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Kiwanis Selects Three Finalists for Worldwide Service Project

Proposed projects will combat global diseases

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kiwanis International is searching for its next global cause, and its International Board of Trustees has selected three Worldwide Service Project finalists: Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases for their Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) proposal; Malaria No More and the Canadian Red Cross for their joint malaria proposal; and UNICEF for its proposal on maternal and neonatal tetanus.

"The three remaining proposals are extremely impressive," said Kiwanis International President Paul Palazzolo. "Any one of them would make a great Worldwide Service Project, and each would significantly improve the lives of millions of children around the world."

Last fall, Kiwanis received nearly 200 Worldwide Service Project proposals. Earlier this month, the board heard presentations on four potential projects.

"Today, we begin engaging our members in the discussion on Kiwanis' next Worldwide Service Project," Palazzolo said. "By visiting, our 600,000 adult and youth members have the opportunity to view each proposal and participate in an online discussion forum."

The website and discussion forum will be available in eight languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese.  

The Kiwanis International Board will announce the next Worldwide Service Project at the Kiwanis International Convention in Las Vegas, NV, in June.

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases: NTDs

The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases proposal's goal is to ensure that the more than 1 billion children born between 2003 and 2020 journey into adulthood as the first generation to grow and thrive without the burden of NTDs.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 13 parasitic and bacterial infections that are the most common infections of the 1.4 billion people—including 600 million school-aged children—who live on less than US$1.25 per day. They include intestinal worms, elephantiasis, and trachoma, the world's leading cause of preventable blindness. Together, NTDs blind, disfigure, stigmatize and kill, keeping those infected trapped in a cycle of poverty and disease.

There are highly cost-effective, proven interventions for the seven most common NTDs that account for 90 percent of the global NTD disease burden. For approximately 50 cents per person per year, the diseases can be prevented and treated. The Global Network proposes that a 10-year, US$150 million investment will leverage US$1 billion globally.

Malaria No More and the Canadian Red Cross: Malaria

The Malaria No More (MNM) and the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) project proposes to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015—a goal endorsed by the global community.

Malaria kills 3,000 children in Africa every day. But thanks to a new generation of tools, on-the-ground successes and increased political and public support, the world is better prepared to defeat malaria now than at any other time in history. Investments in malaria are reaping huge rewards, and have helped reduce malaria deaths and illnesses by more than 50 percent in several African countries, including Rwanda, Eritrea, Zambia, Botswana and the Islands of Zanzibar between 2000 and 2008.

The project would raise US$60 million over six years for mosquito net distribution, training and technical assistance and awareness.

UNICEF: Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus

Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) kills one baby every four minutes. MNT can abruptly turn the joy of new life into wrenching tragedy. Its effects are excruciating—tiny newborns suffer repeated, painful convulsions and become hypersensitive to light, sound and touch. Even a mother's soothing voice and comforting caress are unbearable for the infant. Few babies survive. Tetanus may claim the mother's life as well.

In impoverished countries, where women have little access to health care, many are forced to give birth in an unsanitary environment. Tetanus spores are found everywhere—in the air, soil and contaminated objects. Bacteria can enter the mother's body through open wounds and pass through a newly cut umbilical cord. Once the baby is infected, a lethal toxin attacks his or her nervous system.

Tetanus is highly preventable. Three doses of a vaccine can protect mothers and babies.

The project would raise US$110 million to eliminate a deadly disease and save 129 million mothers and their future babies.

What is a Worldwide Service Project?

Children and communities worldwide have diverse needs—access to healthcare, clean water, safe shelter, safety from slavery, access to education and so many others. A Worldwide Service Project is a directed program that engages all 600,000 youth and adult Kiwanis family members to make a positive difference in the world by helping children in need. 

Kiwanis successfully completed its first Worldwide Service Project, virtually eliminating iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).  Kiwanis raised more than US$100 million, which helped change lives in more than 89 nations. The number of households estimated to be consuming iodized salt has jumped from 20 percent in 1990 to more than 70 percent, and the effort has been heralded as one of the most successful health initiatives in the world.

About Kiwanis International

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.  Kiwanis International and its service leadership programs for young people, including Circle K International, Key Club International, Key Leader, Builders Club, Kiwanis Kids, Kiwanis Junior and Aktion Club dedicate more than 19 million volunteer hours and invest US$100 million to strengthen communities and serve children annually.  The Kiwanis International family comprises 600,000 adult and youth members in 70 countries and geographic areas. For more information about Kiwanis International, please visit

SOURCE Kiwanis International



SOURCE Kiwanis International
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