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October 27, 2015

Rotary’s Global Women of Action Finalists

Global Women of Action


Kerstin Jeska-ThorwartKerstin Jeska-Thorwart

Nuremberg, Germany
Rotary Club of Nürnberg-Sigena (1880)

  • Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart is a lawyer by profession.
  • She launched the “Baby Hospital Galle” project after surviving the devastation of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka.
  • With a budget of USD 1.8 million and the support of 200 Rotary clubs and 6000 members the project rebuilt and equipped the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital, in Galle.
  • In the 11 years since its inception, the project has helped more than 150,000 children and provided healthcare services to more than 2.2 million women.

Dr. Hashrat A. BegumDr. Hashrat A. Begum

Dhaka, Bangladesh
Rotary Club of Dhaka North West (3281)

  • Dr. Hashrat Begum has been at the forefront of the women’s health in the capital of Bangladesh having coordinated the implementation of several large scale projects across the country to deliver health care to underserved communities.
  • Her Rotary initiatives include organizing free weekend clinics for slum dwellers, providing vocational training to girls who have dropped out of school, empowering women with sewing machines to earn livelihoods as seamstresses, etc.
  • She also works to raise awareness of various social and health issues including HIV/AIDS among young people from a broad spectrum of communities, including university students, garments factory workers, and slum dwellers.
  • Her single most important project is funding a clinic for the people of Washpur, a densely populated slum township on the outskirts of Dhaka with virtually no access to clean water or health facilities.

Dr. Deborah K. W. WaltersDr. Deborah K. W. Walters

Troy, ME, United States
Rotary Club of Unity, Maine (7790)

  • Dr. Deborah Walters is a neuroscientist by profession with training in physics and engineering with professional academic experience at Unity College, the State University of New York and the University of Birmingham (UK).
  • She has served as the director and supporter Safe Passage (Camino Seguro) a Maine registered non-profit organization that helps to provide educational and social services to the children and families who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump.
  • During her time a District Governor she lead an initiative, in partnership with Behrhorst Partners for Development and a Guatemalan Rotary Club, to improve water systems and build latrines for people living in and around the dump.
  • She was honored as Rotarian of the Year by her club in 2015.

Razia JanRazia Jan

Wellesley, MA, United States
Rotary Club of Duxbury (7950)

  • Razia Jan, an Afghan native living in the United States, Razia has worked for decades to build connections between Afghans and Americans while improving the lives of young women and girls in Afghanistan.
  • She is the Founder and Director or the Zabuli Education Center, a school that serves more than 430 girls in Deh’Subs, Afghanistan.
  • The school teaches the girls mathematics, English, science, and technology, as well as providing practical skills, preparing them to succeed and achieve economic freedom within a challenging social environment.
  • She was recognized as a CNN Hero in 2012.

Stella S. DongoStella S. Dongo

Harare, Zimbabwe
Rotary Club of Highlands (9210)

  • Stella Dongo leads the Community Empowerment Project in Zimbabwe.
  • The project provides basic business skills and computer training to more than 6000 women and youth infected or affected by HIV in urban Harare.
  • She is working to expand the project to serve an additional 600 participants in the region.
  • She has served on the boards of World Vision Zimbabwe and Women’s University Africa.


Lucy C. Hobgood –BrownLucy C. Hobgood –Brown

Hunters Hill, NSW, Australia
eClub of Greater Sydney (9685)

  • Lucy C. Hobgood –Brown is a Communication and project management specialist and educator with more than 30 years of experience living and working in nine countries.
  • She is the co-founder of HandUp Congo a non-profit organization that strategically links existing and potential collaborators with grassroots community initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Working with Rotary District 9150 she raised funds and led a team of experienced health care workers to support public health infrastructure for Ebola containment in the Congo.