The RI Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil from June 6th to 9th 2015 was attended by more than 14,500 people from more than 150 countries.
RI International Convention Sao Paulo
Past R.I. President John Kenny spoke about the progress of Rotary Foundation. He said that giving is way up. In 2013-14 it was $117,000,000. When we send money to Evanston it is to help a blind man to see, a polio victim to walk, a child to grow to adulthood healthily, a student to become educated and a family have enough to eat. In 2014-15 more than 400 district and 600 global grants were awarded. Peace Centres have expanded. This year there were 312 endorsed applicants from 185 countries. This is the highest ever.
The Global Alumni Service award went to Dr. Geetha Jayaram of India. She is a psychiatrist and assoc. professor at Johns Hopkins. There is no mental health care in rural India. Suicide among young girls is a major issue. She founded the Maanasi (means sound mind) in Karnatka. In 2004-05 she taught psychiatry at the St. John’s Medical School in Bangalore via a rotary grant for University teachers. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Columbia in Maryland. The club and Rotary grants help fund her clinic. It is sustainable through the efforts of the R. C. of Bangalore Midtown. They provide administration and oversight. Her husband helped the clinic to acquire a jeep and 2 mopeds so the health care practitioners and the case workers can visit the patients. She believes that the clinic can be replicated in other countries. She joined Rotaract at age 19 and is the daughter of a philanthropist and Rotarian father who along with her mother set an example of service. She has volunteered for NIDs.
Oscar Arias: When he was 8 yrs old in 1948 Costa Rica abolished the military, the money saved was spent on education and health. He said “My country decided that it had  devoted its resources to war long enough and it now wanted to devote the genius of its people to the science of averting war” He was president from 1986-90 and from 2006-10. When he first ran President Reagan wanted C.R. to get involved in their war against the Sandista regime in Nicaragua so he threw his weight behind O.A.s opponent. He was pressured too by Gorbachev. He stood firm, took his case to the people and won. He said that “this enabled my little country to become the platform for the peace accord that gradually ended the unrest in our part of the world.” He won the Nobel prize for peace in 1987 for this work.
Dr. Hamid Jafari spoke on the status of polio eradication. There was a video presentation by Bill Gates who congratulated Rotary on our work. In Nigeria cases dropped from 53 to 6 between 2013-14. The last case was July 2014. The last case in Africa was 1 last August in  Somalia. In Pakistan cases are down  from this time last year where there had been 88 cases to 25 this year.
Past Rotary International President Huang said that if every Rotarian could see all of the work done and see way Rotary is changing lives that he knew we would not have any more trouble with membership in Rotary. This year the growth was 47884 which at 4% is the highest in 14 years. Rotary is in more than 200 countries. There is hope of expanding into China, Laos and Vietnam.
Isabelle Rose Fields is a 10 year old English girl who told us that when she was born, her older sister Molly was 3 yrs. old. Molly doted on Isabella and by the time Isabella was 1 yr. old Molly was reading to her. At about 6 yrs. old Molly wrote a trilogy about the adventures of Bella Rose. Sadly at 8 yrs. of age Molly was diagnosed with an inoperable, untreatable brain tumour. She died a few months later. She spent her last few weeks in a hospice where the family was always welcome and was allowed to stay with her. Isabella felt so grateful to the hospice that she decided she would raise money for them. Her first venture was an Easter party where she raised about 1,000 pounds. Since then she has raised 90,000  pounds for them. She sells Molly’s book too to help with funds.
Rotary International President K. R. Ravindram has launched Rotary Global Rewards which will allow Rotarians to connect with hundreds of businesses and service providers offering discounts and concessions. RF will benefit by receiving contributions with each transaction. He believes in pay forward which is why his theme is “Be a Gift to the World”.
The Kyoto Conference is from May 28th. to June 1st. 2016 and promises to be wonderful. Gangnam singer  Psi issued an invitation to you all!!