The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International was created in 1917 to "do good in the world." Through the Foundation, Rotarians sponsor international educational and humanitarian programs, investing some £230 million annually.
End Polio Now is the most ambitious programme in Rotary's history. For more than 30 years Rotary has led the global effort to rid the world of this crippling disease.
To eradicate polio, Rotarians have mobilised thousands of our members and friends. They're working to ensure that children are immunised and that surveillance is strong despite the poor infrastructure, extreme poverty, and civil strife of many countries. Since the PolioPlus programme's inception in 1985, more than two billion children have received the oral polio vaccine.
Today more than 17 million people are walking who would have been paralysed by the disease. More than 1.5 million childhood deaths have been prevented. Once polio is eradicated, the world will be able to celebrate a major global advantage that will benefit all children, whatever their origins.
The goal of a polio free world is tantalisingly close. Wild polio virus type 2 has been eradicated and there have been no cases of type 3 for four years. Only in Pakistan and remote parts of Afghanistan is the Wild Type 1 polio virus circulating.
Rotary's international network
helps link people in need with Rotarians in other countries who can provide resources. The Foundation's humanitarian programs improve health care systems, support sustainable sources of food and water, and provide literacy and vocational training, particularly in developing countries.
The Rotary Foundation supports Rotary's efforts to further world understanding and peace.
The Rotary Foundation's educational programs include Ambassadorial Scholarships, the world's largest privately funded source of international scholarships. More than 1,300 scholarships are awarded annually for study in another land. Grants are also awarded for university teachers to serve in developing countries and for international exchanges of professionals.