Retired Wiltshire and Swindon Assistant Deputy Coroner, Nigel Brookes, provided Salisbury Rotary Club members with an update on The Rotary Foundation and the End Polio Now campaign at the Club’s most recent meeting at Milford Hall Hotel.
Nigel advised the meeting that The Rotary Foundation (one of the largest private foundations in the world) is Rotary’s own charity, annually delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to Rotary Clubs throughout the world for thousands of humanitarian projects, vocational training and scholarships in Rotary’s cause areas. Projects range from small-scale, short-term activities to large, international projects.
Rotary grants enable Clubs to strengthen global partnerships and provide sustainable and measurable benefits to communities and empower Rotarians to approach problems such as:
Bearing in mind that it was World Polio Day on 24 October, one obvious example of the effect Rotary Foundation grants can have is The End Polio Now project which was set up with the aim of eliminating polio across the world.
RI (Rotary International) promised the world in 1985 to rid the world of polio, working with the WHO (World Health Organisation) and others, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The effect has been to reduce the incidence of polio by 99.99% since then, and it is now endemic in only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Those of us in the community who are old enough will still recall the emotional burden and long lasting effects parents and children had to bear in dealing with the effects of the disease. Many readers will remember as children at school being given the polio vaccine coated sugar lumps back in the 1950s when the disease was much more commonplace.
Members of Salisbury Rotary Club also support the End Polio Now project through making a donation through the Club at Christmas to arrange for an electronic Christmas card to be sent on their behalf to all club members.
NOTE: Polio is an illness caused by a virus that mainly affects nerves in the spinal cord or brain stem. In its most severe form, polio can lead to a person being unable to move certain limbs, also called paralysis. It can also lead to trouble breathing and sometimes death. Treatments can help manage the condition – which can last several years or be lifelong – but there is no known cure.