The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Monday, December 30, 2013
Walter K. Hughes Jr. of Union Hall was honored at the White House on April 5.
Hughes, a member of the Rocky Mount Rotary Club, is one of 12 Rotary International members from around the country selected as a "Champion of Change."
"I am honored and humbled to receive this honor,"
Hughes said. "It is proof that God can use us to change the world if we are willing to serve."
The award was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature groups of Americans -- individuals, businesses and organizations -- who are doing "extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities."
Hughes is the leader of a Rotary partnership that has virtually eradicated guinea worm disease in Ghana through clean water projects.
The team, which consists of members of more than 80 Rotary Clubs from Canada, the United States, Switzerland, South Africa and Ghana, has raised more than $1 million to provide clean water in remote Ghanaian communities with the highest incidence of the disease.
These efforts helped eliminate the disease in Ghana in 2011.
Hughes made many trips to Ghana to help drill wells, as well as build churches and deliver much needed medical supplies.
Following that success, Hughes traveled to South Sudan in October 2012 to continue efforts to eradicate the guinea worm disease and raise awareness about a lesser-known tropical disease, Buruli ulcer.
"I'm accepting (this award) on behalf of Rotarians and friends from a team of over 80 Rotary clubs in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Ghana and South Sudan," he said. "We are celebrating the end of guinea worm disease in Ghana in West Africa! It all started with a dream. I'm the lucky guy who gets to witness lives transformed around the world."