Oct 302019

We marked World Polio Day on Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by arranging with Gravesham Council for the Gravesend Clock Tower to be floodlit in purple, the colour adopted by the End Polio Now campaign.

It was great for us to be able to mark World Polio Day in this way and then explain to the area about the significance of helping Rotary to continue the campaign for polio eradication. This we did through social media and it was also promoted across the UK and World-wide by Rotary.

Then on that day it was officially announced that Type 3 Polio had been  eradicated worldwide. Type 2 had already been eradicated which only leaves Type 1 which still endemic only in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

So Gravesend joined with countries all around the World and has become very much part of that historic moment.

Brian Portway

More information about the End Polio Now campaign

Oct 162019

Gravesend’s famous Clock Tower will shine purple from sunset to midnight on Thursday, 24 October, 2019, joining thousands of buildings around the globe for World Polio Day.

Polio now seems a distant memory in the UK although our children are still routinely vaccinated against it. Gravesend Rotary is supporting the global campaign to see the end of the disease once and for all. This time using the tower’s unique floodlighting scheme.

Purple comes from the colour of the ink marking the little finger of every child receiving the polio vaccine drops in the End Polio Now campaign.

Thanks to Rotary, and the support of partners WHO, Unicef, CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, there are now just two countries still classed as endemic: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

To finish the job over two billion doses of oral polio vaccine have to be administered each and every year in over 60 countries until the world is finally certified polio free.

Gravesend Rotary President Andrew Moffat highlighted that the countries might seem distant but with travel as numerous and easy as now then polio could arrive back.

“It still could be only a plane flight away unless it is completely eradicated.”

Gravesend Rotary has also provided 4,000 purple crocus bulbs to be planted in Woodlands Park this month.

Brian Portway

More information about Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign

Oct 152019

On Tuesday evening two of our members Di Trimm and Chris Keeble gave a presentation to the three local Rotary clubs about their trip to Kenya.

The purpose of the visit was to spend 2 weeks in and around The Sunshine Centre in Naivasha, Kenya.

The Centre is organised by two special people, Martin and Mary Print, who raise funds to support the centre which currently has 72 boys living there during school term time.

The Rotary Club of Gravesend has supported their charity FOOTSTEPS INTERNATIONAL over many years.

As members of our International Committee Di and Chris decided, with their partners Malcolm Trimm and Marion Keeble, to go to Kenya to see the work that Martin and Mary were doing.

It turned out to be an incredibly moving and uplifting experience.

As some of the pictures show we were involved in various tasks and had the opportunity to visit the boys’ homes to which they return for the school holidays.

We also visited several  primary and secondary schools and a technical college to which the boys go.

Footsteps International also sends food to other schools in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi which we visited.

It is hard to sum up all the emotions that we experienced but felt that  the money we had sent to  Martin and Mary, over the years, had changed so many lives for the better. It gave the boys the opportunity to develop as individuals and look forward to a life of which some could only dream .

Through the generosity of Rotarians and other friends we have been able to give Footsteps £1,728.50. That is enough to pay for education for 12 boys in primary school for a year.

More information about Footsteps International and how we help it

Primary school class
Helping in the primary school
Meal time in school
Sunshine school buildings
Kara secondary school class
Start of the Marafun half marathon
Queuing for dinner
Home with family
Reservoir in need of renovation
Working on the reservoir
Clearing the reservoir
The well house
Warer purification system for the well
Learning a trade at the technical college
learning welding at the technical college
Mechanical class at technical college
The visiting Rotarians Di & Chris with Malcolm & Marion

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