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Rotary International - The Beginings


Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.

Rotary Today

Rotarians are described as:

Smart — we are insightful and discerning

Compassionate — we tackle community challenges with empathy and understanding

Persevering — we find lasting solutions to systemic problems

Inspiring — we encourage others to take action, conveying hope, enthusiasm, and passion

Rotary .... Joins leaders from all continents, cultures, and occupations.

Rotary ....exchanges ideas, bringing our expertise and diverse perspectives to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems

Rotary ... takes action to bring lasting change to communities around the world.

Rotary International supports Rotary clubs worldwide by coordinating global programs, campaigns, and initiatives.

Presidential Theme

Rotary Presidential Theme 2015-16Each Rotary International President serves in the Role for one year and prior to taking office choose a theme for their year.

Rotary International President for 2017-18 Ian Riseley, a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, earlier this year unveiled the 2017-18 presidential theme, Rotary: Making a Difference, to incoming district governors at Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.

Environmental degradation and global climate change are serious threats to everyone, Riseley said. “They are having a disproportionate impact on those who are most vulnerable, those to whom Rotary has the greatest responsibility. Yet environmental issues rarely register on the Rotary agenda,” he said.

Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation uses generous donations to fund projects by Rotarians and our partners in communities around the world. As a nonprofit, all of the Foundation's funding comes from voluntary contributions made by Rotarians and friends who share Rotary’s vision of a better world.

Together, Rotary clubs, Rotary International, and The Rotary Foundation work to make lasting improvements in our communities and around the world.

Joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  (Bill Gates is the Founder of Microsoft) Rotary is aiming to eradicate Polio as a disease from the Worlds population.

Polio - What is it?

Polio Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.

Polio Today

Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Less than 370 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2014, which is a reduction of more than 99 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.


Rotary Making a Difference

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