Korean sailor makes waves for End Polio Now

Seung Jin Kim, a member of the Rotary Club of Seokmum, in Chungcheongnam, Korea, hopes his 'Sailing With Hope' journey will raise awareness of Rotary’s polio eradication efforts.

Enjoying calm winds and peaceful Pacific waters, Seung Jin Kim dove off his 43-foot sailboat, the Arapani, to swim with some dolphins nearby. The serenity that day near the equator was a stark contrast to the 60 mph winds and 23-foot waves he had to fight around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America. But Kim, a veteran sailor and member of the Rotary Club of Seokmun, in Chungcheongnam, Korea, expected such challenges when he set out in mid-October on a 25,600-mile journey around the world. In addition to fulfilling a lifelong dream, Kim is using the trip to raise awareness and funds -- his goal is $200,000 or more -- for .

He's now more than halfway through the voyage, which is expected to take eight months. As of 23 March, he'd passed South Atlantic and is now in the middle of the Indian Ocean

"I want to give people the belief and aspiration to create a better and more prosperous future," says Kim, who chose Sailing With Hope as the theme of his voyage. "Rotary is doing that with polio eradication, so I'm sailing around the world in support of the effort to wipe this disease from the face of the earth. I want people to know how close we are."

To spread the word, the Arapani carries a 68-foot mast whose sail is emblazoned with the . He hopes people who see the logo will be curious enough to look into his cause.

"The success of our fundraiser depends on how much publicity we get," says Kim. "The bigger the crowd of people we can attract [when he completes the trip], the more money we can raise for polio eradication."

While he is in daily contact via satellite phone with his support team, which includes Korean Rotary members, he acknowledges that the solitary aspect of the journey is difficult. "The toughest part of this trip was the moment I realized I was all by myself in the middle of the ocean. A sullen feeling of loneliness suddenly invaded me," says Kim........

Read the story by Ryan Hyland

PRIP Bill Boyd, Chair of the Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (Wasrag), invites you to The World Water Summit, 2015

Dear Friends,

Wasrag’s World Water Summits have established a tradition of excellence. The 2015 World Water Summit promises to be the best yet. The day-long event will focus on pressing concerns related to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools and how we can address these needs.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene education in schools, commonly known as WASH in Schools, provides safe drinking water, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education encouraging the development of healthy behaviors in our youth. The resulting behavior changes throughout an entire community are bringing significant breakthroughs in eradicating disease and improving health in developing countries around the world. Additionally, more children, particularly girls, attend school and the overall health of communities improves.

Join us and be prepared for one of the greatest opportunities to improve communities with the Rotary family around the world. Simultaneous interpretation from English to Portuguese will be available during the plenary sessions.

Our list of excellent speakers includes:

  • Lizette Burgers, Senior Advisor of UNICEF’s WASH in Schools program; Greg Allgood from World Vision; a representative from the Conrad N Hilton Foundation; and a very special young lady from Sesame Street called Raya
  • Foundation Trustee Sushil Gupta will share about Rotary’s WASH in School plans; Erica Gwynn, Area of Focus Manager for WASH, will give a Foundation update; and RI General Secretary John Hewko will close the Summit with a rousing message for us all
  • A number of breakout sessions focused on a variety of WASH-related areas will supplement the plenaries and give participants an opportunity to talk about their experiences and ask plenty of questions from sector experts

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to dive into one of the most popular Rotarian-led activities in the field!

Date: Thursday, 4  June, 2015
Location: Renaissance São Paulo Hotel on Almeda Santos
Time: 7:30 registration; 8:00 – 17:00

Register Now!

We look forward to seeing you there!

My regards,

Bill

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Polio Eradication - Global strategies in 2015

2014 was a significant year for global polio eradication. While we faced challenges such as the rising number of cases in Pakistan and the Ebola outbreak in western Africa which stopped polio vaccinations, progress in the response in the Middle East, Horn of Africa and central Africa lessened the threat posed to children in outbreak countries. This set the stage for 2015 to be a significant year for the programme. As a result, several major global and regional bodies met in the first quarter of this year to examine the situation in depth and to develop strategies to finish the job once and for all.

 

Global review

 

The need for global solidarity in the fight against polio was emphasised both at the meeting of the World Health Organization’s Executive Board in January and through additional Temporary Recommendations made at the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR).

 

In addition to the extension of the recommendations that have been in place since May to reduce the risk of international spread of the virus, countries currently exporting poliovirus were advised to coordinate with neighbouring countries to strengthen surveillance and to ensure that refugees, travellers and cross border populations, who are often left vulnerable, are reached with vaccines. The Executive Board expressed alarm at the high levels of polio transmission in Pakistan, the home of 85% of cases globally in 2014, and underlined the importance of international support in helping to address the challenges the country faces in ending this threat to children everywhere. The Director General of WHO addressed Pakistan to emphasise the global importance of this, stating: “Your country will be the one that delivers a polio-free world. It will be a historic achievement.”.....

Read more in Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Working together, we get more done

My Rotary club recently completed a very successful Rotary At Work Day in January where we cleaned up a poor community near Naivasha, Kenya.

This activity was truly a collaborative and inter-generational effort, bringing together members of the Interact Club of Trinity Mission School, the Rotaract Club of Naivasha, members of Rotary, friends, community health workers, and local government officials.

In total, more than 300 volunteers turned up for the activity, which went on for six hours. The slum has over 200,000 people. Due to the poverty level, the rate of infection from preventable disease is quite high in this neighborhood.

Our club, through our president, Juanitta Ndila, promised to donate dust bins to the community. In April, Rotaractors from the Naivasha club in partnership with the Rotary Club of Naivasha and health workers will host a free medical camp in their community. Collectively, we work together to have a bigger impact. Isn’t Rotary great!

- Joe Kamau, service project chair for the Rotary Club of Naivasha, Kenya in Rotary Voices

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