Bill Horan is Vice President for Development at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Recently a team of U.S. Fund for UNICEFÂ Kiwanis Club members and I attended the annual Bread and Soup luncheon hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Fordham, Bronx.Â
The Bread and Soup Luncheon is hosted by the club at Fordham University every year during Lent. Each year the Kiwanis members invite a non-profit organization to speak about its efforts to help alleviate poverty. This year the focus was on The Eliminate Project, a joint effort by Kiwanis InternationalÂ and UNICEF, and the work to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
I have lived, worked, attended college and gotten married in the Bronx, so it was fun to be backâ€”especially to enjoy the warm hospitality of the Fordham Kiwanians. It was clear that this is a strong, passionate, well-supported club. I sat with several club members, Fordham administrators and staffâ€”including Sister Anne-Marie Kirmse, who gave an introspective blessing before the meal. Â It turns out that Sister Anne-Marie knows my Aunt Agnes, who is a member of another order of nuns.
The lunch was a modest bowl of tasty lentil soup and a small roll. Perhaps not especially filling by our standards, but that was the point of the lunch. The meal represented more than what many underserved people around the world eat in an entire day.
Dr. Rownak Khan, a UNICEF senior health specialist who leads efforts in fighting maternal and neonatal tetanus, gave a thoughtful presentation on efforts to eliminate MNT. She was presented with the Presidentâ€™s Award by Kiwanis International President-elect and Fordhamâ€™s General Counsel Tom DeJulio.
The occasion made me thankful for all the good things we have in our lives compared to the challenges faced by families in many other parts of the world. The warmth and enthusiasm of the Fordham Kiwanians made me appreciate the terrific support and the perseverant efforts for The Eliminate Project by Kiwanis clubs in our own communities and around the world to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.