By Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immunizes a boy against polio during Angola’s first polio eradication campaign of the year. UN Photo/Quintiliano dos Santos
Wild viruses and wildfires have two things in common. If neglected, they can spread out of control. If handled properly, they can be stamped out for good. Today, the flame of polio is near extinction — but sparks in three countries threaten to ignite a global blaze. Now is the moment to act.
During the next two weeks, on two continents, two events offer the chance for a breakthrough. First, the leaders of the world’s largest economies, the G8, congregate at the U.S.presidential retreat at Camp David in rural Maryland. A week later, the world’s ministers of health convene in Geneva. Together, they can push to deliver on an epic promise: to liberate humankind from one of the world’s most deadly and debilitating diseases. Continue reading
By Marty Peak Helman, governor-elect of District 7780 and a member of the Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA.
Marty Helman during a National Immunization Day in Africa last year.
I spoke about Polio Plus to a sell-out audience at my parents’ retirement home recently. There was not one member of the audience who didn’t have a personal story to share about polio – they all knew a time in America when every summer brought a new outbreak of the disease. And inevitably, they all remember a sibling or cousin or close friend who survived – or succumbed – to the disease.
I told the residents that they had done their job too well. I told them that because of their enthusiastic support for the public health campaigns here in North America that followed rollout of first the Salk and then the Sabin vaccine, that young people today frequently think polio is a disease about as antiquated and as far from their consciousness as, for example, yellow fever or leprosy (both of which are also very much still threats in the developing world). Continue reading
By Karena Bierman, a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse, Illinois, USA, and manager of Gift Planning for The Rotary Foundation.
Karena Bierman races vintage motorcycles for a hobby.
In 2005, a year after I started working at the Rotary Foundation, I worked on a tsunami relief project with a very active Rotarian – Chuck Remen, from the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse.
He convinced me that I ought to be a Rotarian. (Actually, it didn’t take much convincing, because I liked the organization.) Since, I’ve been on the club’s board of directors every year. It’s not something I do because of my job. It’s something I do because my club is awesome. Continue reading
By Maurice Weaver, senior project manager for Global FoodBanking Network, a service partner of Rotary International.
Children receive fruit as part of a fruit to schools program supported by the Global FoodBanking Network. Photo courtesy of Global FoodBanking Network
Recently, the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) entered a service partnership with Rotary International to allow the two organizations to pool their resources to work closely together to fight hunger.
At GFN, we are excited to work with the many Rotarians who have already shown tremendous dedication toward making a difference in this area. Our two organizations share common goals. Continue reading
“This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.”
– Paul Harris, This Rotarian Age, circa 1935
By Sally Baumgartner, a member of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables, Florida, USA
Members of the Interact Club of Coral Gables High School take part in illuminating their school with an End Polio Now message.
Our Interactors in Coral Gables, Florida, had a dream.
At the beginning of the school year, their faculty advisor told us the club wanted to contribute to Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, and donate a portion of their profits from a caroling competition to Rotary’s Challenge. They also wanted to take part in Rotary Day by projecting an End Polio Now message onto the side of their high school. Continue reading
By Mary Kathryn DeLodder, a member of the Rotaract Club of Greater Louisville, Kentucky, USA, for World Rotaract Week 12-18 March.
Mary Kathryn DeLodder is a member of the Rotaract Club of Greater Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
While it is not unheard of for Rotary clubs to have members under the age of 30, many young people in their 20s may not quite be ready for membership in a Rotary club, whether due to work schedule, finances, or other family obligations.
This is where Rotaract offers the perfect bridge into Rotary. Rotaract provides college students and young professionals with a way to connect to Rotary while conforming to their needs and circumstances. Continue reading
You can never get enough books in the hands of children, says country music legend Dolly Parton.
Since 2009, Rotary International has been working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote early childhood reading. Through the program, a child receives an age-appropriate book each month until age five. Rotary clubs throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been teaming up with Dolly to bring books to children in roughly 300 communities.
Dolly talks about the reasons she began her program, in this video from the Imagination Library. You can also read about Rotary’s work with the Imagination Library in the March issue of The Rotarian. David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation, took part in a literacy webinar sponsored by Rotary on Tuesday.