A milestone for polio eradication

150724_mcgovernEditor’s Note: This post, first published in July, has been revised to reflect the new milestone reached in our fight to eradicate polio, and to celebrate Membership and New Club Development Month. Rotary members have many opportunities to make a difference, including being part of history as we seek a polio-free world. Rotary members have led the way in fundraising, advocacy, and lining up volunteer support for polio eradication.

By Michael McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee

Africa has now marked a full year with no new cases of polio caused by the wild poliovirus anywhere on the continent.

This is the longest the continent has ever gone without a case of polio and a critical step on the path toward a polio-free Africa. We’ve come a long way; it was only a decade ago that polio struck 12,631 people in Africa – three-quarters of all cases in the world. Continue reading

Rotary flame arrives in São Paulo

On 27 March 2014, India, a country of more than one billion people, was declared polio-free. To mark this milestone, the Rotary Club of Madras, India, launched the Rotary flame, which has traveled through several continents on its way to the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo. The video above documents its arrival in São Paulo.

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.

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