RI President's Message - April 2017
Globally, in developed as well as in developing countries, child
mortality is on the decline and life expectancy on the rise. In
1960, 182 of every 1,000 children born died before turning five;
today, that number is down to 43. A child born in 1960 could expect
to live an average of just 52 years; by contrast, a child born this
year can expect to live to 71.
Then as now, the factors most likely to determine a child's fate
are set at birth: where he or she is born, the educational and economic
condition of the family, the availability of medical care. Yet one
of the most important advances in public health has reached every
country and must now reach every child: immunization.
The use of vaccines has, in many parts of the world, nearly eliminated
diseases that once were widespread, such as diphtheria, tetanus,
and rubella. Thanks to vaccines, 20 million lives have been saved
from measles since 2000. Smallpox has been eradicated – and
polio is next.
Thirty years ago, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of polio
per year worldwide. As this issue of The Rotarian went to press,
only 37 cases of polio had been recorded in 2016 – the lowest
number in history. All of the other cases, and the paralysis and
death they would have brought, were prevented through the widespread
use of a safe, reliable, and inexpensive vaccine.
Overall, the World Health Organization estimates that immunization
prevents an estimated 2 million to 3 million deaths every year.
It also averts a tremendous burden of disability and economic loss.
Yet we could be doing so much better: An additional 1.5 million
deaths could be avoided by improving vaccine coverage worldwide.
This month, from 24 to 30 April, we join WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in celebrating World
Immunization Week, raising awareness of the incredible impact that
vaccines have had on global health. This year's theme is "Vaccines
Work" – and they do. Increased use of vaccines has broader
repercussions for public health: controlling viral hepatitis, reducing
both the need for antibiotics and the development of antibiotic-resistant
microbes, and reaching more children and adolescents with essential
health interventions. In every part of the world, routine immunization
is as crucial as ever to ensure that all children have the best
chance at a healthy future.
In an uncertain world, vaccines offer something remarkable: a way
to protect our children throughout their lives. By working together
to safeguard all children against polio and other preventable diseases,
Rotary is truly Serving Humanity – now and for generations
John F. Germ
Source: Rotary International
Trustee chair's message
- April 2017
In communities worldwide, Rotarians are finding creative ways
to celebrate The Rotary Foundation centennial and showcase our
Foundation's century-long commitment to doing good in the world.
Rotarians have arranged for a commemorative postage stamp to be
issued in Pakistan, sponsored a cruise on the Danube River with
some proceeds going to our Foundation, and sold bottles of wine
with "100 Years Doing Good in the World" printed on
the label in Vancouver, B.C.
And, of course, there have been scores of centennial dinners.
In Arch Klumph's hometown of Cleveland, Rotarians gathered to
celebrate the centennial and honor the father of The Rotary Foundation
with a banquet and concert by the Cleveland Orchestra. In addition
to raising more than $2.1 million for our Foundation, the event
paid tribute to Klumph's virtuosity as a flutist.
Some Rotarians are honoring the Foundation by sponsoring global
grant projects. They are fighting dengue fever in Indonesia, providing
sanitation facilities in Colombia, and promoting early detection
of breast cancer in Turkey.
Rotaractors and Interactors have answered the call to perform
100 acts of good this year in honor of the centennial. They are
donating blood, visiting the elderly, and volunteering at food
pantries, to name just a few of the activities this challenge
By celebrating this milestone, we are sharing our success stories
with the world. In 2016, cable news channel CNBC named The Rotary
Foundation one of the "Top 10 Charities Changing the World,"
citing our PolioPlus program as well as our financial health,
accountability, and transparency of reporting. In addition, the
Association of Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation
the World's Outstanding Foundation for 2016.
Our centennial year is not over yet. You still have time to plan
a special event, make a centennial contribution, and add more
acts of good. In June, I hope you will join me for the biggest
centennial celebration of the year at the Rotary International
Convention in Atlanta.
Kalyan Banerjee - Trustee
Celebrate the new year
January marks the start of a new year on many
calendars, but in Rotary, we begin our year in July. That puts us
at the halfway point — a good time to take stock of our progress
and set goals for the remainder of the year.
An annual to-do list for The Rotary Foundation
might include the following items:
Contribute to the End Polio Now campaign to take advantage
of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2-to-1 match.
Start a simple or large-scale project in your
community supported by a grant and keep the community informed.
Recommend a promising candidate for the Rotary Peace Centres programme.
Host a Rotary Scholar or vocational training team.
Enroll in Rotary Direct for easy recurring giving.
Include a bequest to the Foundation in your estate plan.
Apply for a Rotary International credit card, which allocates a
portion of each purchase you make to The Rotary Foundation.
As you can see, there are many ways to support
our Foundation and carry out its humanitarian mission. This year,
we have another item to add to our checklist: Celebrate The Rotary
Here are some of the ways you can observe
Work with your club to plan a birthday party, fundraiser, or event
in your community to let others know more about Rotary and its Foundation.
Download a promotion kit from rotary.org/foundation100 for ideas.
Promote your club’s Foundation grant projects to local media.
Dedicate club meetings to the discussion of Rotary Foundation
Read the history of The Rotary Foundation in Doing Good in
the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation’s
First 100 Years. Copies are available in hardback or e-book
format at shop.rotary.org.
Share your centennial plans and events on social media using #TRF100.
Of course, the biggest birthday party of all
will take place in Atlanta from 10 to 14 June, when thousands of
Rotarians will come together for the Rotary International Convention.
I hope you will join me and the Foundation Trustees to make this
the best party of the year.
Trustee Chair's Message, January 2017
- Kalyan Banerjee, Trustee Chair 2016 - 17