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Preparing for Senegal

Aug 24, 2016
A delegation from Kiwanis International and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is preparing to travel to Senegal next month. From September 25–30, the group will meet local volunteers, medical experts and mothers as they observe UNICEF activities related to health care.
Many Kiwanians recall celebrating in early 2012 when Senegal announced that maternal and neonatal tetanus had been eliminated in the country. During the upcoming trip, the delegation will get an update and learn more about UNICEF’s support for the government’s health system. While women in the West African nation no longer live in fear of the deadly disease, there is an important focus on sustainability and education.  

Jim Gerwe, member of the Cincinnati Kiwanis Club in Ohio, will be part of the group travelling to the western coast of Africa this fall. We asked Jim a few questions about the trip and The Eliminate Project.
What do you hope to see or experience while in Senegal?
Mostly, I hope to meet some of the people benefiting from The Eliminate Project and hear how it has affected their lives. I want to hear their stories. I also hope to see how UNICEF operates and partners with people in the country to adapt to local customs in order to carry out their mission.
Tell us why you got involved with The Eliminate Project.
I’ve been a member of the Kiwanis International family for many years, and my wife and I are big believers in helping locally as well as globally. When Kiwanis International decided to partner with UNICEF again on a world-changing effort, I was sold immediately.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating?
It’s hard to believe you can save lives for $1.80, but that’s the reality. Knowing that, how can you say no?
Why are you hopeful about the work that is made possible through The Eliminate Project and the Kiwanis partnership with UNICEF?
I’m hopeful that these types of partnerships can make life a little easier—that people can experience more of the joy of sharing their lives together, rather than those lives being cut short by the tragic death of preventable diseases.
Other members of the delegation include: Alyson Gerwe, member of the Cincinnati Kiwanis Club, Ohio District; Chuck Gugliuzza, member of the Homestead–South Dade Kiwanis Club, Florida District; and Victoria Petersen Elia, Kiwanis International Foundation associate director of development.

We will share the group’s Senegal stories and photos on our blog and Facebook. Check in for updates!