Polio was eradicated from the United States more than 40 years ago. But for Congolese band members of Staff Benda Bilili (which means “look beyond appearances” in the Lingala language”), it is still a very real threat. All the band’s founders survived polio, but are paraplegics as a result. World Polio Day is October 24, and Staff Benda Bilili will be giving concerts and travelling the United States and Canada as part of Rotary’s eradication campaign.
More than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed in the next 40 years if polio isn’t globally stomped out. Since 1985, Rotary's 1.2 million global volunteers have donated more than $1 billion and countless hours to help immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries against polio, working with the CDC, WHO and UNICEF. Staff Benda Bilili puts a human voice – and song – to that effort. Upcoming tour dates include a concert at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on World Polio Day.
Staff Benda Belili
7 p.m. Oct. 24
El Rey Theater, Los Angeles
Staff Benda Belili recording session for "Polio"