Polio: beyond the talking points

Health workers administer polio vaccine to migrant families during a National Immunization Day organized by UNICEF and its GPEI partners in Ghaziabad, India, in January.

By Stephanie Herzfeld

On 27 March 2020, the World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Region recognizes six years of polio-free certification.

To be sure, this is an important benchmark as we progress toward a polio-free world, but as I look back on my first National Immunization Day trip to India, the country in the region once considered the most difficult to bring to zero cases, this date has now taken on a new personal significance. Continue reading

Embracing virtual meetings for your club

District 6440 Governor Suzanne Gibson

By Suzanne Gibson, governor of District 6440 (northern Illinois, USA)

For many of us, our Rotary family is an important part of our lives. These friendships connect us to our communities and the world and provide avenues of soul-enriching service.

These uncertain times caused by the coronavirus pandemic challenge us to be innovative and adaptable. In District 6440 (Illinois), all our clubs have canceled in-person meetings, following the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the need for social distancing. But that does not mean we have to give up on regular fellowship opportunities. Several of our clubs have already met this week virtually using Zoom. Continue reading

How to engage members during the coronavirus pandemic

Featured

Keep members engaged through virtual meeting platforms.

By George Robertson-Burnett, Zone 34 Rotary Coordinator and past governor of Rotary District 6890

These are certainly interesting times we live in. None of us could have foreseen these extraordinary circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Rotary clubs everywhere are wrestling with the question, How do we maintain membership engagement during the pandemic?

Well, this is Rotary and I am sure that these challenges will bring out our considerable strengths – ingenuity, decisiveness, flexibility, and integrity. Continue reading

New Programs of Scale grants for new year

Using global grant funding, Rotary members provided a well, water tower, and new fountains to a village in Benin.

By Victor Barnes, Director of Programs & Grants

In 2013, Rotary set out on its new grant model under the Future Vision Plan, in the hopes that the approach would enhance the scope, impact, and sustainability of humanitarian projects. More than six years later, and with over $460 million invested in almost 7,000 projects across the globe, Rotary is ready to augment these critical investments with a new grant type. Beginning January 2020, Rotary International is introducing a highly selective, competitive grant model that empowers Rotarians to implement large-scale, high impact projects with experienced partners. Continue reading

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