Gift of Life

Gift of Life” Children’s Heart Surgery Program

In 1974 the Manhasset, New York, Rotary Club responded to a request for help from the Kampala Rotary Club in Uganda, bringing five-year old Grace Agwaru on a 5,000 mile journey from Uganda to Roslyn, New York. On 15 November 1974 she underwent a very successful open-heart surgery at St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, New York. The Gift of Life Program (GOL) grew out of this event.

Established formally in 1975, the Gift of Life Program is today a worldwide Rotary International Service Program. Its primary purpose is to help less privileged children who require corrective heart operations to secure another lease on life through open-heart surgery in Gift of Life Participating Hospitals.

What began as a simple response to help one small girl from a faraway land has today burgeoned into a dynamic worldwide movement. It involves not only thousands of Rotarians and their families but countless people from other community-based service organizations. Since 1974, following Grace Agwaru’s operation, all those involved have been united in the primary objective of giving life: to some 5,000 children from many countries.

Under this program, the Rotary Club of Beijing in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Great Neck, Long Island in New York State, has helped arrange life-saving open heart surgery for more than 100 Chinese children with congenital heart disease.
So far, our club has sent 23 Chinese children to the United States for surgery, while we have sent at least 90 to undergo surgery in hospitals within China. This project is ongoing and will be expanded. A similar program is being conducted on a comparable scale by our sister club, the Rotary Club of Shanghai.

Under the Gift of Life Program, we have also paid to send Chinese medical professionals to the United States on study and exchange programs and arranged to bring foreign medical teams to China to help appraise local medical facilities. Our club works with a Chinese charity, the Song Ching Ling Foundation, to ensure that this life-saving program is continued.

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Rotary Club of Beijing


Regular Meetings
Tuesday 12.30~14.00
Kempinski Hotel
Celine Lin
Club Administrator
+86 159 0121 4070
admin@rotaryclub-beijing.org

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