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World Roundup

Kenya

The Rotary Club of Nairobi hosted an eye care camp in November, marking 30 years of the club’s commitment to ending rural blindness. A local bus company provided free transportation to and from Hema Hospital in Kisii, near Lake Victoria, so people from across western Kenya could receive cataract screening and surgery at a cost of $52 per patient. The club also works with Baltimore-based Tissue Banks International to treat keratoconus, a structural disorder of the cornea and a leading cause of blindness among the young in East Africa, and has hosted eye camps in rural areas throughout Kenya. Medical professionals have performed more than 14,000 surgeries and 200 corneal transplants through the blindness eradication project.

New Zealand

Rotarians from across Ne Zealand assisted with the Stroke Foundation’s sixth annual blood pressure awareness campaign in October. Volunteers gathered at 182 supermarkets and health centers, as far as Kaikohe to the north and Invercargill to the south, where they encouraged shoppers to have their blood pressure taken by representatives from the health charity St. John and Wellington Free Ambulance. They also handed out information about hypertension and its connection to stroke and other medical issues, and collected health data. In a follow-up survey, 37% of participants reported taking action as a result of their blood pressure reading that day.

Sri Lanka

District 3220 (Maldives and Sri Lanka) kicked off its One Million Tree Stories campaign in December to combat deforestation in Sri Lanka. Working with 2,500 local farmers and the departments of forestry and irrigation, the Rotary Club of Ibbagamuwa is leading the initiative to plant one million trees along the banks of protected reservoirs in Kurunegala District this year, and four million more over ?ve years. The public can sponsor a tree for $1 and share a personal tree story on the project’s Facebook page.

RI President’s Visit

Huangs Highleys ShannonsThanks to a travel schedule that brought him to Pasadena to ride in the Rose Bowl Parade, we were treated to a local visit by RI President Gary Huang last Saturday at the Cupertino Community Center. The intimate gathering of local Rotarians and their signi?cant others was the brainchild of Rotary Club of Cupertino’s President Hung Wei.

President Huang thanked all Rotarians for their clubs’ contributions in support of the RI Float in the New Year’s Day Parade. President Huang and his wife, Corina, rode on the ?oat for the 5-mile parade waving to the hundreds of thousands of people along the parade route as well as the millions of spectators in front of their TVs.

The RI ?oat cost over $80,000 to design and build with much of the last minute hand labor done by Rotaract and Rotary volunteers. Considering the number of people who were exposed to the work of Rotary by the TV commentators, this was considered a PR bargain!

President Huang mentioned that Rotary is growing world wide and is making diplomatic inroads in The Peoples’ Republic of China, where currently, only ex-pats are allowed to join Rotary. But in the next few years, China’s millions may be allowed to join the rest of the world in service to the needy. In addition to District 5170 Governor Ed Jellen, Campbell Rotarians and wives, Bill & Emilie Highley and John and Pam Shannon were in attendance.

Rotary World Roundup

Rotarian Mag logo

From the pages of The Rotarian Magazine

Brazil

A Rotary Foundation District Grant helped fund a literacy project in District 4420 (part of Sao Paulo), where the literacy rate dropped from 55% in 2007 to 50% in 2011. Twelve clubs in the district set up 13 reading rooms in hospitals, community centers, and other public spaces. Each one, staffed by a monitor and tutor, offers books and toys for children ages 5 to 12. The project has received support from the Colegio Rio Branco, part of a Rotary club-supported education complex, and the local Municipal Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents.

Australia

Violence Free Families, a nonpro?t created with help from the Rotary Club of Brighton in Victoria, has worked to prevent domestic violence since 2009, and dozens of clubs across the country have supported the organization’s efforts. The rotary Club of Balwyn has donated close to $30,000 to fund the latest project: an online behavior-change program for violence-prone men that provides an alternative to traditional group therapy.

USA

On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people in South Dakota, the per capita income is among the lowest in the United States. Since 2012, the Rotary Clubs of Brattleboro and Brattleboro Sunrise, Vt. have helped support the Lakota nonprofit radio station, a vital news source on the 2.8 million-acre reservation. The clubs’ annual International Film and Food Festival has raised $7,500 to buy equipment, as well as 85 refurbished laptops and six sewing machines for students and other residents.

Concert Benefits EPN

D-Squared Concert 2014On Sunday afternoon, member Debbie Davis presented her third annual musical concert to benefit the End Polio Now campaign of Rotary International. Funds received from the happy concert goers and others will be eligible for the double-match grant of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, thus tripling our club’s contribution!

Debbie paired herself with Mezza Soprano Deborah Rosengaus, creating the twosome dubbed “D Squared.” The duo wowed the assembled crowd with hits from Broadway shows featuring hits by Oscar Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, the Gershwin Brothers, Steven Sondheim and others. Debbie, a masterful pianist, played perfect accompaniment to the very talented singer who also shared delightful stories from her musical and personal past.

From “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” through a beautiful bi-lingual version of “Man of La Mancha”, Debbie and Deborah performed magically and left the audience completely enthralled. The show included a couple of crowd friendly “sing-a-longs” ending with “The Sound of Musics” “Edelweiss.”

Adding to the wonderful music was the unmatched hospitality of Rick and Doris Davis at their beautiful Silver Creek home.

Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss next year’s concert!

The Hunger Project

Although he’s an established Realtor in our community, Campbell Rotarian Rod Hibner actually addressed us today about one of his community service projects. Rod and his wife have been an active donors and supporters of the Hunger Project for more than ten years.

The Hunger Project aims to empower women and men to end their own hunger, focusing primarily in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

The project is less about providing direct hunger alleviation with shelters and food shipments, and more about enterprise development and enrichment. They have identified three critical elements to their success:

  1. Mobilizing people to build self-reliance.
  2. Empowering women. When women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits.
  3. Forging Partnerships with local government.

The Hunger Project has also collaborated with Rotary International and other local clubs in various projects, including restoring clean water services to the Jaldu earthquake epicenter in Ethiopia. Rod tells us that Rotary and The Hunger Project are continuing to investigate new projects, including international grant support and local club partnerships.