Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2013

Polio eradication has helped define who we are

By Jennifer Jones

I was perhaps six or seven when I began to wonder why my grandmother walked differently – why she had one leg that was shorter than the other? As I would later learn, she was a polio survivor but to me she was simply grandma.

Somali girl receiving oral polio vaccine (OPV) Image/UNICEF Video Screen Shot

Somali girl receiving oral polio vaccine (OPV)
Image/UNICEF Video Screen Shot

A few decades later, this disease would play an even more active role in my life, when I became a member of Rotary.

We have the privilege in our lifetime to participate in the removal of a disease from this planet, which is nothing short of miraculous. Each member of Rotary can “own” this victory, each one of us can help shape our collective story.

Service is what we do but polio has truly helped define us. It has showed us that we have the perseverance and drive to tackle the world’s most challenging problems. It has increased our understanding about the importance of partnerships and it has been a rallying cry that has united us one and all.

Of course we had partners in this journey – but Rotarians brought leadership – “in the field” volunteerism, financial stewardship and we have been the heartbeat of the entire effort.

Read more here

Jennifer Jones is a Rotary member and moderator for Rotary’s Livestream event World Polio Day: Making History.


Join Jennifer as she moderates a live World Polio Day event on October 24.
View the event page. 

Used by permission by Rotary International

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