Georgina Wilczek

Member Article

Primary School Gets Planting to Help Fight Polio

Purple crocus bulbs have been planted by Durham schoolchildren to highlight the worldwide fight against polio.

Pupils from Browney Primary Academy have been planting crocus bulbs in support of Rotary International’s worldwide ‘Eradicate Polio’ campaign.

The Grow Your Own Crocus campaign, run by Rotary International, intends to educate children about polio, a crippling disease that kills and paralyses young children. The purple crocus symbolises the purple dye that is painted on the little fingers of children to show they have been immunised.

In 2015, the Rotary Club of Durham has gifted a special Grow Your Own Crocus pack to both Browney Academy and Durham High School for Girls. The packs include purple crocus bulbs, compost, take-home plastic pots, growing instructions, fundraising ideas and educational materials tailored to the national curriculum.

Once the crocus bulbs have been planted, pupils will look after them until they blossom next Spring. The children will also be encouraged to take part in a Rotary-run national artwork competition on the theme ‘Ridding the World of Polio’.

Fari Serajian, President of the Rotary Club of Durham, comments:

“We are delighted to donate these crocus bulbs to the pupils of Browney Academy. We are committed to eradicating polio from the world. We are very lucky to live in a country where the disease is no longer an issue due to an effective immunisation programme, yet in the developing world, there is still more to do.

“Through initiatives such as this, we aim to raise vital funds to help eradicate this disease once and for all. The fight goes on, but we are nearly there, and in our lifetime, we hope to see polio eradicated altogether.”

Helen Ribchester, Deputy Headteacher at Browney Academy, says:

“Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Durham for this very generous gift. It’s an excellent way for the children to learn about polio and the programme which is underway worldwide to eradicate it, and we look forward to learning more about the topic as we watch the crocuses blossom in coming months.”

Rotary International has been at the forefront of the fight to end polio since the 1980s, when it helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in an effort to end the disease that once affected 350,000 children a year. In 2015, Africa has now not seen a case in over a year and stands poised to be declared ‘polio-free’ in two years’ time. Only two countries with reported polio cases, Afghanistan and Pakistan, now remain.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Georgina Wilczek .

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