ON THIS PAGE :
2013 Jamaica Mission
2012 Thailand Mission
2011 Brazil Mission
2009 Ecuador Eyecare and Dental Mission
Medical Mission to Kenya
Mortel School in Haiti
Follow Elizabethtown Rotarians Ken Wolfe and Joe Rebman on the Medical Mission to Thailand on their BLOG! May 7th - May 20th.
Humanity in Motion - A Rotary Mission to Thailand
2011 Brazil Mission
March 8th - March 21st, 2011. 15 US Rotarians, including Elizabethtown Rotarian Dr. Joseph Rebman and other volunteers joined Rotarians from Denmark, Japan, and Brazil for an eye and dental mission in the Jequitinhonha Valley in Minas Gerais, Brazil. This was a Rotary Foundation grant project.
In the 6 days of the mission, the Eye Team saw over 1500 patients, prescribing over 500 pairs of prescription glasses and dispensing hundreds of reading glasses and sunglasses. We referred many older patients for cataract surgery or advanced glaucoma evaluations and treated patients for conjunctivitis, allergies, and dry eyes.
The Dental Team saw over 600 patients for which they performed extractions and fillings.
Click here to view Dr. Rebman's mission blog.
Ecuador Eyecare and Medical Mission 2009
In November 2009, Elizabethtown Rotarians Ralph Detrick, Ken Wolfe, and Joseph Rebman, along with Ken's daughter Andria Wolfe and Joe's daughter Katya Rebman, traveled to Guayaquil Ecuador for a Rotary sponsored Eye, Dental, and Medical mission.
This was written by Hector Hurtado of the Guayaquil South Rotary Club.
“To be a Rotarian is a good thing. You have the opportunity to know very kind people and beyond, you have the chance to improve yourself as a person, helping others to have a better life.
"Last weekend, I feel excited looking at a Rotarian army arriving to “Hospital Universitario”. It was an army with weapons, but not for war, army for peace and for humanity.
"John Kenny, RI President, has challenged us to take the future of Rotary in our hands. We have assumed it and we will comply with it, because we are committed with service above self.
"Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once says: “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think”. Medical mission Rotarians, welcome to Guayaquil, you honor our home and our land.”
Click here to read the mission blog.
In 2009 the Rotary Club of Elizabethtown sponsored its first Shelterbox.
A ShelterBox is a box of disaster relief supplies designed to help an extended family of up to 10 people survive a disaster for at least 6 months.
When our box , #5887 is deployed, it will be logged on this website: http://www.shelterbox.org/roh/detail.asp?Donor=67169
Medical Mission to Kenya - September 2008
In September 2008, the Elizabethtown Rotary Club sponsored one of our own members, Dr. Joseph Rebman, to join in a mission to provide eye and vision care to children in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The article below is from the www.rotary.org.
During a massive Rotary club-sponsored medical mission in September, a team of 70 volunteers from 11 countries provided preventive health care to more than 10,000 children in the poorest communities of Nairobi, Kenya.
The medical team, including health care professionals and nonmedical volunteers, screened patients to determine their most urgent needs before sending them to specialty stations set up to provide dental care, eye care, nutrition counseling, and treatment of infections.
"I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of this mission and share my skills and knowledge in a way that may improve the lives of the children," says Joseph Rebman, an optometrist from the Rotary Club of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, USA. "In the midst of such astonishing poverty, the children were generous in their smiles and waves."
The medical mission, the 10th of its kind and the first in Kenya, focused on the health needs of children living in the slums of Mukuru, Mathare, and Korogocho outside Nairobi, where the poverty rate is high and preventive medical care is lacking.
The international team was hosted by the Rotary Club of Nairobi North, many of them members of Rotarians for Fighting AIDS, a Rotarian Action Group. The RFFA was one of several mobilizing partners, along with Hope Worldwide, AmericaShare (the charitable arm of Micato Safaris), and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.
Mortel School in Haiti
Dr. Rodrigue Mortel was Vice Dean of the School of Medicine and Director of the Penn State University Cancer Center, when he was introduced to our club through our work with the Cancer Research Endowment we established at the Hershey Medical Center. Upon learning his life-story and his charitable effort to create and maintain a school in his home country of Haiti, our club become committed to supporting some students each year. You can read his biography here.
Haiti is a breeding ground for revolution where violence is a fact of life. It is proven that Haiti has more weapons than people (population 8,000,000!) There is too much turnover of the political leadership (32 coups de etat) to make much progress for the general population. 80% of the people are illiterate and 80% are unemployed. One in five children die in their youth. 10% of Haitians hold 90% of all wealth in the country. The most basic problem is poverty, and this will only be beaten by education. This is why Dr. Mortel established his school program. He opened the school, "Le Bon Samaritains" or Good Samaritan School, in 2001. You can read more about the operation of the school at the Mortel Foundation website. It it only for the poorest of the poor.
The children who attend are hand-picked from an impoverished neighborhood. Most of the children are malnourished when they begin to attend the school. It is impossible to teach empty stomachs, so the school provides two meals per day, a uniform, and all school supplies. It opened in 2001 with just a Kindergarten class, but now has 207 students, equally divided between male and female, in grades K-2. The students are taught the English, French and Creole languages by Grade 2, plus how to use a computer. Dr. Mortel is proud to state that this is a God-centered program that has the students praying daily for their benefactors, their neighbors and their country. December 3rd is celebrated as the Feast of the School-- on Dr. Mortel's birthday!
One of his goals is not small-- he hopes to have one of his students become the President of Haiti in the next 25 years! When Dr. Mortel travels to Haiti he always takes Americans with him. Often he brings college students on a mission trip to teach the stories of the Bible and to act them out for the students. This is the only school of its type in Haiti, and our club support is essential to its success. Our club sponsors 7 students at the cost of $300/student/year. At present most of the students are sponsored by Rotary clubs, churches, and individuals, and additional sponsorships are always needed. The staff at the Good Samaritan School share progress reports with us so we can see that we are truly making a difference in the lives of the seven children we sponsor.
The school also provides a literacy program for adults in the evening hours when the children are gone. Additionally, it is used to teach young women embroidery and sewing, to give them a useful skill to earn money for their families. In the future, plans for the school include the addition of a trade school to teach carpentry, electrical service, plumbing and steel construction. Additionally, the school is applying for funding to become a Health Center and to establish a much-needed vaccination program.
The Elizabethtown Rotary Club is proud to support this very personal and very significant project of a man we admire, and a man who is a wonderful model of the Rotary Motto: SERVICE ABOVE SELF!