The author reflects upon her work in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Cambodia in the early years of the World Health Organization's (WHO) existence, inventing and building the modes in which the organization was to put its mandate into practice. The author was in Bangladesh in 1953-58, in Vietnam in 1958-61, and in Cambodia in 1961-66. In Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, the men cut sugar cane or planted rice seedlings, while the women stayed closer to home, fetching water, tending vegetable gardens, and caring for their many children. The women were often worn out from frequent pregnancies and childbirth. WHO's Maternal and Child Health Project met a need and eventually became an ongoing, integrated national program in the country. The project in Vietnam was similar to the one in Bangladesh, but broader in scope. With maternal and child health were included pediatrics, hospital obstetric care, regional programs to develop community maternal and child health services, and the education and training of midwives, assistant midwives, and pediatric nurses to staff a large, new hospital. In Cambodia, WHO-assisted projects sometimes worked closely together, although the sad subsequent history of Cambodia likely eroded most of the activities in which the author was involved.