On March 8th 2017, International Women’s Day, Rotarians across Britain and Ireland will host simultaneous IWD Purple4Polio Tea Parties to raise money for the campaign to rid the world of polio once and for all.
The tea parties will all begin at the quintessentially British tea-time of 4pm.
The Purple4Polio campaign dates back to 1985 and an ambitious promise Rotarians made to the mothers of the world that polio would be eradicated and their children would no longer suffer from the life threatening and crippling disease. That promise is on the brink of being fulfilled, with just 37 polio cases in three countries in 2016. There are real hopes that 2017 will see the last case of polio worldwide.
The Rotary polio campaign resonates with the International Women’s Day 2017 objectives ‘Be Bold For Change’. The IWD Purple4Polio Tea Parties will be kicked off with a media launch at the Rotary London headquarters in Regent’s Park. It will be opened by TV Presenter Konnie Huq with celebrity guest speakers including Jane Garvey of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ and Purple4Polio Ambassador and broadcaster, Julia Roberts.
To support the tea parties and Rotary’s campaign to end polio forever, both Tiptree Jam and Typhoo Tea have donated free product.
Wilkin & Sons Ltd. (Tiptree Jam) has given 52,000 specially branded jars of plum and greengage Purple4Polio jam to Rotarians across Britain and Ireland. They will be encouraged to use the jam to raise awareness of the Purple4Polio campaign and to fill the empty jars with coins. The aim is to raise up to £1 million; with matching funding through Rotary, this £1 million will become £3 million.
Typhoo Tea, the second largest tea manufacturer in the UK is organising a tea-tasting at the launch, and donating tea and branded disposable mugs.
Somnath Saha, CEO, of Typhoo Tea, says: “Uniting communities to help eradicate polio is essential and we’re proud to be a part of helping achieve this. Working closely with Purple4Polio nationwide, we’re hoping our charitable tea parties will bring people together to cross the finishing line and end polio now.”
Polio eradication has become a personal mission for Eve Conway, the President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland. She has recently returned from India where she joined British Rotarians on the frontline in the fight against the disease. India was declared polio free in 2014 but there are still vital ongoing national immunisation campaigns giving polio drops to every single child under five years old in order to keep the country free of the disease.
Outside London, there are plans for Rotary Districts and Clubs to host their own Purple4Polio tea parties with local celebrities.
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is a volunteer organisation whose 50,000 members use their skills and time to improve the lives of others both locally and globally, while building friendships and having fun in the process. There are nearly 1,800 Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland.
Rotary International was founded in 1905 in Chicago and is now the world’s largest international service organisation with over 1.25 million professional men and women as members. There are 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative – the World Health Organisation, Unicef, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – are all confident that 2017 could see the last case of polio. If three years pass with not a single new case anywhere, then the whole world will be declared polio-free.
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s campaign is called Purple4Polio as purple is the colour of the dye put on the little finger of millions of children during mass immunisation campaigns.
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland will be posting on the day about the events via twitter.com/RotaryGBI using #IWD2017 and #Purple4Polio, also on facebook.com/RotaryinGBI.