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November is Foundation Month
District Governor's Message

November Governor’s Newsletter


Wow, 47 clubs + 1 satellite club visits completed since July 1st.   I will be making my official visit to my home club soon.   I can certainly stand by the Four Way Test and say that all the clubs make sure that they are having fun.  That and the motto Service Above Self have motivated Rotarians across the district to be active in their clubs and communities.  Rotarians Making a Difference.

November is Rotary Foundation month.  I encourage all to consider their donations to the Foundation for the many programs that are covered and most especially for the Polio Plus campaign.  Remember to get your donations in before the end of the year so that you will be able to take a deduction on your taxes. 

As District Governor I get to make announcements and take bows for the many things the district does.  This month I am honored to announce the 2016-2017 Foundation awards.

Top Three Highest in Per Capita Annual Giving in the district:

1.      Rock Island Rotary Club with $284.84 AF Per Capita

2.      Sycamore Rotary Club with    $239.80 AF Per Capita

3.      Loves Park Rotary Club with   $237.83 AF Per Capita

One of only 5,034 clubs worldwide to attain status as Every Rotarian, Every Year and one of only 4,136 clubs worldwide to become a 100% Foundation Giving Club goes to Savanna Rotary Club.  The only such honored club in District 6420.

Eight clubs contributed $1500 or more to the End Polio Now campaign.  The following clubs are so honored:  Galena, Granville/Putnam County, Kishwaukee Sunrise, Rock Falls, Rockford, Rock Island, Sycamore, and Toluca.

The District Governor Nominating Committee meets December 2nd in Sterling.  If any qualified Rotarian has the desire and wants to learn what it takes to meet the committee then please contact me soon.  The deadline for applications is November 15th. 

ChiZone 17 Leadership Development Summit
ChiZone 17 Leadership Development Summit was held October 24-29th in Itasca, Illinois.
Over 500 Rotarians from the 28 districts that make up Zones 28 & 29 were in attendance.
The district's Governor line was all there.  DGE Kathy Kwiat Hess attended her Governor Elect Training Session, DGN Bobbie Burke had classes with her fellow 2019-2020 governors.
DG Steve Kuhn was joined by 27 other district governors which represented 5% of the officers of Rotary International.
Other attendees included IPDG Scott Schore and his wife Adriene, District Trainers Beth Thacker and Peg Wilkerson, Dave McCully, Matt and Meg Skelly, Tom Brooks, and PDGs Pat Burch, Ruth Lee, and Elise Cadigan.
 A special shout out goes to PDG Shannon Sheffel who was the Co-Chairwoman of the event and did a spectacular job in pulling it all together
Iron Lung Display Trailer
This Iron Lung Display Trailer is a joint effort with the three Northern Illinois Rotary Districts  6420,6440 and 6450.  The three governors have worked together getting the seed money to start the process.   While it will be housed and managed by District 6440, it will be available for each of the districts and clubs to use.  There will be a cost to do so but that is currently being negotiated as well as other details.   It is expected to be ready for display at Midwest PETS 2018.  Donations to further the fabricate the display are being solicited at this time. 
Contact DG Steve Kuhn if you have any questions. 
STEP - Short Term Youth Exchange Program 
Short Term Youth Exchange Program -ages 15 to 19.
Rotary Short-term exchanges last from a few weeks to over a month and often take place when school is not in session. On average it is a 4 week stay between the months of May and September.  It involves and American student exchanging with a foreign student and each of their respective families. Both are matched by our Rotary Team and then the final approval comes from the respective families. The countries we are using this year are Argentina, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.  We have been in the past able to place in Sweden and Japan but there is no guarantee of the country of exchange. The student and the family are both very involved in the exchange. There is a mandatory training session in March 2018 in Rock Falls for the student and parents. The student needs a sponsoring Rotary Club. There is an official Rotary Club application currently on our District website that the student and family must fill out. After that, the student submits 4 copies to the sponsoring Rotary Club. The Club will be responsible in deciding who is approved and then will pay $300 to the District for each student they are sponsoring. The 4 applications need to be signed by the Club president and YEO and sent  with the $300 check by December 31st, 2017 to Kerrylyn Rodriguez, 1251 W. Stephenson St. Freeport, IL 61032. Questions can be directed to her at 815-541-5660.
The cost to the student is airfare, insurance, and travel costs. The host family usually picks up the cost of the extra student while they live with them. Some Rotary Clubs give a stipend of $1000 towards airfare. Average cost of student varies but usually is the airfare which the family arranges on their own.  
Each Rotary club can choose how many students they want to go. It is recommended to do an interview. Craig Beintema of Freeport Noon Rotary  cell 815-541-0754 can assist in helping any club start the process.
Find Out In Toronto!
Is this guy for real ?? 
(the one in red, that is...)
FIND OUT IN TORONTO!  Join up to 50,000 of your closest friends for a Rotary experience of a lifetime, June 23-27!   ...just 600 miles away – an easy drive AND you can visit Niagara Falls on your way! 
Sign up by December 1 to get in on the drawing for a $100 DISTRICT REBATE – and you'll ALSO cash in on a$150 earlybird registration discount per person!  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER !.... 
Already registered? Also consider signing up for our ZONE 28-29 PARTY the fnight before the conference begins, Saturday, June 23, 2018   7:00 pm - 11:00 pm  at the Hockey Hall of Fame!
AND... please advise as to your housing! So far, Rotarians from 6420 are staying at the Chelsea, Intercontintental CityCenter, Sheraton and Novotel. Any others??? Contact District Promotion Chair DGScott6420@gmail.com!
Welcome David McCully Chairperson of Membership
Good afternoon everyone.  David McCully checking in to introduce myself to all club leadership across District 6420.  Effective immediately, I am your Chairperson of Membership and truly look forward to working closely with current Presidents, PE's and Club Membership Chairs.  
We have some work to do on the membership GROWTH front but it's doable and as I like to say, "let's have some fun with it."
In 3 days time I will be sending a communication to Clubs that outlines an Event that I sincerely hope you'll embrace in late winter/early spring of '18 to bring people in to your Clubs, show off what you do and build the roster.  Again, very doable and something to enjoy with our guests who visit.
Task Force Against Human Trafficking
The November 5, 2017 Task Force meeting was held at the Galena Steak House in Dixon, IL. Due to light attendance, the meeting focused primarily on what we have discerned to date. Several more organizations have been discovered. Representative Adam Kinzinger recently held a forum to discuss this issue. We will make contact with his office to maintain a flow of information.
Toni spoke with DG Steve Kuhn at the Rotary Foundation dinner. At a recent zone meeting, Steve learned that similar task forces exist in those zones. Steve will get contact information for those zones to Toni who will then contact each of them to learn what, if anything, is happening in their clubs and attempt to coordinate efforts.
Our task force continues to seek members who want to be actively involved in efforts to combat slavery and human trafficking. Anyone who merely wants to be kept informed of what is happening is directed to the District 6420 Newsletter. We will report via the newsletter. One thought regarding our newsletter presence was to have one paragraph concerning the reason for our committee and one paragraph highlighting one particular organization working on this problem.
Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at Galena Steak House, Dixon, IL. Please RSVP to Toni no later than January 7, 2018.
2018-2019 Outbound Youth Exchange

STERLING, IL – Rotary District 6420 is fortunate to have had numerous outstanding high school students who were interested in being chosen as 2018-19 Outbound Youth Exchange Students. On Saturday November 4th eleven student candidates and their parents were interviewed by District Youth Exchange Team members at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sterling.  

The D6420 interview teams, consisting Rotarians, Rebound students, and host parents, was led by District Youth Exchange Chair Tom Brooks and Outbound Coordinator Dave Smith. The teams were impressed with the accomplished students and the support of their parents. All eleven candidates were approved as District 6420’s 2018-19 class of Outbound Exchange Students.  Congratulations students, and thank you to all of the Rotarians from our district clubs who have worked so hard to make Youth Exchange successful!




Are You Following?
Are You Following Rotary District 6420 on Facebook?
If not you're missing out!
Come check it out....
Events - Stories - Pictures - and more  of District and local Club activities
and Rotarians showing what Rotary is....
See you on Facebook....https://www.facebook.com/RotaryDistrict6420/
IRS annual Filing requirement
Club and District Support

Dear 2017-18 club officer:

Greetings from Rotary. Your Club and District Support (CDS) team is contacting you today to remind you of the IRS annual filing requirement for all Rotary clubs in the U.S. and U.S. territories.  

Note: If your club has already completed this requirement this year, please disregard this message.

Whether your club is a subordinate under Rotary International’s 501(c)(4) group exemption or is independently tax-exempt, the IRS requires that all Rotary clubs in the U.S. and its territories file an annual information return. For those clubs whose tax year follows the Rotary year, the deadline to file is 15 November. The form a club must file is dependent upon its gross receipts for the year. For more information, please see Frequently asked questions about annual reporting requirements for exempt organizations at www.irs.gov.

It is important that your club comply with IRS requirements. Please note that Section 6033(j) of the Internal Revenue Code automatically revokes the exemption of any organization that fails to satisfy its filing requirement for three consecutive years.

Our Frequently Asked Questions will answer many of the general questions you may have about Rotary clubs and the IRS. Please direct any specific questions regarding your club’s tax-exempt status or reporting requirements to local counsel, your tax adviser or the IRS at www.irs.gov or 877-829-5500

Please note this email has been sent to all club presidents, secretaries, executive secretaries/directors, and treasurers reported in our database with a valid email.

Thank you for your attention to this important reminder.


Your Club and District Support Team

Risk Management
On 5 December 2017, at 1:00PM CST Rotary International’s Risk Management Team will be hosting a live informational webinar that will inform interested Rotarians about the U.S. Rotary Clubs & Districts Liability Insurance Program (“Program”) and how it relates to events your club is planning. 

If you’ve wondered what a certificate of insurance is, this is a webinar for you! We will discuss the importance of contracts for Rotary events while also providing a walk-through of our new Insurance Broker’s dedicated Rotary insurance website, Gallagher Insight, to make sure you can find all of the necessary information easily. 
Foundation Minute November 6
Foundation Minute for Week of November 6
Our health is everything, yet 400 million people in the world can’t afford or don’t have access to basic health care.  Health care is everyone’s right. 
Disease results in misery, pain, and poverty for millions of people worldwide.  That’s why treating and preventing disease is so important to Rotarians.  We lead efforts both large and small by setting up temporary clinics, blood donation centers, and training facilities in underserved communities that struggle with outbreaks and health care access.  We design and build infrastructure that allows doctors, patients and governments to work together.  Our members combat diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and of course polio.  Prevention is important, which is why we also focus on health education and bringing people routine hearing, vision, and dental care.
Rotary members have hundreds of health projects underway around the world at any given time.  In Ghana we work with partners to provide more than 80% of its people with clean water to fight worm disease.  In Liberia, Rotary helps women get tested for HIV early in their pregnancies.  And of course the eradication of polio has created a system for tackling a myriad of other health issues such as Ebola.  To date $65 million in grants to fight disease has been given by Rotary.
Your donation to the Rotary Foundation allows this happen.  Thank you. 
DDF Funding Needed:  Rotary Club of Bethlehem is seeking funding for the development of a community garden to improve nutrition and provide income. Contact Mazin Qumslyek – mazin@qumslyeh.org
Foundation Minute
Foundation Minute for Week of November 13
Rotary has added two service partners that offer clubs new ways to collaborate with other organizations and strengthen their projects. They are Habitat for Humanity and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
Habitat for Humanity has a long history of working with Rotarians and Rotaractors to build homes for families in need, and provides opportunities for hands-on community service.  Their values are closely aligned with that of Rotary, and the desire to help others run deep in both organizations.
This is very much the same with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.  Both Rotary and the Agency bring together government and non-governmental agencies, academics and private providers to plan and implement sustainable eye care programs.   They promote greater awareness of the need for eye clinics and blindness prevention activities.
Working together and networking accomplish Rotary’s theme of “Making a Difference.”  Your contribution to The Rotary Foundation enables this to happen.  Thank you for your generosity. 
DDF Funding Needed:  The Rotary Club of Millmani is seeking funding for the Munaini Primary School Library in Kenya.  Contact Prof. Gikiri Thuo at gikirit@gmail.com

Giving and Grants: Students fly kites to learn science
Giving and Grants
November, 2017Take action to create positive change locally and globally
Boosting scientific literacy in Taiwan

Using a global grant, the Rotary Club of Taipei Pei-An, Taiwan, and Rotary District 3700, Korea, supported efforts to improve science education for public school students in rural Taiwan. At one school, students have flown kites to learn about math and engineering.

Share meaningful stories that inspire giving

In November, we celebrate Rotary Foundation Month and the good work our members do in their communities and around the world. In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Rotarians are filling a gap in social services to aid struggling families. Learn how the support of Rotarians helped one woman go from homeless to a homeowner with a master’s degree. To inspire giving, share this story or other stories about the impact your club and district are making through Foundation grants.

Support The Rotary Foundation on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global movement for charities and individuals to come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. On 28 November, join the community of donors that support Rotarian projects around the world by making an online gift to The Rotary Foundation. Online giving is a fast, secure way to help families and communities that need it most — no wrapping paper required!

Global Grants Updates
New global grant requirement: community assessments

Starting 1 July, any club or district that applies for a global grant to support a humanitarian project or a vocational training team will need to conduct a community assessment first and include the results in their grant application. Assessing the strengths, weaknesses, needs, and assets of the community you’re helping is an essential first step in planning an effective project. Not only do assessments lead to projects that have the most meaningful impact. The process itself builds valuable relationships, involves residents in decisions that will shape their communities, and encourages them to participate in making lasting improvements. Most important, projects that are informed by community assessments are more sustainable. You can use district grant funds to conduct the assessment. Rotary’s Community Assessment Tools has ideas and proven methods for assessing a community’s assets and needs, including meetings, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

Changes coming to the Grant Center

In January we will unveil changes to the global grant reporting section of the Grant Center. You’ll find that the report has an updated look, and its content has been aligned with the global grant application. Some report questions will be rephrased for clarity, and the financial portion will be much easier to use. We hope these changes will make it easier for clubs to report on the tremendous work that they accomplish through global grants.

District grant funding reminder

Did you know that district grants can only be used to help fund projects that start after the grant is approved? Expenses incurred before the Foundation approves the district grant application are ineligible for funding. More than 200 districts have already had their 2017-18 district grants approved. If your district hasn’t submitted its application yet, make sure to start soon.

Changes to grant terms and conditions

The Foundation periodically updates grant terms and conditions for clarity and to include policy changes. See the current version for these changes:

In Section II, the Foundation — 

  • Added the requirement for community assessments to be conducted before applying for a global grant (beginning 1 July 2018).

In Section III, the Foundation — 

  • Clarified the restrictions on global-grant funded construction to cover projects with or without a strategic partner.

In Section V, the Foundation — 

  • Clarified that it cannot fund any grant whose success depends on international travel to a country on the travel ban list, even if the project’s budget excludes the cost of travel.
Check out the following resources:
World Water Day Competition

What is World Water Day?
World Water is celebrated on March 22nd every year. It focuses on the approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide who must rely on water contaminated with feces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid, polio and other waterborne diseases.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.  In 1993, the UN General Assembly designated March 22nd as World Water Day.  It is now a globally recognized event.
$$$$$ - What can you win?
Two prizes will be awarded:
$500 US for the best project (i.e. the one with the most impact)
$500 US for the most innovative project
What must you do?
Whatever works best for your community!  In some areas March 22nd is in the middle of a dry season - or a monsoon.  In the north, rivers may be frozen until Spring.  The choice is yours!  All we ask is that the project improve the quality of water and/or level of awareness of it in YOUR community. You could, for example:
  • Clean up debris along a waterway, lake, creek, pond, stream, or other water source.
  • Prevent erosion by planting trees and native plants along a water source.
  • Build awareness in your community - encourage students to write essays on the importance of water and what THEY can do to protect it.
  • Encourage farmers in your area to use eco-friendly chemicals that will not damage fragile water systems.
  • If your community's water source is safe, eliminate plastic water bottles.  If they are a necessity ensure they are collected and recycled appropriately.

Use your imagination!  The bottom line is to educate your community on the importance of protecting its water sources.  Get them involved!  


Whenever possible, please consult with your local water or conservation authority to ensure that your efforts are compatible with conditions in your area!  For example, cleaning a watercourse during spawning season could have a negative impact.

Need Ideas?
A good place to look is the World Water Day website.  You will find a wealth of ideas to kick-start your project. 
Share your story
Please use your project to celebrate World Water Day.  You can promote it at your regular club meeting closest to March 22nd, 2018.  WASRAG will share some of them in its monthly newsletter.  And - why not tell your story to the Rotary world yourself?  Go to the RI website and post it on Rotary Club Central and/or Rotary Showcase!
Who will judge the entries?
The members of WASRAG's Membership Satisfaction Team, including Chris Etienne - USA (Chair) and Tom Bos - USA, Ada Cheng - Hong Kong, Rich Churchman - USA, Toro de Silva - Brazil, V.N. Singh - India, Ndukwe Chukwu - Nigeria and Rob Crabtree - New Zealand will review all applications and submit a short-list of finalists to WASRAG's Operations Team.
How do you enter the competition?
Submit a brief description of your project, including what you have done, the target audience and the expected impact of the project.  Remember to tell us your Club name and District number and give us a contact name, email address and phone number.  Some projects will be showcased on the WASRAG website. 
DEADLINE:  Please submit all entries by May 1st, 2018.
AWARDS:  Winners will be notified by May 31st, 2018.  The awards will be presented at WASRAG's Annual General Meeting on Saturday June 23rd, 2018.
Please send all entries to WorldWaterDayChallenge
How it all started!
Many of you will have read the fantastic story of the Rotary Club of South Ukiah (California) District 5130's "Cleaning the Rivers of the World" program in WASRAG's October 2017 Newsletter.
Spearheaded by passionate water champion, Salvador Rico, the South Ukiah club challenged Rotary clubs around the world to clean up rivers in their communities.
Inspired by Salvador and his club's efforts - WASRAG now invites you and your club to get involved in water - and maybe win some funding for your water projects!

Team Rotary RAAMs Polio

Hello District 6420,

We want your district to RACE ACROSS AMERICA with us for Rotary’s PolioPlus program.


We have entered a four-person bicycle team in Race Across America (RAAM)  www.raceacrossamerica.org for 2018…our third year in a row. Many of your district's members followed us this year and gave to PolioPlus in support of our effort to eradicate Polio. RAAM is one of the 25 most difficult events in the world and about 30 countries are represented in the race.   With 3000 miles distance and over 170,000 feet of climbing (that’s six times Mt. Everest), it is an intense, grueling, and challenging bicycle race.  However, it is not as grueling or as challenging as living with polio.  The race starts June 16th, 2018 in Oceanside, CA and ends in Annapolis, MD hopefully less than seven days later.  Our team name is “Team Rotary RAAMs Polio”.  We will be riding around the clock in shifts through 12 states with 55 time stations we have to make.  Our team will consist of four riders, 12 crew, and four vehicles that will move across the country at 18 to 20 mph.

You will be able to follow us and keep up with our progress at:

As you know, when Rotary started this campaign there were 127 endemic countries in the world with 350,000 cases per year.  Today there are only three countries left and we only had 37 CASES in 2016!!  Although we only have the three countries left, we still use over 400 million doses of vaccine per year at 60 cents each.
So, here is the CHALLENGE:  $1,000,000 for Rotary’s PolioPlus program.

Will you help us in the effort? Only 37 kids in 2016 is our lowest number ever!  However, that is still 37 children whose lives have been changed for life!! 
Contributions can be made at our Rotary International site:

Please let me know how much your district raises at: rlyonm@cox.net.   All funds given will count toward your district's giving for the year!  We will report what you tell us to “Race Across America” to show what Rotarians are doing to eradicate Polio from the world.

For further information please contact me or visit our website www.raampolio.com
Bob McKenzie
Past President 
Rotary Club of Tulsa
RAAM 2017
We Completed the Race
June 24, 2017
7 days,  49 minutes
No penalties
Rotary Club of Savanna, IL Turns $500 into $1500
Savanna, IL (25 Oct. 2017) – Rotary members in Savanna are among millions reaching out on World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio – a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.   
Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases in 2016. To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.  
Rotary Club of Savanna President Bryan McCaskey challenged members to match his donation of $20 by October 25th to help raise needed funds for the continued fight against Polio.  The Club was able to write a check to Polio Plus for $500 on October 25th.  With the Gates Foundation 2:1 match, the $500 instantly becomes $1500 to help end Polio.
Rotary has contributed more than US$1.7 billion to ending polio since 1985.
About Rotary
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.
Dictionaries to West Carroll Third Graders

The Rotary Clubs of Savanna and Mt. Carroll join together to provide each third grader from the West Carroll Primary School with a dictionary for their own personal use that they will be able to use for a lifetime.  Rotarians across the word have given over 14 million dictionaries since 2002.  Literacy and children have always been a priority for Rotary.  Giving dictionaries to students is one way for Rotary to enhance literacy skills at an early age. A dictionary is an essential tool and investment in learning.


Pictured:  Rotarians pictured with the third graders:  Bob North, Gary Panetta, Ed Bochniak.

Harvard Rotary Club - Power of a Garden  
Please spread the word about the featured video clip on My Rotary about the
Harvard Rotary Club's  The Power of a Garden.  This can be viewed not only by members who have a My Rotary account but also by other Rotarians and the general public.  Harvard currently has 5 very active members.  Kudos to them and their president Mike Morris.
Loves Park Rotary Receives Foundation Award
At the November 4  District  Foundation Dinner, John Hurley accepted the award for Loves Park Rotary for being third highest per capita giving club to the RI Foundation last year, from PDG Scott Shore. 
Twin Rivers RAH Out and About
Twin Rivers RAH Out and About!
October was a very busy month for Twin Rivers RAH!! The members have been very active
bringing awareness to multiple causes.

On October 17, the Twin Rivers Rotary After Hours Club, along with students from Augustana
college, hosted a food packing event at the River Bend Food Bank
Members and their spouses, friends, and coworkers all came out to assist in packing bags of food for children who otherwise
wouldn’t be guaranteed a meal over the weekend.
Twin Rivers RAH had over 90% participation! Members said it was one of the most rewarding
volunteer experiences the club had done. And it didn’t take much time! Nearly 80 people
participated for an hour and a half on a Tuesday evening and packed 2,100 bags of food!!
The club plans to do similar events about every six months.

October 24 was World Polio Day! RAH turned their regular meeting into a celebration of the
work Rotary has accomplished as well as recognizing the work yet to be done.
Fleet Feet Sports Davenport sponsored the event by providing gift cards for a drawing. The Club received
media coverage from WHBF Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate, and they raised nearly $200 in
one night for the PolioPlus fund.

On October 28, members of RAH answered RI President Ian Risely’s call to plant a tree for
every Rotarian.
Members worked with Living Lands and Waters to plant acorns that will be
relocated once mature. In 2007, Living Lands and Waters founded the Million Tree Project and
started collecting and planting acorns with a goal of growing one million trees. After two to three
growing seasons, the trees are harvested and replanted within towns and cities that have joined
in efforts. The MillionTrees Project aims to help reduce erosion and run-of, improve water and
air quality, increase biodiveristy, provide shelter and a viable food source for wildlife, and
reestablish native, nut-bearing, hardwood trees along waterways and within communities.

Just because October is over doesn’t mean RAH is slowing down. Be sure to check out Jingle
Jaunt, our annual ugly sweater bar crawl, on Thursday, November 30. Proceeds from the event
are going to benefit the Miracle Field of the Quad Cities, a group that is raising funds to build an
all-inclusive baseball diamond that would allow children with disabilities to play in a safe and
welcoming environment; the first of its kind in the area!
Amagara Ga' Boona Please!

Amagara Ga’ Boona  Please!

Uganda is a country rich in culture. It is lush with fruitful vegetation, colorful flowers, and amazing creatures. The people are warm, friendly, inviting and generous despite their lack of essentials, creature comforts or even necessities.  In June of this year I was privileged to experience Uganda from Eastern Jinja and the beginning of the Nile, the Western Uganda Fort Portal area, and the Southwestern Uganda - Kamwenge- Kohondo area to Murchison Falls in the Northwest.  Two things were consistent: the poverty and the needs of the people. Whether the mud huts were round or square or the roofs thatched or metal, the needs were overwhelming. Despite seeing it firsthand, it is hard to understand the depth of the poverty in today’s world of decadence and plenty.

Ottawa Noon Rotary has an extensive history of supporting and developing the Kamwenge area. When I was approached to go to Uganda to assess the emerging medical clinic as a health care professional, I could scarce believe it. Through the generosity of a District stipend, I was privileged to join a dedicated group from Ottawa to experience the country and the people at a very personal level.  I have much to share and I trust words will be adequate to describe what I witnessed, experienced and observed.

The new, unfinished Amagara Ga’Boona Medical Clinic is situated in the Kahondo- Kamwenge area in western Uganda.  The name means ‘health for all’.  After our arrival, hours of jostling along the main (dirt) road, deeply eroded with ruts and irregularities, brought us to a small village where the Glory Primary School sign indicated where to turn.  Another path, barely suitable for foot traffic, brought our bus to our destination. On the right is the school where hundreds of people were waiting. We gathered in the Church building where introductions were made, supplies unloaded, and designations of rooms for medical treatment determined; a long day began.  By night fall, an astounding 386 people were seen, evaluated, received lab services and had medications dispensed, the last hours by flash light.


Over the course of two days I interacted, observed, participated in, and interviewed people regarding their hope for the new medical clinic.  The buildings are directly across from the Glory Primary School and the local church.  One is L-shaped, complete with walls, a roof, doors and windows (sans glass). This building will house the pediatric ward, the mothers ward, and the consultation (exam) room. The second building has brick walls, doors, a roof, and windows, again with no glass.  This building will house the surgical room, the lab, the pharmacy and the cashier/accountant.
Interviews with 16 people of varying positions in the community were conducted over the course of two days with the use of an interpreter.  Questions were created with the input of Milton Tusingwire, developer and creator of Initiatives for Transformation Innovations*, (ITI), a Non-Government Organization.  Milton and his colleagues at ITI, alongside the members of the Kabarole, Uganda, Rotary Club were instrumental in working with Ottawa Noon Rotary members to secure and implement a Global Grant in 2012 that provided clean water; furnished a school, library and playground; provided hygiene training, and allowed the community at large to become more sustainable through the donation of a maize milling machine, the products of which are feeding so many.   The Rotary Clubs of Rochelle and Ottawa Sunrise made donations to the Grant project as well. The generous contributions from RI and our District also combined to create solutions and change lives for the Kohondo community. The provisions from the Grant are still functioning and well-used today, and the region has been declared a “model community” by the Ugandan government. The new medical center will provide yet another life-changing entity to the region. All this, originally started by two women in Ottawa who had a dream to make life better for our neighbors in Uganda by building a school, has forever transformed a community.
My interviews with local residents determined the consensus that having access to health care locally will once again significantly impact the infrastructure of the community as it improves the quality of life for all and saves lives for many. Villagers shared stories of how many women and their babies die during the trip to the hospital or during child birth when unable to travel.  Prenatal care is currently non-existent. The recommendation is that all pregnant women be seen at least once every 2 months during pregnancy to identify issues and causes for concern before the delivery. At least one woman I encountered was 7 months pregnant and had never been seen for prenatal care.
The nearest hospital (government owned and operated) is 45 minutes away via bodaboda (motorcycle) over a rough dirt road. Transportation is expensive and not everyone can afford it. When going to a government hospital, you must bring your own caregiver, provide your own food and if expecting to deliver, you must provide your own labor and delivery supplies. You may be aware of the Mama Kit project, also supported by Ottawa Noon Rotary, who has funded hundreds of labor and delivery kits to the women in Kohondo.  Some local residents stated that government hospitals are not always open after 5pm or on weekends, nor do they always have required medications. 
While at the medical clinic, a young boy approximately 4 years old was brought to us unresponsive, listless, and burning with fever. His lungs were full with noisy respirations due to aspiration of vomitus.  We cooled him as best we could with wet cloths while waiting for a motorcycle to take him to the village where he would transfer to a taxi for the 45 minute ride to the hospital in Fort Portal. I feared for his survival. A second child experienced the same problem a short time later. A week later, the first boy was still at the hospital ready for discharge, but was unable to do so until the bill was paid.  The hospitals I saw in Kampala and Fort Portal were surrounded by walls topped with broken glass and/or barbed wire and had armed guards who walked the grounds and guarded the gate for a secure entry.
Without a local health care facility children die of malaria or worms on a fairly regular basis.  Many children at the clinic showed signs of severe anemia- always associated with advanced cases of malaria and worms.  Immunizations are not currently available locally. Travelling is required and therefore is seldom completed. Skin infections and fungal infections such as ringworm are also common due to lack of hygiene. It was not uncommon to see a child with numerous white patches on their heads: a sign of ringworm infestation. This is contagious and seen in families with one bed to share and no clean linens. When the new medical center is operational, community education will be vastly improved on subjects as simple as setting mattresses out in the sun to decrease the spread of infection, and the need for regularly cleaned linens.
Most diseases observed during my trip, as well as at the clinic, are preventable. Education is greatly lacking and sorely needed. One woman interviewed shared she struggles to get people to understand mosquito netting must be used to prevent malaria not after the illness is present. Sixty two people were treated for malaria at the clinic.   Something as simple as boiling water and reheating leftovers could prevent worms. Twenty adults were treated for lower abdominal discomfort and 122 children were treated for worms; some experiencing bloody stools, swollen stomachs, diarrhea and pain.
Ottawa Noon Rotary will once again be submitting a Global Grant application, this time to complete the new medical center, Amagara Ga’ Boona. We already have the outstanding support of the Rotary Club of Dixon, and we are grateful and honored by their contribution of $3000 to this new initiative.  A new local ministry, Believe in Uganda, has been mobilized by the original women who built Glory Primary School, and are making semi-annual visits to our project site. They are raising funds to support the purchase of two ambulances, and we anticipate their assistance with the cash contribution required in the Global grant. The Rotary Club of Kabarole will again serve as the host Club.
As seen in the pictures, the buildings are in place. Our grant application will request funds for another well, generators, medical supplies and equipment; we will also request a supply of medications as well as staffing expenses for one year. Through fees charged to patients, the clinic is expected to be self-sustaining by the end of the first year.
Frankly, we need your help and that of your Club. The initial cash outlay to secure the Grant funding will likely be $18,000 plus. We have secured $8,000 to date.  We are seeking financial partners for this Global Grant, and hope your Club will join us at whatever level you are able. It’s an easy way to participate in a Global Grant project. I will be delighted to visit with your Club to share a PowerPoint presentation about the evolution of the Kohondo community and our commitment to bring desperately needed medical services to them. 
As a registered nurse for over 42 years, I have never seen or experienced anything like Uganda. I left a changed person.  It made me grateful for what I have. I left with an intense desire to do more, to share their story and convey their needs. Mostly I want to make a difference. I believe if we band together and combine our resources to make Amagara Ga’Boona a reality we can save the lives of the residents, particularly mothers and children as we also combat disease, improve sanitation and hygiene, support education and continue to grow the local economy.  This is why I am a Rotarian.
Cindy Duncan RN, LNHA and Ottawa Noon Rotarian can be reached at crdrnms@hotmail.com
*Innovations for Transformation Initiative - ITI - is a community based non-governmental organization, registered in Uganda. They work in poor communities adjacent to protected areas such as natural forests, water bodies, national parks, game reserves, major rivers and swamps which are at risk of devastation as a result of human activities.  Their aim is to bridge the gap between the young and old, marginalized and the privileged, the haves and the have-not, the sick and the healthy, the harassed and the favored, the rich and the poor, through enhancing social justice, gender equality, social inclusion and participation of minority groups, promoting exchange of information and best practices through vocational training, research, education and building strategic partnerships within and outside Uganda
Bulletin Editor
Colene Vivian
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