s battle with polio

13 Oct

Rotary Voices

Michelle Provan and her dad, Robert, who died in 2006 from pulmonary complications stemming from postpolio syndrome.

By Michelle Provan

During the 1950s, shortly after World War II, polio had a rampant outbreak in Chicago. I remember my dad, Robert Provan, telling the story of how he went to play at Evergreen Park, taking a sip of cool water from a drinking fountain, and believing that is where he caught the deadly disease at age five.

He was diagnosed with the worst type of polio. It instantly affected his entire body, and he was paralyzed from the neck down. He also spent time in an iron lung. My grandparents tried a couple of specialists to no avail. In fact, they were told to institutionalize him, a practice that was common during this time. They were told, “He is a burden to the family, and he belongs in an institute. Just…

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Overcoming obstacles to polio eradication in Pakistan

10 Oct

Rotary Voices

A Rotary volunteer administers polio drops to a child missed by earlier rounds in Pakistan.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Henry Ford

By Alina A. Visram, manager, Pakistan National PolioPlus Committee

When I first joined Pakistan’s PolioPlus Committee (PNPPC) as a manager close to eight years ago, polio eradication seemed within our reach. I used the opportunity to study poliomyelitis beyond just perceiving it as “a crippling disease.” I researched the causes and consequences; the types of polio virus; modes of prevention; and how elusive the virus can be given the right conditions.

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Why Rotary scholarships are sustainable investments

6 Oct

Rotary Voices

Sarah Ehlinger Affotey, a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, at a project site in Ghana.

By Sarah Ehlinger Affotey

After receiving an Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary in 2011, I put a lot of pressure on myself to “do it right,” or in other words, give Rotary a solid return on its investment. With each passing month in Ghana, what I had first deemed as peripheral – the friendships, conversations, and breakdown of stereotypes – were actually advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. How ingenious that this scholarship allowed me to advance Rotary’s mission subconsciously?

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The beginning of my Rotary story: polio drops in India

5 Oct

Rotary Voices

Administering polio drops during an immunization trip to India.

Editor’s note: This is the first of a series of posts from polio eradication volunteers, Rotary staff, and survivors in honor of World Polio Day 24 October.

By Nancy Barbee, past governor of District 7730 (North Carolina, USA)

Picture a small town country girl from North Carolina on her way to India for the first time with her 12-year-old son. A personal mission to visit friends in the remote state of Bihar was the beginning of my Rotary story that has lasted for more than a decade.

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Supporting basic education and literacy in your community

4 Oct

Source: Supporting basic education and literacy in your community

Supporting basic education and literacy in your community

4 Oct

Service in Action

By Rotary Service and Engagement staff

According to the United Nations, 57 million children worldwide are not in school and 757 million people over the age of 15 —two-thirds of whom are women — are illiterate. In honor of Rotary Basic Education and Literacy Month celebrated each September, take action by starting or supporting a literacy project in your community. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • Volunteer in a classroom or after-school program.
  • Promote student enrollment and prevent absences, especially for girls, by providing safe drinking water, gender segregated toilets, handwashing stations, and training on hygiene and menstrual hygiene management for students and teachers.
  • Work with a partner to provide training to school librarians on performing reading assessments and utilizing methodologies to work with students who have special learning needs.
  • Develop an adult literacy program.
  • Start a mentorship program for students in your community.
  • Find a project to…

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Partnering with Habitat for Humanity to empower communities

3 Oct

Source: Partnering with Habitat for Humanity to empower communities