The first ever female President of Rotary International, Jennifer Jones, on Sunday paid a working visit to Ghana to increase public awareness of the club.
The club, which had been in existence since February 23, 1905, with a membership of 1.4 million,who are referred to as ‘Rotarians’, is a humanitarian service organisation, which offers community services to the vulnerable.
Interacting with some selected journalists in Accra, last Sunday, Ms Jones said her club believed in taking action on persistent issues such as sanitation and hygiene, climate change, provision of clean water and protection of the environment.
“I am travelling coast to coast stopping at 12 hubs along the way to meet with local officials and participants in project that address pressing issues,” she stated.
Ms Jones said Rotary unites people from all continents and cultures, who take action to deliver real, long-term solutions to the world’s most persistent issues.
She said solving real problems needed real commitment and vision and for that Rotary members invested hundreds of millions of dollars and countless volunteer in sustainable, community-based solutions to promote health, peace and prosperity in communities across the globe.
“Rotary combines global reach, local resources and highly skilled volunteers with a funding structure that distributes US $200 million annually to provide clean water and sanitation, support education, prevent and treat disease, save mothers and children, grow local economies, promote peace and protect the environment,” Ms Jones explained.
For more than 30 years, she said, her outfit had been a driving force in the effort to end polio worldwide, adding that “alongside our partners we have achieved a 99.9 per cent reduction in polio cases, with less than 150 cases of wild polio reported in 2020 compared with 350,000 a year in the late 1980s.”
Speaking on some of the challenges, Ms Jones said Rotary had made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases was going to take even more progress and perseverance.
She cited that Afghanistan and Pakistan faced unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, vaccine refusal and misinformation.
“However, with sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio,” Ms Jones said.
She is the founder and President of Media Street Production Inc, a 25-year-old award-winning media company in Windsor, Ontario.
Her talents have strengthened Rotary’s reach and impact, through many roles, including as Trustee of the Rotary Foundation, Rotary International Vice President, and co-chair of the End Polio Now: Make history today campaign, raising funds alongside Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY