IThe end of this Foundation year is fast approaching and with only a few months to go I am pleased to provide an update for the Foundation committee for the year to date:
1. The £4,000.00 from the donation by Malcolm Clark has been paid to Foundation for End Polio Now.
2. Ian Macpherson completed another successful year for the Doo's and this year we raised £580.00.
3. Eddie took orders for Christmas cards for the RotarEK and raised £553.00.
4. Barclay and Helen Wales hosted a cheese and wine afternoon, the event was well attended and raised £506.00
5. George and Stella Ferguson also hosted an afternoon of Fellowship and this too was well attended and raised £470.00
Taking into account the donation from Malcolm Clark, the Fellowship events, the Golf Day, the Doo's, a donation from Alan Rae & the Table Top Curling and the on-going Sauce Bottles, we are sitting on a total of £6,561.70 (which equates to US$10,746.10 against our US$1,000.00 target).
There was a US$1,000.00 annual target set by Rotary International for each club worldwide to help meet the US$200 million target and I am delighted to say that we have managed to not only meet the US$1,000.00 target, but over the last four years we have raised in excess of US$21,500.00, which is an amazing achievement.
My thanks go to everyone that has helped to run events, to those that attended events and to those that gave donations, it is very much appreciated and every little bit has helped to make this year our most successful year for a long time.
I took over as Foundation Convenor in July 2008 and will be handing over the reins at the end of June 2012 and my tenure coincided with the Rotary Challenge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, Rotary International was set the US$200 Million Challenge. A generous US$355 million gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would be given to Rotary if the organisation could part match with US$200m by June 2012, to be used in the fight against polio.
In January 2012, that challenge was met, nearly six months ahead of schedule. Rotary members in Great Britain and Ireland and all over the world over had succeeded in raising over US$200. As a result of the quick response, an additional US$50m was donated by the Gates Foundation.
The resulting US$610 million will directly support immunisation campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyse children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families.
If you needed any proof that the monies being raised are working, it was announced on the 25 February this year that the World Health Organization had officially removed India from the list of polio-endemic countries. This is an amazing fact and not only shows that what we are doing is so worthwhile but gives us hope that we can finally eradicate polio not only from India but from the face of the entire planet.
Rotary is working hard and must continue the good work because before polio eradication can be certified in India, it must go two more years without another case of the disease, but at least we are heading in the right direction and Polio still remains endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.