SPEECH FOR ROTARY FAMILY HEALTH DAYS LAUNCH MARION BUNCH – CEO OF ROTARIANS FOR FAMILY HEALTH AND AIDS PREVENTION OCTOBER 7, 2015 It is wonderful to be back in SOUTH AFRICA at this most special occasion! At the outset, I wish to recognize the Honorable Dr. Dhlomo, and a special thanks to our Host KZN Province and the Ilembe District. HELLO SOUTH AFRICANS!!! I am Marion Bunch, the founder of Rotarians for Family Health & AIDS Prevention, and on behalf of Rotary leaders Tom McGee, Anton Meerkotter, Southern Africa Program Director Ms. Sue Paget, and the 4,000 Rotarians in South Africa, I am delighted to welcome everyone to the third annual Rotary Family Health Days in South Africa! We are off to a great start this morning, with over 120 sites across this great nation ready to provide important health screens and lifesaving immunizations to the families for three days – today, tomorrow and Friday. Last year at this event, we served over 65,000 citizens; this year, we hope to serve 75,000 citizens. HOW DID THIS MASSIVE HEALTH CAMPAIGN HAPPEN? How did it begin? Well the early story is that I, like many of you here, am a Mom, a Mom that lost a child, my son Jerry, to AIDS early in the American epidemic, 1994. That single tragedy changed the course of my life. I felt compelled to do something and make a difference. My journey ultimately led me to Africa where I met so many Rotary leaders as well as government leaders. The Centers for Disease Control introduced me to your Minister of Health, Dr. Motsoaledi, and together we decided we should partner and work together on disease preventon. ALL THINGS WERE MEANT TO HAPPEN, I am sure of it! It was clear since the outset that Rotarians could only provide one part of the answer for this massive event – that is, building, managing and volunteering at the 120 sites across South Africa. Rotary is all about volunteerism and mobilizing partnerships and communities into action! We are the oldest and largest civic organization in the world with membership in over 200 countries, and our Motto is “Service Above Self.” We have always believed in disease prevention, beginning with our fight to eradicate polio starting in 1985. Rotarians have given almost 2 $ Billion USD to this polio eradication effort, along with volunteering at National Immunizations Days and vaccinating millions of children all over the world. We did this work in partnership with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and UNICEF. For the Rotary Family Health Days program, we are ONCE AGAIN, doing something similar THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS. Each of our partners who we will honor today has a critical and defined role and set of responsibilities which is why this partnership works. We create these partnerships at the national level, but in fact, If it weren’t for the Provincial and District level government staff working with the local Rotarians at each site, this program would never happen! In fact, this program has now become part of the government’s national health calendar. There is so much planning and hard work done to implement a massive health campaign like this across the nation. You know, we began this program in the country of Uganda, expanded it to Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The results have been astounding: in 2014, we are providing free health care services to over 343,000 citizens in those four countries! These same countries will do this program again this year, and then we plan to expand it to India in February 2016. We wish to honor: Most importantly, the South African Department of Health, under the direction of the Honorable Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. They are providing overall strategic direction as well as pro bono medical and technical support at all of the sites. They have led the way in terms of needs assessment, data collection and input on monitoring and evaluation of all services. The United State Mission, and we are honored to have the U.S. Cosul Ms. Frances Chisholm with us today. We are so grateful for your partnership with RFHA, AND WITH ROTARIANS! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been with us since inception and provide overall strategic technical direction and implementation of the medical services. They have partnered with us and the South Africa Department of Health to define a monitoring and evaluation system so that we can validate sustainable impact of this program; MTN South Africa Foundation who is our Primary Sponsor -represented by Ms. Angie Maloko. MTN is a multinational telecommunications company with a massive reach across Africa and the Middle East. Without them, this program would not have taken place! Their Foundation is MTN’s corporate social investment vehicle, and we sincerely thank you for your partnership this year. SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) who are providing pro bono T.V. and radio media support as well as broadcasting the documentary produced by Rotary International; Rotary International for producing a documentary to publicize this program,. Caxton, represented by Bevis Fairbrother, and they are providing pro bono print media support through their community newspapers; We acknowledge our other support partners who have helped create this success! YFM, Prime Media, Media 24 News, Independent Newspapers, Paprika Studios, and Sesego Cares. I WISH TO SUMMARIZE BY SAYING THAT WE ARE ALL LEAVING A LEGACY BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY WAY TO COMBAT DISEASE AND BUILD A HEALTH NATION OF PEOPLE IS BY WORKING TOGETHER! EACH PARTNER OF OURS IS HIGHLY VALUED, AND WE SINCERELY THANK YOU FOR WORKING WITH ROTARIANS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SOUTH AFRICANS.