We can build a better future

Jojn-F-Germ

As an engineer, I have worked my entire life for success that can be measured. I believe in the kind of success you can reach out and touch. And I also know that it doesn’t come overnight, it happens one step at a time.

At The Rotary Foundation, we don’t settle for a vague idea of doing good; we take measurable steps, ones that are concrete and real, toward a defined goal. It’s progress that you can see and tell your family and friends about, each step of the way.

Measurable success is what our new Programs of Scale grants are all about. The first member-led programme to receive this annual $2 million grant, Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia (PMFZ), seeks to reduce malaria by 90 per cent in 10 highly affected districts within two provinces of Zambia. It’s an ambitious but achievable goal, based on a community health worker model that has been successful in reducing malaria in other parts of Zambia, as implemented by Rotary members and our partners on the ground.

To help end malaria in Zambia, The Rotary Foundation, World Vision US and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are each contributing $2 million to PMFZ, whose Rotary-led programme already has begun to expand life-saving malaria diagnosis and treatment to hundreds of rural communities. So far this Rotary year, PMFZ has trained, equipped, and deployed more than 1,300 of the 2,500 new community health workers who will help local health centres reach more people who are vulnerable to malaria, such as mothers and children. PMFZ is also collecting and analysing data to ensure medical supplies get to where they are needed most. This work, along with the close collaboration between implementing partners and Rotary and Rotaract clubs across Zambia, has comprised the first bold steps toward our goal.

PolioPlus is another example of a global project that has been engineered for impact. The fact that we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 per cent worldwide is a testament to your generous contributions, our strong partnerships through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and a vast network of volunteers who administer drops to children around the world.

And we won’t stop now. Rotary spearheaded the drive to end polio, and Rotary will complete it. Encourage your district leaders to designate leftover District Designated Funds (DDF) for polio ­eradication, so we can finish the job. As an engineer, I have been proud to see my blueprints transformed into great structures and facilities. But perhaps I am even prouder of how together in Rotary we have engineered a better world — measurably, step by step, project by project. In Rotary, we can all be engineers of hope, building a better future for the next generation.

John F Germ 
Foundation Trustee Chair

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