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  • Making a difference one presentation at a time

    by Brad Kunze, Kiwanis Club of Bellefontaine, Ohio Distirct

    Kiwanis of Bellefontaine, like many traditional clubs, meets weekly. We provide our speakers with a gift of remembrance. In the past, we have given what we tongue-in-cheek describe as a Kiwanis “solid gold brass bell.” More recently, we presented a Kiwanis mug. Around Christmas time, in an effort to maximize the return on the club’s administrative dollars, Bellefontaine Club President Josh Stolly gave each speaker a five-pack of Christmas cards and made a donation to The Eliminate Project in the speaker’s name.

    The cards were custom designed by our governor-elect Amy Zimmerman and provide information about The Eliminate Project. The club donation in the speaker’s name is credited toward our Model Club pledge. This practice has been so well received by the speakers and club members alike that our board recently authorized the club president to continue this practice for program speakers and club guests for the duration of The Eliminate Project.

    Where else but Kiwanis does a speaker leave an engagement knowing that by virtue of just showing up he or she protected the lives of women and their future children?

    There is still time to make a difference; encourage your club to make a commitment today.

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  • The Eliminate Project in Cambodia

    February brought a memorable opportunity for our Kiwanis delegation to see firsthand The Eliminate Project in action in Cambodia.

    During the trip, Kiwanis members observed UNICEF activities related to prenatal health care, immunizations and education—from inspecting health facilities to observing local health workers train community leaders, volunteers, traditional mid-wives and mothers. Through the experience participants gained a better understanding of the progress being made.

    The Southeast Asian country has made measurable progress in maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination, despite pronounced inequities that have inhibited many rural areas. In fact, Cambodia has scheduled its maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination validation survey for the second quarter of 2015.

    Read more about the delegates’ life-changing experiences and learn how you can make a difference by helping families in the most remote areas of the world:

    My thoughts on Cambodia

    Preparing for Cambodia

    Cambodia field visit preview

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  • My thoughts on Cambodia

    By Key Club International President Maria Palazzolo

    The trip to Cambodia has truly changed the way I see the world and my life. You’re probably like, “Come on, Maria, that’s so cliché.” Trust me, I know how cheesy I sound, but I’m completely genuine when I say that witnessing how Cambodians live has put my life into perspective. They have little but are so happy to be alive. The children are ecstatic to have a balloon, a pen and paper, and the adults are happy their children are happy. They don’t care about the Grammy’s or the latest drama around Taylor Swift. In Cambodia, those issues seem irrelevant.

    When I landed in Phnom Penh, I was only concerned with getting my luggage that was still in Los Angeles. Our hotel had air conditioning, working toilets, windows, elevators, electricity and WiFi. I didn’t think anything of it. Why wouldn’t it have those? I quickly logged on to social media to see my friends’ pictures of Saturday night. Again, I didn’t think much of it and was even kind of sad that I had missed out on some of the fun. Looking back, I see how privileged and ungrateful I was—without even knowing it. Before I came to Cambodia, I thought the way I lived was normal and Cambodians were extremely poor. Truth is…the way they live is normal, and we are just extremely rich.

    On Monday, the Cambodian UNICEF team briefed us on the issues the country faces. In addition to unclean birthing practices, the country deals with government corruption, malnutrition, a lack of health centers, roadway safety issues, child marriages, low numbers of educated citizens, problems with open defecation…the list goes on and on.

    After our quick briefing, we began our six-hour journey to the province of Mondulkiri. Quickly, I realized that what I thought was poverty in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, is considered wealthy here. The roads turned red, bumpy and dusty. The amount of motorbikes was unbelievable, and seeing several people without helmets riding together wasn’t rare. In Mondulkiri, we were able to visit four remote villages. 

    Many of us were brought to tears while we talked to the mothers and watched the vaccination and education process. We can see that our work truly is changing how Cambodians live. They are some of the most generous people that I have ever met, and I will never forget how they treated me and how they changed my outlook on happiness.



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  • Canadian government announces significant gift

    Earlier this week during a meeting led by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and philanthropist Bill Gates, the Canadian government announced it will match up to CAD$2.5 million in funds raised by UNICEF Canada and Kiwanis Canada over the next two years, resulting in a CAD$5 million contribution to The Eliminate Project.

    Kiwanis International President Dr. John Button and UNICEF Canada President and CEO David Morley attended the meeting, which focused on global efforts to improve the health of mothers and children in developing nations.

    “Canada’s announcement is an unprecedented government commitment to join with Kiwanis and UNICEF to rid the world of maternal and neonatal tetanus,” says Button.

    The matched funding will leverage the work of UNICEF Canada and Kiwanis Canada to support a campaign focused on MNT elimination efforts in Chad, Kenya, Pakistan, Sudan and South Sudan. More than 3.4 million women of reproductive age will be reached with vaccinations needed to provide immunity and save their babies.

    “Canada's commitment to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus in partnership with UNICEF Canada and Kiwanis will save countless newborn babies from an unimaginable, excruciating death,” adds David Morley, UNICEF Canada President and CEO. “This horrific disease wreaks havoc on newborn babies, causing severe spasms and making even their mother's touch painful. These deaths are simple and inexpensive to prevent, but almost impossible to treat. We're on the brink of eliminating this childhood killer, and this funding is a critical step in making elimination a reality for five countries.”

    Globally to date, The Eliminate Project has raised more than US$75 million in cash and pledges to support MNT elimination efforts.

    This commitment brings the Kiwanis family, UNICEF and its partners once step closer to our goal of ridding the world of a cruel, preventable disease. Read the Kiwanis press release and share the good news.

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  • How far would you go to save babies?

    Have you ever been so passionate about a cause that you did something crazy to raise money—like kiss an octopus?

    CKI and Key Club International Board members puckered up in January to celebrate raising more than US$3 million for The Eliminate Project—which will save or protect more than 1.8 million moms and babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus. Now they are challenging your club to do something extreme to help save babies. You’ll have fun and make history in the process. Here’s how:

    1. Set your goal and select your crazy stunt. Choose a fundraiser and estimate what you’ll raise. This is your fundraising goal. Next, pick a funny stunt or extreme local tradition (like kissing an octopus) for your club to complete when you reach your goal. This will motivate people to give and build club spirit—which will ultimately help you save more moms and babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

    2. Plan your project. Get your project off the ground. Set a date, budget and task list for your fundraising activity. Assign responsibilities. You can find the toolkits and resources you need at www.TheEliminateProject.org/SLP.

    3. Make it happen. Before your event, spread the word about MNT, your fundraiser and the stunt you’ll perform once your goal is reached—invite people to give and help save babies. Consider creating an online team fundraising page where you can collect people’s donations at www.TheEliminateProject.org/personalpage. Whether you host a dance, duct tape your club president to the wall, shave your head or simply invite club members to donate, your club will make a difference. Don’t forget to ask your sponsoring Kiwanis club to match the funds you raise and dare them to participate in the stunt. You’ll double your lifesaving impact in the process.

    4. Turn in funds. Get credit from The Eliminate Project and possibly add some patches to your club’s banner. Complete a Kiwanis-family giving form and send the money your club raised to the Kiwanis International Foundation. You can find details at www.TheEliminateProject.org/SLPrecognition.

    5. Celebrate. The fun is done, and you’ve reached your goal. Now schedule a time to conduct your stunt and invite participants to witness the fun. Share photos on social media. Don’t forget to tag The Eliminate Project (#elimin8) on Twitter and Facebook.

    Take the challenge. Don’t miss your chance to save lives and help Kiwanis make history.

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  • Celebrate in the Circle City


    Once a year service-minded individuals from around the world come together for the Kiwanis International convention. It is an opportunity to connect with the Kiwanis community, meeting Kiwanis friends from districts near and far to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments from the past year.

    This year, we look forward to celebrating our continued progress through The Eliminate Project. We will kick off the campaign’s final march to victory during the centennial convention in Indianapolis. We hope you will be part of it.

    There have been many moments of celebration since the campaign began in 2011. In the last four years, US$75.4 million has been raised (in cash and pledges) – which will help save or protect nearly 42 million women and their future babies from tetanus. Now more than ever, we are committed to raising US$110 million and eliminating this devastating disease once and for all. This will be our legacy that continues for the next 100 years.


    Register today and be part of the celebration.

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  • February club spotlight: Kiwanis Club of Acadiana

    Clubs of all sizes can make a difference for moms and babies. Just ask the Kiwanis Club of Acadiana in Louisiana. In the fall of 2014, the club’s board of directors wholeheartedly supported the challenge to take the club to the next level for The Eliminate Project, upgrading to a Platinum Club commitment. The board then pitched the idea to the entire club membership for a vote.

    “We knew we needed everyone involved in order to be successful,” says Bill Penny, multi-division coordinator for the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District.

    Platinum Clubs commit to raising US$1,500 per member for The Eliminate Project. Even more outstanding is that each club member will help save or protect 833 lives from maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).

    The 32 member club is demonstrating how a few dedicated people can truly make a difference in the lives of others. Read more about what motivates the Acadiana club members to support Kiwanis’ Global Campaign for Children.

    1. Why are club members motivated to protect moms and babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus?

    Anyone who has knowledge of maternal and neonatal tetanus and the pain and suffering it causes to babies and moms would want to be able to do something to help. We are grateful that Kiwanis International has allowed us to play a part in making such a significant difference in eliminating this disease.

    It also helps to have dedicated Kiwanians in leadership and support positions in our club. Through volunteering, individual pledging and attendance at The Eliminate Project functions, they have brought so much knowledge and enthusiasm to our club that efforts to fundraise for this cause have been exemplary.

    2. What advice or encouragement would you offer other clubs who might be considering a Platinum Club commitment?

    Start small and build upon your success. Be creative. Use matching funds for Walter Zeller Fellowships. Grab the attention of the community. We did not go into this effort thinking we would become a Platinum Club, but knew we wanted to help support the Kiwanis International program. The more we fundraised and spread knowledge about this cause the easier it has been to increase our pledge.

    3. How has participation in The Eliminate Project affected member participation and new member recruitment?

    We still work on member recruitment. As a small club, each of us is aware that we are all responsible for wearing our Kiwanis hat in our community and working to identify potential new members. And we have grown as a result.

     Regarding member participation, we have encouraged our members to become Walter Zeller Fellows. At the board level we have discussed the need to refocus our approach and work more to collectively raise funds. Our goal is measured not in reaching US$46,500 but in saving more than 25,000 women and their future babies. We’re going to do just that, and hopefully more.

    4. How does your club plan to raise funds?

    We will continue to dedicate funds from our largest fundraiser, our pancake breakfast. We will also do games (bingo, cards, etc.) at meetings.

    5. What do you wish other people knew about The Eliminate Project?

    I wish everyone knew how serious neonatal tetanus is and how it affects babies. Kiwanians throughout the world are working hard every day to make sure that no more babies have to suffer.

    To learn more about the Acadiana club, visit their website: www.kiwanisofacadiana.org.

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  • From the heart of Cambodia

    Earlier this month, a Kiwanis and U.S. Fund for UNICEF delegation traveled to Cambodia. The Southeast Asian country has made measureable progress in maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination, despite pronounced inequities that have inhibited many rural areas. In fact, the country has scheduled its maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination validation survey in the second quarter of 2015.

    During the journey the group observed UNICEF activities related to prenatal health care, immunizations and education—from inspecting health facilities to observing local health workers train community leaders, volunteers, traditional mid-wives and mothers.

    “Although I expected this trip to be about vaccinations, it was so much more. It was education in action from the very start to the very end,” says Amy Zimmerman, Ohio District Governor-Elect and Multi-Division Coordinator.  “Kiwanis and UNICEF are truly improving the world, one child and one community at a time!”

    Read more about our delegation’s life-changing experiences in Cambodia and see the photos.

    Additional members of the Kiwanis delegation included Kiwanis International President-Elect Sue Petrisin, Europe 2 Region Coordinator Gabriele Neumayr-Stof and Key Club International President Maria Palazzolo.

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  • Make fundraising personal

    As of February 15, US$34.6 million remains to achieve our US$110 million fundraising goal. Kiwanis International will make history, but it will take the entire organization—from the smallest K-Kid to the oldest Kiwanian.

    Will you be part of the legacy? Join Kiwanis family members and UNICEF in the fight to eliminate MNT, a painful disease that robs babies of their mother’s comforting touch.

    Create your own personal fundraising page, create a team page with your friends, or, if you are part of the Kiwanis family, create a page with your club or district. It’s easy! Just follow these four simple steps and you are ready to achieve your fundraising goals.

    Already registered? Here are some tips to make the most of your fundraising page:

    • Challenge your friends, club members or district to a friendly competition.

    • Personalize your page with a photo and set your fundraising goal.

    • Share the reason why you are raising funds for The Eliminate Project.

    • Begin campaigning for a world where no women or children die from this preventable disease.

    Tell us how you are doing. The Eliminate Project campaign office always enjoys hearing and sharing your success stories.

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  • What to share this month


    For just US$1.80 a day, you can help assure that precious moments like these continue for years to come.

    Help us create more special moments. Watch the video. Download the video. Then share the video with friends and family so they can see how UNICEF and Kiwanis are, again, making a difference in the lives of countless families around the world.

    More videos are available to download and share on The Eliminate Project website.

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