São Paulo Convention Second Day Highlights
RI President Gary C.K. Huang opened the second plenary
Thais Ferreira spoke about the life-changing sign education she received at Rotary University of Rio Branco.
Rio Branco Schools are Rotary's biggest educational project in Brazil. These Educational Centers are doing incredible things for the Deaf and supports nearly 6,000 students in five schools.
Sabine Vergamini of Rotary sponsored Rio Branco University.
Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Arancha Gonzalez shared how her organization grows local economies. "At ITC we believe that gender equality is the best path to reducing extreme poverty." She said. More than 8,000 jobs have been created through the ethical fashion initiative.
Text of the Speech by the ITC Executive Director Arancha González at the 2015 Rotary International Convention
Filmmaker Beth Murphy, who focuses her films on human rights, equality and justice, thanked Rotary for all that they do to promote girls' education.
She added that Rotary’s support of girls' education in Afghanistan is making a real difference not only for the girls but society at large
Rotaractors from Nepal shared their work with ShelterBox in the earthquake recovery
"You can make an impact at any age." - Youngest speaker at São Paulo Convention, 10 year old Lucia Gomez from Argentina
- Ryan Hyland, Rotary International
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.”
Lucía talked about the impact young people have had on the world, such as Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who at age 17 received the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for girls’ right to education. She also mentioned Ryan Hreljac of Canada, who at the age of six raised money to dig a well for a school in Uganda. As a result of his work, the Ryan’s Well Foundation was established.
“As kids, we have our time to study, to do sports, to play. But we also have to pay attention to what happens around us,” she said. “Only if we are aware, can we identify the needs of people who live near us. If we have the capacity to detect those needs, we can propose ideas to achieve the change.”
Last March, Lucía was recognized by then RI President Ron Burton and RI Director Celia Elena Cruz de Giay during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina. The conferences drew attention to Rotary programs for youth and young adults under the age of 30. “We are young. Our projects are small, like us, but that doesn’t mean they are not important,” Lucía said. “We’re little children ready to do big things. And we can make other children join us. We belong to an organization [Rotary] that has everything to reach that goal. Adults say we belong to the “Y” or “Z” generation. They say we are digital natives. It’s true, technology is very friendly for us, but it’s just a tool. We share the same wish to help others as any other member of the Rotary family.”