RFPD Strengthens Organization
Members of the Rotarian Action Group for Population & Develop are taking significant steps to strengthen and further grow the organization. Important recent developments include the election of John Towsend as incoming Vice Chair and the election of Peter Neuner as the newest board member. John currently serves as the Population Council Director of Country Strategy and as chair of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. Peter Neuner is a gynecologist, obstetrician and Paul-Harris fellow working in Linz, Austria. He is long-time member of RFPD Austria, where he currently serves as honorary president. Another important development is the election of RFPD Co-founder Dolapo Lufadeju as incoming vice-chair of the RI Global Networking Groups Committee. In this important new role, Dolapo will be in a strong position to further develop RI policy on RAGs and to represent RFPD’s interests to the foundation.
In addition to these appointments, two new RFPD country sections emerged recently: RFPD Norway and RFPD Asia. RFPD Norway was founded in late 2018 by Rotarians from District 2250 who had heard RFPD CEO Robert Zinser speak at their District Conference on the importance of RFPD’s work in maternal and child health. PDG Zinser had been visiting the country representing the RI President. The newly-founded section has since supported the successful 10,000 Happy Birthdays project to enhance the quality of midwifery in Malawi and Zambia.
RFPD Asia was established in early 2019 by Yeun KeeYoung, PDG Park Ho-Gun and colleagues as a collaboration between motivated Rotarians in Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. KeeYoung had been a long-time friend of CEO Robert Zinser through the latter’s work and contacts in Korea during the 80’s and both had spoken frequently about RFPD’s engagement. Interested in strengthening the RFPD presence in Asia, KeeYoung took the initiative to find a RFPD section. After the official inauguration in March 2019, RFPD Asia quickly began activities through the support of a project in maternal and child health in Southwest Nigeria.
Both new sections were present and active at RFPD events during the 2019 RI Convention in Hamburg, together sending over 20 delegates. RFPD Asia General Secretary Kee-young Yuen and RFPD Norway representative Christin Landmark introduced their sections at the Annual General Meeting, outlining current projects and plans.