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Posted by Bryan Griffith
on Feb 21, 2014
Global star Angélique Kidjo champions Rotary’s efforts in new song
In her new album, “Eve,” Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo honors the women in Africa, and pays tribute to Rotary’s work to end polio worldwide. The singer and activist from Benin chose to include Rotary in the soon-to-be-released video of the album’s signature song, “Eva.” Rotary’s presence in the video is no coincidence. The relationship between the singer dates back to 2011, when she joined about two dozen celebrities, including Jackie Chan, Jack Nicklaus, and Jane Goodall, in Rotary’s “This Close” polio awareness campaign. “I am the cherry on top of the cake,” says Kidjo in an exclusive...
In Pakistan, polio vaccinators earn community trust in spite of danger
No polio vaccinator had ever set foot in Killi Baksho, near Pakistan's rugged northwest border with Afghanistan. Most people there have long opposed immunization, believing the polio vaccine causes infertility or AIDS. The combination of that public mistrust and intimidation from militant groups has been nothing short of deadly. In 2013, 20 polio vaccinators and nine police officers assigned to guard them were killed in Pakistan. With that memory fresh in their minds, a team from a Rotary-supported polio resource center went to the village to promote acceptance of the vaccine. They expected...
Finding safe haven
For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen. After serving her time, Bianca sought help from a local homeless organization, A Safe Haven, and moved to its shelter in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Bianca followed the program closely -- she attended all the required meetings, passed drug...
Helping people with disabilities make their own music
Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school. After their son Mateusz was born with underdeveloped eyes, Mariusz and Joanna Kania looked for...
U.S. commits $205 million to polio eradication
President Barack Obama signed an omnibus appropriations bill in January that provides $205 million to support polio eradication in 2014, through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U. S. Agency for International Development. The largest government donor to polio eradication, the U.S. has contributed more than $2.3 billion since the mid-1980s, when 125 countries were polio endemic and the disease afflicted 350,000 people annually. Today, only Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria are endemic, and in 2013, the combined incidence of polio in those countries fell to a record-low...