BLOG: ID Rotary deserves praise

By Assunta Ng

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A play performed by students for Rotarians who helped build their school for girls.

The International District Rotary Club might be small, but it intends to produce a great international impact. Its 54 members have launched several global projects. From Zimbabwe, China, and Laos, to Brazil, India, and the Philippines, the ID Rotary is all over the map. It has done work in 26 countries, including seven Asian countries.

Its latest project involves the eradication of polio and National Immunization Day in India.

Bob McKay, a member said, “I went to India in 2011 and 2012 to work in the Polio National Immunization Days. Imagine a country of 1.3 billion coordinating the immunization of every child from newborns to 5-year-olds. Hundreds of millions of children in villages and cities all over the country were immunized.”

It took the coordinated efforts of the Indian Health Ministries, and dozens of NGOs to make this happen.

Rotarians from all over the world were there, pitching in wherever they could help. More than 200 million homes were visited and 174 million children were immunized in one day.

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Seattle ID Rotary Club President Bill Nagel (far right, with cap) teaching students from Gatzert Elementary how to plant crab apple trees.

McKay has also been working with Rotarians around the world on a school for girls in the slums outside Calcutta.

The school is located in the highest crime area in the world for human trafficking. The girls can safely attend this school and take pride in their education, heritage, and the fact that they don’t have to be brides, slaves, or impoverished women.

The Rotarians paid for their own trips. Their motives are to serve and make today’s world a better place.

(Disclosure: I was a member of the ID Rotary from 1987 to 1990, and presently, I am a member of the Seattle Rotary Club in downtown.) (end)

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