Special bell cast to ring in The Rotary Foundation’s next century

The Rotary Foundation Centennial Bell. Photo by Danilo Di Nucci

By Francesco Bruno, Communications Specialist, RI Staff

While we still need to use our fantasy to search for that hidden gateway that can launch us into the future, finding one that takes you back in history is at our reach if you happen to be at the right place, at the right time. Upon entering the large wooden door of the Marinelli Foundry in the hilltop city of Agnone, Italy, it took only a few seconds to feel like I was stepping back in time. The  scene I witnessed was one my ancestors could have observed a thousand years ago. Continue reading

Rotary’s biggest event of the year starts now

By Rotary Staff

The 108th annual Rotary International Convention officially opens Sunday, 11 June, but Rotary members from across the globe have already begun pouring into Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to attend preconvention events, catch up with friends, and enjoy America’s Southern hospitality.

More than 40,000 members from 174 countries are expected to attend this year’s event, which runs 10-14 June. During those five days, attendees will hear from world-class speakers, watch Rotary’s new virtual reality film, and party like it’s 1917. Continue reading

Join us in Atlanta in 2017

Experience the hospitality of the American South during the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta 10-14 June. You’ll want to be part of the special birthday party we are planning to celebrate our Foundation’s 100 years of Doing Good in the World. Enhance your Rotary experience with an unparalleled lineup of speakers, entertainment, and events. And while you are there, discover Atlanta, a gracious, warm-hearted city whose rich history and modern, thriving metropolitan area offers something for everyone.
Register now.

Rotary members fight human trafficking

By Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

It is estimated that human trafficking generates $40 billion annually. That’s more than McDonald’s, Google’s, and Wal-mart’s profits combined.

Human trafficking, especially the commercial sexual exploitation of children, is a major problem. Continue reading

Boa noite, São Paulo!

Rotary members make connections in the House of Friendship.

Rotary members make connections in the House of Friendship.

By Ryan Hyland

With the 2015 Rotary convention in São Paulo coming to a close, we asked attendees in the House of Friendship what they enjoyed most.

Heather Dieckmann, Rotary Club of Bethel-St. Clair, Pennsylvania, USA:
The Major Donor dinner was really fun. Just the conversation at my table was amazing. I was privileged to sit next to Geetha Jayaram [recipient of the 2014-15 Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award]. She was so lovely. Getting to know her on a one-on-one level was the highlight of my trip. Continue reading

Your backstage pass to the convention

We’re taking you inside #ricon15 this year with a series of special one-on-one interviews. Here, Documentary Filmmaker and Founder of Principle Pictures Beth Murphy discusses her latest film, “What Tomorrow Brings,” with Stuart Cleland. See the whole series and other convention videos.

Rotary flame arrives in São Paulo

On 27 March 2014, India, a country of more than one billion people, was declared polio-free. To mark this milestone, the Rotary Club of Madras, India, launched the Rotary flame, which has traveled through several continents on its way to the 2015 Rotary Convention in São Paulo. The video above documents its arrival in São Paulo.

Rio Branco School for the Deaf

The video above aired during the convention Sunday, showing how São Paulo Rotary clubs are improving their communities. , founded in 1977 by Fundação de Rotarianos de São Paulo, offers a free education for deaf children from low-income households. The school is dedicated to develop and socialize deaf children into a predominantly hearing society with a carefully planned out curriculum.

Students learn through advanced educational and technical resources, including Libras – the Brazilian Language of Signs until the fifth grade of elementary school. After the sixth year, through the School Continuity Program, a partnership with the Colégio Rio Branco and associate school, deaf students are fully integrated into classes with hearing students.

São Paulo’s outdoor graffiti museum

Near the Anhembi Parque Convention Center is a set of 66 spray-painted panels on the pillars of the Metrô rail.

Near the Anhembi Parque Convention Center is a set of 66 spray-painted panels on the pillars of the Metrô rail.

By Megan Ferringer, Rotary staff

São Paulo feels like a museum of modernism. A single iconic image of the city might be a cityscape of endless towers fading into the horizon, or a photo of luxurious high-rise apartment blocks with pools and exotic flora on their terraces, all set against the favelas and their red roofs.

Despite its size, its density, and its growing wealth, São Paulo can fail to feel like a city at all. At street level, it instead feels like an endless collection of compounds. There are malls and offices, guarded apartment blocks behind heavy electric gates, and villa complexes behind high walls. Continue reading

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