George W. Bush Focuses on Quiet Service After Presidency
Former President George W. Bush has kept a relatively low profile in the United States since leaving office. But in Africa this week he is publicly promoting his institute’s initiative to prevent and treat cervical cancer. While Bush is following a familiar post-presidential path in supporting humanitarian causes, he would prefer to focus on quiet service, to lead through example and hard work.
He worked alongside other volunteers in Kabwe - Zambia’s second-largest city - to renovate a health clinic which specializes in the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer.
“You’re always the former president but I wanted to come here as a laborer…I do want to say that on this particular trip that myself and friends have left behind a clinic and hope to inspire others to come and refurbish clinics as well,” Bush said.
Bush is helping lead the fight against cervical cancer in his post-presidential years and has so far helped raise more than $85 million. But he is a reluctant public spokesman for the cause and says he would prefer to contribute outside the media spotlight.
“I hope you don’t see much of it because I don’t want to be in the news. In other words, I believe that quiet service is the best kind of service,” he said.
In Zambia, Bush and his wife Laura also visited an orphanage where many of the children were born with HIV. The children are alive today because of President Bush’s 2003 AIDS initiative in Africa that provided billions of dollars for retroviral drugs and treatment. It is an emotional tour full of hugs and picture taking.