Dunmow Rotary praises schoolchildren's support of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates' aim to wipe out polio
PUBLISHED: 16:19 06 March 2015
Schools around the Dunmow area have backed the world's richest man Bill Gates in his bid to eradicate polio by 2018.
Pupils have been growing purple crocuses in a show of support for the aim and have been thanked for their efforts by Dunmow’s Rotary club.
Rotary initiated the campaign in 1985 when polio was endemic in 188 countries with 350,000 new cases reported.
Last year only 220 new cases in four countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria – were reported.
Dunmow rotarian Richard Harris paid a visit to pupils at Finchingfield Primary School to see the purple crocuses there. He, and the club as a whole, have thanked schools that have taken part and the children who worked hard to plant and grow their crocus, while also decorating their pots.
Now that they have grown their crocus and know more about the campaign the children are selling silk crocus broaches to raise money.
Microsoft billionaire, Bill Gates, has also pledged support to the Rotary cause through his and wife Melinda’s Foundation. Every pound Rotary raises is now matched by two pounds from the Gates’ foundation.
Every child at risk, who is immunised, has a finger dipped in purple dye so that the immunisation teams know who to target next. The campaign is often referred to as The Purple Pinkie programme.