Rotary International tasks members on charity
Speaking at the weekend in Jos, Plateau State, when the Rotary International (RI) District 9125 Nigeria held its two-day sixth District Conference (DISCON) 2015, Rotarian Olugbemiga Olowu of District 9110 reminded members that the body prides itself with its unflinching determination to eradicate polio and save billions of children worldwide.
The former president of the Rotary Club of Lagos Central, D 9110, who represented the RI President, Gary C.K. Huang, told of the joy in giving vaccine drops and imagined how elated a cripple would be when given a wheelchair, noting that Dr. Jonas Salk made history by inventing the first effective polio vaccine.
“Today, I salute the great efforts of Rotarians of D 9125 as we are on track to achieve being taken off the polio endemic countries list, and also the full eradication of polio by 2018 if we can keep up the momentum that has brought us this far,” he said.
“It has been a very long race to the finish line and we can see light at the end of the tunnel. We are celebrating already, with the Polio Torch from Madras, India, travelling round the world and having a stop in Nigeria.
“Let us continue to light up rotary by promoting the use of the injectable polio vaccine alongside the oral polio vaccine, continuous advocacy, personally participating in national and state immunisation days, using social media and every avenue of public enlightenment.”
Olowu also admonished Rotarians to make donating to polio eradication and earning a two-for-one match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation one of their best investments. According to him, “when we eradicate polio, we would have made the future of the world and that of rotary better and give our children and grandchildren a gift that will endure forever – a polio-free world.”
He added: “We join rotary to give back to our communities, to reconnect with like-minded leaders and friends and we are committed to a cause. We use our special expertise from different cultures and occupations for good deeds. We empower youth, improve health, promote and advance our communities. We make sustainable impact.”
In his remarks, the District Governor of D 9125, Tolu Omatsola, said the district conference is like and annual general meeting, where officials of companies render their stewardships and scorecards for their activities during their tenures and find out their successes and challenges.
He noted: “It is an opportunity for us to exchange ideas on projects that we may have executed or those we are thinking of executing, and this is where we network. In most cases, it is actually the beginning, a stepping stone into the next year because those successes we have achieved here, we are able to replicate in the next year.”
For a guest speaker, Prof. Yusuf Ameh Obaje of the Presidential Aso Villa Chapel, the contributions of rotary club have been overwhelming. He urged Rotarians to continue in that spirit, as such associations create opportunity for thanksgiving.
According to him, “the Rotarian spirit is the spirit of love for God and humanity. There can never be any genuine humanitarian act without a deep sense of love for God and for Humanity. Rotarian spirit is the spirit of selfless service.”