SCHOOL pupils from across Lisburn are being urged to help children across the world by finally eradicating the crippling killer disease Polio.
Pupils from Friends Prep, Meadow Bridge and Downshire Primary Schools will all be taking part in 'Wear Something Purple Days' during February. Each child will wear an item of purple clothing to school on one day and donate £I to the Thanks for Life Polio Plus Campaign.
Meanwhile, members of the Rotary Club of Lagan Valley will introduce a presentation which will tell the children about polio and how close it is to being eradicated.
Members of the two local Rotary Clubs -Lisburn and Lagan Valley - are joining forces with over 55,000 Rotarians across Great Britain and Ireland in a co-ordinated effort to finally win the battle with this most debilitating and often terminal disease.
After over 20 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are tantalisingly close to eradicating this disease, but a strong final push is needed to root it out once and for all. Rotary is trying to raise $200 million to match $355 million in challenge grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The resulting $555 million will support immunisation campaigns in developing countries, where polio continues to infect and paralyse children, robbing them of their futures and compounding the hardships faced by their families.
The 'Wear Something Purple Day' is part of Rotary's national Thanks for Life campaign, which will see hundreds of Rotary clubs linking up with schools, colleges, businesses, organisations and individuals to hold a range of fund-raising events to raise a £I million target by Thanks For Life — Rotary Day on Tuesday, February 23, Rotary's I05th birthday.
Every £I raised in this campaign will purchase five doses of the special anti-polio vaccine, meaning children will be protected against polio - forever.
Ann Roulston, Rotary Club of Lagan Valley president said: This is a wonderful opportunity for our children to learn about issues facing children in other parts of the world and to help those that are less fortunate than themselves.
"Rotary has been involved in this fight for over 20 years and the world is so close to being free from polio for good thanks to the joint hard work of organisations and governments. How fantastic for a child to join the fight and be able to say, 'I helped to wipe out a disease for only the second time in history, after smallpox. I stopped children from dying - I help change the world'."
In addition Rotary is delighted that Tesco is throwing open doors at stores across the country to allow Rotary clubs to collect donations from shoppers on Saturday February 27.
Members of the Lisburn club will be out at the Bentrim Road store in Lisburn while the Lagan Valley club will be at the Dunmurry Tesco.
Any other schools interested in getting involved in the Thanks for Life campaign should contact Ann Roulston at email@example.com or visit www.ribi.org/thanks-for-life.