Posted by Valrie Wafer, Director , Rotary International

Dear Rotarains, Rotaractors and the whole Rotary family in District 7070,

Recently, I was moderating a panel discussion with senior women leaders who were asked to share their Rotary moment.  Unrehearsed, each shared their personal experience that made an impact on their life and the life of others.  A literacy program in Russia, life-saving heart surgery to a child in the Middle East and a school for orphans in India.  It struck me that each heartfelt story involved the life of a child. 

Rotary’s focus in the month of April is on Maternal and Child Health. The focus on maternal health isn’t as simple as a strategy to save lives, it is far bigger than that. ..........

Ensuring that mothers who give birth have the medical supports they require, sanitary locations in which to give birth and strategies to follow up medically and psychologically.

When this is in place it leads to children being raised by their own mothers, family units staying together and the next generation contributing to society, the economy and not being dependent on social services. Improved maternal health benefits everyone.

“There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing….when we save our children, we save ourselves”- Margaret Mead

Rotary’s work in this area cannot be adequately summarized as there have being tens of thousands of successful programs and efforts over the past few decades. Without your efforts, maternal health, birth defects, birth mortality and harm to mothers would be at higher levels than it is today. But we can to do more.  This year of COVID19 has presented us with some challenges that may have long term consequence to mothers and children.  A set back in immunizations, limited access to healthcare services and access to mental health services.

Rotary saves lives. Of that there is no argument. We are the leading light in ensuring children avoid Polio and other dreadful diseases, we are the leader in ensuring villages around the world have safe drinking water and we are the leader in strategies to ensure female children go to school. All of this is directly related to our efforts around maternal and child health. 

In your clubs and districts your maternal health programs are making a difference, for that I salute you. 

April, maternal and child health month. Let’s celebrate our success and power on as we change the world one piece at a time. 

Be well, and be safe.

Yours In Rotary,


Valarie Wafer

Rotary International Director (2020-22)

Rotary Club of Collingwood, South Georgian Bay