The Rotary Foundation is Rotary International's global charity. It helps fund Rotary's humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global life-changing initiatives. It is supported solely by contributions from Rotary members and the fundraising efforts of Rotary Clubs, as well as donations from friends of the Foundation.
One such global initiative is PolioPlus, a Rotary programme launched in 1985 to tackle polio eradication across the world through the mass vaccination of children. In 1985 there were 125 polio endemic countries and hundreds of new cases every single day. In 2017 there were only 22 cases in the entire world, but as long as there is one single case anywhere children everywhere are at risk.
Thanks to Rotary, and the support of our partners WHO, Unicef, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just 3 countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.
We are close to eradicating polio but we are not quite there yet. To finish the job, over 2 billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered each and every year in over 60 countries until the world is finally certified polio free.
In the UK, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (Rotary GB&I) launched the Purple4Polio initiative to raise funds and awareness for our efforts to eradicate polio across the world and to promote the work of our global campaign. The significance of the colour purple is this. When children receive their polio drops on mass polio immunisation days in many countries, their little finger is painted with a purple dye, so it is clear they have received their life-saving vaccine.
The Wirksworth Rotary Club supports Foundation in all of its areas of operation, and continues to raise awareness locally of the End Polio Now campaign, for example through the sale and distribution of purple crocus bulbs.
If you would like to know more about the End Polio Now campaign, and how you can help, please visit the End Polio website.
If you would like to find out more about our Foundation activities please do get in touch using the Contact link at the top of the page.
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