Congrats Rtns of
#Nigeria on being declared polio free by WHO &having names removed from list of endemic countries.@Rotary@EndPolioNow
Before Keith Jenkins made a name for himself as the guy you hire to shake up your organization’s digital strategy, he decided to shake up his own life. “Near the end of my first year of law school,” he recalls, “I started to rethink what I wanted to do.” He kept coming back to what he had loved since childhood: photography.
“I had some rudimentary skills taking pictures and could develop my own photographs,” Jenkins says, and he wanted to improve those skills. “One friend was concerned that I was losing interest in becoming a lawyer, and she didn’t think that was smart.” She devised a plan, connecting him with a photographer who took him on as an assistant, in the hope of teaching him how hard it was to be a freelance photographer – schlepping equipment, living assignment to assignment. Instead, Jenkins was hooked. “I did finish law school, but right after that I took a year off to put a portfolio together.”
He started freelancing and was hired at the Boston Globe and later as a staff photographer at the Washington Post. In 1996, he became the photo department’s liaison to the Post’s newest venture: a website. “The Post was a strong visual newspaper, so we tried to make sure the Web reflected that,” he says. After a few years at AOL, Jenkins returned to thePost and continued his work bridging the print-digital divide. Then NPR approached him to create its own digital presence. “They were looking for someone who could come in and build a multimedia team,” he says. Jenkins had never worked in radio, but in five years he expanded NPR’s multimedia team from three people to 15 and worked on a project that won the organization its first Emmy.
That’s when the calls from headhunters started.
One of those calls came from National Geographic, which asked Jenkins to help shepherd the now-128-year-old institution into the digital age. His title is general manager of National Geographic Digital, but he says he’s just a guy who encourages organizations to confront the status quo and embrace difficult challenges. He spoke with Contributing Editor Vanessa Glavinskas from his Washington, D.C., office.
THE ROTARIAN: What went through your mind when National Geographic came calling?
JENKINS: In all honesty, I was a little concerned. It’s an organization with a rich history, and I wanted to make sure it was going to be a good fit for me. When you’re working to move legacy media into the digital age, you have to be a change agent. I wanted to be sure that National Geographic was really ready for change.
TR: Were they?
JENKINS: Every organization attempting a change gets to a point when they have to do something that really changes the fabric of the organization. That’s where a lot of organizations turn back. National Geographic struggled with that in 2014. The end point was the merger with 21st Century Fox and moving the media properties into a for-profit partnership.
TR: That merger made headlines. Fox took ownership of National Geographic’s media properties, but the nonprofit still exists as a separate entity. How has that affected things?
JENKINS: The noise was louder than the reality. There had already been a partnership with Fox for 18 years, since the creation of the National Geographic TV channel. A lot of the concerns raised outside of the organization – that the merger would change our mission or change our direction – have been answered. Over the next year, the benefits will start to show. It has already provided an amazing financial foundation for the nonprofit work.........Read more from the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian
Is our world more peaceful than ever before? The psychologist Stephen Pinker certainly thinks it is. With echoes of Francis Fukuyama’s pronouncement of the “end of history” and the triumph of liberal democracy in 1989, Pinker wrote in 2011 that “today may be the most peaceful era in our species’ history.”
He sees a long decline in violence since 1945, with the growth of commerce and institutions of governance such as policing and law courts, and the spread of literacy and education, all having a civilizing and pacifying effect on human relations.
So while macro trends may still be leading to an overall reduction in the number of violent incidences, these spikes in conflict seem to be urging us towards a different philosophical approach to understand the roots of both violence and sustainable peace.
This is why the Global Peace Index (GPI) is so valuable in answering the question of whether the foundations of peace can be fully understood only through the study of violence. For a NGO such as Rotary, which takes on some of the world’s great development challenges — from reducing poverty, to providing clean water and educating and empowering millions of people — we need to know that our work is having a sustainable impact.
And where sustainability is concerned, creating the “optimal environment for human potential to flourish”, a core component of the GPI’s “Positive Peace” framework, is a strong measure of success.
So how does this framework relate specifically to Rotary’s work?
For Rotary’s peace programs, as well as its activities in the other five Areas of Focus, the GPI and the Positive Peace research help us reframe the question of cause and effect in relation to human development. It does this by identifying key characteristics of, and key interventions that lead to, more peaceful countries. Instead of focusing on “negative peace”, which measures an absence of violence, we look at a more holistic definition of peace. This provides evidence for factors such as equitable distribution of resources and high levels of human capital as the cause (in a complex, interdependent way) of peaceful societies rather than the effect of a decline in violence.
Rotary’s work supports directly many of the conditions which are the “pillars of positive peace”, as well as mitigating and preventing violence and conflict. Specifically, in the Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Area of Focus, Rotary does this by:
1) Providing grassroots training opportunities for community leaders to prevent and mediate conflict where they live;
2) Supporting a variety of community-based peace building programs, from youth leadership workshops to socio-economic and civic education initiatives in communities and regions affected by conflict;
3) Providing fellowship and scholarship opportunities for aspiring global leaders in the field.
Rotary is working directly with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to help train the next generation of global peacemakers with the tools and framework provided by the GPI.
Through the Global Peace Index Ambassadors training, Rotary and IEP are working with peace fellow ambassadors to inform and educate Rotarians, not only on the GPI, but also on the concept of Positive Peace building and specific steps that local Rotary clubs can take to start peace-related projects.
So how does the GPI connect with Rotary’s other five Areas of Focus?
Rotary seeks to foster the conditions for Positive Peace by funding and implementing thousands of projects and programs around the world that support education, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment, and community development.
Let’s look at two concrete examples of Rotary’s responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, such as the refugee crisis and access to clean water and sanitation.
Syria, once on the verge of meeting the Millennium Development Goal targets for education and health care, has now lost “six decades of development gains in five years of conflict” in the words of one observer.
If we don’t act now to build the conditions for sustainable peace, then the likelihood and impact of risk factors that undermine it, such as profound social instability, and failures of national governance will only increase...........
Twelve Rotary Peace Fellows are about to get even more guidance in their area of focus. They are not just peace fellowsbut also a select group of Global Peace Index Ambassadors who were recognized for their innovative ideas on working with Rotary clubs in spreading the messages of peace.
Through the program, a collaboration between Rotary and the Institute for Economics and Peace, over 100 former and current peace fellows spent two months receiving training on the methodology the institute uses to create theGlobal Peace Index, the world’s leading tool for quantifying peace. Ambassadors learned about research behind the Positive Peace and Rotary’s increasing involvement in peace and conflict prevention and resolution.
For the "10 for the 10th" competition, which celebrated the tenth annual release of the index, ambassadors submitted creative ideas for communicating the findings of the report and working with clubs around the globe. The winners will be trained to give Global Peace Index presentations in 10 cities around the world and will receive up to $1,000 to conduct the events.
The institute announced the winners at the Future of Peace Summit on 15 June in Washington, D.C. The 10 winning proposals were submitted by 12 current and former peace fellows:
Rotary General Secretary John Hewko spoke at a peace summit on 15 June in Washington D.C., calling Rotary’s collaboration with the institute “very promising.” The two organizations have begun a peacebuilding project in Uganda, Hewko said. With a Rotary global grant, Rotary members will use the institute’s findings to educate 100 Rotaractors on how they can become pillars of peace.
Learn how to support Rotary Peace Centers
By joining a Rotary Fellowship! Throughout the month of June, we’ve been celebrating Rotary Fellowships Month by sharing inspirational services stories from various Rotary Fellowships. We hope these stories have inspired you to join or start a Rotary Fellowship.
As the 2015-16 Rotary year comes to end, we’re taking a look back at all the new fellowships that were recognized this year:
- Azka Asif, Rotary Service Connections Staff in Rotary Service Connections
When was the last time there was polio in Europe? If you guessed 2002, the year the region was certified polio-free, you were wrong. The last time polio affected a child in Europe was last summer. In 2015, two Ukrainian children were diagnosed with paralytic polio, and, given the way the disease manifests itself, that means many more were likely infected and didn’t show symptoms. At least one Western news outlet deemed the outbreak “crazy” – but the reality is that no place on earth is safe from polio until the disease is eradicated everywhere.
Ukraine had fully vaccinated only 50 percent of its children against polio, and low immunization rates are a recipe for an outbreak. In this case, a rare mutation in the weakened strain used in the oral polio vaccine was able to spread because so many children had not been vaccinated. To stop it from progressing, the country needed to administer 5 million to 6 million vaccines through an emergency program. But as recently as March, Ukraine’s ability to do so remained in question.
Finding the occasional case of polio outside Afghanistan and Pakistan, the only countries that have yet to eradicate it, is not unusual. In 2014, just before the World Cup brought travelers from all over the planet to Brazil, the country identified poliovirus in the sewage system at São Paulo’s Viracopos International Airport. Using genetic testing, officials traced its origin to Equatorial Guinea. Brazil’s regular vaccination efforts kept the disease from showing up beyond the airport doors.
Those are frustrating examples for the thousands of people around the world working to eradicate polio. The fight has come a long way, but it is far from over. And while many involved in the effort say we may detect the final naturally occurring case of polio this year, getting to that point – and ensuring that the disease remains gone – will continue to require money, hard work, and the support of Rotarians around the world.
One of the most important aspects of the fight to eradicate polio is detecting where the disease is present. This continuous surveillance is complicated and costly. Ninety percent of people infected with the virus show no symptoms, and those who do usually have mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and headaches. Only one in every 200 cases of the illness results in paralysis, which means that for every child with signs of paralysis, several hundred are carrying the disease and may not show it.
But not every case of paralysis is caused by polio. Other viruses that can be responsible for the polio-like symptoms known as acute flaccid paralysis include Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, Guillain-Barré, and Zika. To determine if a patient has polio, doctors must collect a stool specimen and send it to a lab for testing.
To find the patients who don’t present symptoms or don’t make it to a clinic, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) – the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – have set up environmental sampling in the areas that are most susceptible to the disease. Fifteen to 20 countries are still at high risk despite having eradicated the illness. Because the poliovirus is most easily detected, and most easily contracted, through stool, researchers take samples from sewage systems and, in places that don’t have sewer infrastructure, from rivers and open gutters.........
Posted by Marilyn Axler on June 14, 2016 at 9:30pm
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