International / Foundation
The International Committee is the Club’s link to the worldwide opportunity of service that Rotary offers. The organisation is found in more than 200 countries worldwide. It is therefore in the unique position of being able to reach people in need all over the planet, from running life-changing projects in developing countries to making an immediate response to disaster hit regions.
In addition, Rotary also has its own charity – The Rotary Foundation – which had its 100y ear anniversary in 2017. The Foundation supports the improvement of health, of education, and the alleviation of poverty throughout the world. Education is a prime concern of Rotary International and the organisation runs a range of scholarships supporting young people through universities aimed at encouraging personal development while at the same time helping to further world understanding.
Perhaps the most significant single project that Rotary has led has been Polio Plus. Initiated in 1985, it has the objective of making the world polio free by immunising every child. With over 99% of the world now free of Polio it is on the verge of achieving that – but, until the 100% figure is reached, the campaign will go on.
In 2017/2018 our efforts will be concentrated on three main projects: End Polio Now, Bikes4Africa and Sightsavers in developing countries.
END POLIO NOW
To put this campaign into context it is worth tracing Rotary’s association with polio eradication. It started in 1985 when the “PolioPlus” campaign was launched with an initial pledge by Rotary of US$120 million. By 1988 Rotarians had raised US$247 million more than double the fundraising goal. Inspired in part by Rotary’s initiative, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution to eradicate polio, paving the way for the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Polio Today: Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Less than 75 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2015, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.
Challenges The polio cases represented by the remaining one percent are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.
Ensuring Success Every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year through 2018. These funds help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding.
The Committee will be looking at ways contribute to Polio Eradication.
An international development organisation working to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries. To support the restoration of sight for those who are needlessly blind, building up eye care services in some of the poorest regions in Africa and Asia.
The Club Committee will raise funding to support this organisation.
The Rotary Club of Sheffield Vulcan meets at 18:30 on Tuesday Evenings
at Abbeydale Sports Club, Abbeydale Road South, S17 3LJ