R. I. President Message

RI President 2019-20 Mark Daniel Maloney - October 2019

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Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Rotary's long-term, sustained battle against polio has defined our organization for decades. We have a right to be proud of all that we have accomplished through the years.

Our progress is real and noteworthy. In 1988, polio was endemic in 125 countries, with more than 350,000 new cases a year worldwide. Since then, Rotary and our Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have reduced the incidence of polio by more than 99.9 percent, vaccinated more than 2.5 billion children against the virus, and prevented 18 million cases of paralysis. Over the years, Rotary has helped country after country move into the polio-free column. This includes India, which some considered impossible not long ago. Of the three types of poliovirus, type 2 has been eradicated and type 3 could soon be certified as eradicated. Nigeria has not reported a case of wild poliovirus in nearly three years. If this trend holds, we will be down to just one type of wild poliovirus in only one section of the world, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

There are major challenges in that region. But it is crucial that we remain optimistic. Look at all that we have accomplished so far. This is no time to get discouraged or to think that the task is impossible. We will end polio forever, but only if we remain steadfast and vigilant. World Polio Day is a time for Rotarians from all over the globe to come together, recognize the progress we have made in our fight against polio, and plan the action we must take to end polio forever. The key word is action, because we still have important work to do.

This year, we want to see as many Rotary clubs as possible holding World Polio Day events around the world. Need some ideas? How about organizing a viewing party for friends and club members to watch Rotary's Online Global Update? You could also dedicate a club meeting to World Polio Day or create a fundraising event. Remember, every dollar raised is matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Once you have created an event, register it at endpolio.org/register-your-event. Then promote it using the World Polio Day toolkit, available at endpolio.org/world-polio-day.

Mark your calendar to tune in to Rotary's World Polio Day Online Global Update on 24 October. This year we will stream our program on Facebook in multiple time zones around the world. Visit the Rotary International Facebook page to RSVP to your region's program. And do not forget to follow the event on social media and share it with your network.

When we reach our goal, polio will become only the second human disease eradicated on the planet, and Rotary will receive international acclaim. But what matters most is the children who will never again have to face this terrible, disabling virus. Rotary must continue to connect the world in the effort toward polio eradication. It is up to us. Let us finish the job.


Mark Daniel Maloney
President 2019-20

 

Trustee Chair's Message - Oct. 2019

Gary C.K. Huang, Trustee Chair 2019-20
Rotary Club of Taipei
Taipei, Taiwan

Trustee chair's message

Ni hao, Rotarians!

Friends, World Polio Day is this month and we are facing a major challenge. The news out of Afghanistan and Pakistan tells us that we have more work to do. It tells us that polio will not die out quickly or easily.

Most of all, it tells us that we are needed now more than ever. Success will require us to remain steady and show that there is no time limit to our commitment. We are in this to the end, and we will conquer this terrible disease. We will give life back to children and families, and restore hope to communities.

We are fortunate to have great friends in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative — including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which continues to match every donation 2-to-1. We have already eradicated wild poliovirus type 2, and type 3 could soon be wiped out. India is polio-free. All of Africa may soon be polio-free.

The most important factor in ending polio forever is you. The people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have faced so much hardship in recent years. Polio is just one more challenge. To them, it could all feel overwhelming. But not to Rotarians. We do not feel overwhelmed. We feel challenged, and, as people of action, we rise to challenges.

In the words of Confucius: "If one is virtuous, one will not be left to stand alone. It is certain that associates of like mind will come and join with one." In Rotary, we understand these words very well. When we say "Service Above Self," we take a stand for this virtue. We know that our like-minded brothers and sisters around the world will join us. We have been drawn together by our need to do good in the world.

We can rid the world of a disease forever. And you will be the ones to do it, through your continued commitment and generosity.
Be a part of history! Help us overcome the final hardship, the final challenge. Make your donation at http://www.endpolio.org/donate.


Gary C.K. Huang
Trustee Chair 2019-20

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