Month: January 2020

Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation extending fundraising partnership to eradicate polio

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Partnership will infuse an additional US$450 million into global polio eradication effort

EVANSTON, Il. (January 22, 2020) – Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are renewing their longstanding partnership to end polio, announcing a joint commitment of up to $450 million to support the global polio eradication effort.

“Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners, almost 19 million people are walking today who would have otherwise been paralyzed,” said John Germ, Past President of Rotary International who leads Rotary’s polio fundraising efforts. “By partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re ensuring that children in polio-affected countries get the lifesaving vaccines they need to be protected from polio for life. As the first organization to envision a polio-free world, Rotary is more committed than ever to delivering on our promise that one day, no child will ever again be paralyzed by polio.”

To an audience of Rotary volunteer leaders from around the world, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation delivered a video message announcing the extension of a funding partnership forged more than a decade ago. Rotary is committed to raising $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into up to $450 million for polio eradication activities.

“The Gates Foundation’s longstanding partnership with Rotary has been vital to fighting polio,” said Mr. Gates in today’s message to Rotary volunteers. “That’s why we’re extending our funding match, so every dollar that Rotary raises is met with two more. I believe that together, we can make eradication a reality.”

In addition to the extended funding partnership with the Gates Foundation, Rotary is also announcing US$45 million in funding for polio eradication efforts in countries throughout Africa (Angola, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan), and Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan and the Philippines). The funding will help support crucial polio eradication activities such as immunization and disease detection, research, and community mobilization.

Polio—a paralyzing and sometimes deadly disease—is on the verge of becoming the second human disease in history to be eradicated. This critical funding helps ensure that children in at-risk countries are protected from polio, and that the wild poliovirus is eliminated in the last two countries that continue to report cases.

While only Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, the remaining challenges to global eradication—like difficulty reaching children amid insecurity and conflict and weak health systems—have proven to be the most difficult. In order to meet these roadblocks head on and ensure the continuation of program efforts, funding and support from donors and world governments is imperative.

Rotary has contributed more than $2 billion to fight polio, including matching funds from the Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance later joined. When the initiative launched, there were 350,000 cases of polio every year. Today the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent.

Anyone can be a part of the fight to end polio and have their donation to Rotary matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Visit endpolio.org to learn more and donate.

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit Rotary.org and endpolio.org for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-and-bill-melinda-gates-foundation-extending-fundraising-partnership-eradicate-polio

Rotary and the Gates Foundation extend funding match for polio eradication

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By Rotary International

Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on 22 January that their long-term fundraising partnership, which generates up to $150 million annually for polio eradication, will continue. Under the agreement, Rotary is committed to raising $50 million a year over the next three years, and each dollar will be matched with an additional two dollars by the Gates Foundation.

In a video address at the 2020 Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA, Bill Gates told incoming district governors that the partnership with Rotary needs to continue.

“The Gates Foundation’s longstanding partnership with Rotary has been vital to fighting polio,” Gates said. “That’s why we’re extending our funding match, so every dollar that Rotary raises is met with two more.”

He added, “I believe that together, we can make eradication a reality.”

The funding will support polio eradication efforts such as disease surveillance, technical assistance, and operational support for immunization activities.

The partnership between Rotary and the Gates Foundation has yielded $2 billion, and Rotarians have given countless volunteer hours to fight polio since Rotary started its PolioPlus program in 1985.

Be a part of the fight to end polio and have your donation matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Visit endpolio.org to learn more and donate.

Watch Gates talk about the extended funding match.

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-and-gates-foundation-extend-funding-match-polio-eradication

Holger Knaack sees opportunities for Rotary to change, thrive

Rotary International President-elect Holger Knaack is encouraging Rotarians to seize the many opportunities Rotary offers to enrich their lives and the communities they serve.

Knaack, a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany, revealed the 2020-21 presidential theme, Rotary Opens Opportunities, to incoming district governors at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA, on 20 January.

Rotary isn’t just a club for people to join, but rather “an invitation to endless opportunities,” said Knaack, who becomes president on 1 July. He emphasized that Rotary creates pathways for members to improve their lives and the lives of those they help through service projects.

“We believe that our acts of service, big and small, create opportunities for people who need our help,” Knaack said. He added that Rotary creates leadership opportunities and gives members the chance to travel the world to put their service ideas into action and make lifelong connections. “Everything we do opens another opportunity for someone, somewhere,” said Knaack.

Changing for the future

Knaack also urged members to embrace change so Rotary can expand and thrive. Rather than setting a specific target for increasing the number of members, Knaack said he’s asking clubs and districts to think about how to grow in a sustainable and organic way. He wants clubs to focus on keeping current members engaged and adding new members who are the right fit for their club.

We will capture this moment to grow Rotary, making it stronger, more adaptable, and even more aligned with our core values.

Holger Knaack

Rotary International President-elect

“We need to stop thinking of new members as people we can mark down as statistics and then forget about,” Knaack said. “Every new member changes us a little bit. That person brings a new perspective, new experiences. We need to embrace this constant renewal. We will grow stronger as we learn from new members.”

Knaack pointed to Rotary’s Action Plan as a compass that can guide clubs as they evolve. He recommended that every club have a strategic plan meeting at least once a year. At that meeting, clubs should ask where they want to be in five years and how they can bring more value to their members.

Knaack also wants to see more women in leadership roles and see Rotaractors play an integral role in how new clubs are formed and run. He encouraged district leaders to create new club models and rethink what it means to be in Rotary, and allow young people to be the architects of these new clubs.

“We have to be open to new approaches, and creating unique clubs for younger people is just part of the solution,” said Knaack. “Let Rotaractors decide what kind of Rotary experience works best for them. These young people are bright, energetic, and they get things done.”

In stressing the need for Rotary members to embrace change, Knaack noted that time won’t slow down for Rotary: “We will not let rapid change defeat us. We will capture this moment to grow Rotary, making it stronger, more adaptable, and even more aligned with our core values.”

https://www.rotary.org/en/holger-knaack-sees-opportunities-rotary-change-thrive

Rotary establishes peace center at Makerere University

Inaugural 2021 class will focus on shaping peace and development in Africa

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KAMPALA, Uganda (9 January 2020) — From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary and Makerere University are offering a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region.

The year-long program in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Development will emphasize issues and solutions that are of particular relevance throughout the African continent and beyond. Hands-on experience will complement coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies will focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

The program will incorporate the Positive Peace framework pioneered by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution. “For centuries, we have looked at peace as the absence of violence, without fully considering the other drivers in play,” said Olayinka Babalola, vice president, Rotary International Board of Directors. “Instead of merely examining the causes of war, Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University will explore the underpinnings of peace to achieve tangible measures of human wellbeing and progress.” The program is designed to accommodate working professionals with at least five years of proven experience in the areas of peace and development. There will be two cohorts a year each with 20 fellows, and the first class will begin in February 2021. The online application will be available in February 2020.

“Makerere University is situated at the heart of the Great Lakes region, which has experienced the most strife and the most conflicts in Africa,” said Barnabas Nawangwe, University vice chancellor. “We’ve had frequent experience with conflict, so we established our peace program more than 15 years ago to expand our expertise and augment our engagement in the area of conflict and peace. Partnering with an international organization like Rotary allows us to demonstrate on a global scale what we’ve been doing in our local environment. Based on our past rich experience, we can confront strife in populations all over the world.”

Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders from around the world to study at any of its seven peace centers programs. In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peacebuilding in more than 115 countries, and program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, international organizations, and more. About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. To learn more about Rotary Peace Centers programs and fellowships and to start an application, visit www.rotary.org/peace-fellowships. About Makerere University: Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa. It is composed of nine colleges offering programs for 35,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates. Its Department of Religion and Peace Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will host the Rotary Peace Centers program. To learn more, visit https://rpc.mak.ac.ug.

Contacts:

Rotary: Claudia Brunner, +41.44.387.7116, claudia.brunner@rotary.org and Stephanie Herzfeld, +1847 425 5797, stephanie.herzfeld@rotary.org

Makerere: Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala, +256772309982, hnkabala@chuss.mak.ac.ug

https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-establishes-peace-center-makerere-university

Toastmasters and Rotary partner to help members grow professionally and make a difference in their communities

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 7, 2020 — Members of Toastmasters and Rotary will enhance their skills, broaden their networks and increase their positive impact in communities through a new collaboration.

The ongoing relationship between the two organizations will begin at the grassroots level with local club members learning and working together. Additionally, Toastmasters will create a set of eight structured communication and leadership development courses for Rotary with a phased rollout that will be available in English in 2020, and in more languages in 2021.

“The strategic alliance with Rotary is exciting and allows both organizations to leverage our unique and similar strengths,” says Deepak Menon, Toastmasters’ 2019-20 International President. “We look forward to providing our current and prospective members with ongoing additional offerings that meet their evolving needs.”

With its first unofficial meeting held in Bloomington, Ill., in March 1905, Toastmasters is a global nonprofit organization with more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Its members attend club meetings where they learn how to be more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. Toastmasters’ vision for the ongoing collaboration with Rotary is to change more lives for the better, and positively impact communities around the world.

“Collaborating with Toastmasters will provide our members with even more opportunities to develop and improve their leadership and communication skills,” said John Hewko, general secretary and CEO of Rotary International. “In turn, members of Toastmasters can connect with more people, take advantage of new speaking and learning opportunities, and make a difference in their communities through Rotary.”

Rotary provides its members opportunities to develop professionally, gain world understanding, and make lifelong friendships – all while volunteering to improve lives and bring lasting, positive change to communities.

Founded in 1905 in Chicago, Ill., Rotary is a global network of people committed to improving lives and bringing positive, lasting change. Each year, Rotary members contribute millions of dollars and volunteer hours to promote health, peace and prosperity in communities across the globe. Through volunteering, they make lifelong friendships that transcend political, cultural and generational boundaries and foster global understanding and respect.

For FAQ and to learn more about this partnership, please visit www.toastmasters.org/Rotary.

For further information or interviews from Toastmasters International, please contact dolson@toastmasters.org or call +1720 619 5344.

For further information or interviews from Rotary International, please contact chanele.williams@rotary.org or call +1847 866 3466

About Toastmasters International: Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization’s membership exceeds 358,000 in more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. See www.rotary.org.

https://www.rotary.org/en/toastmasters-and-rotary-partner-help-members-grow

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