News

Preparing for Tanzania

Dec 21, 2016
Since 2010, Kiwanis and UNICEF have worked toward a shared goal: To change the world by eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. Through The Eliminate Project, the Kiwanis family is keeping millions of newborns safe from a deadly disease—and in the comfort of their mother’s arms.

The bond Kiwanis seeks to protect is very familiar to Kiwanis International President Jane Erickson, a mother of two and grandmother of seven “grand littles.” It is what attracted her to The Eliminate Project.

“Protecting the connection between mom and baby is important to me,” she says. “In fact, it is why I donated for the very first Mother’s Day/International Women’s Day Zeller Fellowship—in honor of all the wonderful females in my life.”

Next month, Jane will witness the effects of the campaign that she has supported for nearly five years. She is among a delegation travelling to Tanzania to observe UNICEF activities related to health care, including MNT elimination sustainability. The East African country eliminated the deadly disease in 2012.

Jane shares more about her inspiration to support moms and babies through Kiwanis’ Global Campaign for Children. Learn more about your president below.

What do you hope to see or experience while in Tanzania?
I would like to see the immunization clinics, the moms and, of course, the babies. I’m one who has to see, feel, hear, smell and touch. That allows me to be a powerful storyteller of the events that affect me.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating?
It’s a beautiful opportunity to protect moms and their precious babies—little ones whose faces you will never see, and voices you may never hear—but you’ll know you’ve made an impact. You will know that you matter. And you can make that difference without even leaving the comfort of your own home. Kiwanis and UNICEF make it easy for each of us to positively change the world.

Why are you hopeful about the work that is made possible through The Eliminate Project and the Kiwanis partnership with UNICEF?
1. Because tetanus will be virtually removed as a reason for losing babies and moms.
2. Because the world will be filled with happy, healthy, safe and loved children.

What are fun facts that you would like people to know about you?
1. I’m a sucker for a child. I absolutely love them. They look at me and I melt.
2. I occasionally act like a child.

It sounds like Jane will fit in with the children her group will encounter next month. Check our blog, Facebook and Twitter for updates from the trip.