The amazing role of Australians in eradicating polio

Susanne Rea and a friend during her visit to India.

Susanne Rea and a friend during her visit to India.

By Susanne Rea, past president of the Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise, Queensland, Australia

I was four-years-old when I contracted polio. I was fortunate to have made a complete recovery, but defeating polio has remained personal for me. I am also proud to be an Aussie. You can bet I was cheering loudly during the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney when our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced a pledge of $100 million over five years to help eradicate polio.

On Australia Day (26 January), I reflected on the significant contribution Australians have had on polio eradication. Past RI President Clem Renouf (1978-79) had the vision to involve Rotary in ridding the world of this crippling disease. Rotary member Jenny Horton has spent her life on the front lines, immunizing children against polio in endemic countries. Continue reading

Get the latest Rotary news on Flipboard

Monica Kinyua (right) and her sister, Jane Wanjiru, founded the Children's Peace Initiative Kenya. Read more about them in our flipboard.

Monica Kinyua (right) and her sister, Jane Wanjiru, founded the Children’s Peace Initiative Kenya. Read more about them in our roundup on Flipboard.

By Rotary Voices staff

Check out our latest roundup of news and feature stories from Rotary News and The Rotarian magazine on Flipboard. You’ll discover how Rotary members in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, gathered 40,000 people to make the world’s largest human national flag as a tribute to India being polio-free; how a Rotary Scholar is building peace among pastoral tribes in northern Kenya; why Matt Damon is using his star power to bring safe drinking water to those who lack it, and more. Get up to date on Rotary news by reading the roundup.

How your year-end gift to The Foundation does a world of good

Four hundred citizens in northeast China received free cataract surgeries in 2013 thanks to efforts by the Rotary Clubs of Warner Robins, Georgia, USA, and Shanghai, China. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Shanghai

Four hundred citizens in northeast China received free cataract surgeries in 2013 thanks to efforts by the Rotary Clubs of Warner Robins, Georgia, USA, and Shanghai, China. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Shanghai

By Rotary Voices staff

There’s still time to make your year-end gift to The Rotary Foundation. Here are a few ways your support is helping change lives all over the world:

Educating children: Rotary members in Maine, USA, and Bikaner, India, are using a global grant to educate hundreds of children in Bikaner who previously were not attending school, and provide professional development for their teachers. Learn more about the project, which also provided desks for the students. Continue reading

Funding the fight against polio

A child who has tested positive for polio in Pakistan.

A child who tested positive for polio in Pakistan.

By Jewat Sunder, Rotary Club of Khipro Sunders, Pakistan

I recently traveled to the Sanghar District of Pakistan to meet the parents of a child who had tested positive for polio. Rotary members were taking part in immunizing children against polio during a one-day drive.

Seeing the child reminded me all the more why we must eradicate this disease. The parents cooperated with me in distributing vaccination information, and I handed out End Polio Now caps, pencils, and balls. Continue reading

World’s Largest Human National Flag

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By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Chennai, India, organized the creation of the world’s largest human national flag on 7 December on the grounds of the YMCA during a Rotary Day event. Rotary members joined 50,000 other people, and formed the blue wheel in the center of the human flag, while RI President Gary C.K. Huang, his wife, Corinna, and other Rotary leaders watched from a podium. After breaking the Guinness World Record, local Rotarians flipped over placards to show the Rotary logo and unfurled a large banner that read “Keep India Polio Free.”

Climbing Mount Olympus to eradicate polio

The climbers raise a banner on Mount Olympus, Greece.

The climbers raise banners on Mount Olympus, Greece.

By Kostas Karvounis

In September, I joined two fellow Rotary members in Greece, Vassilis Papagiannis and Spyros Gravellas, in climbing Mount Olympus to raise money and awareness for polio eradication.

Almost three-decades ago, Rotary promised to eradicate polio, and we intend to keep our promise. Even though Greece has been polio-free for more than two decades, I still remember close family friends who were disabled by polio. I have four children, and I know that until polio is eradicated from the world, it remains a threat to children everywhere. So offering our children a polio-free world is the least we can do. Continue reading

Five reasons to give to The Rotary Foundation

Polio immunization activities in Ethiopia. Your generous giving supports our work to rid the world of polio.

Polio immunization in Ethiopia. Your generous giving supports our work to rid the world of polio.

By Rotary Voices staff

When you make a donation to The Rotary Foundation, you are helping Rotary members make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world, by promoting peace, preventing disease, bolstering economic development, and providing clean water and sanitation.

Here are just a few ways your generosity is changing lives. Continue reading

Pushing the limits to help end polio

The Miles to End Polio team during a chilly training ride.

The Miles to End Polio team during a chilly training ride.

By Kristin Brown, Rotary staff

It’s been three months since I was appointed captain of the Rotary staff Miles to End Polio bike team and it’s been a great ride! Over the past 12 weeks, we’ve ridden hundreds of miles together, including weekly group rides of between 40 and 100 miles. More importantly, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for PolioPlus: as of this week, we met and passed the team goal of $15,000 well on our way to $20,000. Continue reading

Why your gift to The Foundation makes a difference

Brenda Cressey volunteering at a day care in Mexico.

Brenda Cressey volunteering at a day care in Mexico.

By Brenda Cressey, Rotary Club of Paso Robles, California

November gives us the chance to build greater ownership and pride in our Foundation. We have so much to celebrate. The new grant model, Rotary’s website, our publications, and our new branding effort all focus on building a strong message — the importance of contributing to and supporting our Rotary Foundation. Continue reading

Making grandpa proud and riding to end polio

Tom Woods is training for the El Tour de Tucson.

Tom Woods is training for the El Tour de Tucson.

By Tom Woods, Rotary staff

Prior to joining the staff at Rotary Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, my only exposure to Rotary was through my grandfather, Richard Stannard, who was a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest, where I grew up.

Grandpa never really mentioned much about his membership with Rotary, but when I told him that I had been hired to work with the Secretariat in Evanston, he became really excited and invited me to come to his club’s lunch meeting. I had never seen him so proud when he announced to the club that I would be working for Rotary, and it became clear to me in that moment how much the organization meant to him. Continue reading