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On the Road to Help End Malaria

by | Mar 15, 2022

By Jenny Andrews, Executive Director, Malaria Partners International 

For the last six weeks, I have been privileged to travel the state of Arizona raising awareness about malaria and what Malaria Partners International is doing, in cooperation with hundreds of Rotary clubs around the world, to end this deadly but preventable and treatable disease. In that time, I was the featured speaker at 10 Rotary club meetings and was reminded at every meeting of what an honor it is to be a Rotarian.

Two experiences were especially meaningful to me and I want to share them with you. On the evening of February 9, I walked into a room that I thought was reserved for a meeting of the Rotary Club of Downtown Social but I knew immediately that I was in the wrong place because everyone in the room was in their 20’s! But I soon learned that nearly all the people in the room were RYLA graduates who had banded together to form one dynamic Rotary club. This group of millennials exemplifies “Service Above Self” by supporting a wide range of service projects and fellowship activities. When my presentation concluded, they made a financial commitment of $200 to support our Uganda Global Grant. Their service projects, passion for all things Rotary and deep friendships exemplify what Rotary is all about. 

My final presentation in Arizona on March 9, was to the Rotary Club of Winslow. On the three-hour drive to Winslow, I wondered more than once if a single meeting was worth the long drive. The club president let me know that there would be another presentation that day but there would be plenty of time for mine. It turned out that the warden of the huge nearby prison was there to present a check for $2,900 from a fundraiser the inmates held to support the Rotary club’s scholarship program! When my presentation wrapped up, I shared the story about the Rotary millennials who had contributed $200 hard-earned dollars to help end malaria. Not to be outdone, the club president made a motion, right in the meeting, that the club contribute $250. Okay, this is great, I thought. But the best was yet to come. A Rotarian sitting across the room from me pulled out $20 and challenged club members to do the same. When I said my fond farewells that day, I had a check for $600 to support Community Health Worker Training Global Grant in Uganda! 

We often hear about the power of 1.2 million Rotarians around the world. On this trip, and every time I make a club presentation, I see the power of small groups of Rotarians doing amazing work in their home communities. Here’s to Service Above Self!

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