Jonah Triebwasser interviews seven Rotarians from Australia, England, the United States, and Papua New Guinea about international projects that include Our Rainbow House, which educated orphans and other vulnerable children in Zambia; the Guilford Eye Project, which helps prevent and cure eye diseases in India and Nigeria; the Asia-Pacific Center for Neuromodulation, which employs deep-brain stimulation to combat Parkinson’s disease and other brain illnesses; Crutches 4 Africa; the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia; Project Peanut Butter, which supplies ready-to-use therapeutic food to famine-struck regions; and Rotarians Against Malaria (PNG), which distributes treated mosquito netting in Papua New Guinea.
Our Rainbow House
Guilford Rotary Eye Project
Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation
Crutches 4 Africa
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Project Peanut Butter
Rotarians Against Malaria (PNG)
The guest on this week’s show was Pleasant Valley Rotary President and RN Kathy Kruger, who describes Rotaplast (Rotary + Plastic Surgery), a program that heals children with cleft palate or cleft lip around the world. Cleft palate is literally a hole in the roof of the mouth and cleft lip is one or two splits in the lip, which may extend all the way up a child’s face. A Rotaplast team of usually 15 professional surgeons, dentists, and nurses supported by another 15 nonprofessional volunteers travels to a third-world country where they are supported by a local Rotary club as they perform the operations over a 2- to 3-week period. Kathy tells also of her experience from a 2007 trip to the Philippines where she was a nurse volunteer, and concludes the interview by reading a remarkable thank-you letter from one the children served.
Past Rotary International President Bill Boyd tells Radio Rotary Co-Host Jonah Triebwasser about WASRAG, the Water and Sanitation Rotary Action Group. Securing an adequate supply of drinkable water is one of six Rotary areas of focus that affects all the rest—fighting disease, saving mothers and children, growing local economies, promoting peace (wars have been fought over water), even literacy, since the time that young girls need to spend fetching water, often from miles away, keeps them out of school. PP Boyd noted that although sanitation is not glamorous, it is one of the easies ways for Rotarians to do good in the world—by providing latrines. In other interviews, Kerry Kornhauser describes the organization Women in Rotary and her work with Violence Free Families; Mark McNally discusses the Thousand Smiles Foundation, now in its 29th year of doing surgery to correct cleft lips an palates and also improving dental hygiene; while John Sweet and his group provides vaccinations against cervical cancer in Papua New Guinea; and Carolyn Kruger tells about how to use “LifeStraw,” a simple water filter for individual or family use.
The RadioRotary co-hosts interview Hudson Solar Project Manager Christina Bagen about home solar-power installations. Solar panels used today capture energy from the sun and convert it to direct-current electricity; a device called an inverter then changes the power to alternating current for household or commercial use. Today solar panels are relatively inexpensive because of government grants and tax breaks; they pay for themselves by reducing or eliminating electric bills within seven to ten years. Ms. Bagen describes the process a homeowner can use to get estimates or to have installations of solar power.