NY Rotarians rally round Ukrainians in crisis

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Ghandi

Dr. George Onuorah, an Executive Member of the Rotary Club of New York, humanitarian, author, journalist and politician reminded our correspondence, on March 16, after their virtual meeting with Steven Lauwerier, new Director for Polio Eradication in UNICEF about the importance of using charity to empower vulnerable communities.

Dr. Onuorah has devoted and dedicated decades of his adult life to serving his community, since age 13 when he joined the Boys Scout in Nigeria. Since then according to him, made volunteerism and helping those struggling to make it his second nature. Additionally, he has served in his Neighborhood Advisory Board, Queens Community Board and New York City Council Liaison. Last year he was a Candidate in New York City Council race and galvanized support to win the race in the 21st C district.

May 14, 2020 at the height of the pandemic, in conjunction with Rotary Club of New York braved the deadly health scourge by taking his charity Organization by the “Foundation for Sustainable Community Development Initiative, Inc” FSCDI Inc, to visit the epicenter of Covid-19 pandemic to appreciate the Essential Workers at New York City Health + Hospitals, Elmhurst workers. 100 Essential Workers were treated to assorted sandwiches including vegetarian and beverages. Hon. Jeffrion Aubry Assembly Member who represents the district brought gift certificates as token of appreciation for their tireless dedication and service. You will recall how at that particular time Elmhurst Hospital had the dubious distinction as “the epicenter of the pandemic” globally. In a 24 hour period, thirteen deaths was recorded #ElmhurstHospitalCenter.

As a Rotarian, Dr. George Onuorah appreciates the honor of joining others to make our world a better place. He cited latest effort by the Rotary Club of New York and fellow Rotarians to help out #Ukraine by donating $20,400 dollars to help those trapped in this unfortunate war. He encouraged us to embrace world peace and to work towards the sustainability of our planet for humanity sake..

Established in 1909, The Rotary Club of New York provides civic-minded business and professional men and women with an enjoyable and organized way to make a contribution to New York City and to needy areas of our world. We meet nearly every week to plan community, and international service activities. By using our skills and expertise, members also enhance their professional network, career development, and cross-cultural understanding.All Rotary Clubs are nonreligious, nongovernmental, and open to every race, culture, and creed. Our membership represents a cross section of local civic-minded business and professional leaders.

Steven Lauwerier has been appointed as new Director for Polio Eradication in UNICEF, succeeding Akhil Iyer, in November 2021.Steven‘s international career covers over 25 years in a wide variety of functions and contexts. He has until recently been Senior Advisor for UNICEF’s Emergency Operations. From 2019 till 2021 he led the Humanitarian Review team that conducted an in-depth review of UNICEF’s humanitarian action and formulated a set of key recommendations that is reshaping UNICEF’s humanitarian capacity globally. Previously, Steven was UNICEF Representative in Somalia where under his leadership, UNICEF moved its Somalia Country Management Team from Nairobi to being fully functional inside Somalia after a 24-year absence. He also led the team successfully responding to the famine threat and a major cholera epidemic in Somalia in 2017. Prior to that he was Representative in Madagascar and Deputy Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire. He also served with the organization in Iran and started his UNICEF career in Southern Somalia.Over the years he has overseen large scale polio campaigns in response to WPV and cVDPV outbreaks in the field for UNICEF. His first introduction to the polio world was as International Polio Focal point with the World Health Organization leading National Immunization Days in war-torn Somalia in the early 2000s. He also worked for the World Food Programme, CARE US and Médecins Sans Frontières in South Sudan, Kenya, Kosovo, Rwanda and Angola.Steven is a Belgian national. He earned his Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Ghent and achieved two additional degrees in Cultural Management and Business Administration from the Free University of Brussels. He speaks Dutch, English, French and Spanish.He is married to Valentina, a passionate malaria expert, and is father to two young children, Teo and Lena.

Dr. George Onuorah at Elmhurst Hospital Queens (Epicenter of the pandemic on May 14, 2020 surrounded from Rt. Dr. Joseph Masci Chairman Global Health Network and Infectious Disease Specialist, Hon. Jeffrion Aubry – Assembly Member & Speaker Pro-Temp, George Leconte- Senior Associate Executive Director of Ancillary Services and Claire J. Patterson Senior Associate Executive Director NYC Health + Hospitals Elmhurst.

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