Rotary members celebrate World Polio Day 2019

In honor of World Polio Day, Rotary members around the world rallied their clubs and communities to support the fight to end polio forever. More than 4,000 clubs in 136 countries organized more than 5,600 events to raise awareness and funds for polio eradication. Brazil, the United States, Nigeria, Italy, and the Philippines held the most events, respectively. This year, club events included art celebrations, athletic challenges, dance festivals, and educational initiatives.

It’s never too early to start planning for next year. Find inspiration from this year’s World Polio Day Online Global Update and these creative and successful events:

Africa

Kenya — Rotary clubs in District 9212 set a fundraising goal of US$1 million to support polio eradication efforts. The Rotary Club of Ngong Hills hosted a dance class, Kicking Out Polio With Zumba, which raised money for polio eradication. The Rotary Club of Nairobi-East invited a polio survivor to speak to the club.

Nigeria — Rotary and Rotaract clubs in Districts 9110, 9125, 9141, and 9142 organized football and volleyball matches and invited local celebrities to celebrate “kicking polio out of Nigeria.” The Rotary and Rotaract clubs in District 9141 also organized a street concert to publicize Rotary’s work to fight polio and raise awareness of polio vaccination efforts. District 9110 also co-hosted a Keep Polio @ Zero concert with the Nigeria PolioPlus Committee to raise funds for polio eradication. 

Uganda — The Rotary Club of Kiwatule and District 9211 joined District Governor Francis Xavier Sentamu, who took on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for polio eradication.

The Rotary Club of Kiwatule and District 9211 joined District Governor Francis Xavier Sentamu, who took on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for polio eradication.

Asia

Afghanistan — The Rotary Club of Jalalabad organized a polio awareness campaign in 18 local schools with trainers and students from Afghan Youth Connect, a program sponsored by the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, California, USA. 

India — Rotary and Rotaract clubs in District 3181 organized an End Polio Rally in the city of Mangalore. The Rotary Club of Dausa, Rajasthan, assembled more than 200 cars for its World Polio Day rally to promote keeping India polio-free.

Japan — Rotary District 2510 held a show with traditional standup comedy called Manzai and storytelling called Rakugo. The event taught guests about polio eradication and raised funds for PolioPlus. The Rotary Club of Kobe South, Hyogo, brought together 600 performers for its End Polio Dance Festival, which created broad awareness of Rotary and the fight to end polio.

Lebanon — The Rotary Club of Saida submerged two buses 28 meters (nearly 92 feet) underwater in Saida’s Marine Park as part of a hoped-for underwater reef. The buses were engraved with the End Polio Now logo to raise awareness for Rotary and polio eradication.

Pakistan — Rotary and Rotaract clubs in District 3271 organized a Ride to End Polio bicycle rally in Karachi, in collaboration with the Sindh Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication and the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme. The Rotary Club of Faisalabad, Punjab, worked with the World Health Organization to host an educational session to talk about polio vaccinations and distribute them. 

Philippines — The Rotary Club of Santiago, Isabela, partnered with city and local officials to administer the polio vaccine to babies and toddlers on 8 October. 

Sri Lanka — The Rotary Club of Badulla, Uva Province, conducted an awareness and fundraising campaign by asking its Rotaract and Interact club partners to hand out leaflets about polio eradication and by broadcasting End Polio Now videos on screens at local bus stations.

Taiwan — Rotary clubs in District 3461 organized a Run to End Polio event on World Polio Day.

Turkey — The Rotary Club of Çanakkale held its 33rd annual Dardanelles Strait Swimming Competition in honor of World Polio Day.

Australia and New Zealand

Australia — The Rotary Club of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, organized a Ride the Trains to End Polio event in which club members wearing End Polio Now shirts tried to visit every Sydney station on World Polio Day to raise awareness and funds. The Rotary Club of Milawa Oxley, Victoria, held a World’s Greatest Meal fundraiser featuring Nigerian cuisine to celebrate Nigeria being polio-free for three years.

New Zealand — The Rotary Club of Newmarket and District 9920 arranged for a screening of “5 Ways to End Polio” at the Auckland Live Digital Stage.

Europe

Denmark — The Rotary Club of Aars rented a local cinema and invited neighboring Rotary clubs to watch the movie “Breathe” about polio survivor Robin Cavendish. Profits from the tickets were donated to the PolioPlus fund.

France — The Rotary Club of Le Vésinet, Yvelines, organized the 19th European Festival of Illusion in January to kick off polio awareness activities for 2019. A portion of the proceeds from the two-night event was donated to PolioPlus.

Germany — The Rotary Club of Berlin Platz der Republik held a charity photo shoot on World Polio Day to raise funds for PolioPlus and create photos for Rotary’s People of Action campaign.

Greece — Rotary District 2470 projected the End Polio Now logo on the historic Hotel Grande Bretagne, located in the center of Athens, to coincide with its fashion show fundraiser.

Italy — The Rotary Club of Atessa-Media Val di Sangro held a benefit concert, Le Più Belle Canzoni della Musica Italiana. The Rotary Club of Milano Digital met to discuss the biography, “Sergio Mulitsch di Palmenberg: forte come un sogno,” the story of Mulitsch’s involvement in the PolioPlus program.

North Macedonia — The Rotary Club of Bitola Shirok Sokak organized a public discussion on immunization and polio eradication.

Norway — The Rotary Club of Egersund invited Dr. Ole Ravneberg to deliver a speech about Rotary and the fight to end polio, and the club collected donations after the program.

Romania — Rotary clubs in Bucharest organized an educational conference at the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy to raise awareness of Rotary and polio eradication. A fundraising event and projection of the End Polio Now logo on the university building accompanied the conference.

Scotland — The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, turned Oldmeldrum’s town hall in Market Square purple to raise awareness for World Polio Day. Club members stood on the surrounding streets fundraising for PolioPlus. The Rotary Club of Claverhouse, Tayside, arranged for buildings and spaces in Dundee City Centre to be illuminated purple on the night of World Polio Day.

Spain — The Rotary Club of Valladolid held a conference to raise awareness of the need for vaccines in the 21st century. It also organized the illumination of the End Polio Now logo on iconic city buildings, including the town hall and Millennium Dome.

Turkey — The Rotary Club of Istanbul Ispartakule organized a designer fashion show to raise funds for polio eradication and illuminated the Bosphorus Bridge for polio awareness, which connects Europe and Asia.

The Rotary Club of Istanbul Ispartakule organized a designer fashion show to raise funds for polio eradication and illuminated the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects Europe and Asia, with a message building awareness of polio eradication.

North America

Canada — Rotary District 7070 produced a live event to watch the Online Global Update and hear from Rotary leaders, Nigeria PolioPlus Committee chair Dr. Tunji Funsho, Past RI President Jonathan B. Majiyagbe, and Past RI Vice President Dr. Bob Scott.

Cayman Islands — The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman-Sunrise partnered with the government’s public health department to watch the Online Global Update.

Jamaica — The Rotary Club of Manor Park, St. Andrew, organized a Spinning for Polio stationary bike event to raise funds. The Rotary Club of May Pen, Clarendon, coordinated with polio survivors and a public health nurse to share stories about polio on social media.

United States — The Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, hosted a Rotar-oke karaoke fundraiser and began the event with a club viewing of the Online Global Update. District 5150 in California hosted a Bike & Hike to End Polio fundraiser at the Point Reyes National Seashore. District 6780 in Tennessee organized a "Purple Pinky" doughnut fundraiser at local doughnut shops. 

South America

Argentina — The Rotary Club of Santiago del Estero, Santiago del Estero, held a conference on polio and post-polio syndrome and earned local media coverage of its tree planting project to generate awareness of polio eradication. 

Brazil — Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs in Brazil mobilized for a national day of vaccination on 19 October to keep the country polio-free. The Rotaract Club of Blumenau, Santa Catarina, held its 9th annual polio run with nearly 300 athletes and raised 11,000 Brazilian reais for PolioPlus.

Colombia — Rotary Clubs in District 4281 organized End Polio Now bus advertisements to raise awareness in the two months leading up to World Polio Day.

Costa Rica — The Rotary Club of Garabito-Playa Jaco, Puntarenas, gathered for brunch to watch the Online Global Update.

Mexico — The Rotary Club of La Villa Ciudad de México, CDMX, illuminated the historic Old Basilica of Guadalupe and received broad, local media coverage of the event. The Rotary Club of Guadalajara, Jalisco, hosted a concert to raise funds. The orchestra members donated their talent and time and the municipality donated the music hall space.

Peru — The Rotaract Club of Iquitos, Loreto, organized a concert called “Put an End to Polio” with a local musician. The informal Mochileros group of Rotaractors organized a bike ride the Sunday before World Polio Day to engage the community.
 

Explore more events on our World Polio Day map.

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Dr. Tunji Funsho | Dec. 4, 2019