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Vol.64, Issue 5

Annual Subscription Rs.480

November 2013

The Rotary Foundation Month

God’s Own Country.

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Editor’s Letter In My Thoughts Mission Made Possible Who will do the work ? Focus







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Global Outlook Ethics on Tap Nation Building through Science and Technology Dispelling Ignorance Terry Fox Run Irrigation of Life

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Siga Marketing, 09381475767.



RI Dist. 3230

PRIP Rajendra K. Saboo

RI Dist. 3080

PRIP Kalyan Banerjee

RI Dist. 3060

PRID Ashok Mahajan

RI Dist. 3140

PRID Yash Pal Das

RI Dist. 3080

PRID Shekhar Mehta

RI Dist. 3291


Rabi Narayan Nanda

RI Dist. 3262


Radhe Shyam Rathi

RI Dist. 3053


Hari Krishna Chitipothu

RI Dist. 3150

PDG R. Badri Prasad

RI Dist. 3190

PDG Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh

RI Dist. 3261

PDG Ramesh Aggarwal

RI Dist. 3010

Rtn. T.K. Balakrishnan

RI Dist. 3230

COMMITTEES DG Vinod Bansal - Finance Committee DG Deepak Shikarpur - Editorial Committee DG Anil Agarwal - Marketing Committee DG Mohan Mulherkar - Marketing Committee



ROTARY NEWS ROTARY SAMACHAR Editor Rtn. T.K. Balakrishnan Assistant Editors Jaishree S. Selvi

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The Pink Ribbon Cause What a Varie-Tea... Rhythms from Assam

Sub Editor Kiran Zehra


Send all correspondence and subscriptions to ROTARY NEWS TRUST 3rd Floor, Dugar Towers, 34 Marshalls Road, Egmore, Chennai 600 008, India. Phone : 044 42145666 Fax : 044 28528818 e-mail :

Very Briefly

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A thousand and one surprises


or many Rotary club members, Rotary is so close and yet so far from their thoughts. The club leaders have the responsibility to invite the members to discover the hidden depths of Rotary through the marks of service left by the earlier leaders and senior members. Some new members have reported that they feel insulted by many for not bringing them into the fold. They are then accused of idleness. This is the first sign of premature ageing for the club. A vibrant club needs a dynamic club president who can renovate it and surprise all those who believed that the club is in ruins. The club’s atmosphere must be an excellent example of harmony with its surroundings. It need not be luxurious but should be warm and attractive. Arriving into a club meeting must become a sensory delight for everyone. Members should shine with a light of their own. Even a visitor to the club or a speaker should feel that the club is not just a small entity lost in the distant corner of a big district but rather they should feel that the club has contributed to the progress of Rotary.


Surprises must continue even for the club member when everyone greets every other person on arrival. No one should ever settle down as an ordinary member. They must become curious about a wide range of subjects that Rotary has to offer, from Club Service to PolioPlus. Rotary membership is a discipline that enables the delivery of amazing life-changing projects all over the world that are capable of outlasting their creators. The club leaders should not be troubled by criticism or discussions on how to run the club. More than troubling them, they should look for mistakes, analyse them and try to fix them. The next meeting will be more surprising and enjoyable. Coming into a club should make you feel alive, stimulate your creativity and excite you to improve yourself on every project. The president must be disciplined and selfcritical. From the leadership point of view, he or she should stand for the modernity represented by the youth against the rationalism that predominated in the previous years. This approach will throw up lot of surprises and the club will become more attractive to youngsters. Few decades ago, the members of the clubs were demanding 24 x 7 Rotary attendance and spirit. Today the new members seek personalised attention and extra experiences, whether it is in club service, vocational service, community service or international service. The members of the club are the celebrities and creators of unique experiences. Probably the club president must offer the most cutting-edge technological advancement while conducting a meeting with the most exclusive and personalised attention to members’ requirements. Try to do this and there will be a thousand and one surprises.

Rtn. T.K. Balakrishnan NOVEMBER 2013



Well Written I was very happy to read your Editor’s Letter, ‘Doing Good in the World.’ I can share a short incident from our club project. When I was distributing glasses to people after a cataract surgery in a village outside Delhi, an elderly man after putting on his glasses just held my arm and said, “Oh God! I am seeing my feet for the first time.” It is such a divine feeling! Rtn. Dr. Harish Khosla RC Delhi RI District 3010 Immediately after receiving the Rotary News magazine I always read the editorial, and I must tell you, your editorial ‘Image of Rotary’ is an excellent motivational, introspective article. It is a ‘mantra’ for Rotarians. It is a beautiful editorial. Thank you for reminding the Rotarians. PDG Aswini Kar RI District 3262 New Clubs I read your article ‘Size Wise’ in the September 2013 issue of Rotary News. I would like to share about a similar issue. New clubs with modified names are started in the same community with probably same members, where a club was terminated due to non-payment of per capita dues or for non-functioning. PDG Dr. Girish Udapudi RI District 3170

A unique project I am very much impressed by the article, ‘For a Firm Grip.’ The way all the members have worked is very impressive. I have heard about artificial leg but not about hand. I congratulate the team for the great work. Rtn. Dr. Hitesh Shah RC Bhavnagar RI District 3060 Impressive pot-pourri I am new to the world of Rotary. I received the latest copy of Rotary News. It is indeed an impressive magazine. I particularly like the cover design. Rtn. Amrita Priya RC Calcutta South City Towers RI District 3291 Entire issue of Rotary News is informative, focused and directional. What does a discerning reader look for in an 84+ magazine? There are plenty of useful information to all the readers like, Rotary topics, Focus of Rotary events nationally, Health Watch, Culture, Book Review and so on. Rtn. (Prof.) C.K. Sardana RC Bhopal Midtown RI District 3040 At the outset kindly accept my sincere appreciation for the excellent production of Rotary News. In your August issue, articles such as ‘Soya — A Healthy

Dairy Alternative’ and ‘Living in the Breathing Blue Mountains’ are very informative and educative. Rtn. Om Prakash RC Bombay Midcity RI District 3140 I read the August 2013 issue of Rotary News. It is excellent as usual. Lisbon Convention article takes us through a virtual tour. New clubs analysis in the article, ‘New Born’ is good. Rtn. Dr. Kalpesh Shah RC Ahmedabad Metro RI District 3051 Fair Weather? I read your article ‘Rain or Sun’ in October 2013 issue. It is indeed a wonderful job. You have understood the basic concepts and crisply brought out the important aspects in the article. Well done! Any article on IMD is never complete without a visit to the IMD office or without speaking to IMD officials to gather inputs for the authenticity in the content. So, a word of acknowledgement in the article to IMD, RMC Chennai for Dr. Raj in particular, who is the Head of this office for allowing you get familiarised would have been highly appreciated. Ms. B. Amudha Scientist-C Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai - 6

The editor welcomes brief comments on the contents of the magazine, but reserves the right to edit submissions for style and length. Published letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the RI leadership, nor do the editors take responsibility for errors of fact that may be expressed by the writers. Only letters that include a verifiable name, address and day and evening phone numbers can be considered for publication. Readers are our source of encouragement. Some of our esteemed patrons share their valuable feedback….

In My Thoughts

Dear Fellow Rotarians, Every Rotarian joins Rotary for his or her own reasons. Often, the reason someone decides to join isn’t the same as the reason that person ultimately decides to stay. When I was asked to join Rotary, I accepted because I thought it would be a good way to get more involved in my community. In the end, though, what really got me excited about Rotary service was something I didn’t even know about when I joined: our Rotary Foundation. I knew I could do plenty of good work through my Rotary club in Norman, Okla., USA. But through our Foundation, I could have a hand in the work of every single Rotary club and district around the world. I could look at any Foundation-supported project, any Foundation programme, any country that was declared polio-free, and say: I helped make that happen. Once I realised that, there wasn’t any turning back. I’ve been very fortunate that over the years, I’ve gotten to see an incredible amount of our Foundation’s work firsthand. The more I see, the more passionate I become about our Foundation. When you visit a school for AIDS orphans and meet the kids who are being cared for, educated, and taught a trade — and when you know, as you look into their faces, that if it weren’t for our Foundation, they would be sleeping on the street, eating out of the trash — you don’t ever see our Foundation in the same way again. We are in the middle of one of the most exciting years we have ever known for our Rotary Foundation. We’ve just rolled out a new grant model, one that will challenge and inspire us all to think bigger and to develop more ambitious projects that will have a more lasting impact. We’ve accepted a new challenge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has committed to match, two to one, every Rotarian dollar contributed to polio eradication for the next five years, up to US $35 million per year. And we are now fighting the final battles in our war against polio — a war we are absolutely committed to win. Our Foundation’s goal always has been Doing Good in the World. With our new grant model, we aren’t going to be satisfied with simply doing good. We will do the most good we can, in the most lasting ways possible — for the people who need us the most.

Ron D. Burton President, Rotary International



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First Thought Dear Fellow Rotarians, November is the month when we highlight the magic of our Rotary Foundation. Charity Navigator, an organisation in US which rates the performance of all NGOs globally, has once again (for the 6th year in succession) rated TRF as one of the best run Foundations! Thanks to our Rotary Foundation, there is not a single case of polio in India. January 13, 2014 will mark the completion of three years of zero polio cases in India and we will be eligible for certification by WHO, as a polio-free country! It is important to recall that in the 4,500 years of recorded history of mankind, polio is only the second disease about to be eradicated (small pox was the first), thanks to The Rotary Foundation. We are all proud that Rotarians from India have been supporting The Rotary Foundation generously year after year. In 2011–12, with a contribution of US $13.5 million, India stood No.3 in the world (just behind USA and Japan) in total contributions to TRF. In 2012–13, we were No.4 in the Rotary world, in our contributions to TRF! We were No.3 in 2011–12. However, the good news is, our contributions to Annual Programmes Fund in 2012–13 was higher than in 2011–12! We have all heard of Mark Spitz from Germany who has won a record number of Olympic gold medals in swimming events. Someone asked the 2007 Olympic hero of swimming events, Michael Phelps also from Germany whether he would like to be the 2nd Mark Spitz. He said, “No. I would like to be the first Mike Phelps!” Similarly, I am confident that the dynamic District Governors of 2013–14 will want to be second to none! It was John F. Kennedy who said, “Talent enables us to do something better than others. But genius turns into reality, everything that talent alone cannot!” The Rotary Foundation embodies the genius of Rotary and hence please put your best foot forward and ensure that India ends up 2nd in the world (if not the 1st) in contributions to our great Rotary Foundation. My son Vikram, when he was six years old, asked his geography teacher, “Sir, what is the weight of the earth?” For a moment, the teacher was taken aback. However, he conjured up an answer and said, “Son, the weight of the earth is one billion tons.” Asked Vikram innocently, “Sir, is this weight with or without people?” This little true incident made me think, that, without people, loss of weight of earth, may be miniscule. But, I am convinced, that, without Rotarians and The Rotary Foundation, the loss to humanity will be incalculable!

Rtn. P.T. Prabhakar RI Director, 2013–15


P.T. Prabhakar Director Rotary International (2013–15) NOVEMBER 2013



MISSION POSSIBLE A Rotary team boards the Africa Mercy, a 500-foot floating hospital, to provide a stream of care and compassion to ports of call.


team of health professionals is touring Donka hospital in Conakry, Guinea, in March and discovers an airy courtyard bordered by aged buildings. Carpeting the ground are more than a dozen large, greenish masses that look like giant lily pads. They seem decorative, like the art exhibits in the lobbies of some American hospitals. In fact, they are hospital gowns and surgical drapes, freshly laundered and spread out to dry. They make a perfect target for the group’s mission. This Rotary Foundation vocational training team is the first to serve under Rotary’s partnership with Mercy Ships. The renowned organisation, founded in 1978, has offices in 16 countries that support health systems in West Africa and other developing areas through its shipboard hospital facilities. The health experts are here to help Guinean doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals tackle a problem plaguing the nation: deadly infection rates in hospitals. At Donka hospital, a few team members duck into a patient ward and meet four young men sprawled on cots. Through a French interpreter, they learn that the men were shot in a riot and are now recuperating. The mission’s timing coincides with a rise in political unrest here. While Mercy Ships veterans say the team is an unlikely target for violence, caution is necessary. The ship’s captain posts daily reports on what parts of the city are off-limits or risky due to the turmoil. The guidance is reassuring to team members; it’s just one benefit of having a partner as experienced in the region as Mercy Ships. The Africa Mercy, the nonprofit’s 500-foot oceangoing hospital ship, is docked in Conakry for a 10-month medical mission at the national government’s invitation. The to-do list includes setting up medical and dental clinics, conducting health screenings, performing surgeries on board, and conducting health care outreach throughout the country. The ship also will serve as a steel-hulled security blanket for the group, lodged at a nearby hotel. District 7690 (North Carolina, USA) is sponsoring the team with a Rotary Foundation Packaged Grant, part 18 ROTARY NEWS NOVEMBER 2013

of Rotary’s new grant model, which launched worldwide 1 July. The team’s five members started preparing months in advance to train Guinean health professionals at the two national hospitals, which mainly serve the poor — meaning the vast majority here. The country ranks 178th out of 187 on the United Nations Human Development Index. The average lifespan is 54 years. Yet signs of modernisation are evident: Construction cranes tower over emerging hotels and office buildings, most financed by China, after decades of isolation. Another positive sign is the government’s and local medical community’s welcome of the Rotary-Mercy Ships team.

THE TEAM “Where do you find people in North Carolina who can go to West Africa and teach about infectious disease?” says Rick Snider, 2012–13 Governor of District 7690, noting the grant’s requirement for professional expertise. Snider, who worked on a Mercy Ships vessel for five years with his wife, Linda, a development officer with the organisation, coordinated the Guinea project. Providentially, he found a qualified team leader in Assistant Governor Jenny Braswell. A recently retired public health official at the state and county levels, Braswell has worked on communicable disease prevention, and has served as a hospital administrator and volunteered on numerous Rotary missions in rural Nicaragua and Jamaica. Her husband, Sherrill, a physician, became Braswell’s first recruit for the Guinea team. She handpicked the rest from among former public health colleagues in North Carolina. “They need to have the professional skills and the heart for service, plus the right personalities. You have to be sure you can live with them for 17 days,” says Braswell, the team’s only Rotarian member. The other members are Lydia Lyon and Elizabeth Zeringue — both public health nurses specialising in communicable disease prevention, treatment, tracking and education — and Ellen Reynolds, an environmental health specialist with experience inspecting hospitals and addressing infection and

The team’s five members started preparing months in advance to train Guinean health professionals on infection control. vector-control issues for state and county governments. The team averages over 30 years of professional experience in public health. Before departure, Mercy Ships provided the group with an intensive assessment of the country’s health system, plus guidance from its programme-design guru Michelle Bullington, who sees added value in the mission’s promise of sustainable improvements. “Mercy Ships looks for ways to continue helping local medical professionals after the ship leaves port,” she says. “Improving sterilisation techniques would have a sustainable impact, for example. In every country I’ve been to in West Africa, walking through the hospitals, it’s clear that improved sanitation and hygiene is a huge need.” Another Mercy Ships liaison, Christina Fast, a Canadian hospital technician, expanded the team’s education with disturbing tales and photos of substandard hospital conditions in Conakry. Fast helped sanitise operating rooms here that had not been disinfected for 25 years. From across the Atlantic, Braswell’s team studied this distant health care universe, where medical officials want and understand the need for better disinfection, but where little else resembles health systems in the developed world. The situation showed scant potential for reduced infections: Running water and electricity are unreliable, hospitals have few supplies, and equipment is either nonexistent or not in use — sometimes because it’s broken, other times because nobody knows how to use it, or because the instructions are written in Chinese. “They don’t have the backup that our health professionals do, such as inspections and laws governing standards of sanitation,” Braswell says. The team had to develop training sessions suited to these conditions. With that in mind, the group prepared its talks, Power-Point presentations, hands-on demonstrations, and handouts before leaving. The members also brushed up on their French, the primary language in Conakry. (English is not widely spoken.) The female members puzzled over what clothing would be suitable for both the hot sub-Saharan climate and the modesty standards of Guinea, which is 80 percent Muslim. Later, they would learn from Mercy Ships staff that the key is to cover their knees and shoulders, and that skirts are more common than pants. So, in Conakry, female team members would adopt a uniform of long skirts and team T-shirts. Sherrill Braswell would stick with his khakis.

IN GUINEA In Africa, the roster for the mission also includes Mark Wright, Mercy Ships’ U.S.-based civic partnership manager,

a master of logistics and a gifted liaison with locals, whether they’re physicians or restaurant delivery guys. Two Guinean drivers play a critical role, as does translator Ayena Koami Novignon, a local Mercy Ships worker (the Africa Mercy has 204 local hires in Guinea) who is also cast as chief interpreter of the culture, medical system, restaurant menus and deals at the market. Jenny Braswell keeps the full group intact for every presentation, meal and excursion, making the traditional Rotary goal of international friendship a lock. Also, it appears she has packed lollipops for every child in Guinea and is set on asking permission from every mother in the nation before she hands them out. Each day, the team tumbles into two rented Land Rovers and gets a close-up of life in the city of nearly two million, where most of the men dress like Americans, but most women stroll about in beautiful long African-print dresses with matching knotted head scarves. Some strap babies to their backs and balance tall piles of fruit and other commodities on their heads. (No wonder they ask for money to pose for photos.) Gated communities exist on the fringes, but the poor live side by side in tin-roofed one-storey complexes, and their children bathe in buckets on the side of the road. The streets are disconcertingly thick with law enforcement; at least six different uniforms are evident. The team members use their scarce free time to experience the culture, with outings to the market, a daytrip to a nearby tropical island, and visits to local eateries such as Club Obama, the open-air, dirt-floor seafood joint at the end of a pier on the city’s harbour, said to honour the U.S. President. Their work in Guinea begins with a tour of the century-old Ignace Deen Hospital — the second largest in the country, with 450 beds, and a medical school teaching site. The sprawling complex of run-down one- and two-storey buildings is policed by prowling cats and furnished with ancient patient cots shrouded in anti-mosquito bed nets — but never enough of them in this malarial land. Laundered gauze bandages droop over railings to dry in the sun for reuse. The well-worn examination tables have no sterile paper, and the medical units are nearly devoid of supplies and equipment such as autoclaves and medical waste boxes. Doctors and nurses provide their own rubber gloves and sterile masks and gowns. Germ-killing bleach is rare. A too-small incinerator sporadically eliminates the hospital’s organic waste. In the generally clean wards, the patients’ family members sleep under the beds; they are the main caretakers, as is typical in much of Africa. Food is stored on the floor where it is accessible to vermin, and flies and mosquitoes glide freely through doorways kept open to contend with the heat. The team also visits Donka hospital — the largest here, with 505 beds. A teaching hospital, it too lacks supplies and technology and is patrolled by cats. An open-air kitchen prepares patient meals in a tin-roofed shack. Users flush the NOVEMBER 2013




he first person you meet on the gangway to the 500-foot Africa Mercy is a Guhrka. The celebrated special forces of Nepal handle the famed hospital ship’s security. The rules are simple: No weapons. No booze. No skateboards, except on an upper deck. (At last count, 55 children were on board.) Despite their reputation for fierceness, the Guhrkas here smile, an expression you see a lot on this oceangoing ship of do-gooders. Wherever the Africa Mercy docks, it becomes that country’s largest NGO for the duration of its 10-month stay. The world’s biggest nongovernmental hospital ship, it can provide 7,000 surgical procedures a year to patients in need. The crew of about 450 — mostly volunteers, half

of whom work in the hospital — help thousands of people at each West African stop. Care begins with onshore public health screenings to identify patients who qualify for the hospital’s specialised procedures, including cataract removal and lens implants, tumour removal, cleft lip and palate reconstruction, burn care and plastic surgery, orthopaedic treatment, and obstetric fistula repair. Ship-based teams deliver dental and other health services in local cities and villages. Medical care, nautical duties and other work are all part of life aboard the ship, as are aspects of a vacation cruise. A visitor might see patients being led to a sunny deck for some fresh sea air, or off-duty crewmembers dipping into the swimming pool on Deck 8.






DECK 3 Hospital The 13,000-square-foot facility has six operating rooms and occupies much of Deck 3; a remodel is under way to expand the 78-bed patient wards. As in much of Africa, family caregivers sleep under patients’ beds. Mercy Ships encourages traditional African community-oriented life, which is obvious during doctors’ rounds, when patients and family caregivers often listen to and comment on one another’s cases. Nurses say the worst thing for African patients is to develop an infection and be put in isolation. The Africa Mercy was originally a Danish rail ferry, and this deck is where the train cars were loaded.

DECK 5 Library The extensive collection on Deck 5 includes books in Dutch, English, German, Korean, French and other languages, reflecting the diversity of the crew. Beauty shop At the shipboard salon on Deck 5, $7 will get you a cut and colour. The official currency here and at the gift shop is U.S. dollars. Dining The main dining room is cafeteria style, with a romantic art deco look. The food is good, and the ingredients are displayed for those with dietary restrictions. For some meals, the menu is African cuisine. A popular hangout is the nearby Starbucks. The company donates the coffee, but you pay for the service, so a latte is 75 cents.

DECKS 6–7 Rotary International Lounge The ship’s largest meeting room, this lounge can hold more than 360 people and has welcomed the presidents and first ladies of the nations in which the ship docks. Living quarters Unlike cruise ships, these facilities on Decks 4-7 run the gamut from spacious private cabins for single guests to no-frills, 6- and 10-berth cabins for most workers. Families have larger cabins. The Africa Mercy Academy The fully accredited twostorey school has a staff of 12 from five nations and educates the children of ship families, who stay for at least two years. The school goes up to grade 12; three of its students graduated from high school in 2013. Other evidence of children on board: the kid-size bikes chained near the swimming pool on Deck 8.

There are unbandaged wounds, flies and roaches, open sewage right outside a patient facility and no sterile barriers. toilets with water from a pail. A large incinerator handles most medical waste; some is transported to a nearby cemetery and buried. Power outages are common, and the wait for a generator to kick in can be prolonged. Guinea’s power system has no grid, and different providers haven’t agreed on a voltage or outlet standard. Despite their preparation, the U.S. professionals are shocked by what they see. “My first impression was utter chaos,” Zeringue says. “The staff members touch patients without gloves, going patient to patient without washing hands. There are unbandaged wounds, flies and roaches, open sewage right outside a patient facility and no sterile barriers,” says Sherrill Braswell, adding an observation that he later repeats so often it sounds like a campaign slogan: “They are doing the best they can with what they have.” “We read the Mercy Ships needs assessment and knew the hospitals had limited resources and sometimes no running water or electricity,” Jenny Braswell says. “But it is more dramatic in person. It’s like seeing pictures of tornado damage, and when you set foot there and see it, it’s another story.”

THE TRAINING For three days at Ignace Deen and four days at Donka, the team evangelises about reducing infections. At each site, training begins with blessings from a Ministry of Health official and the respective hospital directors, who are blunt about the need for the sessions. Except for the catered African-style lunches that arrive in giant bowls balanced on deliverymen’s heads, the classes are similar to other seminars, meeting in conference rooms in a lecture/demonstration format. The doctors and nurses eagerly grab handouts and laminated posters to share information with other staff members and family caregivers. With hawk-like attention, they dive into discussions. They sense this might be a good time to mention any equipment and supply shortages in their departments. A surgeon at Donka confides that every department needs something, but his needs the most. The trainers give their lectures in English, covering topics such as using surgical gloves, masks and gowns; controlling rats and mosquitoes; disinfecting with bleach; tracking infectious diseases; and hand-washing. “Fifty per-cent of hospital-associated infections could be prevented with handwashing,” Lyon says, zeroing in on a chronic problem: lack of hand-washing before and after patient contact. She speaks so delicately, it seems the message may be lost. But Novignon, a former medical student, gives the French translation in a NOVEMBER 2013


The lack of supplies and equipment cannot be ignored. Providing bars of soap would help, as would arranging for inexpensive solar-powered autoclaves for sterilising surgical instruments. voice so authoritative that the trainees are rapt. Throughout, he seems like the expert public health official while the real ones quietly feed him his lines in English. The learning flows both ways. When the trainers urge attendees — 27 at Ignace Deen and 37 at Donka — to ask questions, knowledge gaps become apparent. A serious misunderstanding exists about hand sanitizer: that it causes germs to stick to the hands. “I don’t know where they got that idea, but it is important to clarify that hand sanitizer kills bacteria” — particularly in a place where running water is unreliable, Jenny Braswell says. An exchange on wound care illuminates the need to treat wounds immediately to avoid infection instead of waiting until symptoms appear. Some conversations are heartbreaking. Reynolds asks how many trainees have had malaria. Everyone has — one person as recently as 10 days ago. She asks whether the government sprays to eradicate mosquitoes, the primary carriers of the malarial parasite, and gets blank looks. “It’s not common to do that here,” Novignon explains. For some trainees, the lessons are review. Trainers ask if they share their knowledge with caregivers. No, but they request posters, fliers and other teaching tools. Progress. Hospital management confirms the need for improved infection control, but the directors struggle to name their priorities, maybe because so much needs to be done. Mohamed Awada, the French-educated rheumatologist who has run Ignace Deen since 2011, says he had to start somewhere. So he dug into his own pocket to convert a soggy, mosquito-laden parking area into an artful, bug-free courtyard with gravel, concrete pathways, and benches donated by a mining company. He says advances are happening — a nongovernmental organisation provided two new maternity operating rooms — but when Sherrill Braswell presses for what is needed to reduce infections, the answer is lengthy: more autoclaves, antibiotics, vaccines, bed nets and rubber gloves, in addition to computers for blood analysis and a water tower to maintain running water. Of six operating rooms, only the new maternity units have UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), a standard sterilisation method. Donka’s director, Hadja Fatou Sikhé Camara, says her hospital wants to reduce infection, “but we lack the equipment and supplies. We are willing to do what you do, but as an undeveloped country, we lack the means.” Rafiou Diallo, maxillofacial department head at Donka who also performs these procedures on the Africa Mercy, says that although he hopes there aren’t many other hospitals like 22 ROTARY NEWS NOVEMBER 2013

Jenny Braswell (right), Rotarian and leader of the vocational training team, with a government health official from Guinea.

Donka in the world, its staff is skilled and dedicated, despite being in great need of materials. The final training session ends with a song of appreciation sung in French by another translator and local Mercy Ships worker who has joined the team at Donka.

SUSTAINING THE MISSION After decoding the health system and enduring the non-gridded power, the team accomplishes its objectives, at least according to pre- and post-tests that show significant learning. Positive results also are evident in the comments of participants, who voice a new commitment to educating family caregivers. The team leaves teaching materials and posters with key staff members at both hospitals to continue the training. Even small improvements could have an impact, the group says. “If they could get patients and caregivers to wash their hands, and if they would hang up the surgical drapes instead of drying them on the ground, significant improvement would result,” Jenny Braswell observes. But the lack of supplies and equipment cannot be ignored, she notes. Providing bars of soap would help, as would arranging for inexpensive solar-powered autoclaves for sterilising surgical instruments. The team is continuing its work by trying to acquire and deliver materials the hospitals need, Braswell says, adding that several members hope to work aboard the Africa Mercy in the future. Donors already have committed to providing equipment, and the team has found a partner in Guinea to get the supplies to the hospitals. Succeeding will depend partially on whether the ongoing political upheaval creates more obstacles. The Rotary-Mercy Ships vocational training team remains optimistic that, at least in the war on infectious diseases, its efforts will prove that knowledge is power. One reason for optimism is the trainees, Braswell notes. “They did know a lot, but they learned a lot too,” she says. “They are able to do the job. But they need the supplies.” by Kate Nolan Reproduced from The Rotarian

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Dear Rotarians, A few days back I have written a detailed letter to all the District Governors in India to update them on the status of Rotary India’s commitment to rebuild and reconstruct 175 schools in the districts of Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi that were the worst affected in the disaster caused by the recent floods. Additionally we have agreed to provide benches and desks for 1,60,000 students. Fifty five schools are totally destroyed and 120 schools are damaged and will require major repairs. The cost of rebuilding a school will be approximately Rs.10 lacs and that for repairs, about Rs.5 lacs. The cost of the bench and desk per student will be Rs.700 (minimum contribution will be for 30 students amounting to Rs.21,000). Naming opportunities will be available for donors who so desire. The total outlay for our project is approximately Rs.24 crores. This is a challenge. Can we meet it? We did at the time of Gujarat earthquake, and Tsunami, and Latur and many other disasters. I suppose this time too we can. I am now asking you to once again show that in times of calamity Rotary can rise to new heights.

PRIP Rajendra K. Saboo Chairman Rotary Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Trust

PRIP Kalyan Banerjee Vice Chairman Rotary Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Trust

To accomplish the above task a trust in the name of Rotary Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Trust with all the RI General Officers from India as Trustees and of which I will serve as Chair and Past RI President Kalyan Banerjee as Vice Chair, has been registered. Donations to the Trust will be eligible for exemption under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. The Executive Committee and the Core Committee of the Trust for undertaking the task are in place. The work is going to start very soon and it is time that we have to sensitise the Rotarians of India to come forward to provide financial muscles to get the job done. I know that we are somewhat distanced from the date of tragedy and thus it may not hit the Rotarians hard when we appeal to them now to come out and extend themselves in support. But you can do that. This was seen at the Institute when one offer of taking up schools led to many offers. PRID Shekhar Mehta will be following up on that. A bank account has been opened with HDFC Bank in Ambala Cantt. and all contributions are to be made in favour of “Rotary Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Trust” with HDFC Bank in Ambala Cantt. Account Number is: 50200002233402 and the IFSC code is HDFC0000131. All contributions are to be sent to the Treasurer Yash Pal Das at 122 Railway Road, Ambala Cantt. 133001. Haryana. Email: Please share this communication through your groups and with as many of the Rotarians in India as you can. Greetings and warm regards

Rajendra K. Saboo Chairman, Rotary Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Trust



any Rotary clubs complain about acute shortage of work force to undertake projects in many areas especially in the avenue of vocational service. One of the most absorbing aspects of vocational service is the interaction with others who are searching for a life. They want to behave with responsibility in the community and become a part of a larger aspiration and to live in harmony. But before Rotary clubs embark on ambitious projects in this avenue a little knowledge about the changing demography is important. A recent survey by the Census Commissioner shows that the workforce in the years to come will be dominated by people coming from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Many states including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala have registered a fall in their child population under the age of 14. Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Uttarakhand have no significant increase in child population. One in every three children under the age of 14 comes from Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. The whole of India has 31 percent of its population under the age of 14 while in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar it is 26 ROTARY NEWS NOVEMBER 2013

36 and 40 percent respectively. Statistics reveal that India as a whole has about nine percent of its population over the age of 60 and in many states the percentage is higher. For example in Kerala, 13 percent of the population is over the age of 60. Rotary clubs aiming to undertake vocational service projects should find these figures useful. The QS World University Rankings published recently show that Indian varsities fair poorly in world rankings. Not a single Indian university is among the world’s top 200 according to the global ranking. The rankings are based on four factors — research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. Globally MIT tops the chart followed by Harvard and Cambridge. USA, UK, Germany, France and Japan are amongst the best performing countries

in education. The IITs from India rank lower down beyond the 200th rank. Delhi University ranks 441, Mumbai and Guwahati both rank 601 and the university at Kolkata and Pune rank 701. Graduates from these institutions may also need guidance to find jobs or to become first generation entrepreneurs. Given the rate of dropouts from the school levels, integrating literacy with vocational service projects may become necessary. Linking information services through the latest devices will certainly help the job-seeker decide what they want if they are not able to pursue higher education. For undertaking projects related to literacy and vocational training, clubs need specific tools. Information is essential. Vocation means work and it is a ‘living.’ It has an economic

Waiting for employment.

component, the moment clubs want to undertake a vocational service project. A typical example of a successful vocational service project is the work being done by some NGOs along the Line of Control (LOC) which separates India and Pakistan. Since the educational facilities are inadequate in these troubled areas, the NGOs have opened vocational training centres in the villages bordering the LOC. The youngsters have been trained in service related industries such as hotel management and they are now able to go to other states for a living. Vocation is a social bond and a community bond. The proper education for this from childhood is essential. At the end of the programme the student who is equipped with some vocational skills must be able to make a meaningful statement like, “I am a mechanic” or “I am an employee in this organisation.” The end result of a

vocational service project should determine the status of the beneficiary. Rotarians engaged in vocational service projects start a project enthusiastically but tend to lose their enthusiasm soon. Vocational service projects demand that you leave your comfort zone. Before attempting to empower people with vocational skills, Rotarians must see how much work of changes they need to make with themselves. So, who will do the work in clubs? Only people who really want to accomplish what fired their imagination will succeed in completing any vocational service project. Persistence, will-power and self-discipline are required. Projects of such nature which involves other human beings cannot be taken when you depend on temporary enthusiasm, excitement or desire. Enthusiasm is like fire. Water can extinguish it and wind can divert it in

any direction. Attending a workshop, seminar or lecture can fire a person’s imagination. This cannot be the basis of starting any project, much less a vocational service project. It is now obvious that the work force will come from areas that need more access to quality education. The purpose of projects in literacy and vocational service was probably summarised by Aristotle when he said, “Man is a zoon politikon, i.e., a social animal.” What he meant was that, in effect, people need work to satisfy their need for community. Work satisfies the need for belonging to a group and for meaningful relationships with others. Work makes it possible to forge strong social and community bonds that are as personal or impersonal as one desires. The result will always be peace in the community and that is what Rotary’s projects should aim to achieve. Rtn. T.K. Balakrishnan NOVEMBER 2013



The for


uring the Honolulu Peace Conference last year, the then incoming Trustee Chair, Past President D.K. Lee said to me, “I want to invite you to be on the Fund Development Committee of The Rotary Foundation, tell me how many Arch Klumph Society (AKS) members would you be able to get from South Asia?” Without thinking, I just rattled out a figure of 10 AKS members. He nearly extracted a promise from me for the same. I accepted the challenge though I had no clue whatsoever how would I at all be able to achieve this in one year when we had only 22 AKS members till date from South Asia. But this challenge set me thinking. I did, by then, have some experience in ‘asking’ for higher amounts like AKS members. Within five minutes of my request to PDG Jimmy Lim from Malaysia, he agreed to become an AKS member. I stretched my luck and through DG Ishtiaque Zaman, asked the President of RC Chittagong, Sufi Mizanur Rahman to become AKS member and he agreed too. With the confidence of these two successes I set about the task of “asking” bigger amounts from Rotarians and the response of DGs and Rotarians has just been phenomenal. The generosity of the Rotarians and the “asking” ability of the current Governors have been outstanding. The result is, that even by the end of September, i.e., first quarter of the Rotary year we have had 15 AKS members from South Asia — 10 from India and a whopping 5 from Bangladesh. The sterling instance of ‘leading by example’ has been of DG Vinod Bansal from District 3010. At his installation ceremony, in the presence of PRIP Kalyan Banerjee and myself, DG Vinod Bansal kept my request and paid the full amount for his wife Sangeeta and himself to become AKS members. He even inspired the President of his Rotary club, Rtn. Rajesh Gupta to become an AKS member. A similar request to DG Mohan Mulherkar (3170) has resulted in a commitment from him to become an AKS member. DG Deepak Shikarpur from 3131 by this time had already ensured Rtn. M. Radhakrishnan and Rtn. Gopal Nihalani to become AKS members. The rest were saved for the visit of Trustee Chair D.K. Lee. He was greeted with two AKS members in Pune, thereafter two in Delhi as mentioned above. From there he visited Chennai where, inspired by Director P.T. Prabhakar, DG A.P. Kanna, led by example and became an AKS member. Rtn. S. Muthupalaniappan, 28 ROTARY NEWS NOVEMBER 2013

From top: Recognition of donors.

The Hat trick During the TRF Seminar in Dhaka in honour of Trustee Chair D.K. Lee and Trustee Kalyan Banerjee, I was invited to speak. From the stage, I made a humble request to my dear friend PDG Salim Reza if he would consider becoming the first AKS member from District 3281. He immediately agreed. Encouraged by this success, I requested incoming RRFC Rafique Siddique if he too would want to be amongst the first AKS members of 3281. I couldn’t believe when within less than a minute, he agreed. The exuberant crowd now cheered for DGE Safina Choudhury to also commit to become an AKS member. And friends, the hat trick was complete! 3281 had created a history of having 3 AKS members — the first three from District 3281 from Bangladesh on one single day — within 5 minutes. Of course, the credit goes to the presence of luminaries like Trustee Chair D.K. Lee and Trustee Kalyan Banerjee. Hats off to Rotarians of Bangladesh, Districts 3281 & 3282 where 5 of them have committed to become AKS members! Coming from a developing country as small as Bangladesh, this is not only an outstanding performance but it is also a true reflection of the great spirit of the Bangladeshi Rotarians. For me personally these few months have been enriching in my learning to ASK for AKS.

Rtn G. Balasubrahmanyan and Rtn. P. Mohan too have committed to become AKS members. Trustee Chair DK’s trip to Mumbai with Trustee Kalyan Banerjee and Past Trustee Ashok Mahajan for a luncheon meet with Mrs. Birla was the icing on the cake as he thanked her for her newest 1 million dollar contribution. The visits to each of these places and Hyderabad and Kolkata thereafter also resulted in 60 new Endowment Fund to be created and 150 numbers of Major Donor commitments. This has been a phenomenal beginning for this Rotary year in Major Gift asking. This is the story of only six districts in first three months. We can well understand where the contribution may go up to this year. I realise that amount we raise depends in equal measure not only on the generosity of the giver but also on the courage and ability of the person ‘asking.’ A few years back, there used to be a time when contributions of $10,000 to become Major Donors was considered big. Soon the Major Donors were shadowed by the Endowment Fund contributors. And now, the AKS members have come to stay. This has been because of our increased ability to ‘ask’ for bigger amounts. At the recent Fund Development Committee meeting in Evanston all the committee members complimented and congratulated the Rotarians for this new high giving in South Asia. Trustee Chair D.K. Lee’s visit was indeed a watershed one. He ended his trip in India having met 10 AKS

The Jewel in the Crown Last year, as DG Ishtiaque A. Zaman of Bangladesh and I were going in the helicopter from Dhaka to Chittagong, Ishtiaq mentioned about the first person to become an AKS member from Bangladesh that very day was the President of RC Chittagong, Sufi Mizanur Rahman. As we landed on the helipad inside a factory of the PHP Group and got out of the helicopter, we were received by a delegation of people led by this elderly gentleman who greeted me warmly. He took me around his glass factory and steel factory and then to lunch where he asked me to make the announcement that he was becoming the first AKS member from Bangladesh. And soon enough I was handed over a large replica of the cheque for $250,000. This was my first meeting with Sufi Mizanur, one of the leading industrialists of Bangladesh. But by the end of the day I felt as if we knew each other for years. A pious, learned, benevolent and forward thinking human being he has become a dear friend over the last one year. My three visits to Bangladesh and his two to my home at Kolkata has helped to cement this bond. Seeing his in-depth knowledge on every aspect, I invited him to be one of the speakers at the Inter-faith Service at the Rotary South Asia Summit, Hyderabad. He was overwhelmed and so were we. Soon enough we got talking about TRF and one day soon, he invited me to Chittagong again. In front of a crowd of 300 people, he not only committed for his wife to become an AKS member but whispered in my ear and in turn, with his permission, I announced it in public that he was willing to make every member in his family (32 of them) an AKS member! The announcement was reconfirmed in front of Trustee Kalyan Banerjee and Trustee Chair D.K. Lee during our visit in the last leg of D.K. Lee’s visit to South Asia. The benevolence of Sufi Mizanur is indeed an example for others who are endowed with so much in life. It is fortunate that he is ready to share it with others through The Rotary Foundation.

members and suddenly I realised that Indian Rotarians had already fulfilled the promise I made to him and we still had Bangladesh to go where I had already got commitment from two persons to become AKS members. Trustee Chair Lee was overwhelmed. He complimented and thanked all Rotarians, especially the DGs and the two Endowment and Major Gift Advisors, PDG Ashok Ghosh and PDG Ravi Vadlamani, the two RRFCs, Madhu Rughwani and S.R. Yogananda. I compliment the Rotarians in India for raising the bar for “giving” and “asking” in India. PRID Shekhar Mehta Member, TRF Fund Development Committee NOVEMBER 2013




otary Foundation of India may be an extended arm of The Rotary Foundation in India. However, its role is not limited to the management of funds or stewardship issues that arise. Here, under a single roof, is the essence of quality leadership, drawn together and integrated for doing good in the

The popular slogan nowadays is “It is not enough for an organisation to do well; it must also do good.” Doing good for The Rotary Foundation means bringing in peace through the various service opportunities envisaged in the Future Vision Plan. Working for peace means that The Rotary Foundation has to acquire

our trump card. India, which has now grown into a major donor country, must raise more money for The Rotary Foundation and match it with worthwhile global projects that will attract more and more global grants. During the year 2013–2014, we have to surpass the US $17 million mark in giving and attract more projects in our country.

world, especially in India. The threads, which in modern times, have made this the most consistently important voice wherever the art of managing The Rotary Foundation is discussed. As members of Rotary Foundation of India (RFI), the first task is to make the institution perform and make the contribution for the sake of which it exists. RFI’s performance of its specific mission is also society’s first need and interest. That is peace. The world does not stand to gain but to lose if the performance capacity of The Rotary Foundation is diminished or impaired.

whatever competence is needed to take responsibility for its actions. We have to develop a respect in the community that we are good in delivering measurable results. When The Rotary Foundation works for global peace, polio eradication or total literacy we must do so because there is a social need. This must be coupled by putting good people on the task and support them adequately. The Rotary Foundation tends to allocate resources according to global needs. This is perfectly correct. But far from being a threat to a developing country such as India, this is potentially

We have to put our best foot forward while working for peace. This is because it is unlikely we can understand what the task involves. We cannot afford to do the wrong things that will result in damage rather than in good. Peace is an intangible area. The strength of The Rotary Foundation is accountability and measurability. Hence, while working for peace it is essential to define goals clearly and measurably for specific partial tasks. The success of our work in the area of peace will be appreciated only when the task is identified and defined. The


next step is setting of goals and measuring our performance over a period of time. The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. Since every programme of RI and The Rotary Foundation is beautifully designed with peace as the end result, it is the responsibility of every member to learn to work for peace. The first step while working towards global peace can be taken by 1,26,000


Rotarians in India. Over 3,000 years ago the Hippocratic Oath of the Greek physician read, primum non nocere. It means, “Above all, not knowingly to do harm.” Citizens of the world must see every Rotarian take a pledge that they can promise that they will not knowingly do harm. This pledge can become the focus of rallies and awareness programmes in schools, colleges and institutions. This, I think, is the basic rule of professional ethics when we put our best foot forward for peace. From PRID Ashok Mahajan’s Communication NOVEMBER 2013


FOCUS Compiled by Kiran Zehra

RC KOMARAPALAYAM RI District 2980 Distribution of uniforms brought smiles to the faces of the students of the Government Elementary School, Alankattuvalasu. The total cost of this project undertaken by the club was Rs.1 lakh and 127 students benefitted from it.

RC KARUR ANGELS RI District 3000 Mammogram test camp was conducted for the women in the surrounding villages of Karur to screen for breast cancer and also to create awareness in the community, about the disorder. The camp was beneficial for around 150 people. 32 ROTARY NEWS NOVEMBER 2013

RC SONEPAT UPTOWN RI District 3010 Dental defects of 250 poverty stricken patients was analysed and fixed by the club by way of a dental camp organised at Mukhija Hospital Sonepat. Toothpaste, tooth brushes and medicines were distributed to all the patients.

RC ICHAPURAM RI District 3020 Under their ongoing project the club distributed wheel chairs to the needy people in and around Ichapuram. This would help the disabled to move around comfortably.

RC JALGAON GOLD CITY RI District 3030 Towards promotion of literacy, the Rotarians distributed notebooks and other stationery materials and uniforms to the students of Lathi School. The club has adopted this school five years ago.

RC INDORE MEGHDOOT RI District 3040 The Rotarians organised a health camp for the students of Government Middle School at Nipania village. About 185 students were examined for various diseases and those with complications were referred for further treatment and investigations. NOVEMBER 2013


RC PALANPUR CITY RI District 3051 Under their permanent project the club distributed 10 kg of wheat and dal to 190 families. This helps the poor villagers to sustain their monthly food supply and eat healthy. The total cost of this project is Rs.60,000.

RC JAIPUR RI District 3052 Interactors of 19 clubs were honoured at the Rotary Bhavan. The club organised this award ceremony to felicitate the Interactors for their active participation in Rotary activities and also for their various cultural feats.

RC GWALIOR VEERANGANA RI District 3053 The inmates of the ‘Kusht Ashram’ received showers of love and care when the Rotarians came over to spend time with these poor and needy people. Food and items of basic necessity were distributed amongst the inmates.

RC SHINDKHEDA RI District 3060 Cement benches were installed by the club at public places such as bus stops, parks, temples and hospitals so that the public can take rest comfortably. The project that cost Rs.30,000 was also an excellent PR initiative. 34 ROTARY NEWS NOVEMBER 2013

RC UDHAMPUR RI District 3070 The club in association with the Rotary Eye Hospital, Udhampur organised an eye camp in the city. Over 200 patients were examined and those with cataract problems were operated upon and IOL were implanted to improve their eyesight.

RC ROOPNAGAR RI District 3080 Poor women from the villages learnt a new source of revenue generation. The club in association with the horticulture department organised a fruit preservatives camp where the women learnt to make pickles, jellies, squashes and chutney.

RC RAJPURA RI District 3090 A mega health check-up camp was organised by the club with a view to help poor and needy people. The camp recorded a total of 456 beneficiaries and distribution of relevant medicines for their illnesses was also done.

RC MORADABAD CIVIL LINES RI District 3100 The club hosted an eye check-up camp for children. Over 275 children were examined. Spectacles were also provided for children with vision defects. The early detection will help the children read and view things in a better manner. NOVEMBER 2013


RC HALDWANI RI District 3110 Street play highlighting indifferent behaviour towards girls in our society, was performed by the Interactors of Aryaman Vikram Birla Institute of Learning, Haldwani to motivate people to respect women and treat them as equals.

RC BAHRAICH RI District 3120 The club organised a camp for mother and child care at the District Hospital. Rotarians distributed baby kits that included all the necessary things needed for a newborn.

RC PUNE EAST RI District 3131 The club installed four ‘group hearing aids’ to enhance the listening efficiency of the hearing impaired children at an orphanage in Wagholi. CCTVs were also installed at the premises to provide security for the children.

RC JALNA CENTRAL RI District 3132 The club organised a diabetic and cataract screening camp for the villagers near Jalna. They were provided with medicines and those in need of further treatment were referred to nearby hospitals.


RC BOMBAY MID CITY RI District 3140 Rotarians of the club have taken up the responsibility of educating the girl child of single women at Maharashtra State Women’s Council. The club in association with the NGO is working towards empowering the girl child.

RC WARANGAL RI District 3150 The club, in order to provide an easier way of movement for the physically challenged, provided them with artificial limbs. This move by the club will reduce the dependency of the disabled people on others and help them build their confidence.

RC TADIPATRI RI District 3160 In order to help poor women earn a living the club distributed sewing machines to the women who were trained at the Rotary Tailoring Coaching Centre. These women can now earn money by way of stitching clothes.

RC HONAVAR RI District 3170 The Pedra Poveda School for Special Children were delighted by the club’s donation of a school bus worth Rs.10,70,000. The club in association with RC King City Castroville Fig Garden (Fresno), RI District 5230 and TRF executed this project. NOVEMBER 2013




C O P Y R I G H T © 2 0 1 3 B Y R O TA RY I N T E R N AT I O N A L . A L L R I G H T S R E S E RV E D .



hink back to when you became a Rotarian. It’s likely that someone recruited you because you were respected in your field. Using your professional skills to help others is at the heart of Rotary. But what does that involve? In this issue, we explore the many facets of vocational service. We speak with the founder of Mercy Ships, which staffs its medical ship with volunteers including doctors, nurses, teachers and cooks; share tips for putting together a Vocational Training Team (VTT); and look at the opportunities to serve in The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers. Vocational service also involves using your leadership position to model and encourage ethical behaviour among employees, associates and your community. Need ideas? Read on.


November 2013 v1  
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