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Saturday, October 25, 2014

International Humanitarian Peace and Justice in Rotarian "Bridge the Gap"

Developing world peace and understanding is essential, especially because of the damaging effects of ideological extremism and political polarization.

Reading the news these days is like living in a gated community. People only let the news into their homes if they happen to agree with the reporting. It's like having a gate keeper on televisions.

It's impossible to determine where the political segregation of society will eventually lead our human condition.  

Certainly, there's no way our human intellectual growth and development can continue while humans continue to denigrate each other, rather than rise above petty divisions to build a better world.

Yet, Rotary International is working to build World Peace and Understanding. Through the organizational efforts of the Rotary Foundation, made possible by thousands of Paul Harris fellows, the world's Rotarians are able to transcend political turmoil, by doing good work.  
"Bridge the Gap" to end Polio on the historic Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth NH and Kittery Maine October 25, 2014 with Richard and Juliana L'Heureux


Rotary's influence implements an international "people to people" approach to help solve human problems. Rotarians work with people, avoiding bureaucracies, to provide communities in developing countries with access to potable water, hearing aids for those who are deaf, books to improve reading comprehension and oral Polio vaccine. 

In other words, Rotarians work side by  side with our colleagues throughout the world to improve the human condition.

Eradicating Polio is one example of how Rotary International is bridging the gap toward eradicating this preventable and debilitating virus. Only  three countries are reporting Polio. They are Afghanistan, Pakistan and Liberia in Africa. It's unfortunate to know how these three countries could probably eradicate Polio, if the governments would allow humanitarian workers, including volunteer Rotarians, to provide children with the effective oral vaccine.  Neverhteless, medieval superstitions have prevented Polio vaccine access to children in these backward countries. Some Islamist radicals in these countries wrongly believe the Rotarian humanitarians have a motive beyond eliminating Polio.

Although the world is now consumed with the potential for a world Ebola virus pandemic, the fact is, the Polio virus is just as capable of causing death and disability, especially among children. 

There's an effective oral vaccine to help prevent Polio. Therefore, it makes no sense to deny children access to the simple and relatively inexpensive oral prevention against the Polio virus. It's especially concerning when the barrier to the oral vaccine is based on unfounded and wrong minded superstitions.

On a beautiful Saturday October 25, 2014, the Rotarians in the US Northeast District 7780 helped to bridge the gap by walking across the historic Memorial Bridge spanning the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth New Hampshire and Kittery Maine.  


Each  dollar raised by the District 7780 Rotarians were matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, $3 to $1. Therefore, every $100 raised = $300 to help eradicate Polio.  

My husband and I are proud to have supported today's "bridge the gap" effort by walking and contributing.  
Rotarians walking toward the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth New Hampshire

Although we're unable to join the humanitarian Rotarians who deliver the vaccine to children who live primitive villages in developing countries, we can at least contribute to help those who are delivering world peace and understanding, by helping to eradicate Polio in the world.

Thank you to all who supported our "bridge the gap" program today on the Memorial Bridge, in beautiful Maine and New Hampshire.  


Leadership by the Hampton New Hampshire Rotary Club and support by District Governor Lawrence Furbish were essential to the success we enjoyed, helping to raise money and awareness for eliminating Polio in the world.

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