President Richard has been in touch with our Honorary Member, The Mayor of Wolverhampton seeking ways in which we Rotarians can provide support for Afghan Refugees who are arriving in the City.
The following reply was immediately received:
“From: Denise Williams <Denise.Williams@wolverhampton.gov.uk>
Hello Richard, thank you and The Rotary Club for your kind offer of support, it is greatly appreciated.
I am coordinating the picking, packing and delivery of items. We are having deliveries dropped off Monday to Friday, to Graiseley Strengthening Families Hub, Pool St, Wolverhampton WV2 4NE. This allows for a coordinated and targeted approach and prevents multiple drop offs at the hotel.
Current required items that have been requested are as follows;
Women’s clothes, all sizes
Men’s clothes all sizes, including xl
Shoes for girls 32-44
Shoes for boys 32-44
Shoes for women 34-42
Shoes for men 40-45
Infant boy’s shoes size 22
Winter coats all ages, male and female.
We would be grateful for any help with these items
If I could be informed when deliveries are to be made, I will ensure that someone is there to receive the items.
Thanks again for your support
Tel. Office: 01902 556133
City of Wolverhampton Council”
Our member Sally Woods has offered to provide a central collecting point for donations made by our club, and she will take the goods onwards to the Council’s collection point.
If anybody wishes to donate via Rotary, please place a message on https://www.facebook.com/rotaryclubofwolverhampton or contact us through this website
The Wolverhampton MS Centre was founded over 25 years ago with huge support from the Rotary club of The City of Wolverhampton – support that has never faltered, and that will be ongoing.
The latest project is the funding of an Information Hub to provide a display service, both in the Centre and for MS sufferers at home, to perform keep fit exercises, demonstrate wellness techniques, give general advice and keep everybody in touch by means of a large screen and computer backup.
The funding was made possible by a legacy left to the club by our much missed senior member, Fraser Dukes, and the Hub has been named in his memory. Fraser was a keen supporter of the Centre and had been very involved in its establishment, continuing to give medical advice for many years.
A memorial plaque was unveiled at a well attended gathering on the 9th. of September and it was entirely fitting that the unveiling was carried out by Fraser’s daughter and son, Kathy and Tim, in partnership with the centre chairman, Rotarian Peter Willams MBE.
Peter also paid tribute to Fraser and another Rotarian who was very much involved, the late John Baker. He said that without the support of the Rotary club, the great achievements of the centre would not have been possible.
Kathy, Tim, Peter and the Centre technical expert, Paul Williams all expressed their intense gratitude for the funding provided.
For more information on the centre’s work- click here; Centre Website
The following statement was received via email today from Michael K. McGovern, Rotary International PolioPlus Committee Chair
As the sun rose on 1 January 2021, we all worried about what this new year would bring. For those of us who closely follow polio eradication progress, it was an especially worrisome time. 2020 and 2019 had seen an uptick in wild polio virus cases and in circulating vaccine derived cases. Polio vaccinations had had to be suspended for a while in 2020 due to the coronavirus and vaccines for Covid-19 were just starting to receive early use approvals.
The polio news was especially bad in Afghanistan. On the very first day of 2021, a wild polio virus case was reported. In the next week, the national health minister was fired due to hints of corruption on non-polio matters. Before month’s end, the government of Afghanistan ordered the UNICEF polio lead to leave the country relating to a verbal spat that had occurred in the President’s office. Then in March and June there were coordinated attacks on polio workers and their security teams leaving eight families having lost loved ones. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attacks, and it appeared the attacks were tied to elements who supported ISIS or ISIL as they are also known. We also noted that some areas of the country had been subject to over 30 months of a ban on house-to-house polio vaccinations.
While all this was going on other activities were occurring which have been mostly unreported. On January 17th, the Regional Directors of WHO and UNICEF met at the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar to discuss polio vaccinations and covid response in the areas controlled by the Taliban. While house to house polio vaccinations were not agreed to, the seven senior members of Taliban leadership indicated support for other measures to provide vaccination activities. In all areas of the country, health screenings continued unabated which showed no new wild polio cases and no positive identification of polio viruses in the environment. In a zoom call of polio partnership leaders the week of 17 August, Aidan O’Leary, the global WHO polio director, noted that Afghanistan has one of the best programs for polio surveillance in the world and it was not finding polio anywhere.
After the fall of the Afghanistan government in mid-August, the new leadership has agreed to keep on the acting health minister who has been effective in righting the program since February. Taliban leaders have visited the national and regional polio offices and pledged their support for the polio eradication program. On 23 August, a Rotary sponsored roadside vaccination hut provided vaccinations to children under five with local Taliban providing the needed security. For security reasons, I will not share the photos I received but it was good to see the Rotary logo doing good in the world.
Rotary has just 35 members in Afghanistan. They inspire me daily with their courage and perseverance. The polio program has always been politically neutral in every country. Rotary and our partners work with the leaders who are in charge. We now work with new leaders in Afghanistan. Rotary funds WHO and UNICEF. We do not send any funds to the governments nor to groups other than WHO and UNICEF. We monitor the spending they do on our behalf very closely. We have never been closer to eradicating polio in Afghanistan. We will continue to work with the Afghani people and our partners to finish what we began over 35 years ago.