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COMING FULL CIRCLE
By Jennifer Scott
Rotary Club of Central Blue Mountains, NSW
I was five years old when I first heard the word “polio”. I was seeing a
doctor because my legs were not straight. Next to me in the waiting room
was a boy with callipers. I asked my mother, “Will I have to wear those?”
She said, “No dear, you don’t have polio, you are not crippled”.
The second time was only a few months later when my sister, brother
and I were watching a children’s television program. They talked about
raising money for crippled children. We decided that we would put on
a concert, invite all the neighbourhood children, and raise some money.
We ended up on television handing over a cheque. Little did we know
we had handed the cheque to a Rotarian.
Fast forward to 1972. I was president of my Interact club. Our local
Rotary club in Castle Hill asked us to act as companions at a weekend
camp for the then Northcott School for Crippled Children. I discovered
that this was the school Rotary was raising funds to build when I was
five years old.
Fifty years later, I am still involved with the eradication of polio – as a
volunteer in India, placing those two precious drops into the mouth of a
five-year-old child, and as a donor to our Rotary Foundation.
Only six months ago, I discovered that in 1928 the president of Rotary
International asked Rotary clubs around the world to find the crippled
children hidden away in shame. Rotary clubs were asked to assist with
medical care and to give them opportunities through education and
The great work of Rotary has been woven into my life. I wonder if
those Rotarians in 1928 had the vision that India would be declared polio
free, and that one day soon the world will be free of polio.
Bill Gates Snr summed up the work of Rotary when he said, “Back
when Rotary became involved with polio, most people thought that
voluntary organisations were about tackling projects down the street
or across town – not
across the world.
Rotary changed all
that. You reminded
us that there is no
so daunting that it
can’t be overcome
DDF or District
How many times
do you hear a term
in Rotary and wish
what it meant? The
is the charity arm of
Clubs and individuals
make up the majority of giving to our
Foundation and in our region nearly 75
per cent of all giving is directed to the
Annual Fund of the Foundation.
The Annual Fund works on a three-year
cycle and in the third year after receipt of
the contributions, 50 per cent comes back
to the district as DDF.
This money has already worked for
three years as an investment-generating
income to support Foundation expenses.
Within the returned funds, up to half
is put aside for District Grants. This is
the money that your club can apply
for in support of projects in local and
international communities. Each district
can decide on the structure of this kind of
grant. For some it is an outright grant and
for others it may be a shared component
of the project cost. This component can
also be used to fund many activities that
deliver a better life for people in need.
The remaining funds are available to
support larger grants like Global Grants,
(overseas projects with a minimum value
of $US30,000), Area of Focus Scholarships,
Polio and Peace Centre Funding.
When considering a Global Grant the
funding rules are simple. For club and
individual cash contributions to a grant,
the Foundation matches $0.50 in the
dollar. For DDF funds allocated to the
project, the Foundation matches dollar for
dollar. So when considering a Global Grant
project, it is best to discuss the project
with your District Rotary Foundation
Chair to confirm the availability of DDF
towards your project. Recently, a project
was approved for over $300,000 with a
club contribution of $1000. The rest of
the funding coming from other clubs and
districts, to be matched by the Foundation
to build the total funding for the project.
Contact your District Rotary Foundation
Chair for more information.
To submit your
and photos, email
The best submissions will be
featured either online or in
an upcoming edition of
Rotary Down Under.
Jennifer Scott administering
polio vaccine drops in India.
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