In total excitement (still) I get to share with you Polio Points and Brunei. My visit was for less than a week, around 5 months ago, but this little experience will certainly be shaping my 2014 and probably beyond…
A quick intro → Polio Points is where a student at International School Brunei does a good deed. They are awarded a Polio Point. For every 4 Polio Points Standard Charted Bank Brunei donates a dollar. This dollar goes to procuring a polio vaccine and to the UNICEF polio program in Pakistan.
Simple, effective and a wonderful example of initiative mixed with collaboration so people to play an active part in the global eradication of polio and towards a world without extreme poverty – one point at a time!
The five fruitful days spent presenting, speaking, sharing, learning and more, was one of those stand out weeks in a lifetime even one of continued privilege, passion and quality life experiences that I am allowed to live.
During my Brunei visit I presented on The End of Polio to a number of different groups from public school students to Standard Charted Bank executives to Rotarians to the University of Brunei Darussalam and most importantly to a number of different groups at International School Brunei contextualising their efforts in the world of polio eradication.
It was again one of those kind-of-guilty selfish situations where I get to share the wonderful work done around the world to see an end to polio and extreme poverty and learn about a bunch of new ways people are making the world a better place at the same time. This position of privilege as the messenger is something I am sure I will never get comfortable with but I do appreciate the acknowledgement I often get. Really I just get to be the ‘storyteller’ as Matthew from ISB put it so perfectly.
I hope the photos do justice of what an amazing week it was in Brunei and please the rest of the world know this… initiatives like Polio Points is just the beginning! People of all ages are not only engaging with the challenges of extreme poverty in new and creative ways but they are also find ways for bigger impact in solutions. As Global Poverty Project has as their mission statement: ‘to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to see an end to extreme poverty within a generation’ being a part of it all is a wonderful and rich life to live…
A massive thank you to all those in Brunei who made me feel so welcome in my stay there and a very special shout out to ISB and Matthew and Anne who have grown Polio Points from a thought into what I hope will become an internationally recognised model for giving the world’s poor opportunity to have access to at least the basics in life.
As for the Polio Points concept – WATCH THIS SPACE, as I plan to work on this full-time next year for it to be adopted and adapted around the world… If you think you know a school, business or institute who might be interested in the Polio Points award and reward system please let me know and put me in touch with them. Already I have a list of schools and conferences I will be presenting at early next year but hope to get all the structures in place so anyone anywhere can use this concept and make a difference in the world – locally and globally, at the same time!
To see how the model works at International School Brunei please see http://www.poliopoints.org/ for more.