2019 RI Convention in Hamburg Concludes

  • More than 26,000 registrants representing 3,605 Rotary clubs in 170 countries
  • Rotary commits US$102 million this year to end polio
  • Hamburg gains €24 million in tourism revenue
  • First German nominated to serve as Rotary International president in 2020
  • mytaxi donates €70,000 to German Rotary club projects
  • 35 speeches and 98 breakout sessions
  • 334 exhibit booths of which 200 featured Rotary humanitarian projects

RFHA Inc was a proud supporter at the 2019 RI Convention in Hamburg as we had a featured booth to highlight the Rotary Family Health Days campaigns occurring around the world. We were excited to share our project highlights and celebrate the new RFHA Health Heroes who signed up to support the growth of the RFHDs! View all our photos from the campaign here!

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An excerpt from the convention updates to learn more about what happened:
HAMBURG, Germany (5 June 2019): As Rotary closes its 110th annual international meeting at the Hamburg Messe und Congress on 5 June, Rotary members will bring home indelible memories and new insights on how to improve lives and bring positive, lasting change to communities around the world. 

In his keynote address, Rotary International President Barry Rassin said, “Service to others is an integral part of our mission, whether it’s through the plans and actions of individual clubs, Rotary’s six areas of focus, or the transformational support of The Rotary Foundation. And the service that most defines us and our global mission is the ongoing goal to rid the world of polio.”

Alongside partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary has achieved a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases since spearheading the initiative more than 30 years ago. Since then, Rotary members have contributed $1.9 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from polio. Today, just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary is committed to raising $50 million per year, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars through a matching agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Including the matching funds, Rotary is committing another US$102 million this year to fund polio eradication efforts in 13 countries. 

Michel Zaffran, director of polio eradication for the World Health Organization (WHO) presented on the progress and global significance of the initiative. “We’re truly on the cusp of eradicating a disease for only the second time in human history,” said Zaffran. “Our responsibility is nothing less than to ensure that no child anywhere will ever again be paralyzed by the poliovirus.” 

German Rotary members have contributed more than US$31 million to end polio, and on 1 July 2020, Holger Knaack, owner of the real estate company Knaack KG, will oversee this effort as the first German to serve as Rotary International president. Knaack of Ratzeburg said, “I’m honored to have the confidence and support of Rotary’s 1.2 million members,” said Knaack. “As president, I plan to highlight the best Rotary has to offer where people of all backgrounds can see themselves reflected in our service and impact.”

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