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