How do you get End Polio Now ads in Brazilian media? Just ask!

140205_nettoBy Marcos Netto, a member of the Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

When I first saw the End Polio Now campaign, I fell for it right away. It was my chance to work for a great cause. But even with all my efforts in participating and spreading the word about the World´s Biggest Commercial, I knew I could do more. Continue reading

How polio changed my life

Pulmão de Aço (Iron Lung), published this year in Brazil, tells the story of Eliana Zagui, a polio survivor who has lived for decades in a hospital in Brazil.

Pulmão de Aço (Iron Lung), published this year in Brazil, tells the story of Eliana Zagui, a polio survivor who has lived for decades in a hospital in Brazil.

By Eliana Zagui, author of Pulmão de Aço (Iron Lung)

Before it was eradicated through the effort of massive immunization campaigns in 1989, poliomyelitis was prevalent in Brazil. The lack of vaccine and poor sanitation in small towns resulted in thousands of victims a year. Avoiding polio was often a matter of luck.

In January 1976, at the age of two, my luck ran out. I woke up with a fever and weak lower limbs. Although my parents were used to my recurrent episodes of sore throat, they brought me to the nearest city of Jaboticabal for medical treatment. The next day, lacking a diagnosis, I was sent to Ribeirão Preto, a larger city with better medical facilities. By the time the doctors Continue reading

Polio eradication is the latest fashion trend in Brazil

130830_gabbyBy Gabriela Simionato Klein, public relations specialist

If you take a walk through the Iguatemi, a luxury shopping mall in São Paulo, you can expect to see prestigious brand-name garments from all over the world. But if you strolled through the mall in early August, you’d also have seen the familiar red, white and yellow of the End Polio Now logo on T-shirts in the display windows of Forum Tufi Duek.

The display coincided with a special party the Brazilian label hosted for top model Isabelli Fontana, one of the latest people to become a Rotary Ambassador for polio eradication. Continue reading

RI President Tanaka’s Rotary Moments in February, March, and April

RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from left) takes part in a Holi festival 27 March, organized by Rotarians in District 3010 (Union Territory, India) during a visit to the district. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and Nepal.

RI President Sakuji Tanaka (second from left) takes part in a Holi festival 27 March, organized by Rotarians in District 3010 (Union Territory, India) during a visit to the district. Holi is a festival of colors celebrated by Hindus mainly in India and Nepal.

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

While I was preparing for a Major Donor dinner in Tampa Bay, Florida, on my birthday, which is 4 February, I thought about the past year. As people often do on their birthdays, I was reflecting about how quickly time passes and about my purpose in life of being useful to others — especially during my year as RI president when I feel I must do my best for Rotarians. I was remembering all the places I’ve traveled as a Rotarian and the interesting people I’ve met along the way. Continue reading

Ending polio and prejudice

Paralympic athlete João Correa and his team.

Paralympic athlete João Correa and members of his team.

By João Correa, a Paralympic athlete from Brazil and supporter of Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign

My name is João Correa and I am 49 years old.  Although I was not affected by poliomyelitis, I know the kind of suffering many polio victims have to endure.

When I was 19, I had an accident while working in construction. I was in the hospital for a year and a half, after which I could never walk again. Since then, I have used a wheelchair to get around. Continue reading

Service transforms lives

Paula Caldeiram

Paula Caldeiram

By Paula Caldeiram, a member of the Rotaract Club of St. Paul Espro, Sao Paulo, Brazil

This is my “Rotary Moment.” I became an Interactor in 2008, and after a year of activities found myself transitioning to Rotaract as a member of the St. Paul Espro club. One of our service projects is a campaign to help provide warm clothing for the homeless.

I was taking part in this project this August when something special touched my heart. Continue reading

Ultramarathon Challenge raises awareness for Rotary

João Correa with his new handcycle, and a member of the Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial.

By Marcos Netto, Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

As a business person for almost 30 years, I have seen many people approaching our company asking for donations for all sorts of needs.

So when paralympic athlete João Correa from Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, contacted me asking for financial support to purchase a racing handcycle, I thought there could be another way to help him and raise awareness for his disability. (João lost the use of his leg in a work-related accident when he was 18). Continue reading

RI President: Rotarians promoting service and peace

President Tanaka and club presidents from Hong Kong visit a site in Mongolia. Photo by Peter Pang

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

Throughout my travels in September, I saw Rotarians promoting Peace Through Service and diligently helping others.

One event that comes to mind, which I attended in September, was the 11th Korea-Japan Goodwill Conference in Tokyo. It brought together more than 1,400 Rotarians from two countries that are experiencing conflict. I was proud to see Rotarians talking about promoting friendship between their countries. Many Rotarians feel that, despite what politicians say, Rotarians share common ideals of service, and this attitude can help transcend conflict. Continue reading

How Rotary Youth Exchange shaped my life

Ivan Vianna

By Ivan Vianna, District 4760 Rotary Youth Exchange chairman emeritus and a member of the Rotary Club of Belo Horizonte-Pampulha, Brazil

My Rotary Youth Exchange provided me with the main ingredients I needed to be successful in my profession as an engineer. More important, the experience shaped my character and helped make me the person I am.

In January 1968, I began my exchange year in Montrose, Pennsylvania, USA. I knew enough English to communicate, but adjusting from the 98 degrees Fahrenheit days in Brazil to 12 degrees during a Pennsylvania winter was rough! Continue reading

Enhancing Rotary’s image through service

Claudio Spiguel, third from left, and other members of the Rotary Club of Guaxupé, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a car they purchased for a school for at risk youth.  Photo courtesy Claudio Spiguel

By Claudio Spiguel, District 4560 Rotary Foundation Chair  and a member of the Rotary Club of Guaxupé, Minas Gerais, Brazil

In the past few years, my Rotary Club of Guaxupé has hosted five Matching Grant projects with The Rotary Foundation. Two of these projects aimed at the purchase of vehicles for beneficiary organizations that support needy segments of the community. These vehicles have fulfilled the project objectives, and have been put to very good use.

They have also accomplished something else as important — they have elevated our club’s visibility in the community and helped us attract new members. Continue reading