A special workshop was organized on The 4way Test of Rotary by PDG Mike Omotosho where top Civil Servants, Federal Permanent Secretaries including the current Minister for works and transport RajiFasola were invited to discuss on ‘Work Ethics and Corruption in Nigeria and the way forward’.It was a successful seminar.”
Last week, I began a discussion of the principles and ideology behind the Rotary International and how the country as a whole can benefit if all Nigerians adopt the idea of selfless service which drives the activities of the group. This week I will continue by making reference to some specific areas in which the body has contributed to society.
At the International level, the contributions of Rotary are legendary. Its services include contributions to all spheres of human existence. Rotary International has indeed left its imprints on the United Nations. In this respect, the University of Oregon UNESCO Crossings Institute writes:
“Rotary International’s relationship with the United Nations had already been established when the UN was founded in 1945. At the UN Charter Conference in San Francisco, nearly fifty Rotarians served as delegates, advisors, and consultants. In 1945, Rotary International had clubs in 65 countries and was working to further international understanding, good will, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. The purposes of the UN—to maintain an international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to help solve international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems; and to promote human rights—parallel those of Rotary. Rotary’s work in promoting peace through education began as early as 1943 with a London conference on international, cultural, and educational exchanges. Working under the premise that “war begins in the minds of men”, the conference was attended by ministers of education and observers from around the world and was an early inspiration for UNESCO, established in 1946. Rotary International established consultative status with the UN and UNESCO beginning in 1946-47. In one of the first cooperative activities with UNESCO, the Rotary Foundation awarded a $5,000 ‘grant-in-aid’ for fellowships to social service and educational leaders in war-devastated countries. The funds were designed to provide training to those who trained others. UNESCO identified prospective recipients.”
Contribution to the eradication of polio
Wikipedia reports that Rotary International’s most notable current global project, PolioPlus, is contributing to the global eradication of polio. Sergio Mulitsch di Palmenberg (1923–1987), Governor of RI District 204 (1984–1985), founder of the RC of Treviglio and PianuraBergamasca (Italy), was the man who inspired and promoted the RI PolioPlus vaccination campaign. He made it possible to ship the first 500,000 doses of antipolio vaccine to the Philippines at the beginning of 1980. Since beginning the project in 1985, Rotarians have contributed over US$850 million and hundreds of thousands of volunteer-hours, leading to the inoculation of more than two billion of the world’s children. Inspired by Rotary’s commitment, the World Health Organization (WHO) passed a resolution in 1988 to eradicate polio by 2000. Now a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with WHO, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rotary is recognized by the United Nations as the key private partner in the eradication effort.
In 2008, Rotary received a $100 million challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary committed to raising $100 million. In January 2009, Bill Gates announced a second challenge grant of $255 million. Rotary again committed to raising another $100 million. In total, Rotary reportedly raised $200 million by 30 June 2012. Together, the Gates Foundation and Rotary have committed $555 million toward the eradication of polio. At the time of the second challenge grant, Bill Gates said:
“We know that it’s a formidable challenge to eradicate a disease that has killed and crippled children since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. We don’t know exactly when the last child will be affected. But we do have the vaccines to wipe it out. Countries do have the will to deploy all the tools at their disposal. If we all have the fortitude to see this effort through to the end, then we will eradicate polio.
The effort has largely been successful as Polio has been eliminated in India but still reported in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. indeed the latest cases in Nigeria were reported some weeks back.
In addition to its work on Polio, Rotary has also contributed towards literacy programs, exchanges and scholarships etc.
The body has been involved in the following at the District 9125 level;
- The construction and donation of bore hole and solar electrification to power them in the locality of each club in the district.
- The provision of books up to tertiary institution for distribution through the clubs.
- Active steps towards the eradication of Polio in the District. The efforts at the international level are also highlighted below.
- The creation of awareness with regards to all the six (6) areas of focus of Rotary which are:
(A) Peace and Conflict Prevention/ Resolution
(B) Disease Prevention and a treatment
(C) Water and Sanitation
(D) Maternal and Child Health
(E) Basic Education and Literacy
(F) Economic and community Development
- Polio corrective surgery was performed by Indian Rotarians in Abuja in December 2012 under PDG Felix Obadan’sDGship. Hundreds of surgeries were performed on polio affected Nigerian children in the Country’s capital.
- The empowerment of women and youths with sewing machine for self reliance in partnership with vantage teens center, Bwari, Abuja by Rotary Club of Abuja Maitama.
- Donation of food items and materials supplies to Yola IDP camp in Adamawa State.
- Over 2,800 surgeries were carried out at Ondo State General Hospital Akure in 2011 .
- Donation of emergency materials to Federal road safety commission in Keffi unit Nasarawa.
- Renovation of labour and lying in wards of primary health care centreAlegongo Akobo, Ibadan now renamed Rotary Akobo ward.
- Dinning hall was built, furnished and donated to the school of the physically challenged Osogbo.
- Donation of wheelchairs to physically challenged people in throughout the district.
- Commissioning of newly built 500 capacity examination and General purpose hall at OsoloOpin school Kwara State.
- A special workshop was organized on The 4way Test of Rotary by PDG Mike Omotosho where top Civil Servants,Federal Permanent Secretaries including the current Minister for works and transport RajiFasola were invited to discuss on ‘Work Ethics and Corruption in Nigeria and the way forward’.It was a successful seminar.
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(To be continued)