Posted by Eric Tindall on Nov 21, 2019
Mark Daniel Maloney
My dear friends and fellow Rotarians
As we enter Foundation Month, we would like to thank each and every one of you who did so much to make World Polio Day such an enormous success.
For the first time, we broadcast our Global Update on 24 October in multiple time zones around the world, reaching more people, and raising more awareness than ever before. More than 5,600 World Polio Day events have been registered on in more than 125 countries, from New Zealand to Egypt, and from Sweden to Japan.
Inspired by this show of support across the globe, our work to eradicate polio continues. On 21 August, Nigeria marked three years without a case of wild poliovirus, and the World Health Organization African region could potentially be certified wild poliovirus-free next year. Rotary has contributed US$268 million to fight polio in Nigeria, and Rotarians throughout Nigeria and Africa are committed to ensuring that every child is protected from polio. When the African region is finally certified as wild poliovirus-free, it will be a tremendous achievement, as the continent once suffered three quarters of all polio cases in the world.
It is these amazing turnarounds which we must keep in mind when confronting the challenges in eradicating polio. And we must tell stories about our successes in places like India and Nigeria to let the world know what Rotarians, empowered by our Foundation, are doing around the world. As the entrepreneur and educator Michael Margolis once said: “The stories we tell literally make the world.” So if we want to make the world in the image of Rotary’s highest ideals, then we must share our stories as People of Action.
Of course, it is easier to find compelling stories when we have taken part in transformative projects. So remember to use your District Designated Funds for a cause you are passionate about, whether that is PolioPlus, the Disaster Response Fund, the Rotary Peace Centers, or something in your community that could benefit from the support of a district or global grant. If you are struggling for inspiration, just read about the impact of a DDF contribution on the youth of Yonkers, New York, in the Rotarian magazine’s cover story ‘A slam-dunk project in Yonkers.’
The cover stories of tomorrow are already being written, as the Foundation continues to support projects to improve communities across the world. This year, our Foundation has already approved 261 district grants, with US$22.4 million in total funding, and 460 global grants, with US$33.9 million in total funding.
You can end Foundation Month on a charitable note by participating in Giving Tuesday on 3 December. Rotary will be joining thousands of other organizations worldwide for a global day of giving, and it is a prime opportunity to advance our mission. It is now easier than ever to give to the Foundation online, and you can easily notify someone of a gift made in their honor via email or by printing and delivering a customized notification yourself.
So as we enter the second half of the Rotary year, please keep up your efforts to eradicate polio, tell our story, and channel District Designated Funds into more sustainable and scalable projects with significant positive impact. With your words and your actions, Rotary Connects the World.
Yours in Rotary,
Mark Daniel Maloney
President, Rotary International 2019-20
Gary C.K. Huang
Trustee Chair, The Rotary Foundation 2019-20
Recipient list: District governors, assistant governors, club presidents, regional leaders (RPICs, RRFCs, E/MGAs, and RCs), and the board of directors