By Dan Nixon and Wayne Hearn, Rotary International News -- 12 January 2012
Rotary club members worldwide are cautiously celebrating a major milestone in the global effort to eradicate polio. India, until recently an epicenter of the wild poliovirus, has gone one year without recording a new case of the crippling, sometimes fatal, disease.
India’s last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal State on 13 January 2011. The country recorded 42 cases in 2010, and 741 in 2009.
A chief factor in India’s success has been the widespread use of the bivalent oral polio vaccine, which is effective against both remaining types of the poliovirus. Another has been rigorous monitoring, which has helped reduce the number of children missed by health workers during National Immunization Days to less than 1 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Rappahannock Rotary members gathered on the river bank in the early morning light to christen the 21-ft Carolina Skiff they helped Friends of
The Rappahannock purchase with a $15,000 donation. "This is a long-awaited dream for us, to expand our mission from the headwaters to the bay," said Friends of the Rappahannock Executive Director John
Tippett, “and quite frankly it would not have happened without you guys.”
The stable shallow-drafted skiff will used by the advocacy group’s tidal River Steward to monitor water conditions, conduct education programs and support river clean up efforts. The Rappahannock Rotary Club participates in river clean up activities and hopes to encourage other District Rotary clubs in the Rappahannock River basin to join in supporting efforts to protect our river as a vital resource for future generations.
While enjoying the Rappahannock, watch for the Rotary emblem on the Friends of the Rappahannock skiff. May it be a constant reminder that Rotarians are partners in the cause to maintain our healthy and scenic river. Get your club involved and share in this proud community effort!
; Susan Ireland, Fairfax RC; Joe Scheibeler, Falls Church RC
A very large contingent of Rotary Clubs in the Northern Virginia partnered with Homestretch, a non-profit organization which provides transitional housing for homeless families in Fairfax County.
The Rotary Clubs of McLean, Alexandria, Bailey’s Crossroads, Burke, Fairfax, Falls Church, Reston, Rosslyn/Fort Meyer, Tyson’s and Vienna teamed to grant $10,527 to Homestretch to start a preschool pro-gram for children in the families served by the organization. The money will purchase furniture, carpet, books, children’s center supplies and teacher instructional materials. The goal of the center, which will open in February in the Homestretch office in Falls Church, is to enable children to become kindergarten-ready so they can succeed in elementary school and beyond.
Many of the 100 families served by Homestretch are single parent and they include 235 children. One-third of the families are foreign-born refugees from war-torn countries and many of the women have been abused. Yet, 85% of them obtain permanent housing following approximately two years in the transitional program.
“We’re so pleased to be able to participate in this important program,” said Carolyn Chappell, Fairfax Rotary’s Foundation Director, speaking for all of the 10 clubs involved.
Rotarians presenting check to Homestretch Director Chris-topher Fay (left) are (l-r) Gerry Hamilton of Vienna, Jan Auerbach of McLean, Carolyn Chappell of Fairfax, Ingrid Parris-Hicklin of Tysons, Lynn Heinrichs of McLean, Chuck Pascoe of Burke, Susan Lydick of Bailey’s and Diane Hill of Falls Church.
Falls Church Hosts Russian Group
Open World delegation hosted by Falls Church club meets with Falls Church Mayor Nader Barouch (third from left) and city manager Wyatt Shields, right.
Under the auspices of the Open World Leader-ship Center (www.OpenWorld.gov), Rotarian Carol Pierstorff, International Director for the Falls Church Rotary Club, coordinated a visiting dele-gation of five Russian medical professionals and their facilitator from Dec. 2 -10. The delegates were hosted in the homes of Falls Church Rotarians and a non-Rotarian family. Falls Church Past President Joe Scheibeler even took a week's leave to be the honorary driver of the group’s van!
The delegation from Vladimir, Russian (60 miles from Moscow) included Dr. Olga Komarova, Chief of Internal Medicine; Dr. Tatyana Smelskaya, ear nose & throat specialist; Dr. Natalaya Amosova, pediatrician; Galina Sorokina, pediatric public health nurse; Vera Alekseyena, TB Center public health nurse – plus facilitator Pavel Pavlov who resides in Kurck.
Hosts arranged a varied program which included getting to know area historic sites and customs as well as professional visits at medical facilities in Northern Virginia and Washington. They also had a tour of the US Capitol and attended meetings of the Washington, Bailey’s and Falls Church Rotary Clubs.
Rounding out the week’s activities were various shopping trips, dinner and brunch at the homes of host families, and a festive farewell dinner party at the home of Carol Pierstorff featuring Slavic foods. Falls Church Club members enjoyed the fellowship and getting to know the Russian delegates on a personal basis. Club President Lincoln Tucker said, “I am proud of and thankful especially to club member Carol – and to all who were able to support and participate with the Russian delegation.”
Begun as a pilot program in 1999 and then established as a permanent agency, Open World is the first and only international exchange agency in the U.S. Legislative Branch. Since its inception in 1999, Open World has brought more than 17,000 young leaders to the US from the countries of Eurasia including mayors, legislators, judges, civil servants, and educators from across the former Soviet Union . Through programs and fellowship, they come to know the “real” Ameri-ca. Our Rotary District has hosted many delegates from Eurasia during the past 12 years. The Rotary Club of Baileys Crossroads was the pioneer, hosting several delegations over the years. The Alexandria and Vienna Clubs have also participated. Open World has awarded grants to 61 organizations headquartered in 25 dif-ferent states and Washington DC. These grantee organizations include universities and colleges, Rotary clubs and other organizations, sister-city associations, inter-national visitor councils and other service organizations in all 50 states and Washington DC.
The Rotary Club of Ashburn, Virginia, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kirovograd, Ukraine, improved the lives of 128 orphans, ages 6 to 18 years, living at the Rivne Orphanage in the Kirovograd region of Ukraine through a Matching Grant project funded in part by The Rotary Foundation and by donations to the Annual Programs Fund from Rotarians and friends of Rotary in District 7610. The project purchased and installed laundry and kitchen appliances and equipment to improve the health and sanitation of the children living at the orphanage.
Total cost of the equipment and appliances was more than $25,00, which was funded with the generous support of numerous Virginia and international clubs and districts, including:
The news story that ran on Ukrainian national television about the Ashburn Rotary Club's matching grant in Rivne, Ukraine.
Follow Our Ambassadorial Scholar in Ecuador
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Jasmine (standing, far rght) visiting the Rotary Club of San Francisco de Quito.
Jasmine Wilkins is the recipient of an Ambassadorial Scholarship from The Rotary Foundation for 2011-12, sponsored by the Fair Lakes Rotary Club and Rotary District 7610.
She is serving as Ambassadorial Scholar in Quito, Ecuador, for one year beginning in mid-October, and will study Gender and Development at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, FLACSO). In addition to scholarly duties, she will spread goodwill and foster cultural exchange through regular meetings with Rotary Clubs and service organizations throughout the country and participate in Rotary service projects volunteering with local Rotary Clubs in Quito.
Students in the Glasgow MS Gardening Club hold up 240 baby onions in bags prior to planting yesterday. The club is just one of several sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bailey's Crossroads!
Members of Linton Hall Fife and Drum Corps entertain shoppers while Dulles Rotarians ring Salvation Army Bell.
PDG George Atwell accepts the awards for the Caroline County Rotary Club.
Interactors in Stafford County have a unique way of collecting food for the hungry. Groups from Colonial Forge, Brook Point, Stafford, North Stafford, and Mountain View Interact Clubs got together in November for an ice cream social and dance, with canned food as admission. Their challenge was to build a “Tower of Food,” which Stafford Rotary President Kat Kammer and North Stafford County-Garrisonville President Barry Coble got to measure. It topped out at over 4 feet and the plan is to go higher in 2012.