RI President Huang with newly inducted members of the Rotary Club of Lusaka, Ms. Elizabeth Efua Benneh (Ghana High Commissioner to Zambia) and Mrs. Sifawu Inu Momoh (Nigeria High Commissioner to Zambia).

The Power to Create a World Where No Child Dies From Preventable Disease Is in Our Hands - Minda Dentler

This post is part of the Global Moms Relay. Every time you share this post or watch this video, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action), up to $300,000, to four causes helping improve the health and wellbeing of moms and kids worldwide: MAMA, Shot@Life, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Girl Up. Scroll to the bottom to find out more.

One month ago, I was nervously holding my 2-month-old daughter in my lap at our pediatrician's office in New York City, waiting for her to get her first series of vaccinations. What would have appeared to be a routine visit was, in fact, a huge moment in my life.

You see, my legs were paralyzed by polio many years ago when I was an infant. I was born to a single mother and domestic worker in Mumbai, India. I was left at an orphanage because my birth mother could not care for me. I was adopted by an American family and moved to the U.S. where I could receive much-needed medical care.

When we left our pediatrician's office, my eyes began to well up as I started thinking about all the things that my daughter would not have to face because she would not have to suffer the debilitating effects of polio. I actually started listing out all of the ways that her life would be different from mine, all the things she would be able to do that were so hard for me -- because of a vaccine.

When I see her lift her little leg up, I begin to imagine and see that she will be able to walk, free from the thick, heavy leg braces and crutches that I must use to walk. I think about how she will not only be able to walk, but she will be able to run and play soccer, basketball, softball -- anything she wants.

She will not have to limit her choices of where she will live, work and play because of her mobility. Her physical being will not prevent her from harnessing new opportunities or having a better life.......

Read the Blog by Minda Dentler, First woman handcyclist to complete the Kona Ironman, in The Huffington Post

Nigerian donor Michael Olawale-Cole promotes Rotary’s role as a player for peace

For Nigerian philanthropist Michael Olawale-Cole, understanding Rotary's positive influence in the world requires imagining the world without Rotary.

"How many millions of people's lives would not have been affected by Rotary's good work?" says Olawale-Cole, who joined Rotary as a member of the Rotary Club of Isolo, Lagos State, in 1980. "If Rotary did not take on the challenge of eradicating polio, how many more millions of children around the world would have died or been crippled by this disease? Who could have done that if not Rotary?"

Imagining what the world would be like without Rotary has made Olawale-Cole a generous supporter of The Rotary Foundation. In October 2013, he and his wife, Adebola, were inducted into the , which recognizes donors who give at least $250,000 to the Foundation. The couple supports the Foundation through the Chief Michael Olawale-Cole Endowed Fund for .

"I see a world with so many challenges, inadequacies, and shortcomings in the areas of health, infrastructure, ethics, and peace, especially in the developing countries" says Olawale-Cole, "Rotary has filled many gaps in these areas so far, but we must continue."

Olawale-Cole regards the promotion of peace and conflict resolution as one of the world's greatest challenges. With sectarian violence gripping the Middle East, ethnic tensions flaring between Ukraine and Russia, and the brutal extremist group Boko Haram terrorizing much of the northern part of his homeland, he says that now is the time Rotary must ramp up its investments in .

"We need to continue and expand our because our students not only bring a wealth of knowledge to the world, they bring the integrity of Rotary," he says. "It's harder to bring education, clean water, and health to places where security is unstable. People need to feel safe first. I would like to see our efforts in peace the primary focus over the next couple of years."

Olawale-Cole sees his support of the Foundation as a duty. "I need to pay back to a world that has taken care of me and made me what I am today. I feel very fortunate in my life," says Olawale-Cole, who owns businesses involved in insurance brokering, tourism, management consulting, and oil production. "I can't imagine another organization that could be more trusted with my funds. I know that every dollar that goes to the Foundation will be . Rotary will give money to the right source for the right purpose. That, to me, is strength of this organization."........

Read more in www.rotary.org

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ROTI happenings

A beautiful partnership of service through Rotary

Our unique partnership with the Rotary Club of Mission Viejo in California, USA, began more than a decade ago when I was president and I was looking for a centennial project for our club. With other members of the club, I visited Nakhwa School in Thane, established in 1964 to provide education for children from low-income families, and was convinced this would be a great opportunity for us to serve.

On a visit to California, I met with the Mission Viejo club and discussed the project, and they were excited to partner with us on a Rotary Foundation grant. We were able to provide benches, electrical fans, glass boards, a water tank, science lab equipment, library books, and six computers with Internet access for the school of 600 plus students. We also purchased four tailoring machines to teach female students sewing and kits to teach electrical skills to male students. We completed the project in four months at a cost of $14,000.

Members in both clubs were very much willing to continue the partnership, and so when a doctor from the Mission Viejo club proposed providing equipment to help a school for the deaf and mute in our area, we jumped at the chance. After a needs study, we combined to raise money and purchase audiometers and establish a sound proof room for speech therapy and audiometry so the school could monitor the progress of every child. The second project was finished in 2007.


One of the check dams the two clubs partnered to construct.

Our Rotary district has been involved with many sustainable water projects in the last couple decades, constructing check dams in rural areas. Our district’s water management team assigned us to oversee the building of a check dam and four bore wells as part of a regional strategy. Once again, the members in Mission Viejo came to our help, and we partnered on a Foundation Grant to provide the improvements and give 600 people clean drinking water and a means to irrigate their fields. The project was completed in four months in 2009 at a cost of $11,750. Two years later, we combined for another grant project that built three more check dams.

Last year, we combined with the Mission Viejo club on our very first global grant, constructing four check dams and digging four bore wells at a cost of $33,500. The project is providing drinking water to more than 3,000 and allowing them to have sufficient irrigation to plant two crops a year.

It has been a beautiful partnership that has allowed Rotary members in both California and Maharashtra to work together to help people and improve our community. The connection continues this year with another global grant for five more check dams and bore wells that will benefit more than 4,300 people. We are determined to carry this partnership forward as far as we can, and show the world just what Rotary members can accomplish when we work together!

- Rotary Voices

Rotary exchange inspires children’s books about animals

Six years ago, I visited the Philippines as part of a Group Study Exchange team from Rotary District 1270 (Lincolnshire, England).The opportunity to visit one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots as a professional wildlife conservationist became for me the start of a new writing and illustrating adventure.

Glimpsing just a little of the amazing diversity of animals sparked my imagination.The animals became characters in my mind and I started to write their stories. Three of those stories have just been published in the Philippines.

The animals featured in ‘Danao the Parrot,’ ‘Mayumi the Forest Pig,’ and ‘Pipisin the Pangolin’ are all endemic to the Philippines; they are found nowhere else in the world. The books are a celebration of the rich diversity of wildlife in the country with a strong educational element and conservation messages about the endangered animals. Two of the picture books were illustrated by Filipino artists Jonathan Ranola and Ingrid Tan, while the third I illustrated myself.

Witnessing the work of Rotary in the Philippines, particularly after Typhoon Ketsana hit just months after my exchange visit, left a deep impression on me. Since the exchange I have raised funds for Rotary projects and disaster relief including for ShelterBox. In writing the books, I discovered that I have something more that I can give: stories about the unique and special animals, and, my enthusiasm and passion for wildlife. I hope the children’s books will prove to be a lasting and tangible contribution to a country that has given me so much.

I have strong memories from my exchange visit of going to schools adopted by their local Rotary clubs. These are the children I thought about while writing the stories. I would love to work with Rotary clubs to give the picture books to schools and children who can’t afford the luxury of buying books.

- Rotary Voices

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