The reasons I ride for polio eradication

The Asia Team behind Masa Kato

The Asia Team supports Masa Kato, third from right, who is part of the Miles to End Polio team.

Masa Kato is a global communications specialist at Rotary International. He is one of six Rotary staff members who will join Rotary General Secretary John Hewko in biking El Tour de Tucson in Arizona 23 November to raise money for polio eradication.

By Masa Kato

The six staff members who will be riding in El Tour de Tucson later this month all have different personal reasons for being part of the Miles to End Polio Team. But we all have one thing in common, a desire to help Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio. My main objective in riding is likewise to support our top priority of ridding the world of this disease. But I have two other personal reasons. Continue reading

Getting out from behind my desk, pedaling to end polio

Kris Tsau is an advocacy specialist at Rotary International. She is one of six Rotary staff members who will join Rotary General Secretary John Hewko in biking El Tour de Tucson in Arizona 23 November to raise money for polio eradication.

Kris Tsau

Kris Tsau, part of the Miles to End Polio team, on a training ride.

By Kris Tsau

As a PolioPlus staff member, I’ve been working toward a polio free world for over 20 years. The vast majority of that work happens at a desk behind a computer screen or on a telephone. I have often joked that I’m eradicating polio one email at a time.

Joining the Miles to End Polio Team has been a great way to get out from behind my desk to pay tribute, in a very physical way, to the dedicated men and women who work on this global effort and especially, the front-line health Continue reading

Afghan students celebrate World Polio Day

Afghan Youth Connect leads an assembly on polio eradication.

By Stephen R. Brown, past Rotary Foundation trustee

During a three-day period encompassing World Polio Day, 24 October, a group of students in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, conducted a polio awareness campaign that was able to reach many of their peers with the message about Rotary’s work to eradicate polio. While many clubs worldwide held activities around World Polio Day, this one was especially exciting to me because these students are part of a program known as Afghan Youth Connect (AYC) which I have been involved with since 2008. Continue reading

Vocational training team helps with autism

The vocational training team

The vocational training team from District 3680. Sandra Espina second from right.

By Sandra L. Espina, vocational training team member, Philippines

Restless, finicky, speech delay … these are just some of the common adjectives used to describe people with autism. I am a mother of a 21-year-old boy who has autism. Zachary is a typical child with autism (CWA) who struggles to develop language skills and has restrictive, repetitive behavior. It has been a process of realization: Continue reading

Medical pilgrimage in India treats thousands

A child treated during the Rotary Club of Gandevi’s medical mission.

By Parimal Naik, grant coordinator, Rotary Club of Gandevi, India

In January, our club organized a medical mission to provided life-saving health care to the rural and tribal community of Gandevi in the western part of India. Our mission consisted of 26 visiting doctors and paramedics from an association of Indian physicians of Northern Ohio, USA. It was our third trip to Gandevi since 2010, and among 29 medical missions we have organized with the help of grants from The Rotary Foundation. It was pure pleasure to see the smiles on the faces of thousands of recipients, and on many of the team members as well. Continue reading

Rotaractors raise awareness of thalassemia

Students

Rotaract members talk to students about thalassemia.

By Ali Raza, president of the Rotaract Club of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Punjab, Pakistan

We live in a society where people call themselves humans before they know the need of being human; where they wish for a long life before they wish for healthy life; and where they work for wealth before they work for health. But I believe being human means being responsible. And that includes not just shutting our eyes when segments of our society are suffering and need our help. Continue reading

Seeing Rotary face to face

Steven Sundstrom and Dr. Koki Inai

Rotary Regional Grants Officer Steven Sundstrom (right) with Dr. Koki Inai of the Rotary Club of Hiroshima South.

By Steven Sundstrom, RI regional grants officer

As a regional grants officer for Rotary, I spend most of my work time at Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, working with members around the world, including in Japan. Given the time difference, communication is naturally often by email. The first time I traveled to Japan for work was for the Rotary Institute in Nagoya, Japan. I met many Rotarians in person who I had been emailing for years. We were meeting face to face for the first time, but somehow we were already old friends. “お会いが出来て嬉しいですね!Nice to finally meet you!” Continue reading

Helping the homeless, one tiny house at a time

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Editor’s note: World Homeless Day, 10 October, is an opportunity to educate people about homelessness and raise awareness in your community.  

By John Matthews, Rotary International Vice President 2018-19 and member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, Washington, USA. Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Spending the night under the stars sounds romantic. But for hundreds of thousands of Americans, it’s the exact opposite. It’s not a choice; it’s an unpleasant reality that can quickly become detrimental to one’s life. And it happens more often than most people with a roof over their heads might think – 553,742 people were homeless on a single night in 2017. Alarmed by the growing homeless population in our city, my club and I felt compelled to take action. Continue reading

How does it look when I walk?

Francine Falk-Allen

By Francine Falk-Allen

As a polio survivor (age three, left with partial paralysis of one leg which did not grow as much as the other leg), all of my life I have had moments when I turned to see a child trying to imitate my walk. It was always disconcerting, and of late, just a little surprising, as when you realize toilet paper is stuck to your shoe and trailing along behind.  When I matured, I could smile at the pantomime, and think, “Do I really walk like that??!”  Continue reading

To The Gambia and back: Our Dutch adventure

The Dutch Rotarians took 11 cars to The Gambia

The Dutch Rotarians took 11 cars to The Gambia, which were auctioned off to support women’s education.

By Tineke Ruijter, Rotary Club of Zwijndrecht, The Netherlands

Our adventure started on 21 October 2017. Rally teams of six Dutch Rotary clubs, accompanied by five independent supporting teams, departed from Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands for a challenging 7,500 km (4,600 mile) journey to The Gambia, where we arrived on 11 November. The trip passed through Belgium, France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, and Senegal, through dessert areas and sometimes accompanied by local guides for security reasons.

The 11 cars that took us to The Gambia were sponsored and auctioned at final destination. The result: $50,000 to be donated to a Dutch Rotary initiative called  “School Plan Gambia,” which enables young women to attend school up to and including university. Continue reading