Pleasant Valley Rotarian Ellen Haggerty is the guest on RadioRotary, discussing Rotarian Action Groups (RAGs) and Rotary Fellowship Groups with special emphasis on the RAG Rotarians for Hearing, an action group started by Ms. Haggerty. Rotarians for Hearing has a grant from the Rotary Foundation that covers hearing tests for newborns in Guatemala. An electronic device checks the baby’s ears to see if they are working properly; babies with difficulties are sent to Guatemala City for brain scans that reveal hearing problems in detail. It is important to get to children before the age of six, because older children who have never heard language then fail to learn it. There is much more of interest on this program—how Ms. Haggerty became involved in hearing about how she has traveled the world as a member of the Travel and Hosting Rotary Fellowship.
RadioRotary interviews Kinderhook Tri-Village Rotarian, Dr. Tam Mustapha, who has held a number of positions supporting The Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International. The motto of The Rotary Foundation, “Doing Good in the World,” describes its main mission, which focuses on improving peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and literacy, and growing local economies. In 2017 The Rotary Foundation will have been achieving these goals for a hundred years. Anyone can contribute money to The Rotary Foundation, secure in the knowledge that their contribution will be used for work in the focus areas described above, since there is almost no administrative costs to an organization that employs volunteer Rotarians, and what little costs occur are largely paid for with interest on the contributed money.
Rhinebeck Rotarian Bob Phillips, along with 23 other Rotarians from around the United States (and some from Canada and the United Kingdom) went to Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa in the summer of 2015—mission, prevent polio. As he told the RadioRotary co-hosts, the ten-day trip was the most memorable experience of his life, from the West African Fair to actually administering the two drops of polio vaccine to infants under five years old, the target group. Of course, this was part of Rotary’s PolioPlus project, which since 1988 has worked with UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the CDC to eradicate the disease, which was causing a thousand cases a week when they started. As a result of this effort, there were only 70 instances in all in 2015, all of them in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the disease essentially eliminated from the rest of the world.
Pleasant Valley Rotarian, registered nurse, and RadioRotary producer Kathy Kruger is on the other side of the microphone as co-hosts Jonah Triebwasser and Sarah O’Connell interview her about the Rotaplast program to correct cleft lip or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Cleft lip or palate causes many health problems as well as affecting speech, impairing ability to eat, and causing social rejection. Kruger has personal experience with the program as a participant in a mission to the Philippines but she also has been the principal representative from Rotaplast to District 7210. A typical Rotaplast team of about 15 medical professionals and 15 nonmedical volunteers, often Rotarians, travels to a locations where few facilities exist for repair of these defects, then over a couple of weeks treats hundreds of patients, mostly children but some adults as well.