A Pilgrimage – Canterbury to Rome – Walking for a Better World

From May 2023 to Sep 2023, I will be attempting to walk the Via Francigena Pilgrimage. This is a 2,000 kilometre Pilgrim route begins in Canterbury UK and ends in Rome Italy. The Via Francigena is an ancient road and pilgrimage route running from Canterbury Cathedral in England, through France and Switzerland, to Rome.

It seemed a great idea to use this personal challenge to also somehow make the world a better place. But how? What charity to promote or support? There are just so many!

The Rotary Foundation

After some research, I selected the Rotary Foundation as the best choice for me. This is a truly amazing charity organisation. just google some of the projects they support and I am sure you will be equally impressed on how the Foundation works to make the world a better place. It also provides the best value with the highest charity rating for the last 12 Years. The Foundation funds projects focussed on:

  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Community economic development
  • Peacebuilding and conflict prevention

I was still torn between the Foundation World Fund which supports 100’s of amazing projects within the areas above or just focus on one area such as the Polio Plus Fund for the eradication of Polio.

So I have decided to dedicate this challenge to both funds and give anyone wishing to donate a choice. I briefly describe both below and you will see what wonderful projects are supported and also the quest to eradicate polio from the world. You can click the buttons below to donate or go directly to the support pages.

The Challenge

Walking the Via Francigena is a significant challenge for anyone and at the outset I must warn you that I will be 68 with arthritis in both hips and right knee so there are no guarantees here! That said, in 2016 I walked 820km Camino Frances across Spain, 2018 the Camino Via Podiensis 1,000km from Le Puy France to Burgos Spain and in 2020 the Australian Camino 250 Km from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia instead of walking to Rome (Covid). Your donations and support will provide the extra drive and motivation to succeed in this challenge. It is conceivable I may not even get to the start through injury ,sickness and my heart inconsiderately stopping. These are wonderful causes please support them even if I only get to walk one metre.

There will be progress reports, updates and pictures etc posted in the support pages. If you wish you can follow along from preparation and initial training hikes and distances to the big finish at the Vatican.

Making the world a better place through the Rotary Foundation World Fund.

The Rotary Foundation exists to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. Donations to the World Fund provides flexibility to be used where it is needed most. It is the primary funding source for global grants which support international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes.

Your donation will contribute to making a difference to millions of lives and improve communities. Here is just a small sample of the recent projects supported by the Rotary Foundation:

  • Equipping a neonatal intensive care unit in Brazil – Saving mothers and children
  • Better Nutrition for Women and Infants in PNG, – Saving mothers and children
  • Geriatric Services in Uganda, Fighting disease
  • Supporting kidney disease patients in outback Australia, Fighting disease
  • Stopping Abuse in Families Everywhere’. Rotary SAFE Families was established in Australia in 2018 to help stop all forms of family violence, – Promoting peace
  • Reducing waste in South India, – changing lives and improve communities through environment initiatives
  • Improving literacy and numeracy in Australian indigenous communities – change lives and improve communities through basic education and literacy
  • Supporting Rotary Family Health Days in Uganda – Saving mothers and children
  • Taking cancer screening on the road in India, Fighting disease
  • Providing safe drinking water for poor villages, Fighting disease
  • Providing safe water for rural communities in Peru, Fighting disease
  • investing in micro businesses in Fiji – Growing local economies
  • Providing equipment for indigenous farmers in Paraguay – Growing local economies
  • Peace Fellow Scholarships, – Promoting peace
  • Teaching peaceful problem-solving in Israel – Promoting peace
  • eradicating polio in the world, Fighting disease, and
  • Many many more.

So can you also take part in making the world a better place? Yes you can!!!

Better nutrition for Women and Infants in PNG

Better Nutrition for Women and Infants in PNG. Half the children in rural PNG are malnourished. There is little awareness that malnourished children may be irreparably impaired for life – physically, socially and mentally. Build an understanding of the link between nutrition and healthy child development.

Supporting kidney disease patients in outback Australia

Supporting kidney disease patients in outback Australia. Australian and USA clubs and districts funded the A$200,000 purchase of medical equipment to set up a diagnosis and dialysis facility in far northwest South Australia

Investing in entrepreneurs in Fiji

Rotary and microfinance institution SPBD Fiji, created a US$87,000 fund for investee selection, funding, training and ongoing support for micro-business and prospective new businesses in Fiji.

Thank you

Polio Plus – Eradication of Polio in The World

What is polio?

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system.

In the 1980s, the world saw approximately 1,000 children paralysed by polio every day. In 2021-22 there were only 8 known wild polio cases worldwide. The world has never been so close to polio eradication. Small Pox has been eradicated, so it can be done! 

Polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan (1) and Pakistan (7). But it is also crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If all eradication efforts stopped today, within 10 years, polio could paralyze as many as 200,000 children each year.

Press play to see eradication progress

A woman opens the curtain to her home for Tayyaba Gul (right), of the Rotary Club of Islamabad, and Parveen Ajmal, Lady Health Worker, who are there to talk to women with families during a door-to-door polio eradication campaign in Nowshera, Pakistan. 04 August 2019.

Thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, your donation to this cause will matched 2-1 (tripled), getting us even closer to a polio-free world!

Like to know more? Just google Polio Plus or Rotary Foundation World Fund

Rotarian Foundation Donation Recognition

Donations received from Rotary members or Clubs will receive credit and recognition for donations to the Rotary Foundation. When going through the donation process, you will be prompted to input your ‘My Rotary’ email which will allow the donation to be credited to the individual Rotarian as well as the members club and district.

The Video below is 28 min long but provides an understanding of the efforts to eradicate polio.

Retirement on Tour