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  • Memories and lifelong friends in Namibia



    By Kellye McElroy Smith


    On May 24 several Kiwanians and two U.S. Fund for UNICEF representatives arrived in Namibia, Africa for the trip of a lifetime. During the UNICEF-led field visit, we learned how the country is sustaining its tetanus immunization rates. In 2001 Namibia became the second country to declare maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) elimination.

    Our team was amazed at the organized levels of care the country has established, including hospitals, clinics and healthcare extension workers who treat the villagers on a monthly basis. We visited a hospital on the Angolan border where dedicated "sisters" (nurses) help long lines of women and children every day at the immunization clinic. Pregnant women live in tents for weeks before delivery so they can have their child in a clean facility. There was a lack of supplies but everyone was doing their best to help as many as they could.

    As a physician and a mother my heart broke for all of them–the workers, the patients and the families. I was proud, though, of what UNICEF and the country had accomplished. The sisters had not seen a case of MNT since 2006.

    We drove back in the bush to meet with a tribe of “bushmen” called the San Community to discuss the importance of immunizations and clean deliveries. They were so glad to see us. Our group also visited a school for the hearing and vision impaired and HIV students. The children did a beautiful African dance for us and were so warm and friendly. UNICEF is helping with a Teen Club several times a month where the children can discuss their problems in a safe place.

    I came away from the trip with a deeper understanding and respect for what UNICEF does for children. I was proud to be a Kiwanian. I can truly say we are improving the world one child and one community at a time all over the world! Please give generously to The Eliminate Project, and let's finish strong in the centennial year!

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  • Thank you to our newest donors

    Thank you to our newest donors (6/15/15-6/30/15) who will help save lives and eliminate MNT forever.

    Major Gift

    Chia Sing Hwang and Chit-Looi Phang
    Chien-Kung Yang
    Chun-Kuai Liu
    Kuei-Sheng Chuang
    Patrick & Waneen Stout
    Pin-Ching Hsieh
    Su-Chen Tsai

    Model Clubs

    Benicia / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Campbell / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Monrovia / Cal-Nev-Ha district

    View our complete list of donors and learn more about our recognition opportunities.

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  • 10 FUN SUMMER FUNDRAISING IDEAS

    Summer means holidays, long weekends and endless fun outdoors. So why not take advantage of the great outdoors and organize an activity that brings your friends, family and community together to support The Eliminate Project? Try one of these 10 summer fundraising ideas:
    1. Car Wash: Scrub those dirty bumpers clean! This tried-and-true fundraiser is a natural choice for summer since groups of just about all sizes can run a profitable car wash. Charge extra to have tire rims polished. Give a flyer or campaign brochure to customers that explains more about The Eliminate Project.
    2. Summer concert: Set up a concert at a local venue or in a member’s backyard. Whether you showcase local talent or family and friends, setting up a benefit concert or open mic night are great ways to let the good times (and donations) roll in. Local bands may play for free since it’s a great opportunity for them to display their talents. This is especially popular for kids and teens.
    3. Bike-a-thon: What’s better than getting outside to feel the cool wind in your hair? You can charge registrants a small entrance fee then ask them to collect sponsorships for miles biked. A swim-a-thon is another option.
    4. Garage or yard sale: A great way to clear the clutter and raise lots of money. It takes some pre-planning though.
    5. Pool party: If you have the resources (a pool for starters, and also proper supervision if you’re working with children), a pool party is an awesome fundraiser idea for summer! Sell snacks, raffle off prizes, and set up carnival-type games like a ring toss!
    6. Community block party: Summer block parties combine all of the summer goodness in one event—a barbecue, watermelon eating contest, slip and slide, sprinkler, fireworks, live music and community! A block party takes a little bit of extra planning, but it’s the perfect fundraiser. Do your best to get local residents on board to avoid noise complaints, and recruit a team of volunteers to help out.
    7. Duck race: An event that is sure to entertain all. After each participant pays to receive a numbered rubber duck, the race down the stream begins! Whoever’s duck makes it to the ending point first is the lucky duck prize winner.
    8. Rock-a-thon: A fun and clever way to involve supporters of every age. Find a roomy porch or space, gather rocking chairs from your community, and have each participant pay to rock for a set period of time. This idea fosters companionship, conversation and fun, and requires no physical stamina to complete.
    9. Water Balloon Fight: What better way to stay cool than with a water balloon fight? Designate a field, park or open space as your “Splash Zone” then spread the word that you are organizing the largest water balloon fight in community history. Charge per filled water balloon or make it a team event by charging a registration fee. You could even sell snacks and drinks to raise extra money.
    10. Ice cream events: Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day? Approach a local ice cream or frozen yogurt shop or grocer, and ask if they would provide the ice cream and cones. Many shops will host a charity ice cream cone day where with each cone sold, a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.

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  • Join the fight to eliminate MNT


    Earlier this year, a delegation from Kiwanis and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF traveled to Cambodia to observe UNICEF related activities. During the trip, they had the opportunity to speak with Ya Tharin, a village health volunteer, about witnessing tetanus in his rural village.

    Share this video with family and friends and invite them to join the fight to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

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  • The Eliminate Project in the news

    Thanks to your efforts, The Eliminate Project continues to make headlines across the world! Here are our latest mentions in the news:

    Kiwanis invites Indy to 100th birthday party
    Indianapolis Star, 6/22/2015

    Hartsdale Kiwanis Club Celebrates Its 59th Year
    Greenburgh Daily Voice, 6/17/2015

    Westfield Kiwanis Club recognizes longtime member with international honor
    Massachusetts Local News, 6/13/2015

    Kids doing good work with Kiwanis clubs
    The Herald, 6/8/2015

    The more publicity attracted for The Eliminate Project, the more awareness and funds Kiwanis International will be able to raise for the women and babies the project protects. Need help publicizing The Eliminate Project and your club’s fundraising and service activities to your local media? This public relations toolkit will provide everything you need.

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  • Are you up for a challenge?


    Kiwanis International President John Button knows no one responds better to a challenge to help others than Kiwanians. Watch his challenge for you!

    Every 11 minutes, neonatal tetanus claims the life of a baby. You can help prevent those deaths—and that pain. Just US$1.80 protects a woman and her future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

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  • Make lunchtime a lifesaving event

    Who doesn’t love pancakes? Especially when you can eat them and support The Eliminate Project.

    On Thursday, June 25, join us for a free pancake lunch Kiwanians will flip thousands of pancakes on Monument Circle from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Donations are encouraged and will benefit The Eliminate Project.

    If you aren’t attending convention you can still help protect women and babies on The Eliminate Project website or by texting elimin8 to 51055.

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  • Reflections on Namibia

    By Jimmy McCorlew, Georgia District Governor

    Photo taken in front of the United Nations House in Windhoek, Namibia which houses UNICEF. Windhoek is the capital of Namibia. Pictured above top left to right: Dr. Bill Harrigan, Dr. Kellye Smith , Dr. Kris Bowers, Brian Bowers, Caitlin Johns and Jimmy McCorlew. Below left: Jodi Patkin and Ann Putnam Marks.

    I recently returned from a field visit in Namibia, Africa. We arrived in Windhoek on Sunday, May 24, and departed for a more rural area in the northern part of the country the following morning. This is where our trip began.

    Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) was eliminated in Namibia in 2001. Our field visit focused on sustainability and how the country has advanced healthcare and education during the last 14 years. It was an astonishing experience and very satisfying.

    We gained a very thorough level of education every morning during briefings with UNICEF staff, traveled to different health care facilities and visited several schools. Each day took a lot of planning and communicating. UNICEF Namibia made it possible.

    I was impressed with the health care clinics and Oshali outreach point near the Angolan border. Their level of service was not what it is in the United States, but it was obvious they were doing the best they could with their resources. One obvious difference was the waiting line for vaccinations as one of the clinics only had two nurses. Long wait or not though, all were very patient and knew the importance of the vaccinations.

    This is a great example of the education efforts implemented in Namibia. As in other countries where MNT has been eliminated, it has not reoccurred. I cannot comment enough on how well Namibia is doing with health care and education. There is a lot of promise in the country.

    Here is a little girl who enjoyed being held. She was very quiet, pleasant and was at the hospital for vaccinations. Children her age are what The Eliminate Project is all about. 

    Here we visited the Oshali outreach point near the Angolan border. They changed their vaccination day for our visit. Everyone was waiting to greet us when we arrived.


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  • Scavenger Hunt

    Are you a regular Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew? Put your skills to work with this fundraising idea. A scavenger hunt is great for Kiwanis-family members of all ages. Below are tips to help you implement this activity in your community.

    Best for: All Kiwanis-family clubs

    Timeline: 12 weeks for preparation; 6-8 hours on day of event

    How it works: Plan a scavenger hunt where teams race to solve a series of clues or collect a list of items to win the grand prize.

    To-do list:
    • Choose a date and general area for the hunt
    • Set an entry fee
    • Get a sponsor to donate prizes
    • Pick a start and end point
    • Plan the path and create written and photo clues or a list of items to collect
    • Arrange for sponsors to host giveaways at certain points
    • Outline the ground rules of the hunt
    • Establish “hunt” duration of 1-2 hours
    • Set up an area where teams can congregate at the end point
    • Generate a list of hunt rules and a map
    • Award the winning team

    Supplies:
    • Promotional posters
    • Printouts of rules, clues and map
    • Bottled water
    • Cell phone for each team
    • Bullhorn or sound system
    • Donated prizes

    Tips:
    • Consider a photo/video hunt so there’s no actual collecting of items.
    • Remember: The teams must stay together the entire time—no splitting up.
    • The first team to find the most items on the list or solve all the clues wins.

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  • Kiwanis roots run deep for this Midwestern farmer

    Iowa is solidly Midwest. It’s agriculture, crops, livestock and chores. It’s families, strong communities and active schools. It’s neighbors helping neighbors and being neighborly. It’s crossing fences and tearing down walls.

    Midwestern roots and a farming career gave Jim Dane of Iowa City, Iowa, a serious perspective on tetanus.

    “We are exposed to the time-worn admonition from very early in our lives: You need your tetanus shot, because you never know when you might step on a rusty nail, clip an old worn fence, or expose a cut in your hand to soil,” says Jim. “We are used to dirt. And that soil can easily carry the tetanus bacteria. So our parents, our relatives and even our neighbors ask, ‘Have you had your tetanus shot?’”

    Kiwanis roots also run deep in Jim’s family and have taught him to appreciate service and the global community. Jim joined the Old Capitol Kiwanis Club of Iowa City nearly 12 years ago. His grandfather, father, brother, uncle and cousin are also Kiwanis members.

    So what do this farmer, tetanus and global service have in common? Turns out, a lot. Global service and tetanus go hand-in-hand with Kiwanis International’s Global Campaign for Children, and it seemed natural for Jim to get involved with The Eliminate Project.

    “Lenora Hanna recruited me to be part of her volunteer team. I said yes before I knew what I was getting into,” recalls Jim with a chuckle. “I understand we live in a global community. Our neighbors aren’t necessarily those we see. Our neighbors across the world breathe, work and play like we do and are exposed to the soil just like us. They need their tetanus shots, too.”

    The birth of Jim’s great niece paralleled his involvement with The Eliminate Project and provided additional motivation to raise funds.

    “Angel was born at only 27 weeks old. She endured 11 surgeries in her first year of life and faced several life-threatening complications. Her mother hasn’t left her side,” recalls Jim. “When a child is sick, it takes away hope. Kiwanis has an opportunity to give hope and impact millions of families and communities through The Eliminate Project. This is such an important priority for all of us. And it is so cheap. It seems like a no brainer. Sometimes we need someone else to remind us what’s important.”

    Jim’s passion is evident. So is his commitment to raise funds and ensure Kiwanis clubs and members have an opportunity to participate. He rallied members of his home club to commit to raising on average $750 per member to become a Model Club then upgrade to a $100,000 commitment. As a district coordinator for The Eliminate Project, he oversees a team of volunteers in the Nebraska-Iowa District of Kiwanis, identifying potential ways to raise funds. He also visits clubs to explain why Kiwanis members need to take action.

    “It’s a project Midwesterners understand. It demonstrates care for our neighbors who don’t have resources like we do. Clubs can do a simple lemonade stand to raise money. The families we are helping can’t,” adds Jim. “We want our neighbors to have a good life. We want their children to be healthy. We have to be the ones to help.”

    The satisfaction of saving lives is just one of the many benefits of serving as a district coordinator. Forging friendships with people who share a similar passion to help kids is another. It has also refined his leadership skills and yielded a unique advantage for his upcoming term as governor.

    “Volunteering for The Eliminate Project is the best thing I could have done to meet people and make connections,” adds Jim.

    “Tetanus doesn’t ever go away; it’s in soil everywhere. We receive shots when we are born. Not everyone has that opportunity. Kiwanians understand it. We are succeeding and won’t stop until our goal is met. We’re making a difference between life and death for families around the world.”

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