Yesterday in Rwanda, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton attended another Starkey Hearing Foundation hearing aid fitting, similar to what the delegation saw in Zambia. At the fitting, Starkey Hearing Foundation representatives fit children, some of whom have never heard before, with hearing aids. The Starkey Hearing Foundation runs on five continents, including 18 countries in Africa, and its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment is to expand its efforts to donate one million hearing aids to children in the developing world by 2020.
The delegation then traveled to the Camp Kanombe Primary School in Kigali, Rwanda, to see Procter & Gamble and World Vision’s CGI commitment to save one life every hour firsthand. At the school, President Clinton and Chelsea delivered water purification packets to schoolchildren. They participated in a demonstration on how to use the packets, and converted dirty water to clean, drinkable water. The P&G water purification packet quickly turns 10 liters of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean and drinkable water. Created to enable people anywhere in the world to purify dirty water in a simple, affordable and convenient way, the packet is based on technology similar to municipal water systems in developed countries. The water purification packet was developed by P&G in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While in Myanmar a few months ago, Chelsea delivered the project’s 6 billionth liter of clean water.
President Clinton and Chelsea also visited the Rwanda Coffee Company Factory in Kigali, which is currently under construction. There, the delegation learned about the progress of the construction of the coffee roasting factory, which is a partnership between the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) and the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB). The project aims to improve income generation for Rwandan coffee growers, who have traditionally achieved poor or modest returns in relation to the large margins that traders, roasters, and retailers add to their product. At the construction site, the delegation learned about the importance of coffee to Rwanda’s economy, and tasted samples as well. Coffee is one of Rwanda’s leading exports, consistently among the top five foreign exchange earners and generating US $56 million in export earnings in 2012. Beginning with only one coffee washing station in 2001, Rwanda now has close to 240 washing stations, and has been the only country in Africa to host the Coffee Cup of Excellence every year—a rigorous coffee quality competition hosted by a select group of coffee producers worldwide.
Later, the delegation traveled to the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali, commonly referred to as C.H.U.K, to see the progress of the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s (CHAI) progress on the Human Resources for Health (HRH) program, which President and Chelsea Clinton launched on their trip to Africa last year. Currently, Rwanda has only 633 physicians for a population of over 10 million people. There are only 6,970 Rwandan nurses, and about 90% of them have only the lowest level of nursing training available. To address this need, the HRH Program has convened an academic consortium of 19 top-ranked US schools (composed of ten leading medical schools, six nursing schools, one health management school and two schools of dentistry), that collectively send 100 medical, nursing and midwifery and health management faculty to Rwanda each year. At C.H.U.K, President Clinton and Chelsea visited a classroom to observe co-teaching led by US and Rwandan faculty members, who will be teaching students in the HRH Program on simulator dolls.
Finally, President Clinton and Rwandan President Paul Kagame announced the collaboration between the government of Rwanda, the World Food Programme (WFP) and CHAI to reduce dramatically the prevalence of chronic malnutrition in Rwanda. Chronic malnutrition is the single greatest predictor of death in children under five globally, causing up to half of all under-five deaths. In Rwanda, chronic malnutrition, or stunting, affects 44% of children under the age of five, or 750,000 Rwandan children, including more than 200,000 children aged 6 to 24 months. The partnership will be a comprehensive initiative focusing on the critical “1000 Day” window between conception and two years of life, during which a sufficient amount of micro and macronutrients are essential to the healthy development of an infant’s immune system and brain.
Today, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton travel to South Africa to visit the Ubuntu Center, a CGI commitment site. Tomorrow, President Clinton and Chelsea will be co-hosting a live conversation from South Africa with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, where several change makers will share their stories on how they are working to take positive action – inspired by Nelson Mandela's belief in the possibility of tomorrow. Watch the conversation live at 12:30 pm EST on Facebook.com/BillClinton. Use the hashtag #EmbraceTmrw to submit your questions for the speakers.
Follow President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton’s travels through Africa to visit Foundation and CGI commitments on the Clinton Foundation's Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, Twitter at @ClintonFdn, and Instagram at Instagram.com/ClintonFoundation.