Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year in 125 countries to just 37 cases in three remaining polio-endemic countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, in 2016.
To sustain this progress and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million per year over the next three years in support of global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary's commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralysing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk.
Local Rotarians are among millions across the globe who are highlighting World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio. To mark World Polio Day, Rotarians across Britain and Ireland have lit up iconic buildings purple and held other events for World Polio Day, as part of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland's Purple4Polio campaign.
In Abingdon, Rotarians from the 3 local clubs, supported by District Governor David Pope, have planted 7,500 purple crocus bulbs in Abingdon's Albert Park, which will give a large splash of colour for all to see in the spring.
A new Interact Club made up from young people aged 12 to 18 who attend the European School in Culham has been formed.
The Club has been working for the last two years to raise funds to support a school in Nepal, the Gatehouse, a charity for the homeless in Oxford, and the Sue Ryder home in Nettlebed. They are eager to continue with this and to work to help other good causes in the future.
On the evening of May the 2nd, the Culham Interact Club was presented with its formal Charter by Joy Arnott, the District Governor of Rotary International District 1090. This is an important milestone for the club. The Club received its charter certificate, the President, Charlie Sayers, the medal of office, and all members received an official pin badge.
So far the club has raised over £1,000 by holding a number of events at the school, such as cake sales and face painting. It also held a collection at Christmas for essential items such as toiletries and underwear for The Gatehouse, a charity for the homeless in in Oxford. Their next event is at the Culham Festival where they will again have a stall raising funds by selling cakes and face painting.
The Culham Interact Club is supported by the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper.
The Interact club has 17 members, and they look forward to continuing their events to raise funds for good causes. All of them attend the European School and will transfer to the Europa School in September, where the club will be based in future.
President Charles Sayers said, “It's been a great year. We have had lots of fun, and importantly helped those worse off than ourselves, whilst at the same time we have learnt how to work as a team and get the best from everyone.”
Joy Arnott presented the Charter, supported by David Barnett, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper, who said, “It's been great to help these dedicated young people learn how to become the good citizens of the future, and to continue to support those who join the club in the future”
The Charter took place in the Schuman Hall at the European School on the evening Tuesday 2nd May, and was attended by members of the Interact Club and their parents, the school staff who have supported the club and Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper and Rotary District 1090. There were around 50 people present.
Interact is an international organisation which brings together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of “Service Above Self”, the motto of Rotarians throughout the world. Interactors discover how serious leadership can be seriously fun.