Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rotary Supports Equine Theropy Cause That Is Featured On Animal Planet TV Show

The Merrimack Valley Rotary is supportive of The FARM in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The FARM is a nonprofit organization that provides equine theropy to physically and mentally challenged individuals. If you want to see a video about this outstanding organization. The FARM was featured on the Animal Planet Nework. Visit the link below:

You can also visit their web site at: http://www.t-h-e-farm.org/

He's back.....

Stuart Whitehurst of the famed "Antiques Roadshow" will be with us once again for another entertaining and educational evening. Set you calendars for November 19th from 7 - 9pm. The location will be announced here in the coming weeks.
If you've visited the show, and gave us your contact information, we'll send you an additional confirmation as well. This event is always a sell out, get your tickets early!

Monday, September 29, 2008


With the Holiday season upon us, we will soon be hearing the famous bell ringing and 'Thank yous" from local volunteers for the Salvation Army 'Christmas Kettle' aka 'Red Kettle' campaign. Since its inauguration in 1891, this charity event continues to grow larger, and each year more and more is donated to those who are in need.

Many of you have expressed interest in continuing to volunteer as 'Bell Ringers'. I have contacted the Salvation Army of Greater Lowell, and they are excited to know we are willing to help out!

The season begins Friday, November 7th and concludes Christmas Eve. This Wednesday we can discuss potential locations, that would best accommodate us, and sign up any volunteers who are interested.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rotary Medial Mission To Kenya. Report Of Activities On 24sep08

Here is one of the reports from Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good who is on a Rotary mission in Keny to help people who are impacted by AIDS. The picture is of children waiting to be treated in the medical building. There are separate buildings for dental (primarily tooth extraction) and optical. They expect to help over 2,000 children before the program is completed. For more posts by Carl visit his blog at http://kenyaaidscarl.blogspot.com/

Today we were to leave at 7:00 which meant that I had to get up at 5:30 to meet Darsi’’s driver George at 6:00 to make it to the hotel in time to make the bus to the Mukuru slum and the Catholic compound which is our base. The all went well.
Bumpy Roads
All the roads in the slum are incredibly bumpy I found by trial and error that one wants to sit in the front of the bus to avoid the increased bumpiness in the rear due to some form of leaver action.
Over 650 Children
More local Rotarians and Rotoracters seemed to be present today to ease the burden. Our group handled over 650 children today between the optical, dental and general medical groups. There is triage at the gate to give priority to the neediest cases. Our registration group handled mainly mothers with children and a few that came on their own.
Rotoractors Help
A number of school children came in groups and they were handled by local doctors and where necessary funneled into our functions. All the children who had not been recently de-wormed were given a worming pill. In the registration process we are aided by local Swahili speakers many of whom are college Rotarians called Rotoractors.
Learning Swahilli
As time goes by I am getting to be able to utter a few Swahili phrases but the children are shy and difficult to understand.Once the children have been triaged and registered with numbered armband they go and stand in front of one of three buildings that house the respective optical, dental and medical groups. Because of the large number of general medical patients a tent was erected to shade them during their wait.
Dental Work
The dental group has no chairs and other dental office stuff so each dentist wears a headlight and pulls teeth with their patients on a table. There is no filling as there is no equipment.Our registration process is the first to stop as it takes time for the patients to work through the other groups. Next to the Catholic compound is a Catholic sponsored trade school. One of our interpreters, David who is a clinical laboratorian, took us over for a tour. The students are mainly high school age and get training in sewing and clothes making, hairdressing, wood working, metal crafts, electrical, knitting and math.
Learning Skills
The facilities as one might expect are minimal but functional. In the slum there are many small shops of people earning a living plying these trades. Also, there is a large industrial area near the slum which can employ the graduated students. The hairdressing course is six months with the others being one year. In the courses they make clothes for school children as well as things to sell. All the school children are in uniforms of some type.After helping close up shop we took the bus ride back through the slum to the hotel. My host’s driver picked me up after delivering some medical supplies for the group.
Stopped At Mall
We stopped at a mall to get a few things like more had sanitizer. This mall would rival any I have seen in the U.S.. It was such a contrast going from the slum to this fancy mall. I have been comparing Dhaka in Bangladesh to Nairobi in Kenya. Nairobi is definitely a more advanced city but the slums are very similar.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kenya: International Medical Team Provides Preventive Care to Children in Nairobi Slums

Below is a press release from Rotary International regarding the current Rotary trip that Merrmiack Valley Rotary member Carl Good is currently undertaking in Kenya with 70 other people.

About 70 volunteers from a dozen countries arrived in Kenya this week to provide preventive health care services to thousands of children in the poorest neighborhoods of Nairobi, a city still recovering from the post-election violence of December and January.

The international team includes health care professionals and non-medical volunteers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Japan, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States. They include physicians, dentists, dental assistants, paramedics, registered nurses, optometrists and opticians. About two thirds of the volunteers are members of Rotary clubs.

Five of the members comprise a team that will oversee the installation of a 500-foot deep water well about 60 miles from Nairobi in the village of Mithini, where residents now walk miles each day to haul water from a polluted source.

The medical mission, which runs Sept. 22 -30, will focus on the health needs of children living in the Nairobi slums of Mukuru, Mathare and Korogocho, where the poverty rate is high and access to preventive health care extremely limited.

According to UNICEF, the widespread rioting and violence that rocked Kenya in the wake of the disputed Dec. 27 presidential election “took a particularly high toll” on the residents of Nairobi’s slums, where almost 60 percent of the city’s population eke out an existence on personal incomes averaging less than $1 a day. As usual in such circumstances, children were among the most vulnerable victims.

According to team co-leader Connie Spark, an optician and Rotary club member from York, Pa., each child will be screened to prioritize his or her most pressing needs -- dental work, vision problems, malnutrition, injuries, infection, etc. -- then sent to the appropriate specialty stations. Spark says the team is prepared to see as many as 3,000 patients a day, and the total value of services and supplies to be delivered is estimated at $1 million.

Local physicians and other Kenyan health care professionals will participate to ensure that patients will continue to receive appropriate care after the mission concludes. All unused supplies also will remain in Nairobi for that purpose.

The international team will be hosted by Kenyan Rotary club members, many of them members of Rotarians for Fighting AIDS (RFFA), an international organization for Rotary members concerned about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. RFFA has been especially active in Kenya, where it will function as the “mobilization partner” for the medical mission, handling logistics such as transportation, housing, food and security.

In cooperation with RFFA, the international charity Hope Worldwide will offer HIV testing and counseling during the medical mission, according to RFFA founder and chair Marion Bunch, a Rotary club member from Dunwoody, Ga.

The medical mission is supported by a $38,000 matching grant from the Rotary Foundation. Another Rotary matching grant of $49,000 will fund the installation of the Mithini water well. Also contributing funds are Rotary clubs in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Kenya and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Membership attendance for the month

The Merrimack Valley Club was tied with the Tewksbury club for weekly meeting attendance of it's members. Only 4 other clubs had higher attendance out of the 54 in the District.

Way to go!!

Better late than never...

Well better late than never I guess. Carl successfully reached Logan Airport despite the normal Friday traffic situations and is now safely in Kenya on his mission. Check out his blog which is linked on this page.

Good Luck Carl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MV Rotarian Carl Submits First Post From Kenya Trip

Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good is in Kenya on a trip made of of 70 Rotarians and non Rotarians to help people in that country impacted by AIDS. Below is his first post from that trip.

There are 70 of us now treating children in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi Kenya. Email access has been difficult but I have taken may pictures and had many fantastic experiences that will be posted later. The group is the largest such group in Rotary history and is composed of medical and non-medical personnel. The conditions in the slum are very bad but the people are wonderful.
Wish me the best.

Monday, September 22, 2008

MVRotary And Others To Be Recognized As Local Heroes

The Merrimack Valley Rotary and other Rotaries in the Greater Lowell area will be honored by Community Teamwork Inc at the annual Heroes Dinner. Each year CTI recognizes organizations and individuals who have consistently reached beyond ordinary levels of generosity, compassion and effort to make their communities at better place. CTI recognizes these organizations and individuals as "Local Heroes". The Local Heroes to be held on October 22nd at Lenzi's in Dracut MA. To find out more about CTI go to http://www.comteam.org/

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ahoy Me Hearty Rotarians! September 19 Is Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Merrimack Valley Rotary invites all Rotarians to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19, 2008.

What Is It?
International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur ("Ol' Chumbucket") and Mark Summers ("Cap'n Slappy"), of Corvallis, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, me hearty!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Talk_Like_a_Pirate_Day

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rotarians Battle AIDS In South Africa

In the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Rotarians in South Africa are bringing education, nutrition and health care to AIDS orphans, with help from non-profit partner Soul of Africa. From RVM - Rotary Video Magazine, issue 2.1 *** To purchase RVM, visit http://shop.rotary.org

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MV Rotarian To Meet With US Ambassador To Kenya

As part of his trip to Kenya, Carl Good will have the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to Kenya, click on the letter shown here to see full size of letter.

Carl leaves for his trip on Friday, September 19 and should return in two weeks. Forr information on his trip, see article below. For updates on Carl's trip, check back with this Blog or tune into Carl's Blog: http://kenyaaidscarl.blogspot.com/

Special Trip To Kenya Is Rotary At Its Best!

Merrimack Valley Rotary Member Carl Good is part of a group of Rotarians and non Rotarians from around the world who will be talking a trip to Kenya on September 19 to help the people in that country who are victims of AIDS.

Carl will be part of a group called RFFA (Rotarians For Fighting AIDS). The focus will be on children who have been orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic and those who are vulnerable due to their socioeconomic circumstances.

Several Rotary clubs have organized this medical mission in partnership with RFFA to serve as many of them as they can. All of the children they will be seeing live in the slums – many in child-headed or adolescent-headed households, others with elderly grannies who barely have the means to support themselves, much less to support their grandchildren. Education is the only way out of poverty for these children, but unless they are well enough to attend school, that opportunity is lost.

As well, most of the kids receive only one meal per day and they get that meal at school. So again, it's important to keep them in school. Their plan is to set up a temporary clinic in one of the slum areas (either Mathare, Korogocho or Makuru) in Nairobi. They will conduct general health, dental and eye screenings. Illnesses and injuries that they can treat will be treated onsite. Those that they cannot treat will be referred to hospital or to the care of Rotarian physicians in Nairobi, some of whom will be working alongside then in their clinic.I

They will be working closely with Rotarians in Nairobi. They expect to see a lot of upper respiratory illnesses, a well as malnutrition, anemia, amoebic dysentery, skin conditions of various kinds (especially scabies and ringworm), minor injuries and wounds, malaria, typhoid and possibly TB.

The CDC also will be providing them with HIV/AIDS test kits. A Rotarian pediatrician in North Carolina, who is part of the medical team, is looking into obtaining rapid serum TB testing kits. (TB treatment in Kenya is free, but testing isn’t.)

They also have arranged to have Kenyan-certified HIV/AIDS educators on site every day of the clinic. The health educators will teach proper hand washing, tooth brushing, HIV/AIDS prevention, and general disease prevention. Each child will then receive a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and a 60-day supply of multiple vitamins and iron.

The team will have a variety of options for lodging: home hosting by local Rotarians or hotels. Lunch will be provided to the team each day by the Kenyan Rotarians. As well, I have arranged to rent enough mini-vans to transport the team back and forth from their places of lodging to clinic every day.

With the help of the Kenya Rotaries, most of the supplies they will need will be purchased in Kenya and will be available upon their arrival. Other supplies will need to be purchased or otherwise obtained here and taken along with then. Any supplies/medications we don’t use for the clinic will be donated to other medical professionals in Nairobi.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Looking To Go To School Overseas? Consider a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship!

Ambassadorial Scholarships, The Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, was founded in 1947. Since then, nearly 38,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. Today it is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. Nearly 800 scholarships were awarded for study in 2005-06. Through grants totaling approximately US$500 million, recipients from about 70 countries studied in more than 70 nations.

"The Rotary Foundation does some terrific things, not the least of which is the Ambassadorial Scholarships program." — Michael R. Whiteman, international programs director, University of Idaho

The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups.

Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.

Generous contributions from Rotarians worldwide represent a continued faith that today’s Ambassadorial Scholars will be tomorrow's community and world leaders. Contact us at MVrotary@gmail.com for more information.

Apply for a chance to make a difference .

Listen Up! Rotary Radio Is Now On The Air!

Fans of classic radio will love the Rotary Golden Theater Radio Show , which RI produced in 1955 for its 50th anniversary. This radio series is now available online. Every week for the next few months, a new episode or two will be added.
In the tenth episode, "Let's Get Acquainted," a man, who was initially hesitant to join Rotary because he thought he didn't have the time, is helped by Rotarians after a fire destroys his business.
For more information, e-mail RI's History and Archives Department at mailto:history@rotary.org.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rotary Trip To Help Children In Orphanages In Kenya

Merrimack Valley Rotary Member Carl Good, will be one of 70 Rotarians who will be going to Kenya at the end of September on a project to help the residents with AIDs. Below is an article about the Project Coordinator Peter Southern from England.

TEESSIDE Rotarian Peter Sotheran is banking on a crash course in Swahili as he prepares to support an international aid mission to Africa. The long-standing member of the Rotary Club of Guisborough and Great Ayton has been selected to take part in a mission to Kenya, where most of the locals speak Swahili.

Peter, a past president of the club and well known for his involvement in charitable causes, travels out to Nairobi in Kenya in five weeks’ time. His job is to co-ordinate a 70-strong team of doctors, dentists and opticians at three campsites in the slums of Nairobi.

He said: “My job is to integrate the international volunteers with local voluntary help and many of the locals will have limited command of English.” Known as a health and hygiene mission, the aim is to screen and treat several hundred young people each day, targeting 12,000 in the two weeks of the mission. Patients from infants to 20 years of age, plus young mums will be checked and treated.

Two dental clinics will be set up in schools on the edge of the slums, and will be geared to treat around 200 patients a day. The optical team is equipped to examine up to 25 patients an hour, will produce prescription spectacles within the hour and treat minor eye infections. Restoring a patient’s vision restores their independence and enables them to contribute to the family and community,” explained Peter.

Special attention will be given to children in local orphanages, most of whom have lost their parents due to Aids. Working alongside each of the teams will be a specialist HIV/Aids counselling and treatment unit. More than 25% of the population of Nairobi (850,000 out of 3.2m) live in the timber and tin-sheet shanties of the slums.

So many infants are born with Aids-infected blood, we need a massive intervention to try to create an Aids-free generation,” said Sally Platt, a Rotarian from Marietta in Georgia (USA), who is leading the mission. The project is the pilot of a five-year programme that is funded by the US Government and a host of international corporations. The 70 volunteers converge on Nairobi over the weekend of September 20.

Readers wanting to support the work can send donations to Guisborough Rotary Club, Whitby Lane, Guisborough, TS14 6PT. The club regrets it cannot accept gifts of toys, clothes or books as the baggage allowance is now completely allocated to medical supplies and equipment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rotary Trip To Kenya Is A World Wide Inspiration

Merrimack Valley Rotary member Carl Good will soon be off to Kenya on a Rotary Trip to help treat people with HIV. Carl along with dozens of Rotarians from around the world will be leaving on September 19. If you interested in keeping track of Carl's trip, tune into Carl's Kenya blog at http://kenyaaidscarl.blogspot.com/ Updates will also be posted on this the Merrimack Valley blog http://www.mvrotary.blogspot.com/ We are very proud of Carl, who completed a polio trip to Bangladesh just a few month ago. For more information write to mvrotary@gmail.com

Monday, September 1, 2008

Success Starts With A Fire!

"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire."
Arnold H. Glasow

MV Rotary's Ironman Achieve's His Goal! Yeah!

Congratulations to MV Rotarian Jim Fitton who completed the Louisville 2008 Ironman race in 11 hours and 53 minutes. He was 280 out of a field of 1975 people. Not only was competing in the race and finishing it a impressive accomplishment, but it is an inspiration for all of us who aspire to achieve goals. Jim set in his mind his race as a goal, and he did it! Yeah Jim! We can hardly wait until he gets back to a meeting to tell us all about it!