Paul Wilson hangs out with polio survivor Ramesh Ferris during the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal.
By Irvin Metcalf, president of the Rotary Club of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England
Other Rotary members often ask me why I and my Rotary Club of Grantham colleague Paul Wilson attended the 2013 Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. There were so many good reasons!
First and foremost we both wanted to see and meet other Rotary members from all around the world to find out more about Rotary and the inspirational work going on around the globe. Continue reading
Sunrise on the summit of Mt. Fuji.
By Valentina, a current Rotary Youth Exchange student from the United States to Japan who received round-trip airfare through United’s 10 Million Charity Miles Giveaway.
I have been in Japan for only two weeks, but already so much has happened! The day I arrived I was greeted by local Rotary members and my host mother at the airport. I couldn’t believe I was in Japan. Continue reading
Vince Dooley, former University of Georgia head football coach and athletic director, with children in Honduras during a Rotary service project. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Atlanta
By Bob Hope, a member of the Rotary club of Atlanta, Georgia, USA
I am a longtime veteran of the public relations business in New York and Atlanta and a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. For the past 17 years, I have organized a group of business leaders who travel to rural Honduras to work on schools and medical clinics as well as in small mountain villages. Our efforts in Honduras have been supported generously by The Continue reading
By Patrick J. Bird, polio survivor and author of A Rough Road
During the polio epidemic of 1940, I contracted polio and became ensconced for 19 months in a “reconstruction home” far from my family. I was only 4 years old, and since all the other children were at least twice my age, I was initially placed in a room by myself instead of one of the dormitories.
Enduring loneliness, painful treatments, and lengthy, frustrating rehabilitation sessions, I learned to overcome my fears and to prevail Continue reading
“It is well that there is nothing in Rotary so sacred that it cannot be set aside in favor of things better.”
Paul Harris plants a tree in Santiago, Chile.
On this trip, Harris also planted trees in Callao and Lima, Peru; Bogotá, Colombia; Valparaiso, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil
In 1936, Paul Harris and his wife, Jean, traveled throughout Central and South America. Upon their return to Chicago, Paul shared his experiences in Peregrinations III.
Reflecting on a tree planting in Chile — one of many during the trip, he noted that he thought of tree plantings as a symbol of good will, and hoped that the trees he had planted at home and abroad would stand for generations. Continue reading
Courtney (center with hat in lap) meets the Rotary Youth Exchange safari earlier this year. Photo courtesy of District 9800
By Emanuel Tumino, a member of the Rotary Club of Footscray, Victoria, Australia
A chance encounter on the side of a dusty road deep in the Queensland Outback will forever change the life of one teen-ager, thanks to the magic of Rotary Youth Exchange.
In March of 2012, I was one of three leaders for our annual safari tour for 16 inbound Youth Exchange students which takes students deep into the Outback for a unique look at Australia’s remote areas. The bus stopped for a coffee break along the highway at a town of about 350 consisting of a few shops, houses, and a post office with the only cappuccino machine in “town.” Continue reading
By Bob Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee
Polio was recently confirmed in Syria, a country that has been free of this disabling and potentially fatal disease since 1999. In response, health authorities in Syria and neighboring countries have launched urgent, large-scale, multi-country immunization campaigns to ensure that every child is reached with the polio vaccine.
Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are working together with local health authorities to activate the outbreak response. Continue reading
Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser
By Leonor Fraser, a member of the Rotary Club of Soldotna, Alaska, USA
“Even the world’s mightiest rivers have humble beginnings.”
Earlier this year, I was part of a team of Rotary members from my district who visited a school in San Jeronimo, Masaya, Nicaragua, to play with the children and deliver shoes. But what we discovered very quickly is the children needed much more than shoes.
Their school is located near a diesel-fuel plant that emits pollutants into the air. Continue reading
By Kurt Sipolski, freelance writer, polio survivor, and resident of Palm Desert, California, USA
Years ago, I founded and published a magazine for homeowners and designers, San Francisco Gentry magazine.
It was easy to target advertisers. While homeowners don’t necessarily eat out more than renters, they sure as heck hire builders and landscapers more often.
One time, I called a fire contractor to sell him an ad. I had used him when an apartment in a building I owned caught fire. After refreshing his memory of who I was, he replied, “Oh, I remember. You’re the cripple.” Continue reading
RI General Secretary John Hewko and his wife, Marga.
By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary
For more than 20 years, Rotary members and their friends have worked tirelessly to keep our promise to the world’s children to eradicate polio. We’re almost there, but as in any race, the last mile is the hardest.
To honor those who strive to reach this historic goal of eradicating a disease for only the second time in history, I will again be joining Rotary members in the Tucson, Arizona, area on 23 November to raise money for Rotary’s Polio Plus Program by riding 111 miles in El Tour de Tucson. (Listen to Hewko’s interview with ESPN Radio in Tucson, Arizona) Continue reading