PRIP Ravindran received the award from the President of Sri Lanka
Polio resurfaces in Nigeria
The first-ever G20 Health Ministers’ meeting has issued a declaration on global health, including recognition of the historic opportunity that exists to contribute to global polio eradication, and the important role played by polio-funded assets in achieving broader health goals. The declaration also called for the timely and effective application of these assets to other programmes once eradication is achieved, to help countries maintain their ability to meet their obligations under the International Health Regulations (2005).
This is the first time that public health has been included on the G20 agenda, in recognition that health security contributes to socio-economic stability and sustainable development. The inclusion of polio in the inaugural Health Ministers’ declaration is symbolic of the global effort to stop polio and how close we are to achieving our historic goal, as well as the contribution the programme makes towards many other areas of public health.
This declaration comes ahead of discussions on the status of global polio eradication efforts, and polio transition planning at the World Health Assembly later in the month.
The G20’s acknowledgement of polio eradication and transition planning efforts comes off the back of sustained political commitment and financial support from the governments of the three remaining polio-endemic countries – Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan – as well as the long-term commitment and support of G20 members Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have contributed more to the health of the people of the world than any nation.
That was the message which former Secretary of State, Lord Hague of Richmond, had for Rotarians and their guests when they met for the annual Champions of Change Awards at the House of Lords.
The event came exactly a week after Lord Hague had met with Bill Gates when they discussed the need for overseas aid.
The former Foreign Secretary said it was important that countries supported development aid. “I can really identify with much of the work that has been done by these awardees here tonight,” said Lord Hague.
“I have been to the most vile places; spoken with war lords and seen the very worst of the people of the world, so it is good to be involved with this event and to celebrate what is the best of people in the world.”
In presenting the awards to the 11 Rotary Champions of Change, he said: “To be part of the work in Rotary International you should be extremely proud.”
In addition to the four domestic and seven international Champions of Change, this year for the first time, there were Community Champions — five non-Rotarians who had been selected from those nominated by Rotary clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland.
There were two other special awards presented – the first by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland President Eve Conway was the first ever Presidential Award which was made to Cardiff Rotarian George Mercer.
George, who will once again be President of his Club in what is the centenary year of Rotary in Wales, was cited for recognising a need for a new innovative style of club to attract younger members.
In spite of initial rejection of the idea, George continued to push forward and took the motion through the Rotary International Council of Legislation, opening up the opportunity for clubs worldwide to create satellite clubs.
Former Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, was made a Paul Harris Fellow to recognise his part in the creation of the Champions of Change Awards themselves.
Through Rotary connections he realised the potential of this Awards night and arranged for the first one to be held in the Scotland Office persuading the then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to make the presentations and thus giving the event recognition.
Michael’s Award was received on his behalf by Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, a former Rotary Scholar, who went to Stanford University and regaled his audience with tales of Flower Power California in the Sixties.
The event was hosted by Baroness Harris of Richmond, who said it had been a privilege to welcome everyone to the Palace of Westminster.
There were cheers from the audience for Lord Hague and Lord Campbell when they both announced that they were Honorary Rotarians — Hague at Richmond and Campbell in Howe of Fife.
To celebrate its 100th year, The Rotary Foundation is recognizing 20 global grants that exemplify what a project should be: a sustainable endeavor that aligns with one of Rotary’s areas of focus and that is designed in cooperation with the community to address a real need. These noteworthy projects demonstrate how your club can leverage the resources of the Foundation to do good in the world.
Area of focus: Saving mothers and children
Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Registro, Brazil
International sponsor: Rotary Club of Nakatsugawa, Japan
Total budget: $172,500
Background: Neonatal mortality rates were significantly higher in the Ribeira Valley area of southern São Paulo state than in other regions.
Scope: The Rotarians worked with the Hospital Regional Dr. Leopoldo Bevilacqua in Pariquera-Açu to determine the best approach. The grant provided equipment for the hospital’s neonatal ICU and provided prenatal care and breast-feeding workshops for pregnant adolescents.
Impact: Infant mortality in the region has been halved to seven per 1,000 live births.
Area of focus: Saving mothers and children
Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Kiwatule, Uganda
International sponsor: District 5500 (Arizona, USA)
Total budget: $97,750
Background: A health care summit in Uganda, funded by a district grant, uncovered a need for improved prenatal diagnostic capabilities in rural communities and for better nutrition for expectant mothers.
Scope: A combination global grant provided humanitarian supplies for Uganda’s Rotary Family Health Days and a vocational training team for health care workers at the health camps.
Impact: The team trained 23 nurses, midwives, and other health care practitioners to use ultrasound scanning devices to diagnose abnormalities in pregnancies and other life-threatening conditions.
Fun fact: Ten Rotary clubs in Uganda each adopted a rural health care center.
Area of focus: Saving mothers and children
Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Chinatown-Manila, Philippines
International sponsor: Rotary Club of Tomobe, Japan
Total budget: $82,000
Background: The Rotarians conducted a community needs assessment and decided to fund the creation of a human milk bank at a hospital in Manila.
Scope: The facility collects, screens, processes, and distributes milk to premature and sick newborns, and to well babies whose mothers cannot provide their own breast milk, at Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital. It will also supply milk to infants in communities affected by natural disasters throughout the country.
Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala
International sponsor: Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach, California, USA
Total budget: $39,873
Background: Students attending overcrowded schools in poverty-stricken areas of Guatemala face bullying and street violence. Crimes stemming from gang and drug activity are common.
Scope: Project sponsors worked with Alianza Joven, a Guatemalan organization focused on preventing crime and violence, to train students in four municipalities around Guatemala City on techniques for deflecting aggressiveness, strengthening leadership, making decisions, and serving their communities. Teachers, principals, and parents were involved.
Impact: More than 6,500 teachers and students received training.
Fun fact: The project sponsors connected at a project fair in Antigua, Guatemala.
Area of focus: Promoting peace
Host sponsor: Rotary Club of Haifa, Israel
International sponsor: Rotary Club of Coral Springs-Parkland, Florida, USA
Total budget: $161,750
Background: Israel faces challenges with water scarcity and ongoing conflict.
Scope: This water project has a “hidden” peace component: Water challenges form the basis of a science curriculum that helps schoolchildren from different backgrounds in Haifa find solutions peacefully and creatively.
Impact: Students from 10 schools worked together to present 38 science projects focused on water and sanitation. One project involving students from three schools won first prize in a national competition. Schools also participated in 15 cross-cultural activities. .......
To celebrate its 100th year, The Rotary Foundation is recognizing 20 global grants that are sustainable, align with one of Rotary’s areas of focus and was designed in cooperation with the community to address a real need. The Rotarians who helped bring these projects to life share advice.
Carolina Barrios, Rotary Club of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
The involvement of the Rotary Community Corps of Leticia, Colombia, was essential. The RCC proposed the project, helped select the beneficiaries, coordinated and supervised the construction of the sanitary facilities, and participated actively in promoting the program to everyone in the community, not only the direct beneficiaries. Our partnership with the Universidad San Buenaventura Cartagena, which provided training and donated educational materials, was also vital.
Stephen Baker, Rotary Club of Key Biscayne, Fla.
Our methods had been tested in a series of smaller anti-malaria mosquito net projects, so that by the time we were ready to do a global grant, we had a clear plan of what we were going to do and how we were going to do it.
Patrick Biswas, Rotary Club of Padma Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Establishing an effective working relationship with the community based on understanding and trust, and being aware and respectful of social traditions, especially because the project dealt with village women.
Patrick Coleman, Rotary Club of Luanshya, Zambia
Rotary participation was publicized from the outset. The Rotary name adds integrity to any project.
Philip J. Silvers, District 5500 (Arizona)
First, the commitment and funding from the Ugandan Rotary clubs: Ten clubs adopted rural health care centers, and the district contributed $10,000 in district designated funds and $20,000 in cash. Second, the blended vocational training team, composed of medical professionals from India, Israel, and the United States, anchored by Ugandan health professionals: The host professionals knew the clients and the health care delivery systems, and the international team members were seen as partners rather than as “missionaries.” Finally, our comprehensive and effective monitoring and evaluation.
Vasudha Rajasekar, Rotary Club of Madras East, India
Identifying a nongovernmental organization already well-ensconced at the grassroots level that we could cooperate with; working hard at fundraising; and, as an old and well-networked club that has been doing Foundation grants for more than a decade, having methodical systems and processes already in place.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation at its 2017 conference in San Francisco.
The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.
The announcement came on 15 November, known to industry professionals since the 1980s as National Philanthropy Day. The award was presented 2 May at the AFP’s annual conference.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul Netzel accepted the award on Rotary’s behalf, and Eric Schmelling, Rotary's chief philanthropy officer, also attended the conference. The event drew more than 3,400 senior-level fundraising professionals from 33 countries.
“In our Centennial year, we are deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Association of Fundraising Professionals,” said Netzel.
AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection.
“With the generous support of our members and partners, we’ve taken on some of the toughest humanitarian challenges in the world, none more so than the devastating disease of polio,” said Netzel. “We will defeat polio, and it will be a landmark achievement for global public health.”
The committee also mentioned that Rotary applies a methodical, purposeful approach to support a wide variety of causes, from providing clean water to educating the next generation of peace professionals.
“This award helps to spread our belief that service to humankind truly changes our world, and for that reason, it is the greatest work of life,” said Netzel.
- Rotary International
Following the success of its first virtual reality film, released in October, Rotary is working with Google's virtual reality team to offer an experience that showcases the impact of compassion to a global audience.
We're producing a three-minute virtual reality film that emphasizes the two themes of polio and peace, and how Rotary's work to eradicate the disease is increasing stability across the world.
We'll premiere the film on 13 June during the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It will be widely released in time for World Polio Day on 24 October.
We invite convention attendees to this limited-seating, ticketed event, which promises to be one of the largest simultaneous viewings of virtual reality held to date. Using Google's virtual reality viewer, Cardboard, Rotarians from all over the world will witness the extraordinary journey of a child whose own world has been torn apart by conflict.
The film will immerse viewers in this child's world, and they'll experience for themselves the impact that small acts of compassion, protection, and kindness can have on others.
Rotary's first virtual reality film, "I Dream of an Empty Ward," premiered on World Polio Day last year. The film takes viewers to India, which has been polio-free since 2011, to follow Alokita, a young woman paralyzed by polio as a child.
Traveling through the streets of Delhi, viewers get a close look at life in India, and what's being done to keep the country polio-free. And, through a visit to India's only polio ward, at St. Stephen's Hospital, they witness Alokita's triumphant first steps after 11 years.
District 5160 (California, USA) helped fund Rotary's latest virtual reality project.
- Rotary International Announcement
The 2017 Rotaract Outstanding Project Award recognized the Rotaract Club of the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, for launching a three-year project to improve lives in the rural community of Ranugalla. The club, which represents Rotary District 3220 (Sri Lanka), hopes to empower residents through sustainable education and economic development initiatives.
During its first year, the club opened a library and science lab for the local school and helped students prepare for college entrance exams and careers. It also targeted infrastructure, bringing clean water into homes and building bridges to link neighborhoods flooded during the rainy season. To stimulate economic growth, the club opened a weaving cooperative for female entrepreneurs.
"Rather than initiating a project to donate materials, we thought a project to address all the issues in the village would be much more beneficial to all,” says Chamal Kuruppu, president of the University of Moratuwa Rotaract club.
Best multidistrict project went to Rotaractors in Brazil for their campaign to combat hate crimes in online communities. More than 1,000 Rotaract members from 34 Brazilian districts planned activities during World Rotaract Week in 2016, adapting the campaign to their communities — such as partnering with a university to design a workshop series on Internet hate crimes — and using their social networks to spread messages of diversity, inclusion, and peace.
This year, over 300 projects were nominated in 52 countries. The awards recognize the best single-club project, best multidistrict project, and outstanding service projects in each of six geographical regions. The best single-club project and best multidistrict project receive $500 each for future service activities and will be invited to inspire other Rotaractors at the Rotaract Preconvention in Atlanta.
These clubs received regional recognition:
Asia Pacific: Rotaract Club of ePerformax, District 3810, Philippines
The Rotaract Club of ePerformax, in collaboration with its sponsor Rotary club, the Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery, and local police, developed a curriculum to support young people’s emotional and physical well-being. Club members not only trained young people to recognize bullying and defuse situations that could become dangerous, but also created a school garden to keep them active, healthy, and self-sufficient.
South Asia: Rotaract Club of Lote, District 3170, India
For years, the rural community of Gavathan, India, has had a river winding through it, but no clean water or electricity. The Rotaract Club of Lote sought to harness the river’s natural resource to improve lives. Its project resulted in the construction of a small dam, pipes for irrigating crops, and a turbine-operated plant that is powering 61 streetlights.
Europe, Middle East, and Central Asia: Rotaract Club of Izmir Ekonomi, District 2440, Turkey
The ongoing conflict and refugee crisis in Syria has affected nearly everyone in neighboring Turkey, including its schoolchildren. To help Syrian and Turkish students overcome their differences and focus on their shared human rights, the Rotaract Club of Izmir Ekonomi hosted workshops in two primary schools. After the workshops, which were organized with help from the Council of Europe, the European Law Students’ Association, the United Nations, and child psychologists, the young students were asked to express their feelings through painting. “We saw in the paintings that their thoughts changed in a positive way,” said a member of the Rotaract club.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Rotaract Club of Cotonou Phare, District 9102, Benin
The Rotaract Club of Cotonou Phare undertook a multiphase project to bring clean water and improved sanitation facilities to a local orphanage. The first phase involved drilling a well for the facility’s kitchen and bathrooms. In the second, club members worked with their sponsor Rotary club and other service organizations to refurbish the toilets.
Latin America: Rotaract Club of Pau dos Ferros, District 4500, Brazil
More than 25 organizations and businesses supported the Rotaract Club of Pau dos Ferrosin its efforts to boost the rural community of Varzea Nova. Over 13 months, the club helped establish Internet connectivity in the town, provided medical exams and services, led childhood education sessions for infants and parents, organized vocational training for adults, and hosted a cultural festival.
USA, Canada, and Caribbean: Rotaract Club of the University of Lethbridge, District 5360, Canada
Rotaractors from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta raised $36,500 to update kindergarten facilities in the community of Mazatlan, Mexico. By collaborating with the local government and Rotary clubs, Rotaractors ensured that the funds were used for teachers’ salaries and for buying new plumbing and classroom spaces for about 70 students.
According to the World Health Organization, viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. Together, Hepatitis B and C kills close to 1.4 million people every year. Around the world, 400 million people living with chronic Hepatitis B and C, the most serious forms of viral hepatitis, don’t know they are infected. Untreated cases cause serious damage to the liver and result in death.
I was once one of those 400 million people in good health and without a single symptom while my liver was being taken by cirrhosis. In 2010, before a trip to the South Africa FIFA World Cup, I visited the doctor to ensure my vaccines were up-to-date. Apart from the vaccines, the doctor also tested for Hepatitis B and C and there it was: hepatitis C.
I received treatment and a second chance at life. I knew I had to do something to help the millions of other people who were still suffering. I started to research the disease and found that 3 million in my country of Brazil shared my same problem. They showed no signs of a damaged liver, but were living with the terrible disease. I became president of the Brazilian Association of People with Hepatitis (ABPH) which established five free clinics in Brazil with a the sixth one soon opening in Mexico focused on prevention and treatment.
Using point of care blood testing, we started offering screenings all over the country. We performed half a million tests and identified 5,000 people like me living with the disease with no symptoms of infection. We helped those testing positive for hepatitis connect with treatment options.
My Rotarian friends accepting my invitation to join the mission. We engaged Rotary clubs throughout Brazil, and have now spread to all of Latin America. Over 1,000 clubs are working with us, performing low-cost and convenient tests to detect the disease. Lives are being saved and each infected person now has a chance to get treatment and be cured. Today, treatment is easy and effective in almost 100% of cases. The biggest challenge is finding those who are infected with the disease.
The Hepatitis Eradication Rotarian Action Group was formed to help clubs and districts with hepatitis screening and testing campaigns. Join our group and volunteer to help us form a committee in your country to conduct testing. The group is open to Rotary members, their families, program participants, and alumni with expertise or a passion for a particular service area.
Contact me for more information and to join our efforts!
- Humberto Silva, Chair of the Hepatitis Eradication Rotarian Action Group and member of Rotary Club of São Paulo-Jardim das Bandeiras in Brazil in Rotary Service Connections
Posted by Daniel Saab on May 24, 2017 at 11:55am
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