Rotary news in brief from around the globe
Children at 83 schools in Hyderabad received 2,950 new desks during the 2010-11 Rotary year through a project of districts 3150 (India) and 1400 (Finland).
R otary clubs around the globe have many things in common, including a commitment to service. All year long, clubs are taking action to make a difference in their communities. Here’s a roundup of recent club activities worldwide:
Moved by the story of four-year-old Parker Reck, who died after falling from a second-floor window, the Rotary Club of Molalla, Oregon, joined with the boy's mother, Ashley Reck, to prevent similar tragedies. The club helped launch Stop at 4", which encourages parents to install stops that allow windows to open no more than 4 inches. The campaign is developing materials, available on its website, to help families select safe windows.
A shack with plywood walls and a cardboard roof used to serve as a school for 94 children in the Tráfico barrio of Ciudad Nicolás Romero. After Enrique Madrigal, then president of the Rotary Club of Tlalnepantla, saw the school in 2008, he launched a three-year fundraising drive to revitalize it. Today, it has six classrooms, along with a media center, kitchen, and cafeteria. The project cost 5.3 million pesos (US$394,000), about 25 percent of which came from the municipal government of Nicolás Romero. A dedication ceremony was held in May.
The Rotary Club of Verrières-le-Buisson, Essonne, raised money for polio eradication for a song. The club teamed up with the Consortium of Stade de France, which operates the national stadium north of Paris, for a performance of the Verdi opera Aida in October 2010. The Stade de France donated €4 (US$5.50) for every ticket purchased through the club. Rotarians from all over, including Alsace, Charente, Vendée, and Guadeloupe, attended the opera, raising enough money to purchase about 23,600 doses of polio vaccine. This past September, the club again worked with the stadium, for a performance of Excalibur .
Many children in Missionvale, a shantytown outside Port Elizabeth, must go without shoes, leaving them susceptible to soil-borne infections and scabies, among other health risks. Dan Gensler, of the Rotary Club of Coronado, California, USA, heard Sister Ethel Normoyle speak about the children of Missionvale at the 2006 RI Convention and later contacted the shoe company TOMS, which provides a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. The Coronado club and TOMS worked together to distribute the first shipment of shoes to Missionvale in December 2010. Since then, the club has helped ship more than 80,000 pairs there.
In April and May, Rotarians from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, traveled to the city of Sunyani to visit projects that their clubs are carrying out with the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central and Sunyani Polytechnic Institute. They dedicated a restroom facility at Sunyani Municipal Primary School, funded in part by a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant, and distributed 350 antimalaria nets to schools, hospitals, and an orphanage. Malaria causes many infant deaths in Ghana.
Children at 83 schools in Hyderabad received 2,950 new desks during the 2010-11 Rotary year through a project of districts 3150 (India) and 1400 (Finland). The state government often struggles to cover teachers' salaries, and many public schools lack schoolroom basics. Kiran Kumar Reddy, chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh, was on hand for the distribution and praised Rotarians for their service.
District 3660 is working with a newspaper in Busan to fulfill the dreams of 50 children in need. The newspaper published articles about the elementary school-age children and their wishes, which included having their own computer, becoming a diplomat, and having enough money to pay hospital bills. The district is donating about US$900 to each child to help make those dreams a reality. The newspaper is also running materials from Rotary's "This Close" public image campaign to highlight the organization's work to eradicate polio and help children around the world.
Only 1 out of every 100,000 women in the Philippines can afford the vaccination against cervical cancer. With support from a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant, the Rotary Club of Sampaguita-Grace Park worked with the Rotary clubs of Bayview Sunshine and Hong Kong Financial Centre, Hong Kong, and districts 3450 (Hong Kong; Macau; Mongolia) and 3520 (Taiwan) to provide the three-dose vaccination to 105 public school teachers in Caloocan City in Metro Manila. Volunteer gynecologists, including Gianna Montenegro of the Sampaguita-Grace Park club, also administered Pap tests, detecting precervical cancer lesions in two women.
The following items are a complement to the roundup appearing in The Rotarian.
A Group Study Exchange team composed of professionals from several areas in the Middle East spent five weeks in Arizona, USA, in November, hosted by the Rotary Club of Nogales. They met with their professional counterparts and attended several events, including a dinner social. The team members came from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine. A team of professionals from southern Arizona will visit those areas in early 2012.
Though hospitals often use ventilators to help premature babies develop their muscles for breathing, over time, conventional machines can cause respiratory damage. The Rotary Club of Bondi Junction, New South Wales, recently donated a high-frequency ventilator, which is gentler on a newborn's lungs, to the Royal Hospital for Women Newborn Care Centre. As many as 1,000 premature babies a year will benefit from the US$70,000 device.