The Rotary Minute is a quick one-minute story that features the work and impact of Rotary in our community and world!
As I watched the World Cup games this past weekend I was reminded of the Rotary event that took place in Africa in 2010, when the World Cup was played in South Africa.  In the months leading up to the FIFA World Cup in 2010, Rotary clubs across Africa geared up for the final push to kick polio out of the continent.

On February 23, 2010, Rotary's 105th anniversary, a Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign was launched with the symbolic kicking of a soccer ball signed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a polio survivor.
The journey began in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the host cities for the 2010 World Cup. The ball was kicked and traveled through 23 polio-affected countries in Africa. During the ball's four-month journey, Rotary clubs in polio-affected countries held soccer-related polio awareness events to mobilize public support for immunization activities. Along the way, the ball was signed by each national PolioPlus committee chair.
Synchronized immunization activities took place in Central and West African countries with more than 400,000 health workers and volunteers reaching over 85 million children. The initiative was made possible largely by a $30 million funding grant from Rotary International.
This was one of the most ambitious campaigns of its kind ever to be launched by Rotary International in support of a specific program. After 4 months, commencing in South Africa and ending in Egypt, the ball was literally kicked out of the continent towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The ball then traveled to the RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, and was presented to the RI president and delegates. The campaign was successfully organized and delivered great outcomes, including massive publicity and news coverage, substantial fundraising, and a bolstering of critical advocacy and support for the program by key government officials and traditional leaders in polio-affected countries.
And 10 years later, in August of 2020, Africa was declared free from wild Polio!  So as a Rotarian, know that you helped “kick” polio out of Africa, and we are this close to kicking polio off our planet for good!
And that is today’s Rotary Minute!