In these difficult days, we are so heartened to receive such uplifting reports on the unrelenting efforts of our Rotary members who have responded in their communities against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the single question we hear time and again as we travel the virtual world is, “Are we getting involved with COVID vaccination?” Considering the success and expertise we have gainedin our polio eradication effort, this question is both natural and timely.
The answer is yes. We will have an important role in the months ahead.
But as we know, there is a pandemic sweeping the world. The Board of RI and the Trustees of our Foundation met in joint session and have agreed that we have a role to play.
We will be utilising Rotary’s knowledge of vaccine safety and efficacy based on our polio eradication experience to conduct vaccination education and communication outreach in your communities. This will need to be tailored to local contexts to address unique cultural and regional needs.
We will engage, where appropriate, with our current polio eradication partners WHO and UNICEF at the country level to offer Rotary’s support to COVID-19 response activities, including vaccination efforts.
We will be partnering at the local level with governments, corporations, and foundations to support Rotary activities at the country level.
And through hundreds of global grants and projects, Rotary members have demonstrated what we can accomplish to raise awareness, deliver critical personal protection equipment, and provide support for frontline health workers. Already more than 3,000 projects have registered on the Rotary Showcase demonstrating hoiw effective Rotary can be.
Working together, we have done so much to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, to care for our communities, and to prepare Rotarians for the work ahead.
We do this for ourselves and for future generations. We do this as part of our obligation to support our world as it faces the most significant challenge of this generation.
Holger Knaack K.R. Ravindran
President, Rotary International Chair, The Rotary Foundation