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.
Members on Habitat for Humanity project Member in Ethiopia for PolioPlus
Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio in a project called PolioPlus which started in 1985. By the 1990s, Rotarians raised $240 million to immunize the children of the world; In late 2008 Rotary International received a challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the amount of $355 Million toward PolioPlus with a condition that Rotary match the grant with $200 Million. With this additional $555 Million going to the eradication of polio in the third world countries, Rotary will have raised and contributed over US$1 Billion to this cause since the inception of the program in 1985. In addition, Rotary has provided an army of volunteers to promote and assist at national immunization days in polio-endemic countries around the world. Where there was 400,000 plus cases of polio in 25 plus countries in 1985, in 2008 there were less than 400 cases of polio in only 4 coutries. All the rest have been certified as polio free.
Find out more about Rotary by visiting the Rotary International web site.
Information on this page came from:
The About Rotary and the RI Programs pages on the Rotary International web site