Back on a bike for Miles to End Polio

Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during at a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.

Alison Randall and her boyfriend, Jerry, during at a training ride for El Tour de Tucson.

By Alison Randall, Rotary staff

Being a part of the Miles to End Polio team has been helping rebuild my confidence in bicycling.

A few years ago, I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, riding to class one morning, when another student cyclist I was passing decided to turn left without warning. I crashed and fell off my bike, but thankfully was not seriously injured. Nevertheless, after that incident, I decided to walk to class. No more biking for me.

Time has gone by, and now many of my Continue reading

Team captain excited to be part of Miles to End Polio effort

Kristin Brown, left, and Marga Hewko, wife of Rotary General Secretary John Hewko, take a break during the North Shore Century ride.

Kristin Brown, left, and Marga Hewko, wife of Rotary General Secretary John Hewko, take a break during the North Shore Century ride.

By Kristin Brown, Rotary staff

In 1987, I returned home to Evanston, Illinois, for the summer after spending a year at the Istituto Affari Internazionali as a graduate student in Rome, Italy. Rotary International was moving into a new building in downtown Evanston and ramping up efforts to eradicate polio. I didn’t know much about polio then, but Rotary needed temporary staff and I needed a summer job.

Never would I have guessed that more than 20 years later, I’d come back to Rotary as a manager in RI Programs, that I would follow my father and grandfather in becoming a Rotarian, and that I’d be serving as captain of the 2014 RI Staff Miles to End Polio team, training for El Tour de Tucson. Continue reading

Rotarians are a powerful force for polio eradication

A child is immunized against polio.

A child is immunized against polio.

By Steve Crane, a member of the Rotary Club of Seattle, Washington, USA, and a polio survivor. Crane has been appointed district polio eradication advocacy chair by successive governors in District 5030.

Rotary members are being asked if recent headlines mean there is some doubt about ending polio for good. Our answer is that the end of polio in India is the headline to remember.

We are at the heart of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a partnership of Rotary International, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and many national governments. Rotary has contributed $1.3 billion to the GPEI through PolioPlus. And it is committed to adding up to $105 million per year over the next four years through the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign.  Continue reading

Turning bicycle parts into wheelchairs for polio survivors

Ayuba Burki Gufwan, a polio survivor and member of Rotary, founded Beautiful Gate, an organization that makes wheelchairs for Nigerian polio survivors. Here Gufwan speaks about his mission and about advocating for polio immunization.

Read Gufwan’s blog post about Beautiful Gate.

From poetry to polio eradication

The Rotary Club of Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India raised $7,500 for polio eradication through album sales of Gujarati Gazals.

The Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal, Gujarat, India raised $7,500 for polio eradication through album sales of Gujarati Gazals.

By Chirag Trivedi, president of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal, Gujarat, India

Since 1985, Rotary has been at the forefront of the effort to eradicate polio from the world. Here is a unique way a member of my club has been supporting this monumental effort with his own individual talent.

Himal Pandya has been a valuable member of our club since its chartering, having served as an assistant governor, past president, Continue reading

Fifth birthday and beyond

John Hewko

John Hewko

By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary

Beginning 23 June, Rotary will join 37 NGOs, non-profits, philanthropies and businesses in supporting the 5th Birthday and Beyond celebration that recognizes the leading role the U.S. government plays in improving children’s health worldwide.

And believe me, there is much to celebrate, especially the incredible improvement in childhood mortality rates over the past quarter century. Experts tell us that in 2014, six million fewer children will die before their fifth birthday than was the case 25 years ago. Continue reading

Play dramatizes danger of not immunizing your children

A woman crippled from polio receives help from her mother in a play sponsored by Rotary members in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

A woman crippled from polio receives help from her mother in a play sponsored by Rotary members in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

In May, we held a special play to promote polio awareness in Shamsabad, Rawalpindi, with the help of the Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee and the Rawalpindi Arts Council.

The play portrays a young woman at an engagement party who becomes the laughing stock of the celebration when she cannot dance like the other young women. Her left leg is crippled from the effects of contracting polio as a child.

At the cruel remarks from her peers, the girl, Kiran, bursts into tears and proclaims “It is not my fault. My parents are responsible because they did not give me the polio vaccine. Continue reading

Bridge climb eclipses record

Rotary members from all over the world on top of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia.

Rotary members from all over the world on top of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia.

Reposted from the 2014 Convention Insider

The massive turnout from Rotary members eclipsed Oprah Winfrey’s world-record climb in 2011 when she marched up the bridge alongside 315 of her most ardent fans. But for Rotary, the record paled in comparison to the experience, and the opportunity to take a step closer to ending polio forever. The event raised AU$110,000.

“It made me even prouder to be a Rotarian,” says John Avakian from Healdsburg, California. “It was an incredible experience of tremendous camaraderie.” Continue reading

Lighting up Easter Island with an End Polio Now message

Two moai on Ahu Tongariki illuminated with an End Polio Now message.

Two moai on Ahu Tongariki illuminated with an End Polio Now message.

By Roberto Manuel Silva Pérez, public image project leader for District 4340 (Chile)

The gigantic, brooding monoliths of Easter Island have been impressing visitors to the remote island, 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, for years. We wanted to illuminate some of these statues with an End Polio Now message, but it proved to be no easy task. Continue reading

Funding a million polio vaccines through social media

World's Greatest Meal event.

World’s Greatest Meal event.

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

I was day dreaming on the couch one day after taking a new position as polio chair for my Rotary District, 9550 (Australia), when an idea hit me.

What if we held a social media driven event similar to the Rotary Global Swimarathon, only made it about meals and eating! The World’s Greatest Meal. I had worked with Paul Wilson on his excellent Facebook promotion of the swimming event, and was very impressed with what he and supporting Rotary members were able to accomplish for polio eradication. Continue reading