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The Rotary Foundation's First African Trustee Chair Takes Office
Date:7/1/2008

Nigerian lawyer to guide Foundation's efforts, including polio eradication

EVANSTON, Ill., July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jonathan B. Majiyagbe, a Nigerian lawyer who took office on July 1 as chair of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, will devote his one-year term to fighting polio in its last remaining strongholds -- which include his homeland.

"I am honored to lead the Rotary Foundation this year," said Majiyagbe. "It is abundantly clear to all of us how endless is the need for help in our world, how limitless the opportunities for service. Poverty, disease, ignorance, and hatred cast dark shadows, and The Rotary Foundation shines a light into these dark corners, bringing life, inspiration, and hope."

As the first person of African origin to lead The Rotary Foundation, Majiyagbe's chairmanship is historic. He was also Rotary's first president of African origin in 2003-04.

Rotary International is a humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 200 countries and regions. The Rotary Foundation is the organization's charitable arm, supporting an array of humanitarian and educational projects carried out by Rotary clubs worldwide. As chair, Majiyagbe will lead the Foundation's 15-member Board of Trustees.

Rotary made polio eradication its top philanthropic goal in 1985. As the lead private sector contributor and volunteer arm of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative -- a public/private partnership spearheaded by World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF -- Rotary has contributed US$ 700 million to ending polio, a figure that will rise to $850 million by the time polio is eradicated. Rotary has contributed $55.5 million toward polio eradication in Nigeria.

To date, more than two billion children have been immunized against the paralyzing and sometimes deadly poliovirus. Tremendous progress has been made in the last tw
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SOURCE Rotary International
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