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The work of Rotary Foundation

During November and December we have had three weeks of talks about the work of Rotary Foundation, lead by Kevin Grogan, York Rotary Foundation team leader.

In week 1 Kevin talked about the Rotary Foundation mission to promote world understanding, goodwill, and peace by improving people’s health, supporting quality education, protecting the environment and alleviating poverty.

Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity delivering a better world, it was established in 1928.  Foundation is supported solely by contributions, gifts and donations and 91% of the funds are spent on programmes and projects.

Rotary Foundation donates funds in many ways such as District Grants, Global Grants and Disaster response grants.

In week 2 the topic was the work of Rotary projects the aim of which are to engage communities and make a difference, including opportunities for young people, disaster response and recovery and global giving.  A number of members contributed talking about specific projects, most of which York Rotary had been involved with, including Young Citizen Awards, Youth competitions, Technology Tournament, Youth Leadership awards and others.

In the final week heard about Empowering Girls, but the main topic was about helping Rotary free the world from Polio. Ian Stockley talked first about the trip that he and Janet undertook to India in 2012 when they toured the area and helped at a vaccination clinic.  Ian described how well the clinics were organised.  This was followed by President Paul Harvey talking about the work that he and Pat undertook working as vaccinators in vaccination clinics over eight years.

Paul started by some background information about Polio.  The illness is an old one dating back to 1000 BC.  In 1950 there were 7,760 cases in England, with the last one in 1984.  In 1979, the Rotary Club of Manilla started a Polio vaccination campaign in some of the outlying islands in the area. Such was the success of this, that in 1985 Rotary launched its world wide Polio eradication campaign as its gift to the children of the world. In 1988 (when it was estimated there were over 350,000 cases of Polio worldwide), the WHO and others joined in and took over the campaign. Such has been the success of this campaign that at the end of 2023 there were only 11 cases worldwide in 2 countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan). Rotary continues to raise funds to support the eradication of Polio and the Bill Gates Foundation contributes $2 for every $1 raised by Rotary.

The topic then moved to the clinics and the usual plan which involved:

·         Briefing in Delhi and then dispersing to vaccination areas

·         Saturday morning awareness raising

·         Sunday vaccination

·         Monday start House to House checking

·         Back home

The work was carried out in very challenging conditions and Paul and Pat’s experiences were in very remote areas of India.  The vaccination process involved vaccinating a staggering 174m children in one day.  India was declared polio free in 2014 after having no polio cases for three years.  By the end of Paul’s presentation we really felt that the whole exercise was really well organised and also how important the work was and how it needs to continue.

Kevin concluded the talks by saying how Rotary Foundation is Rotary’s own charity and he encouraged members and others to give it support by way of donations.


York Rotary News

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