World Polio Day – 24th Oct 2019
Rotary and polio
Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.
For more than 30 years, Rotary and our partners have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Our PolioPlus program was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. As a core partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary focuses on advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and awareness-building.
Rotary members have contributed $1.9 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $8 billion to the effort.
With our partners, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 125 countries in 1988 to just 33 cases caused by the wild virus in 2018. Only two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. The infrastructure we helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases and create lasting impact in other areas of public health.
Rotary and our partners have made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases is going to take even more progress and perseverance. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, logistical barriers. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio.
Rotary has committed to raising $50 million per year for polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total commitment of $150 million each year. These funds provide much-needed operational support, medical workers, laboratory equipment, and educational materials. Governments, corporations, and private donors all play a crucial role in funding.
Rotary in Action
More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and money to eradicate polio, and every year, hundreds of member’s work with health workers to vaccinate children in countries affected by polio. Rotary members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute informational materials for people in areas that are isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. They also mobilize to recruit fellow volunteers, assist in transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.
Rotary has a growing list of public figures and celebrities who support our fight against polio, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actresses Kristen Bell and Archie Panjabi; actor and wrestling superstar John Cena; supermodel Isabeli Fontana; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; action-movie star Jackie Chan; actor Donald Sutherland; boxing great Manny Pacquiao; pop star Psy; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; conservationist Jane Goodall; premier violinist Itzhak Perlman; Grammy Award winners A.R. Rahman, Angélique Kidjo, and Ziggy Marley; and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan. These ambassadors help Rotary educate the public about the disease and the fight to end polio for good.
German Rotary buzzing about bees – July 2019
By Henrik Thiele, a member of the Rotaract Club of Paderborn, Germany, and president of the Rotaract Germany Committee
Recently, Rotaract clubs throughout Germany were looking for a signature project and decided to concentrate on the environment. After watching a Swiss documentary on bees, “More than honey,” one Rotaractor became passionate about focusing our attention on protecting these little superheroes. Did you know, for instance, that wild bees are responsible for pollinating more than 80 percent of our crops and wild plants? We can’t survive without them.
Most of the dangers to bees are man-made. Climate change, monotonous agricultural landscapes, and pesticides are just a few of the many reasons why our little yellow friends are dying in ever-increasing numbers.
With the project “BeeAlive” German Rotaractors began to support wild bees by building bee hotels, educating people about the threat to the bee population, and sowing wildflower meadows. All German Rotaract clubs participated, starting with the most northern club of Flensburg, which visited a beekeeper with their sponsor Rotary club. The southern-most Rotaract club in Germany, Kempten Allgäu, planted a meadow of more than 32,000 square feet for bees to pollinate.
The Bundessozialaktion (BuSo) project, as it is called in German, is divided into three parts:
All the Rotaract clubs in Germany worked together to education the population about bee mortality and the associated consequences for our environment, organizing theme days and informational events. We found many opportunities to cooperate with beekeepers’ associations and nature conservation associations. Efforts ranged from the Rotoract Club of Berlin organizing an online presentation that was promoted across the country, by Dr. Kaspar Bienefeld, a renowned scientist and professor in the field of insects and bees at the Humboldt University of Berlin, to the Rotaract Club of Rheda Wiedenbrück holding a local fair.
Many of the projects are costly. Therefore, fundraising is an integral part of our efforts. The Rotaract Club of Duisburg-Niederrhein organized a Bee-Pong tournament, raising over $1,000 and the Rotaract Club of Paderborn hosted a Pub Quiz on the topic of bees. Clubs also got creative by selling homemade products, from beeswax chapsticks by the Bad Wörishofen-Mindelheim Club to bee-hotels (Herne-Wanne Eickel). There are also many organizations that do great work with our fundraising, like the NaBu; the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, or the local beekeepers associations.
By building bee hotels and diversifying local beds, we make room for wildflowers and create a better environment for insects. Over 100,000 square feet of meadows were planted by clubs in District 1841 and by the Rotaract clubs of Lemgo-Lippe and AC Landshut-Trausnitz. In many of these, Rotaractors, Rotarians, family and friends joined together.
Building a few thousand hotels, we were already able to surpass our goal of 500. The reason is simple. All you need for a hotel is a wooden frame for the outside, hardwood with holes drilled into it, and hollowed out bamboo for the inside. The best part is that you can put up a plaque reading “Made by Rotary/Rotaract” and you have the perfect ambassador for Rotary in your local community.
All in all, we hope to make the world a better place by raising awareness of this important issue and working to solve the problem in our local communities. But this is not an issue that can be solved locally. It is a global problem and we need to make a global impact. Join us in our efforts.
Timely talk on Middle East – July 2019
Our speaker on 19th July 2019, Robert Aplin, gave a fascinating talk about a period of his life serving in the middle east with the Jebel Regiment, Sultan’s Armed Forces at the time of the Dhofar Rebellion and general political unrest in Oman. He emphasized the complexity of this region of the world and the approach of the British – including use of special forces working alongside locals – to achieve change by winning “hearts and minds” rather than just raw military power. It was a fascinating insight into what Robert described as ‘in some ways a secret war which received little coverage in the British press.‘
The talk turned out to be particularly well timed given troubles in this general area being the main news this week.
Rotary Disaster Fund
Introducing our new Disaster Response Fund
When disaster strikes, Rotarians around the world come together as people of action to help those in need.
To support communities in their rebuilding efforts, The Rotary Foundation is proud to announce our new Disaster Response Fund.
Donations to the Disaster Response Fund help Rotary clubs provide disaster recovery and support relief efforts where the need is greatest by funding and providing access to disaster response grants.
Learn more about disaster response grants and Rotarians’ disaster response efforts by clicking here.
World Immunisation Week 24-30th April
The week 24-30th April is World Immunization Week! Spread the word about the work Rotary is doing to end polio.
In 1988, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day. Last year it paralyzed just 33 children. Only two countries continue to report polio cases.
Rotary’s progress in the fight to enpolio shows that vaccines work.
Through the effort to end polio, we now have found better ways to immunize children against diseases like measles, Ebola, and yellow fever.
Check out VaccinesWork at https://www.vaccineswork.org/topic/at-vaccines/
BANBURY TOWN HALL GOES PURPLE FOR POLIO
On Wednesday 24th October a purple glow lit up Banbury Town Hall to mark World Polio Day.
Rotary Clubs across the world have been raising awareness and funds since 1985 to make polio the second disease to be totally eradicated from the world. (Smallpox was the first.) Both of our local Rotary Clubs (Banbury and Cherwell) have been actively promoting the cause in recent years.
Local schools – primary, secondary and special – have formed a partnership with Rotary to carpet Banbury with drifts of purple crocuses and stage concerts each spring to celebrate the new year’s growth and raise funds tor vaccinations.
Over the past five years the local Rotary Club Crocus Projects Partnership involved 43 schools. Planting this autumn will bring the total number of ruby giant crocus corms planted to over 100,000. Since the concerts began in 2014, the local partnership has raised sufficient funds to immunise a third of a million children.
Both Cherwell District and Banbury Town Council have supported the schools and Rotary in this local contribution to the worldwide effort. Local churches, businesses, community groups and individuals have backed the events and a certificate to commemorate the achievements of the past five years was sent to all involved during summer and autumn this year.
The purple lighting of Banbury Town Hall will celebrate the whole community’s participation and commitment to continue the battle until the disease is finally defeated.
One extension of the local crocus concerts initiative in the coming year is a challenge to local adult choirs to match the efforts of primary school and secondary school choirs by staging concerts next spring. “We’ve had a very positive initial response from local choirs to our invitation,” commented Ian Rodrick, one of the organisers. “The secondary schools concerts will again take place in March – with proceeds shared between Polio Eradication and Helen and Douglas House Hospice. We’re still seeking a date for our adult choirs event – so watch this space!”
The West End comes to Banbury
Last Saturday, to celebrate the start of a new Rotary year, 200 people packed the theatre at Tudor Hall School, and witnessed a “West End” concert. Simon Adkins (originally from Banbury and currently the resident choreographer of 42nd St in the West End), Alison Dormer & Clare Rickard accompanied by Rob Cousins performed a wide and varied range of songs from the Musicals, many of which the three have performed in during their time as Musical Theatre professionals.
Newly installed President of Banbury Rotary Club, Alan Wolstencroft, who was instrumental (pardon the pun) in setting the concert up stole a line from Jersey Boys (Simon was in the original West End cast) and said “Oh What a Night”!
All four performers donated their time, appearance fee and expenses to support Banbury Rotary Club’s concert which was raising funds for Alan’s Africa Sierra Leone schools projects and Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign. Simon said “it was great to be back in Banbury, seeing family and friends, performing with three great people and helping Alan & Rotary raise funds for two great causes”.
Alan said “Rotary’s theme this year is “Rotary – Making A Difference”. The concert was a great way to start my year as President and I owe an immense debt of gratitude to the four professionals for putting on such a great show, and giving freely of their time, and I must also acknowledge the wonderful support we received from Tudor Hall School and the local businesses who donated items for the raffle and auction”.
PHOTO: From left to right: Alan Wolstencroft, Clare Rickard, Alison Dormer, Simon Adkins and seated Rob Cousins
A Night at the Musicals
featuring West End performers Simon Adkins & Alison Dormer
Saturday 8th July
7.30pm Tudor Hall School
Raising funds for
Banbury Rotary’s Sierra Leone Education Projects
Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign
To book tickets click here for the Ticket Ordering Page
SIR CHARLES POLLARD QPM – MY PART IN POLICING : 40 MOMENTOUS YEARS THAT CHANGED THE UK
Sir Charles Pollard QPM – 40 Momentous Years that Changed the UK
7.00 pm for 7.45 on Friday 2 June 2017
Tudor Hall School, Wykham Park,
Banbury, OX16 9UR,
(with kind permission of the Headmistress, Wendy Griffiths).
Sir Charles Pollard has been an eminent figure in policing, both nationally and internationally, and still works in the Justice system today. Retiring in 2002 from Thames Valley Police, the largest non-metropolitan police force in the country, he had earlier progressed through the middle police ranks in London and Sussex during one of the most turbulent periods of recent history, during which time he was personally involved in many of the key policing events:.
Sir Charles began his career at the age of 19 in 1964 as a constable in the Metropolitan Police and was selected for the ‘fast-track promotion course’ at Bramshill Police College. From there he took an LLB at the University of Bristol. Through the 1970s and 1980s he pursued an eventful and successful policing career in London and Sussex and in 1991 was appointed Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, covering 3 counties with a population of over 2.5 million.
The talk will include, among other things, his personal experiences of the policing of public disorder, crime and terrorism. We look forward to welcoming Rotarians, local Parishioners and the General Public.
Tickets – Talk only £10.00
Talk and drinks reception hosted by Sir Charles £20.00
To book tickets click here – Ticket Ordering Page
Today it is the new 2 classroom block of the new Good News Pentecostal Community School, Waterloo, Freetown, Sierra Leone.
A huge thank you to the 2 sponsors of the project: Brethertons Solicitors and The Rotary Club of Woodstock & Kidlington 100 Club
All the desk & bench sets will be made on site and the blackboards fitted very soon.
Alan would like to express his sincere personal thanks, on behalf of the children, teachers and community in general for your fantastic support.
You have “made a real difference” to this small impoverished rural community.