Ian H.S. Riseley
Some years ago in the Melbourne, Australia, museum where my daughter used to work, an iron lung was on display. For most people my age who remembered the terrifying polio epidemics of the 1950s, that iron lung was a testament to how far vaccination had brought us: to the point where that once-critical piece of medical equipment had literally become a museum piece.
For much of the world, the story of polio is a simple one: After years of fear, a vaccine was developed and a disease was conquered. But for some of the world, the story was different. In so many countries, the vaccine wasn’t available, mass vaccination was too expensive, or children simply couldn’t be reached. While the rest of the world relegated polio to its museums, in these countries, the disease continued to rage – until Rotary stepped forward and said that all children, no matter where they lived or what their circumstances, deserved to live free of polio.
In the years since PolioPlus was launched, the combined efforts of Rotary, the governments of the world, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have brought the number of cases of polio down from an estimated 350,000 per year to just a few so far in 2017. But we must reach zero cases, and stay there, to achieve eradication. To do that, we need everyone’s help.
On 24 October, we will mark World Polio Day. It is a day to celebrate how far we have come and an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness and funds to complete the work of eradication. I ask every Rotary club to participate in some way in World Polio Day activities, and I encourage you to visit endpolio.org for ideas and to register your event. Whether you host a silent auction, a virtual reality viewing, a fundraising walk, or a Purple Pinkie Day, your club can make a real difference.
This year, our World Polio Day livestream event will take place at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle; you can watch it on endpolio.org beginning at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time. As many of you know, Rotary has committed to raising $50 million a year for the next three years. This amount will be matched 2-to-1 by the Gates Foundation – effectively tripling the value of all money Rotary raises on World Polio Day and throughout the year. Let’s all make a difference on World Polio Day – and help End Polio Now.
This is the third month of my governorship and I have visited 14 clubs. The response from clubs has been good with regards to Membership growth and TRF givings.
I strongly urge the Club Presidents and Assistant Governors to give attention to the following on an urgent basis:
1. TRF Givings
i. Urge members to fulfil their obligation of per capita of USD 100.
ii. Clubs must become 100% EREY club.
iii. Get at least 2 new PHF – cash paying and not through points.
iv. Upgrade PHFs to become a major donor or get a new major donor in your club.
i. Clubs with less than 10 members should strive to have at least 10 members and clubs with membership of between10-15, should strive to have 20 members by the end of this year.
ii. Recruit members below the age of 40.
iii. To improve the imbalance of gender, recruit lady members.
3. District Conference 8 & 9th December 2017
Each club should get at least 10 members to attend the District Conference to be held at Sunway Resort Hotel, Petaling Jaya. A district conference gives members the opportunity to meet and interact with Rotarians from around the country. They get to listen to speakers from the Rotary world, both local and international. In addition, there will be speakers on non-Rotary subjects. The cost is RM450 per head inclusive of Friday night fellowship dinner and the Governor’s Banquet on Saturday.
Members’ active participation will ensure that all the District goals will be met before the year is over. The clubs will in return receive the Presidential Citation which signifies that they have passed in serving their respective club successfully.
Help launch our Organ Donation Awareness Campaign
We need to go viral on social media. Get the support of the Interactors, Rotaractors and Rotarians to post the registration site for organ donation. Our target is to achieve one million pledges with each and everyone’s help. Register now to pledge as an Organ Donor: www.rotary3300.org
Dr Manohur Kurup
District Governor RY 2017/18
RCBSP sharing news from Rotary International and Rotary Districts and Clubs in Malaysia