Rotary President K.R. Ravindran has named six Rotary Global Women of Action for 2015. The honorees were chosen for their dedication and service, which has improved the lives of thousands around the world.
“Every day at Rotary I see firsthand how our members work to change lives and make a significant impact,” said Ravindran. “Rotary’s Global Women of Action embody Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self.”
The women will be honored at Rotary Day at the United Nations in New York City on. They will address attendees and lead discussions on various topics related to their work.
The six were selected by Rotary senior leaders and staff from more than 100 nominees from around the world. They are:
- Dr. Hashrat A. Begum, of the Rotary Club of Dhaka North West, Bangladesh, who has implemented several large-scale projects to deliver health care to poor and underserved communities.
- Stella S. Dongo, of the Rotary Club of Highlands, Zimbabwe, who leads the Community Empowerment Project in the city of Harare. The project provides basic business and computer training to more than 6,000 women and youths affected by HIV/AIDS.
- Lucy C. Hobgood-Brown, of the Rotary E-Club of Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, who cofounded HandUp Congo, a nonprofit that promotes and facilitates sustainable, community-driven business, educational, social, and health initiatives to underprivileged communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Razia Jan, of the Rotary Club of Duxbury, Massachusetts, USA, who has spent decades fighting for girls’ educational rights in Afghanistan. An Afghan native, she is the founder and director of the Zabuli Education Center, a school that provides free education to more than 480 girls in Deh’Subz, Afghanistan. She was also recognized as a CNN Hero in 2012.
- Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart, of the Rotary Club of Nürnberg-Sigena, Germany, who launched the Babyhospital Galle project after surviving the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. With a budget of $1.8 million and the support of 200 Rotary clubs, the project rebuilt and equipped the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital, in Galle, Sri Lanka. The hospital has served more than 150,000 children and more than 2.2 million women.
- Dr. Deborah K. W. Walters, of the Rotary Club of Unity, Maine, USA, a neuroscientist who has served as director of Safe Passage (Camino Seguro), a nonprofit that provides educational and social services to families who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump.