Rotary International | One Rotary Center | 1560 Sherman Avenue | Evanston, IL 60201 USA
Media Contact: +1 847.866.3237
AN ORGANIZATION OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL LEADERS • UNITED WORLDWIDE •
1.2 MILLION MEMBERS • MORE THAN 200COUNTRIES AND GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS • PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN SERVICE • BUILDING GOODWILL AND
PEACE IN THE WORLD
WHAT IS ROTARY?
Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in nearly 170 countries.
Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary celebrated 100 years of service in 2005. The Rotary Foundation has awarded more than US$1.6 billion in grants, which are administered at the local level.
What is the purpose of Rotary?
Rotary clubs exist to improve communities locally and around the world. Rotary also encourages high ethical standards in business and professions. Rotary clubs work to advance international understanding by partnering with clubs in other countries.
What do Rotary clubs do?
Rotary clubs address critical issues in communities worldwide. Examples of Rotary’s focus areas include:
Polio Eradication - In 1985, Rotary International created PolioPlus – a program to immunize all the world’s children against polio. To date, the PolioPlus program has contributed more than US$620 million to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries. These funds are providing much needed polio vaccine, operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment and educational materials for health workers and parents.
With its community-based network worldwide, Rotary is the volunteer arm of the global partnership dedicated to eradicating polio. Rotary volunteers assist in vaccine delivery, social mobilization and logistical help in cooperation with the national health ministries, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Peace - In an effort to educate tomorrow’s peacemakers and ambassadors, Rotary launched the Rotary Centers for International Studies in 2002 at seven prestigious universities worldwide. The program provides master’s-level education in conflict resolution to groups of 60 Rotary World Peace Scholars chosen annually.
International Education - Rotary is the world’s largest privately-funded source of international scholarships. Each year, about 1,000 university students receive Rotary scholarships to study abroad. Rotary clubs also coordinate a high school-age student exchange program that sends nearly 8,000 students abroad for three months to a year.
Humanitarian Projects - Rotary clubs initiate thousands of humanitarian projects every year. These projects address problems that create instability and trigger conflicts --hunger, poverty, poor health, and illiteracy.
Literacy - Rotary clubs are engaged in the fight against illiteracy worldwide. A cumulative language encounter program in Thailand dramatically reduced school failure and was adopted by the Thai government for all the nation’s schools.
Water Management - Recognizing the importance of clean water, many Rotary clubs help to install wells and develop water treatment and distribution systems to increase access to fresh drinking water for communities in need, especially in developing countries.