Kids can change the world too

Ten-year-old Lucía Gómez García speaks at the second plenary session at the Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Alyce Henson.

Ten-year-old Lucía Gómez García speaks at the second plenary session at the Rotary Convention in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo by Alyce Henson.

Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Stagehands adjusted the microphones as low as they could go and slid a box into place. And then 10-year-old volunteer leader Lucía Gómez García of Argentina stepped up to the podium to tell Rotary members that kids her age can make positive change in the world.

“As kids we are relentless and happy,” said Lucía, addressing the Rotary Convention on 7 June. “We are always ready to explore and learn, but principally we’re spontaneous and clear. We don’t have problems to say if we don’t like anything. To tell the truth is natural and when we don’t do so, everyone knows, because we blush.” Continue reading

Rethinking the way we manage water

150606_wasragBy Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

One of the world’s largest cities, São Paulo is located in a region that averages 145 centimeters (57.3 inches) of precipitation each year. That’s 64 more centimeters (25 more inches) than Seattle gets. The country is also home to roughly 12 percent of the world’s fresh water. But since 2014, the city has been gripped by its worst drought in 80 years, leaving millions of residents in the country’s most populated metropolis without reliable running water. Continue reading

Interactors aim to score a goal with soccer ball project

Interactors from California show off a  high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

Interactors from California show off a high-tech indestructible rubber soccer ball in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Soccer is not just a passion for Brazilians, it’s a way of life. It’s tradition. Entire industries are dedicated to the sport.

So it came as no surprise to me to walk by a booth in the House of Friendship and see people kicking a ball around. But these were no ordinary soccer balls. They’re made from high-tech indestructible rubber. You can puncture a hole in one of these balls or cut it down the middle, and it will still be playable. Continue reading

Try Brazil’s national dish, feijoada

Feijoada, Brazil's national dish.

Feijoada, Brazil’s national dish.

By Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

Ask any Paulistano and they’ll tell you their favorite place to eat Brazil’s national dish, feijoada — a heavy stew of smoked and sun-dried meats (and offal, if you’re feeling adventurous) that’s brewed up in cauldrons and served with rice, black beans, kale, orange slices, and farofa (toasted manioc flour). Not for vegetarians or the diet-conscious, this dish was described by traveling TV chef Anthony Bourdain as a “magnificent, beautiful, murky black substance,” “perfection in a dish,” and “truly, transcendently wonderful.” Continue reading

Peace fellows reconnect at symposium


Rotary Peace Fellows, alumni, Rotary members, and guests pause for a group photo during the Rotary Peace Symposium, held 4 June in São Paulo. Read more about the symposium and the Rotary convention. Watch a video from the symposium.

Get the inside scoop from São Paulo

By Rotary Voices staff

South America’s largest city, São Paulo, Brazil, is playing host to Rotary’s largest event of the year, the annual convention. More than 14,000 Rotary members from over 100 countries have come together to celebrate service, exchange ideas, and relax among friends at unforgettable concerts and social events. Experience the excitement of the convention on our sister blog, Convention Insider.

Speed dating for peace

Attendees discuss partnering for peace durign the World Café. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

Attendees discuss partnering for peace during the World Cafe. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Ryan Hyland, Rotary staff

Even before the World Cafe session started today, the room was filled with excitement, with people hugging and laughing. It took a few minutes for former Rotary Peace Fellow Cherine Badawi to quiet the 240 people in the room at the Rotary World Peace Symposium in São Paulo, Brazil.

World Cafe, a structured conversation style that aims to spark open and intimate discussion, is modeled to resemble the atmosphere of a cafe. Instead of having white tablecloths, the small round tables were covered with plain white paper and colored markers that attendees could use to express themselves. Continue reading

Trying a different type of district conference

1411_wodonBy Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Capitol Hill

For the past four years, I have conducted evaluations of the district conference we hold in District 7620 using surveys administered through the web. This year our conference was different, and some of the things we learned I thought could be valuable to share with Rotary members everywhere.

This year our conference was shorter and cheaper to attend. On the first day, attendees had several opportunities to participate in community service projects with local NGOs. We achieved substantially higher attendance (425 registrations) than previous conferences. Continue reading

We’ve got you covered

We’re just days away! Thousands of Rotary members are on their way to São Paulo, or already in town, for our biggest event of the year, the 2015 Rotary Convention. So whether you’re looking for things to do, or peering in on the excitement from afar, follow our blog and return frequently to get the latest news, tips, insights and reactions from attendees. And don’t forget to be a part of the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using hashtag #ricon15.

Skin donation in short supply in India

Club members get ready for the walkathon in Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Club members get ready for a walkathon in Sanjay Gandhi National Park to raise awareness for the need for skin donations.

By Rajesh Kumar Modi, Rotary Club of Mumbai Borivali East, Maharashtra, India

In Mumbai, our deputy fire chief recently died after suffering major burns rescuing people from a residential building fire. Two other officers also died in the fire. The media covered the tragedy, and how a shortage of natural skin in our skin banks complicates the efforts to save brave individuals like these.   Continue reading