Rotary torch keeps the flame burning for polio eradication in Afghanistan

Members of the Rotary Club of Kabul hold the Rotary torch during its stop at their club.

Mohammed Ishak, Rotary Club of Jalalabad, holds the torch during a joint event with the Rotary Club of Kabul City. Luke Beer, author of this post, is second from right in back.

By Luke Beer, president of the Rotary Club of Kabul City, Afghanistan

As some of you know, a Rotary “flame” was launched in December in Chennai, India, to commemorate India becoming polio-free and to promote the need to go the last mile in the battle to eradicate this horrible crippling disease. The torch has made its way through several countries already, and will pass through all three polio endemic countries  – Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria – before arriving at the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo 6-9 June.

I want to share with you just how inspiring it was to be part of the flame’s journey. As an Afghan club, we are so grateful for the energy it has given us as a club to refocus our efforts on polio awareness, working alongside the Rotary Club of Jalalabad.

We are not ignorant of the fact that Afghan organizations, clubs, and society have done a limited amount to raise funds for and truly engage the polio eradication effort. At first, we were confused by the utility of the torch. But I must say, it certainly has had a unifying effect. We’ve had two private organizations come forward with considerable donations as a result of the torch’s visit. It has also helped us as a young club explain to our members about Rotary’s international reach and fellowship.

Being involved with the torch has really helped me engage as a president. I look forward to reconnecting with the torch and its bearers in São Paulo!

11 thoughts on “Rotary torch keeps the flame burning for polio eradication in Afghanistan

  1. Pingback: Rotary Flame arrives in Evanston | Rotary Voices

  2. Three Interacters from Hawthorne High School, the home of the Beach Boys, are using their Spring Break to ride their bicycles 500 miles (70 miles per day)
    from Manhattan Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge to raise $5000 to immunize 8000 children from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria against Polio.

    Accompanied by their Interact Faculty Advisor, the three graduating seniors are 200 miles away from San Francisco
    and have raised $1200 of their stated
    goal of $5000. Amazing students!


    • Thank you Linda you keep me keen to keep traveling with the Torch…now entrusted to me by the R.C. Madras, to partner with a Rotary: World’s Greatest Meal to help End Polio. We have already been to South India, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Egypt,Bahrain and now in Vienna Austria… We have raised together over $80k before the Bill and Melinda Gates Match….next stops London, Liverpool,USA, Canada and São Paulo Convention.
      This Project is for every Rotarian to take ownership of polio eradication so sign up in our website it’s easy and fun for a serious Cause.


  3. Thank rotary club for the wonderful work your doing globally to help the less fortunate communities My best regards , Mubbaka Abdu community Mobilizer , community health work and Village Health worker Contacts Email : , Skype : mubbaka . Abdu

    Tel : +256788998914 / +256751556326

    Have this this attachment for our sister Saumu who was victimed by polio vaccination in 2003


  4. Great to hear this encouraging news about landing of flame of Rotary torch in Afghanistan. I am anxious to here about Rotary torch bearing team entering in my country , Pakistan . Pakistan consistently need support from International community to eradicate Polio. The assistance is not monetary only but a kind of moral and political pressure on Government and political leaders/ parties. Is Pakistan government serious to get rid of this deadly disease is the question mark. Pakistan health minister confirmed 202 polio cases in this year. This is an alarming rise , breaking countries 14 years record , an eye opener to us all as well. There is no violent resistance from militant now in Norh Waziristan since Pakistan Army launched a massive operation against Taliban. When Pakistan government will realize serious concern of International community in eradication of Polio ? if a single remains infected , it means children all over the world are at risk of contracting Polio. Our Rotary club can do a lot more then merely visiting a country by a group of people . While representing Högsby RC , on UN World Peace and polio day , 24th Oct last year held at Norköpping,Sweden, I proposed that our rotary Club , in collaboration with UNO should organize POLIO ERADICATION CONFERENCE and invite top leadership of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria to gear up efforts and to find ways and means to effectively help these countries in order to make our planet Polio free , like we did in 1988 when the world witnessed ultimate success of the campaign against SMALLPOX.


  5. Pingback: Rotary torch makes it way toward São Paulo | 2015 Convention Insider

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