SAN FRANCISCO—The Rotary Club of San Francisco, the second-oldest Rotary Club in the world, celebrated the Annual World Wide Rotary Day on Tuesday. The celebration, which was attend by nearly 30 consuls general, recognized the importance of international cooperation and the progress made in the club’s mission to eradicate polio.
Notably, since 1979, the foundation has taken on the task of eradicating polio around the world. Its funding for the effort over the past decade has exceeded over $1 billion. While infections numbered in the hundreds of thousands in the late ’80s, efforts by the Rotary Club, alongside the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and others have reduced the number to just five in 2013 so far, according to data collected by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
“Rotarians have gone hands-on in every country in the world to administer the two drops of polio vaccine to the children,” said Jimmie Jeffery, president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco.
For the 17th year, the Rotary Club of San Francisco invited consuls general for its annual celebration. This year consuls general and representatives from 28 countries, including Australia, Greece, and the Philippines, attended the celebration.
According to Jeffery, it is essential for the Rotary Clubs to inform different governments around the world of the work the club does.
“People are sometimes skeptical of outsiders, thinking that they want to bring some political agenda. We want them to see that we don’t have a political agenda, we are strictly there to be of service,” Jeffery said.
He says communicating with the representatives of different nations helps. “We are interested in talking to them and making them understand what we are doing in their countries,” Jeffery said.
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