By Mike Paddock
Once again, I was reminded how proud I am to be a
member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee.
This spring I led an engineering team assigned to
Mozambique after Cyclone Idai at the request of the
United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
On March 21st, Cyclone Idai made landfall with 220
km/hr winds, damaging or destroying over 4,200
school classrooms, 94 clinics and 240,000 homes.
Before the cyclone struck, Mozambique was the ninth
poorest country on the planet (180 of 189) based upon
the Human Development Index—so on its own the
government had little capacity to respond.
Upon my arrival, I reached out to the Rotary Club of
Beira Mozambique. As has always been my experience
with Rotary Clubs around the globe, the club welcomed
me with open arms and immediately connected me to
the local network of builders, engineers and businesses.
Their hospitality was immediate and amazing.
Using funds from the Rotary Foundation’s new Disaster
Response Fund, the Beira Club was already hard at
work, repairing schools and supporting the community
with critical needs. I was able to witness once again the
power of Rotary’s local presence and network. While
I and other organizations were still “getting the lay of
the land”, Rotary was already moving – delivering much
needed assistance to those in need.
The power of the worldwide Rotary network continues
to amaze me and I would like to thank you for your
continued support of The Rotary Foundation.
Michael Paddock is a Senior Engineer with Engineers
Without Borders. He has worked with the Rotary Club
of Milwaukee and MSOE on projects in Guatemala.