Rotary Baarn-Soest in the fight against polio


SOEST Members of Rotary Baarn-Soest have planted more than a thousand End Polio Now tulips in Cantonspark in Baarn this weekend. The tulip campaign has raised a thousand euros for the fight against polio. This amount is being tripled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The first bulb of more than a thousand End Polio Now tulips was planted by Rima Al-Harbat from Syria, who started a new life in Baarn. “I had heard of the famous Dutch tulips in Syria. But I never thought I would ever plant tulip bulbs myself. Very nice that we can do this together. There is a lot of symbolism behind it. ”

No more polio anywhere in the world before 2025. This is the ambitious goal of the international service club Rotary, of which Rotary Baarn-Soest is a part. “The involvement of the Rotary in eradicating polio began in 1979,” said Ron Bolderman, Rotary governor of the Central Netherlands. “And we are well on the way to achieving that goal. Last summer, Africa was declared polio-free. There are now only two countries in the world where the polio virus is found: in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yes, End Polio Now is the most ambitious project in Rotary history. In the Netherlands we contribute to this with the sale of this special tulip, with which we help to spread the polio vaccine worldwide.

LOCATION Rotary Baarn-Soest chose Cantonspark as the location for the thousand End Polio Now tulips. Incoming chairman Theo van ‘t Klooster: “The Cantons Park, now under restoration, is one of the pearls of Baarn, where the intertwining with Baarn’s cultural history is clearly visible.”

Chairman Gerda Bangma: “At this tulip campaign you can see how many volunteers roll up their sleeves, including those from Cantons Park. Very well. Because polio is still a disease that we have to stay alert for. The disease can be prevented by vaccination. Hence our action, which has an extra meaning for us. Because when the tulips bloom, our club will be exactly 65 years old. ”

In collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, CDC and GPEI, more than 2.5 billion children have now been vaccinated and polio has been reduced by 99%. Next year, another End Polio Now tulip campaign will start. More info on


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