Rotarians spread the word about World Polio Day
Rotarians around the globe organized events to raise polio eradication awareness and funding for World Polio Day on 24 October.
Australian club members are working with the Global Poverty Project on a petition drive aimed at persuading world leaders to fully fund the critical work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Supporters can sign the petition online.
The Global Poverty Project has scheduled an End of Polio Concert on 28 October to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia. Rotarians have joined with the group to lobby leaders to put polio eradication on the meeting agenda. Hugh Evans, cofounder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project, is a scheduled speaker at the 2012 Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, in May.
"Global collaboration has ensured that eradication is within reach," says Michael Sheldrick, the group's polio campaign manager and a member of the Rotary Club of Crawley, Western Australia. "Our generation has a chance to realize a historic opportunity and ensure that no one else ever has to fear this disease. That’s why it’s vital we commit to finish the job."
A few of the many events planned around World Polio Day are these:
- Rotarians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are organizing a Walk to End Polio Now, aimed at drawing 4,000 participants and raising money for Rotary's $200 Million Challenge to match $355 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of polio eradication.
- The Rotary Club of Venezia-Riviera del Brenta, Italy, has organized a Run to End Polio fundraiser as part of the 23 October Venice Marathon.
- Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs in Canada and the United States are coordinating a Wake Up Across the Continent polio awareness initiative during the week of 24-28 October. Each club is encouraged to participate and to publicize its activities, share ideas, and post images on Facebook.
- Rotarians in Finland will conduct a "This Close" campaign with ads in print, on television, and online 24-28 October, and they plan a fundraiser on World Polio Day.
Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative continue to make progress in their efforts to rid the world of polio. The polio case count for 2011 stands at almost half the total number of cases reported at the same time in 2010.
Year to date 2010: 732
Year to date 2011: 467
India continues to experience strong progress in their efforts to interrupt transmission of polio this year. More than 9 months have passed since the last polio case (13 January).
Thank you once again for your generosity as we work to “End Polio Now.” Your support will help us to rid the world of this dreaded disease once and for all.