Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 160 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs.
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community's business and professional men and women. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
The main objective of Rotary is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.
Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. In the 1980s, Rotarians raised US$240 million to immunize the children of the world; by 2005, Rotary's centenary year and the target date for the certification of a polio-free world, the PolioPlus program will have contributed US$500 million to this cause. In addition, Rotary has provided an army of volunteers to promote and assist at national immunization days in polio-endemic countries around the world.
Rotarians are business and professional leaders who take an active role in their communities while greatly enriching their personal and professional lives. A Rotary club contains a diverse group of professional leaders from the community that the club serves.
Membership in a Rotary club offers a number of benefits, including:
effecting change within the community
advancing business and professional contacts
developing leadership skills
gaining an understanding of — and having an impact on — international humanitarian issues
Through Rotary International's service programs, a Rotary club can have a significant effect on the quality of life in its community. Rotary Foundation programs offer opportunities to form international partnerships that help people in need worldwide. Some 1.2 million Rotarians in 30,000 clubs in more than 160 countries make significant contributions to the quality of life at home and around the globe.
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes world understanding through international humanitarian service programs and educational and cultural exchanges. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than US$1.1 billionin humanitarian and educational grants, which are initiated and administered by local Rotary clubs and districts.
The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$73 million contributed in 2000-01. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.
A child receives a polio vaccination through the
Rotary Foundation Polio Plus project.
A Rotary Foundation Matching Grant brought clean
drinking water to this small villiage.
The Foundation's Humanitarian Programs fund international Rotary club and district projects to improve the quality of life, providing health care, clean water, food, education, and other essential needs primarily in the developing world. One of the major Humanitarian Programs is PolioPlus, which seeks to eradicate the polio virus worldwide. Through its Educational Programs, the Foundation provides funding for some 1,200 students to study abroad each year. Grants are also awarded to university teachers to teach in developing countries and for exchanges of business and professional people. Former participants in the Foundation's programs have the opportunity to continue their affiliation with Rotary as Foundation Alumni.
|A Matching Grant from the Rotary Foundation provided solar energy for three rural
schools near Santiago del Estero, Argentina.