Club Meeting – August 14th, 2014

081414 Ghana
Villagers gather to celebrate a borehole in Diani, Ghana. Photo courtesy of Walter Hughes
Walter Hughes, Jr.
Walter Hughes, Jr.

Our speaker today is Walter Hughes, Jr.  He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, Virginia for 14 years.  “Doing Good in Ghana” is but one of the reasons he was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House in April of 2013.   Mr. Hughes leads a multinational Rotary partnership that is helping to eradicate Guinea worm disease in Ghana and South Sudan through the implementation of clean water projects.

Mr. Hughes spoke of Rotary’s global perspective and the role individuals can in making a difference in the world.   We can not only do good in our communities, but  also on a global scale.  Giving to the Rotary Foundation enables the funding for  projects worldwide.  In 2008-2009 our Club donated $3,000 which, with District and Rotary Foundation grants, became $7,700 towards a digging the first wells in Ghana.  Since that time, funding from Rotary has grown to $1,700,000.  This is what can be accomplished as a Rotarian, when you find your passion, have a dream, are willing to move out of your comfort zone.  It can all start with a contribute to the Rotary Foundation.  The initial clean water project has expanded into four regions of Ghana (including work on schools and clinics) and into South Sudan.

This video was made by RI to document our efforts in Ghana.  Shown first at RI Conference in Sydney Australia and again here today for us to be better informed.

Doing Good in Ghana from Rotary International on Vimeo.

See how grants from Rotary have helped bring clean water to rural Ghana.

081414 Sudan2
A water pump in action in South Sudan

In 2014 the World Health Organization will declare Ghana Guinea worm free. Contributions from the Rotary Club of Salem helped in a small way to make this happen.  The South Sudan is Mr. Hughes next target.  Though in the midst of a civil war, the work has begun in the South Sudan.  It seems it is only not for the eradication of polio that Rotary projects find themselves in harm’s way.

Space limits listing the many heart warming and productive benefits these projects are providing the people of Ghana and South Sudan.  You are encouraged to do a search for Walter Hughes at the Rotary International website.  Click here to see the results.

Links to a selection of search results covering the subject matter presented today is below.

Rotary Voices – Stories of service from around the world
The impossible becomes possible with teamwork

Rotary Voices – Stories of service from around the world
Providing clean water in Ghana: priceless.

Rotary Voices – Stories of service from around the world
Taking on Guinea worm in South Sudan

During today’s presentation, feeling a measure of pride in being a Rotarian was perfectly natural.  By the end, for many of us, that pride was balanced with a sense of humility by what one man’s vision can accomplish for so many.

Walter Hughes, Jr. is indeed a Champion of Change.