17 Fantastic Hours of Polio Eradication

The 2nd of November

I feel I have to share with you this date and the details of it as the inspiration floating around this day was incredible…

A beautiful early start to the day while the temperature hovers below 30 before the sun climbs higher in the sky and so to the temperature. My now daily force-fed breakfast of chapatti (mostly oil and some flour – but yum!) with deep fried eggs and medley of interchanging things to accompany, this time some greens of cabbage and spring onions.

I then got picked up by my friend Ashar, who I’d met in Canada a few months ago at a Rotary presentation where he was with a special group to share with Canadians the wonders of Pakistan. He took me in his car (yes something I would safely describe as a car) to kick start my day with a 5-hour workshop that I was running with polio communications teams who work with on the ground folks to deliver polio vaccines.

I gave them the usual Global Poverty Project and The End of Polio presentation that I have been lucky to give more than 200 times to close to 25,000 people and now in over 10 countries but the nerves were still there as it is a presentation for the ‘west’ not those countries where extreme poverty is just outside the door (and presenting from a luxury hotel – which always makes me feel uncomfortable).

Anyway the presentation and ensuing workshop was a huge success, mainly because it showed that we are making an effort outside of Pakistan and connecting them with the effective sweaty hard work that is done on the ground. It was a real privilege to receive the sense of enthusiasm, motivation, conviction and resolve from my audience knowing that their work is acknowledged and appreciated  – they especially liked the purple pinkie poster (which you can still add your photo to and show your appreciation: http://www.theendofpolio.com/home/phototool-canada/) – add photo here of it

And then the magic began! Story telling is probably the most significant armoury a social justice activist advocate ambassador and passionato can have. The stories I heard from these folks who are mobilising thousands to interact with every last child was a great privilege. They told stories of hardships and hurdles but more importantly how they overcame them to see a child take the polio vaccine and be safe for life from being crippled by polio.

We have agreed that we will find a little spot on the internet to house these stories so we can interact with stories from the ground and then continue to make resolves to do whatever we can to see The End of Polio.

Just to say as a tempter before these stories come live I heard personal intimate stories of turning around a refusal family that looked set to never have their children vaccinated against polio but then the right story at the right time did the trick and they had not only their child vaccinates but all the others around them or the stories where they had a breakthrough with a religious leader that lead to thousands vaccinated and safe from polio – these are passionate, informed and inspiring people and I hope to have them heard and appreciated with their stories!

The 5-hour workshop was followed by an epic buffet lunch where my amoebas were happy once again.

Time to catch up on important emails for future presentations and planning before being picked up by Ashar and together we went to the next presentation with a Rotaract Club at a business institute. This I will be writing in detail with a load of pictures that will hopefully capture the incredible atmosphere that was built together.

I unfortunately had to leave soon after finishing when I usually prefer to continue the conversation and listen to others having held the floor for two hours! My rush was to get back to where the day began and the nearby Greenwich University to moderate a global Google+ Hangout livestream conversation on polio.

Despite being stuck in the same spot for 40 minute in traffic due to nothing but impatience and pushing in I still made it to set up the conversation and get the amazing 9 panellists on board for a very energetic, enthusiastic and inspiring conversation on polio. Please if you really want to feel what living with polio or eradicating it is like you need to see this. And you can… : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07bh8Iiw_sw&feature=em-uploademail-new

See below for the list of guests and wonderful details of this event and watch it!

So to wrap up the day I got picked up and returned to bed around midnight after playing polio eradication since 7am and loving every second of it! When you get to live for favourite game, sport, pastime, best day everyday it is a total blessing and fuel to get ready for the next day and do it all again – the next day was a full day of emails to follow up on all of this but it still counts!

My point here is to broadcast not what I have done in one day but to showcase how many amazing people I can interact with, learn from and share.

A wonderful day in Pakistan and I have chosen to be in this country as a tourist/volunteer/worker and couldn’t think of any better way to interact with a culture and its people than in this kind of way (for 5 weeks!).



A Google+ Hangout on Air featuring Hamid Jafari, head of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and other figures from the world of polio eradication on Friday, November 2, 2012. Hosted from the Global Poverty Project’s The End of Polio Google+ account and embedded here.


  • To create a unique engagement point for our existing supporters.
  • To allow those who have just started on the journey to learn more and become more deeply engaged with this issue.
  • To give our supporters a sense of community and ownership, by allowing them to submit questions and hear from other TEoP supporters.


  • Moderator: d’Arcy Lunn (Global Poverty Project, The End of Polio campaigner and advocate)
  • Hamid Jafari (GPEI head and primarily credited with eradicating polio in India)
  • Janice Nichols (polio survivor and author of Twin Voices)
  • Ksenia Solo (Canadian actress, celebrity and producer of future polio story movie)
  • Audrey King (March of Dimes Canada, polio survivor and post-polio syndrome ambassador)
  • Rod Curtis (UNICEF India, Communication for Development Specialist Polio Eradication Unit)
  • Fatima Riaz (NUST Bioreach Society founder and young Pakistani campaigner on polio)
  • Michael Sheldrick (The End of Polio Manager, Global Policy & Campaigns)
  • Judith Rowland (Global Poverty Project, The End of Polio US Team)

Happy watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07bh8Iiw_sw&feature=em-uploademail-new

And pick tweet: serious topic but i can’t help drooling over these aussie accents on the #endpolio hangout

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About Living Geo d'Arcy

Experiences are the richest thing in life. Love them and live them.
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1 Response to 17 Fantastic Hours of Polio Eradication

  1. lunny06 says:

    This is a great example of one person (of many) who also does as much as they can to see a better world…
    Yesterday, we had a training offered by Paul Beaulieu with Claude Martel, Peggy Hebden, Dennis Dinsmore, Daryl Patterson and Bryn Styles who reminded us to keep asking our world leaders to End Polio Now.

    Tuesday night, Pamela Walden-Landry and Michèle Bruneau from Results Canada were speakers at the Rotary Club in Saint-Laurent and asked us to sign the petition to end poverty at http://www.annulonslescoupures.ca Mario Di Carlo was there too.

    Wednesday night, dinner at Mamma Rita with founding members of a future Rotary club in Laval (#3). Their goal is to teach the poor how to cook for many with very little.

    Thursday night, meeting with founding members of a future club in East of Montreal (mostly from Haiti). Their goal is to achieve Peace through Service.

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