What does Rotary do?
Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders gathering in service clubs. The members provide humanitarian service and support in various ways their fellow human beings without regard to race, religion or political opinion. The goal is to build goodwill and peace in the world.
Rotary’s global membership is approximately 1.2 million men and women who belong to more than 34,000 Rotary clubs worldwide.
The Avenues of Service
Rotary tries to realize its aim through the Avenues of Service. Originally there have been 4, with a fifth added more recently. In a nutshell those are:
- Club service: working for a good mutual understanding in the club and for a good club programme. Meetings are organised once a week and members or guests speak about their field of interest or club matters are discussed.
- Vocational service: the advancement of service to others who need it from one’s own position in society, together with the stimulation of high ethical principles and their application to society.
- Community service: service to the (local) community. Members add their time (and money via part of their contribution) to making a project a success. The club’s first project was an exhibition in the Town Hall in Utrecht in July 2004 on a foreign view on Dutch habits. It opened on 2nd July and the closing date was extended to 24th August. The exhibition catalogue is being sold and the proceeds go to an eye project in Uganda.
- International service: the advancement of a better understanding, goodwill and peace by showing involvement with people from other countries, cultures, and with other customs and habits. For this a connection with a Rotary club abroad is sought.
- New Generation service: this reflects the organization’s recognition of the importance to involve youth and young adults in achieving sustainable change. Leadership development activities include RYLA, Rotaract and Interact, service projects and creating international understanding with Rotary Youth Exchange.