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Rotary definition

The characteristics of the ROTARY club are as diverse as the activities of over one million Rotarians. There is the concept of "service", internationality, camaraderie, the classification of each "vocation", the development of "goodwill" and world understanding, the emphasis of the highest ethical standards, the concern for fellow human beings and many others. In 1976, the leadership of Rotary International was interested in formulating a concise definition of the fundamental aspects of ROTARY. His attention was directed to three people, who were then part of the ROTARY Public Relations Committee, and he asked them to prepare a concise definition of ROTARY. After numerous versions, the Public Relations Committee presented the following definition, used since then in the various publications of ROTARY:
"Rotary is an organization of businessmen and specialists, gathered worldwide, which provides humanitarian aid, promotes the highest ethical standards in any professional activity and contributes to establishing a climate of goodwill and peace in the world." These words must be remembered every time someone asks: "What is the ROTARY Club?".

The official flag of Rotary

The official flag was adopted by Rotary International at the Convention in Dallas, Texas, in 1929. The Rotary flag is white and has the official emblem of the wheel as a golden crest placed in the center. The four segments marked on the circumference of the Rotary wheel are royal blue, and the words "ROTARY" and "INTERNATIONAL" are also printed in gold on the upper and lower segments of the circumference. The wheel hub and groove are white. The first official Rotary flag was flown in Kansas City, Missouri, in January 1915. In 1922, a small Rotary flag was taken to the South Pole by Admiral Richard Byrd, a member of the Rotary Club of Winchester, Virginia, USA. Four years later, the admiral carried the Rotary flag on his expedition to the North Pole.
Some Rotary clubs use the official Rotary flag as the pennant at club meetings. in these situations it is appropriate to print the words "Rotary Club" above the wheel symbol and the name of the city, state or nation below the emblem.
The Rotary flag is always prominently displayed at World Headquarters, as it is at all conventions and official events of Rotary International.

Wheel-shaped emblem of Rotary

The wheel has been the symbol of Rotary since its foundation. The first wheel was made by Chicago Rotarian Montague Bear, an engraver who drew a simple wagon wheel with a few lines to show dust and movement. The illustrated wheel "Civilization and Movement". Many of the first clubs had a wheel shape in their publications and letterheads. Finally, in 1922, it was decided that all Rotary clubs must adopt a single logo as the exclusive emblem of Rotarians. Thus, in 1923, the current toothed wheel with 24 teeth and 6 spokes was adopted by the "Rotary International Association". A group of expert engineers has assessed that this toothed wheel is mechanically faulty and that it will not be able to work without" attaching a "groove" in the axle to the center of the wheel mechanism.
Thus, in 1923, the "groove" was added and the logo we know today was adopted as the official emblem of Rotary International.


Many Rotarians consider the Secretariat just another name for the World Headquarters. Rotary International in Evanston, Illinois, USA. In fact, it is much more. It even includes the World Headquarters and has 500 employees who work for Rotary International to function efficiently and without problems. The term describes all the operations of the General Secretariat and its employees. The Secretariat also includes eight Rotary Service Centers (formerly called branches) around the world, all the employees who work in these centers, as well as the staff from the Rotary Foundation. Its sole purpose is to serve the clubs, administrative and district offices of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. RI World Headquarters, located in a building called Rotary Center One in Evanston,
it is also the Headquarters of the Secretariat.

Some of the Rotary "premiers".

• The first meeting of the Rotary club took place in Chicago, Illinois, on February 23, 1905.
• The first meetings during official breakfasts took place in Oakland, California, and date back to 1909.
• The first Rotary Convention took place in Chicago, in 1910.
• The first club outside the USA was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
• The first Rotary club outside the American continent was founded in Dublin, Ireland
• The first Rotary club in a non-English speaking country was in Havana, Cuba, in 1916.
• The first Rotary club in South America was founded in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1918.
• The first Rotary club in Asia was founded in Manila, Philippines, in 1919.
• The first Rotary club in Africa was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1921
• The first Rotary club in Australia was founded in Melbourne, in 1921.
(original idea from "Scandal Sheet")

Rotary objective

In some areas of the world, weekly Rotary club meetings begin like this: members stand and recite the Rotary Objective. This statement, which has its origins in the Rotary Constitution, is frequently displayed on a plaque in the offices of Rotarians or in the places where they carry out their activities.
. Rotary's objective is to "encourage and stimulate the ideal of "service" as the basis of a prosperous enterprise". The statement then lists four areas through which the "ideal of service" is stimulated by broadening knowledge as an opportunity for service;
,. - promoting high professional and business ethical standards; through the help given in personal, business and social life; and the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and peace.
Rotary's objective has not always been expressed in this way. In the original Constitution from 1906, three objectives were cited: the promotion of business interests, the promotion of good camaraderie and the promotion of the best interests of the community. Since 1910, Rotary has adopted five objectives and an increasingly important one was the date of Rotary's expansion. In 1915, there were six objectives. In 1918, the objectives were again rewritten and reduced to a number of four. Four years later this number increased to six and they were revised again in 1927.
Finally, in 1935, at the Convention in Mexico City, the six objectives were reaffirmed and reduced to four. The last major change took place in 1951 when the objectives took a different shape and were changed to a single objective, which has four parts. "The ideal of service" is the key phrase of the Rotary Objective. This ideal is the attitude of the Rotary member to be an attentive and hopeful person in everything he does. This is the real meaning of the Objective.

Rotary mottos

The first motto of Rotary International, "He earns more who serves better", was approved at the second Rotary Convention held in Portland, Oregon, in August 1911. This phrase was established by a Rotarian from Chicago, Art Sheldon, who gave a speech in 1910 that included the remark: "He who helps his neighbor the best earns the most." Around the same time, Ben Collins, the President of the Rotary club in Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented that the most appropriate way to organize the Rotary club is the one adopted by his club and expressed by the principle: "Serve others, not yourself". These two slogans, slightly modified, were approved as the Rotary mottos at the Detroit Convention in 1950: "He who serves better earns more" and "Nothing above Service". In 1989, the Legislative Council established "Nothing Above Service" as the main motto of Rotary, since it best explains the philosophy of serving altruistically and voluntarily. Currently it is "Serving Above Self".

One hundred percent participation

This rule is essential for a strong and active Rotary club. The importance of participation has its origins in 1922 when Rotary International announced the contest for participation from all over the world, which motivated thousands of Rotarians to achieve 100% presence year after year. Many Rotarians take pride in maintaining a 100% record in their club or showing up at another Rotary club's meetings. Although the Rotarian laws require members to attend only 60% of the total Meetings, the custom has emerged that the desired level is 100%. Rotary attaches importance to the regular participation of each member, because each one represents his own business or profession and the absence of each one deprives the club of the value of its various members as well as the companionship of each member. Sometimes there were proposals to reduce the importance of participation or the threshold of the minimum allowed presence. These attempts, in general, were refused by the club, acting through the Legislative Council.

The four point test

One of the most common written and quoted statements of business ethics is the Four Point Test. It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932, when he was asked to take over the leadership of the Chicago Aluminum Company Club, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. Taylor is looking for a way to save the company that is reeling from a decline caused by financial difficulties. He created a code of ethics of 24 words for all employees, which had to be followed by them in their professional and business life. Testing in 4 ways became a guide for sales, production, advertising and in all relations with business partners and everyone customers, and the survival of the company was due to this philosophy.
Herb Taylor became the President of Rotary International in the Rotary year 1954-55. The 4-way test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than 100 languages and published in thousands of copies. The message must be known and followed by all Rotarians. "One of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is this the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR for all involved? 3. Will this lead to the achievement of GOODWILL AND BETTER COMMANDREADY? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL for all involved?”

Paul Harris: the first but not the first

Was Paul Harris the first President of the Rotary Club? Not. Was Paul Harris the first President of Rotary International? Yes. There is a simple explanation for this apparent contradiction. Although Paul Harris was the founder and organizer of the first Rotary club in Chicago in 1905, the one chosen to be the first President was one of the other founding members, Silvester Schiele. In 1910, the 16 Rotary clubs united in an organization called the National Association of Rotary Clubs. Two years later the name was changed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs, as soon as the Rotary organization expanded to Winnipeg, Canada, and then to England, Ireland and Scotland. In 1922 the name was shortened to Rotary International. When the first organization of Rotary Clubs was created, in 1910, Paul Harris was elected the first President. He occupied this position for two years, from 1910 to 1912. Thus, the founder of the Rotary idea, he who was not the President of the first club, became the President of the world organization Rotary International.

First name or nickname

Ever since the beginnings of Rotary, members have addressed each other using their first names. From personal acquaintances to Rotary friendships, naturally, many clubs have adopted the practice of eliminating formal addresses in conversations between members. People whom we normally address as Doctor, Professor, Mr., Honorable or Sir, are currently called Joe, Bill, Mary, Karen or ChaRIey by other Rotarians. The hallmark of a Rotary club is first name calling. In a few areas, such as Europe, club members use a much more formal way of addressing. In other parts of the world, generally in Asian countries, the practice is to assign a funny nickname, which refers to certain personal characteristics or which describes the profession or business of the person in question. A member with the nickname "Oxygen" is a manufacturer of chemical products. "Arbore" is the nickname of a Rotarian who is in the lumber business. "CISdire" is an entrepreneur, "Hartie" is the one dealing with stationery or en-retail seller. Other members may have nicknames such as "Muschi", "Sirena" or "The Smiler", as a result of their characteristic features.
Nicknames are usually a frequent source of good humor and friendship. But when you address a Rotarian by his or her first name or nickname, the personal spirit of friendship is the essential step that opens all other doors to serve.

Four horses to serve

The formula "Four ways to serve" is frequently used in Rotarian literature and information. "Pathways" refers to the four elements of Rotary's Purpose. To serve the Club!, Vocational Service, Community Service and International Service.
Although the "Four Ways of Serving" are not found in any of the official Rotary documents, the concept has been accepted as a way of describing Rotary's main areas of activity.
• "Serving the club" involves all necessary activities performed by Rotarians to make their club run successfully.
• "Vocational service" describes the opportunities for each Rotarian to present the importance and usefulness of his activities to club members. ; "Community service" refers to those activities that Rotarians carry out to improve the quality of life of the community they belong to. Frequently, this involves assistance to the young, the elderly, the disabled and people who see Rotary as a source of hope and a better life.
• "International Service" describes most of the programs and activities that Rotarians undertake to promote international understanding, goodwill and peace. International Aid projects are intended to meet the humanitarian needs of the peoples of many countries.
When a Rotarian understands and acquires the "Four Ways to Serve", the Objective
Rotary takes on an even stronger meaning.

"The Rotarian" magazine and other regional magazines

The month of April is annually designated "Rotary Magazine Month", being an occasion to recognize and promote the use and reading of the official magazine "The Rotarian" and other regional magazines.
Since 1911, the magazine has been a way of communication between Rotarians and the development of programs and the Rotary Objective. One of the first purposes of the magazine is to support the annual themes and the President's point of view and to convey information about new and special programs, major meetings and the importance of certain official Rotary "months."
"The Rotarian" is a forum where all topics of general interest related to Rotary can be explored. The magazine serves as an excellent source of information and ideas for Rotary club meeting programs and district conferences. Many articles promote international friendship, goodwill and understanding. Regular readers generally have more knowledge about Rotary Club activities and how each Rotarian can be more involved in the Four Ways of Serving around the world. In addition, THE ROTARIAN has 27 regional magazines published in 21 languages. Each magazine has its own style and content, but all provide Rotarians with the latest information, being a pleasant read in April and throughout the year.

The International Responsibilities of a Rotarian

As an international organization, Rotary offers each member unique opportunities and responsibilities. Although each Rotarian has as his first responsibility to expose the citizenship obligations of his own country, the fact that he is a member of Rotary gives him the opportunity to take a different position in foreign policy. Ever since the early 1950s, the Rotarian philosophy has formulated the ways in which a Rotarian can think about global issues
what a Rotarian concerned with world problems said.
• looks beyond national patriotism and considers that it shares the responsibilities of international progress in understanding, goodwill and peace
• opposes resistance to any tendency of action in terms of nationalism and racial superiority.
• seeks and develops common arts for understanding between peoples
• supports the laws that protect individual freedom, as well as freedom of thought and speech and freedom as a whole, freedom from any persecution, aggression, deprivation and fear of any kind,
• supports actions aimed at improving living standards for all people, realizing that poverty anywhere endangers prosperity everywhere,
• supports the principles of justice for humanity,
• constantly strives for the promotion of peace between peoples and even considers it
personal sacrifices for the realization of this ideal, "he exhorts others and practices himself the cultivation of a spirit of understanding of opinions
to each person, as a step towards international well-being, understanding the fact that it exists
certain safe moral bases and spiritual standards that guarantee a longer life
the richer the fuller" here is an exhortation that can be assumed theoretically and practically by any Rotarian"

Standard Constitution

Rotary International is the most widespread organization in the world. It exists in 159 countries and intersects many languages, social and political structures, religious customs and traditions. How is it possible that all the more than 29,000 Rotary clubs around the world operate in the same almost identical style"? The main answer lies in the Standard Constitution of the Rotary Club.
One of the conditions to receive the privilege of becoming a member of the Rotary Club is to accept this constitution, adopted in 1922. The constitution outlines the administrative procedures that must be followed by the clubs, namely the weekly meetings, the procedures for membership, internal hierarchy, attendance conditions and payment of dues, as well as other policies related to public issues and political positions. This constitutional act provides the framework for the operation of the entire network of Rotary clubs worldwide. When the Constitution was adopted, it was agreed that all existing clubs would continue to follow their constitutions propne Although most of these early clubs later approved this constitution, some of them still operate according to their own constitutional forms.
The Standard Constitution is considered one of the great strengths of Rotary, the one that allows the organization to operate in thousands of different communities

Godfather of a new member

The Rotary Rules clearly outline the procedure for proposing a new member within the club. The proposer is a key person in the growth and progress of the club. Without a nose a person can never have the opportunity to become a Rotarian.
The task of the proposer should not end with the announcement of the person's name to the club secretary or the membership committee. The club has not established the formal responsibilities that the so-called nose must have. However, by custom and tradition, there are some procedures that are recommended in many clubs.
The nose must:
1. To invite the future member to several meetings before proposing him as a member
2. To accompany the future member to one or more orientation/information meetings
3. To put the new member in touch with other members of the club every week of the first month
4. To invite the new member to accompany him to "related" clubs for the first presentation meeting, in order to learn the process and observe the spirit of camaraderie
5. To invite the new member and his/her husband (wife) to accompany him/her to club social activities, dinners and other special occasions
6. To request the new member and his/her husband (wife) to participate in the district conference
7. To act as a special friend to ensure that the new member becomes an active Rotarian
As each nose follows this guide, Rotary will grow stronger with each new member.

Women in Rotary

Until 1989, the Constitution and the unwritten laws of the club specified that membership status was granted only to men. In 1978, the Rotary Club of Duarte, California invited 3 women to become members of the Board of Directors! RI revoked that club's license for violating the RI Constitution The club filed a lawsuit against RI invoking the violation of the civil law of the respective state, which prevents discrimination in any form in business or public environments The Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of California supported the position of the club Due to argued that RI cannot withdraw its privilege just because it accepted women into the club. The Supreme Court of the United States supported the position of the California Court indicating that Rotary clubs still have a business "purpose" and that, in a certain way, they are public type organizations This action from 1987 allowed women to become members of Rotary clubs in any jurisdiction having a similar status in terms of the public environment The RI Constitution was amended in 1989, in the Legislative Council voting in favor of eliminating the provision that referred to the granting of male-only membership to all Rotary clubs since then women have become members and leaders of clubs and districts worldwide

RI headquarters

The headquarters of RI have always been in the area of Chicago, Illinois, USA. At first the headquarters was right in Chicago, but in 1954 a new, more attractive headquarters was built in the suburb of Evanston. The building on Ridge Avenue lived up to the standards of the Rotary Secretariat until 1980, when the new programs, the development of the Rotary Foundation and the new PolioPlus activities determined the move of some staff members to an additional office space nearby
When a modern 18-story office building became available in downtown Evanston in 1987, it seemed to meet all the club's expectations for formulating ways a Rotarian could think about global issues.
Here is what was said:
A Rotarian concerned with world issues
• looks beyond national patriotism and considers that it shares the responsibilities of international progress in understanding, goodwill and peace
• opposes resistance to any tendency of action in terms of nationalism and racial superiority.
• seeks and develops common areas for understanding between and freedom of speech and freedom as a whole, freedom against any persecution, aggression, deprivation and fear of any kind,
• supports actions aimed at improving living standards for all people, realizing that poverty anywhere endangers prosperity everywhere,
• supports the principles of justice for humanity,
• constantly strives for the promotion of peace between peoples and even considers it
personal sacrifices for the realization of this ideal, "he exhorts others and practices himself the cultivation of a spirit of understanding the opinions of every man, as a step towards international well-being, understanding the fact that there are certain moral foundations and spiritual standards that guarantee a better life
the richer the fuller" Here is an exhortation that can be assumed theoretically and practically by any Rotarian.

Standard Constitution

Rotary International is the most widespread organization in the world. It exists in 159 countries and intersects numerous languages, social and political structures, religious customs and traditions. How is it possible that all the more than 29,000 Rotary clubs around the world operate in the same almost identical style"? The main answer lies in the Standard Constitution of the Rotary Club.
One of the conditions to receive the right to become a member of the Rotary Club is to accept this constitution, adopted in 1922. The constitution outlines the administrative procedures that must be followed by the clubs, namely weekly meetings, procedures for membership, internal hierarchy, attendance conditions and payment of dues, as well as other policies related to public issues and political positions. This constitutional act provides the framework for the operation of the entire network of Rotary clubs in the world. When the Constitution was adopted, it was agreed that all existing clubs should continue to follow their own constitution. Although most of these early clubs later approved this constitution, some of them still operate according to their own constitutional forms.
The Standard Constitution is considered one of the great Rotary strengths, the one that allows the organization to operate in thousands of different communities.

Other Rotary Firsts

• Rotary founded the "Endowment Fund" in 1917, which became the "forerunner" of the Rotary Foundation.
• Rotary first adopted the name "Rotary International" in 1922, changing it from the International Association of Rotary Clubs.
• The first contribution of 1000 USD to the Rotary Foundation was made by Paul Harris, the official recognition in Rotary being made only in 1957.
• The Rotary emblem was printed for the first time on a commemorative stamp in 1931 during the Vienna Convention.
• The first flag of the club (from the Houston Space Center) that circled the moon was carried by astronaut Frank Borman, a member of the club.
• The first RI conference held outside the United States was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1921.
• The first head of state to speak in a Rotary conference was the president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, in 1923, in St. Louis.

Room 711: the birthplace of Rotary

The number 711 has a special importance for Rotary. Room 711 in the old Unity building on North Dearborn Street no. 127 in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA, was the birthplace of RI. This historic room, which was the office of engineer Gus Loehr, was the first place where Paul Harris met with some friends to discuss a new idea, that of starting a club for professionals and business people. The restoration and preservation of this room as it looked in 1905 required a lot of research and perseverance from a group of Rotarians. For many years, Room 711 was preserved as a miniature Rotary museum by all the Rotarians of the world who, on a voluntary basis, annually collected contributions to the "Paul Harris 711 Club" fund, funds that are used to rent, maintain and preservation of the Chamber. In 1989, the Unity building was demolished. The members of the 711 Club carefully moved all the contents of Room 711 into a warehouse. It remained there until 1994, when a new home was found for this part of the Rotary heritage", namely in the RI Headquarters, in Evanston.

World Understanding Month

The month of February is special in the Rotary calendar since the "World Understanding Month" ("WoRId Understanding Month") was conceived. The month of February also includes the anniversary of the first Rotary meeting that took place on February 23, 1905, the date now designated as the Day of World Peace and Understanding.
At the same time as World Understanding Month, the RI Board of Directors asked all Rotary clubs to plan weekly meetings and undertake special activities to emphasize the fact that "understanding and well-being are essential for world peace".
For the development of this month, many clubs have invited international speakers, students from the "Youth Exchange" programs, as well as foreign teachers from schools and universities, to the club meetings; programs were planned with former members of the "Study Group Exchange" teams; discussions on global issues and international performances with cultural and artistic themes were also planned; other international actions were also scheduled.
Many clubs had the opportunity in the month of February to launch into activities serving the International community or to make contacts with Rotary clubs from other countries. It was a very auspicious month for the "Rotary Friendly Exchange", the projects of the Program for Health, Hunger and Humanity (or "3-H") and to encourage the support given to the PolioPlus program as well as other programs of the Rotary Foundation. World Understanding Month was a chance for each club to plan and promote the "Fourth Avenue of Services", Rotary continuing its fight for well-being, peace and understanding among all the people of the globe.


In reality, all club members are included in a hierarchy. In essence, a classification describes the precise place and recognition of each business and professional service that a Rotarian provides to society.
The Rotary classification principle is somewhat more specific and precise. To determine the Rotarian classification it is necessary to analyze the "main or recognized professional or business activity of a firm, company or institution" with which an active member is connected or which "covers his professional or business activity". It will go without saying that these classifications are determined more by the activities and services brought to society than by the position held by a certain person. In other words, the president of a bank is not classified as "bank president", but as "banking operations".
What determines the classification established and granted to a qualified person is the main and recognized activity of a business or professional environment, or the main and recognized business or professional activity of an individual. For example, a permanent employee as an electrical engineer, insurance agent or director of a railway company, mining company, manufacturing concern, hospital, clinic, etc., can be considered as a future member in the capacity of representative of the private work that he carried out individually or as a representative of the firm, company or institution within which he carries out his professional activity.
The classification principle also allows the industrial and business branches to be divided into distinct parts such as: production, distribution, services, marketing. Classifications may also be specified as independent and distinct divisions of a large corporation or university within the club's territory, such as: a business school or an engineering school.
The classification principle is a necessary concept to ensure that each Rotary club covers a certain part of the professional or business services brought to the community. In 1995, the Legislative Council allowed the admission to the club of retired people who were not members of the club but have the necessary professional qualification. These persons may be admitted as past service members and are the only Rotarians who have not been included in a current or past classification.

The exchange of pennants

One of the most stimulating traditions of many ctubs is the exchange of small banners, flags or pennants. Rotarians who travel to distant places often take pennants with them for the purpose of exchange, as proof of friendship between clubs. Many clubs use received pennants to decorate club meetings and events that take place in the territory.
The RI Board of Directors recognized the increased popularity of the pennant exchange in 1959 and suggested to the participating clubs that for this exchange, special attention should be paid to the design of their own pennants so that they are representative of the community or country to which the club belongs. It was recommended that these pennants include drawings, slogans or images that individualize the territorial area where the club is located.
However, the RI Board of Directors also thought about the financial difficulties that such exchanges could cause for some of the clubs, especially those located in very popular areas and where many visitors made and requested these exchanges. In all situations of this kind, the clubs are urged to act with discretion and moderation in changing these flags, so that the resulting financial obligations do not affect the main service activities of the club.
The exchange of pennants between clubs is a very pleasant custom, especially when a pennant executed with creativity and artistic sense presents an interesting account of the prestige of the respective community. The exchange of pennants is an important Rotary tradition as well as a tangible symbol of international camaraderie between clubs.

Sanctions for non-participation

The Standard Constitution states three conditions on the basis of which membership status will be withdrawn automatically for reasons of non-participation. These circumstances are: absence or non-recovery of four consecutive club meetings, absence or non-recovery of 60% of club meetings over a 6-month period, or absence from no more than 30% of club meetings over a 6-month period. In each of the three cases, the member loses his status, unless the club's management previously accepted that the absence from the meetings was caused by a well-founded reason. For some people, these rules may seem particularly rigid. However, being present at club meetings is one of the basic and most important conditions that everyone accepts when becoming a member. The constitutional rules emphasize the fact that Rotary is an organization in which regular participation occupies an important place. When a member is absent, the whole club feels the personal non-participation of that member. Attendance at club meetings is considered vital to the actions and success of each Rotary club.
For any Rotarian to miss four consecutive meetings, or to disregard the other rules regarding attendance, may be considered equal to the submission of resignation from the club. When a club excludes a member for non-participation, this represents an acceptance of resignation and not a primitive measure taken by the club leaders. All Rotarians know the consequences of not showing up at meetings, and from this comes the awareness of a Rotarian's decision to withdraw from the club when he fails to meet the participation requirements.

Rotary spirit shared with new members

Do you know why most Rotarians fail to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations arising from their membership status? Is it because they don't pay their dues? Or because he doesn't attend meetings? Or because they do not contribute to the service funds of the club? Should it be about non-participation in club events and projects? No, it's none of those reasons!
Among all the obligations that a person must fulfill when accepting to become a Rotary member, the most important is to share the "Spirit of Rotary" with others. RI policies clearly state that every Rotarian has an "obligation to share the spirit of Rotary with others and to help expand Rotary by nominating qualified individuals as possible future members." It is estimated that less than 30% members of most clubs have ever made an effort to propose a new member. In every club there are many Rotarians willing to accept the pleasure of being a Rotarian, without sharing this privilege with another eligible person.
Rotary's membership policy states that: "For Rotary to be relevant to the community to which it belongs and to meet its needs, it is very important and necessary that the club co-opt all potentially eligible individuals from the community respectively.. Only if you take a quick look through the pages of a local telephone directory and find that most clubs have not yet invited representatives of all professions as potential members.
Only a Rotarian can propose a customer, neighbor, supplier, relative, business associate or other qualified person to become a member of Rotary. Have you taken it upon yourself to share the spirit of Rotary? The procedure is very simple and everyone must know at least one person who should be part of Rotary.

Tolerance of differences

Occasionally, there is a temptation to criticize the laws, customs and traditions of another country, especially those that seem strange and contrary to the country to which we belong. in some circumstances, practices or customs considered illegal in one nation, are fully legal and accepted in another.
As members of an international organization dedicated to world understanding and peace, Rotarians must refrain from judging their fellow Rotarians and citizens of other countries when they observe less usual behavior. A Rotary policy has been put into practice for more than half a century with direct reference to this dilemma of international relations.
The declaration adopted in 1933 specifies, following the recognition of the fact that certain local customs are considered legal in some countries and illegal in others, that Rotarians must be guided by the following principle of tolerance:
"Rotarians in all countries must recognize these situations and must carefully avoid criticizing the laws and traditions of Rotarians in other countries." This code of conduct also stipulates caution in "mixing Rotarians from one country with the laws and traditions of Rotarians from another country"
In our struggle to strengthen bonds of mutual understanding, goodwill and friendship, these norms continue to offer us wise advice and be our guide.

Unusual meetings

Which Rotanians have to travel the furthest for a make-up date"? The 34 members of the Rotary club in Papeete, Tahiti, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, belong to the club at the greatest distance from any other. The southernmost Rotary meeting is at Marambio-Antartida Base in Antarctica. To visit the northernmost club you have to travel beyond the Arctic Circle to reach the Rotary club in Barrow, Alaska, USA If you attend the El Aguilar club meetings in Argentina you will know the "highest" club in the world, because it is located 4,880 meters above sea level. The "lowest" club in the world is 12.2 meters below sea level in El Centra, California USA.
It is said that there is a Rotary meeting in the world every hour of every day. If one wanted to attend a meeting every day, at another Rotary club in the world, it would take at least 80 years to visit more than 29,000 Rotary clubs worldwide during this time, without a doubt, there will be hundreds of newly founded clubs that should, in turn, be visited.

Vocational Service

Vocational Service is the Second Avenue of Service NO other aspect of Rotary is in a closer relationship with each member than the personal commitment to represent their vocation or occupation in front of fellow Rotarians and to exemplify the characteristics of high ethical standards and the dignity of work. "Vocational Service Programs" are those that seek to improve business relations, perfecting the quality of exchanges, industry, trade and professions Rotarians understood that each person makes an important contribution to the emancipation of society through the professional and business activity they carry out daily It has been demonstrated frequently as the Vocational Service offers young people career guidance, information about jobs and assistance in making professional decisions. Some clubs sponsor career conferences in high schools. Many recognize the dignity of being an employee, by honoring the exemplary services of individuals who work in their community. The "4 Points Test" and other praiseworthy ethical philosophies are increasingly being promoted among young people who start working. Vocational discussions and those about problems business are commonplace for most Rotary clubs Regardless of how "Vocational Service" is presented, there is a slogan that Rotarians "recognize the full value of all useful professions" and that demonstrates "commitment to" high ethical standards in all the professions and businesses performed. This is why the "Second Way to Serve" is fundamental for every Rotary club.

Rotary rings

In most Rotary clubs in the world, the members' wives are affectionately called "Rotary Anns" ("Rotary Anns") This name was not given to discredit them, but they were named so after an interesting historical event.
Around 1914, the Rotarians from San Francisco boarded a special train to attend a conference that was held in Houston. At that time, several wives of the members also attended the event, but until the train stopped in Los Angeles, the only the female representative was the wife of the Rotarian Bru Brunmer As the train "picked up" the delegates to the convention Mrs. Ann Brunmer was introduced as Ana Rotanenilor This title soon became "Ana Rotary" As the clubs from the west had been invited to hold their next convention in San Francisco, a series of songs and stories were written, which were to take place in Houston. One of the Rotarians composed the song entitled "Rotary Ann" ("Ana Rotary") When the train arrived at the station in Houston, Rotarians from the west coast were greeted by a delegation. One of those who came to greet them was Guy Gundaker from Philadelphia, whose wife was also named Ann. During the welcoming ceremony, someone started singing "Rotary Ann" The two ladies, Ann Brunmer and Ann Gundaker , were lifted on people's shoulders and carried to the exit. People liked the title given after the names of the two women named Ann. Immediately, the same nickname began to be used for all the wives who took part in the conference, and "Anna Rotary" came into use. Guy Gundaker became RI President in 1923 and Bru Brunmer was elected President in 1952. Here's how each of the two original Rotary Anns became the "First Lady of Rotary International"

Geography lessons in Rotary

• Did you know that the Rotary Club of Reno, Nevada is further west than the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, California?
• Did you know that the meetings of the Rotary Club of Portland, Maine, are held much further south than those of the clubs in London England?
• Can you imagine that the Rotary Club of Pensacola, Florida is much further west than the Rotary Club of Detroit, Michigan?
• It is established that the Rotary Club in Cairo, Illinois, is located further south than the club in Richmond, Virginia
• There are 135 Rotary clubs with the word "Tokyo" in the club name
• The Rotary Club of Nome, Alaska is further west than the club of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the club of Santiago, Chile is located further east than the Rotary Club of Philadelphia Pennsylvania
• Rotary geographers know that virtually every Rotary club meeting in Australia is further east than the Hong Kong Rotary Club
• What do the clubs in Quito, Ecuador, Libreville, Gabon, Singapore and Kampala, Uganda have in common? You guessed correctly if you said that they all hold their meetings approximately at the equator.
• There are many interesting relationships and things to learn when you get in touch with the 29,000 clubs around the world.

Invitations to club meetings

In many Rotary clubs there is a custom for the weekly meetings to "begin" with an appropriate invocation or blessing. Usually, they are made without reference to the specification of a religious value or beliefs.
Rotary policy recognizes that, around the world, Rotarians represent many religions, ideas and beliefs. The religious views of each member are fully respected and nothing in Rotary intends to prevent each individual from remaining faithful to his own convictions.
At international meetings and conventions, it is traditional that the invocation from the beginning be carried out through a moment of silence. In order to respect all religious beliefs and to be in the spirit of tolerance towards different religions, all people are invited to seek divine guidance and peace, "each in their own personal way". It is an uplifting experience to join thousands of Rotarians in the international "silent prayer" or in the act of personal piety. Usually, the entire RI Board of Directors and all committee meetings begin with a few moments of silent meditation. Through this period of silence, Rotary demonstrates respect for the beliefs of all members, who represent all religions in the world.
Since each Rotary club is autonomous, this practice of holding a prayer or invocation at club meetings has been left entirely up to the individual traditions and customs of each individual club, with the understanding that these rituals will always be conducted in a manner that will respects the religious beliefs and beliefs of all members.

The official yearbook

How do you know when the Rotary club meetings are held in Toowoomba, Pondicherry or Recklinghausen? Simple, look in the Official Yearbook of Rotary International. The approximately 750 pages of this annual publication contain current information about Rotarians and Rotary clubs. In this book are written the day, time and meeting place of each club, among the more than 29,000 existing clubs. From the Rotary club in Aabenraa, Denmark, to the one in Zwolle, Holland, the Official Yearbook provides the name and address of each club president and secretary, as well as the number of members and a graph of the dates.
The Official Yearbook also has data on more than 525 Rotary districts, as well as the composition and purpose of all official Rotary committees. Here you can find the names and addresses of the current leadership of RI, as well as those of the former leaders. There is a list of all the former presidents of RI together with a brief presentation of their activities. An excellent list of hotels from all over the world is also presented. For $9 you can get this book from RI Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. This directory is a perfect guide to making Rotary contacts when you travel. And by the way, Toowoomba meets every Monday at 18:00, Pondicherry meets on Wednesdays at 19:00, and Recklinghausen meets on Mondays at 13:00. • Anyway, it's good to know!

Opportunities to cultivate camaraderie

Most Rotarians have succeeded professionally and in business, because they learned about certain opportunities and took advantage of them. The opportunity for Rotary camaraderie occurs at every club meeting, but not all members are aware of this aspect, the weekly club meeting is a special privilege of Rotary membership. It offers the opportunity to see other members, to meet visitors you did not know before, to talk with other members. Rotary clubs have the reputation of being "friendly clubs" and this was achieved by following a few simple steps. First, members were encouraged to sit in different places, at different tables, every week. Second, Rotarians are encouraged to stand with members they may not know well as those who are their personal friends. Thirdly, members invite new members or visitors to sit at their table, simply saying: "Come to our table, we have a free seat". Fourthly, the members all talk to each other at the table, not content to just eat in silence or talk quietly only to the person next to them. Fifthly, Rotarians make an effort to get to know all the members of the club, specifically looking for those whom they may not have known before. When Rotarians follow these simple steps, another opportunity for camaraderie arises each week. Rotarians soon realize that warm friendship with each person is the foundation of every Rotary club.

Singing in the club

Harry Ruggles was the fifth person who participated with Paul Harris in the discussion to form the first Rotary club in Chicago in 1905. Harry was a person who liked to sing, and this was a popular activity at the turn of the century. At a meeting, Harry sang from his chair and urged everyone to sing along with him. Group singing soon became a traditional part of every club meeting. The custom spread to other clubs in the United States and became a popular camaraderie activity at Rotary meetings in various countries such as Australia, Japan, Nigeria, New Zealand and Canada. Some clubs sing national songs at the beginning of the meetings. Traditional society songs are, however, most often found in Rotary clubs in Europe, South America and Asia.

Senior active member

"Senior active member" is a form of hierarchy reserved for those who have activated substantial years in the service of Rotary and in general this designation is a mark of distinction of Rotary. Being a "Senior Active Member" implies that a Rotarian has been involved in club activities for a long time.
A Rotarian automatically becomes an "active senior" after completing 15 years of service in one or more Rotary clubs. The status of "active senior" is also given to a Rotarian with 10 or more years of service, who has reached the age of 60, or to the one who has 5 or more years of service and who has reached the age of 65. A Rotarian who has also been a district governor automatically receives the title of "senior active member".
One of the advantages of being an "active senior member" is that, if he moves to another city, he can be invited to participate in Rotary without appearing in the current classification. When a Rotarian becomes an "active senior," his classification is released to allow another person to join the Rotary club. It is important to remember that "active senior" is not a classification, but a "typology" within the members. A "senior active member" is always identified by the "first classification", the one that describes his profession or function.

The inactive member

An inactive member is a person who has withdrawn from the activity and who is not yet qualified to become a senior member. One possibility to become an inactive member is to be an active member and then withdraw from his or her profession or business. The Rotary Club may also elect as an inactive member a person who has retired from the activity and who was qualified to be an active member when employed. In the last case, there is no previous classification associated with the individual despite the possibility of a wrong interpretation, there is no possibility for an "active senior member" to become an inactive member.

Honorary Member

This is one of the four types of membership that a person can have in a Rotary club and is exercised only in exceptional cases to recognize the special services and contributions that an individual has brought to the Rotary club and society. An honorary member is elected only for one year and the continuation of the membership status must be renewed annually.
The honorary member cannot propose new members to the club, has no office and is exempt from attendance requirements and other obligations within the club. Many distinguished heads of state, explorers, writers, musicians, astronauts and other public figures have been honorary members of the Rotary Club, including King Gustaf of Sweden, King George IV of England, King Badouin of Belgium, King Hassan III of Morocco, Sir Winston Churchill, philanthropist Albert Schweitzer, Charles Lindbergh, composer Jean Sibelius, explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, Thor Heyerdahl, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Dr. Albert Sabin, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and many of the presidents of the United States. Indeed, those who have been selected to be honorary members are those who have done much to carry forward the ideals of Rotary

Membership status in Rotary International

When you ask a Rotarian if he is a member of Rotary International, he will probably be upset and answer, "Of course I am a member of Rotary International." But, at that moment, the self-confident Rotarian is wrong. No Rotarian can be a member of Rotary International!
The explanation of this apparent contradiction is simple. RI's constitutional documents stipulate that membership in RI is reserved for Rotary Clubs. More than 29,000 Rotary clubs are part of the organization we call Rotary International. A Rotary club is composed of persons with: appropriate qualifications, good character and unblemished reputation, a professional or business classification, an executive or managerial position. The Rotarian belongs to a club and the club is part of Rotary International. This technical distinction is not obvious or is even unknown by most Rotarians and often creates problems or complications. This explains, however, why the RI Board of Directors relies on Rotary Clubs and extends its privileges to them rather than to Rotarians as individuals.
When someone asks you if you are a member of Rotary International, the most correct answer would be: "No! I am a member of a Rotary club." But it is hard to assume that anyone would understand the difference, or that they would really be interested.

District Governor

The Rotary District Governor has a very important function in the world of Rotary. He is the only RI leader in a geographical area called a Rotary district, which usually includes about 45 Rotary clubs. The District Governors, intensively trained at the International Assembly, carry out "quality control" for the more than 29,000 Rotary clubs worldwide. They are responsible for maintaining high standards in all clubs in their district.
The District Governor, who must make an official visit to each club in his district, is not seen as an "inspector general". Rather, his visits are full of friendly and helpful advice for club leaders, the District Governor being a useful advisor for the achievement of the Rotary Objective by the clubs in the district, as well as a catalyst in support of the improvement of Rotary programs. The District Governor is a very experienced Rotarian who, generously and voluntarily, devoted an entire year to the task of leader. The governor possesses a wealth of knowledge about Rotary's current programs, goals, policies and objectives, and is a person of recognized quality in his profession, within the community and in Rotary. The governor must supervise the establishment of new clubs and strengthen the existing ones. He undertakes a number of duties to ensure that the quality of Rotary in his district is not compromised and is responsible for the promotion and implementation of all programs and activities of the RI President and the RI Board of Directors. The Governor plans and directs the District Conference as well as other special events.
Each District Governor Plays an Important Role in Rotary's Worldwide Operations The District Governor is a true example of "Service Above Self" fulfilled with dedication.

International Assembly

The International Assembly takes place every year, in February or March, to prepare all those nominated for the position of District Governor from all over the world, for the appointment that takes place on July 1. Together with their wives, the 525 future governors participate, along with experimental Rotarian leaders, in more than a week of training and "motivational sessions". At the meeting, they meet that special Rotarian who will serve as RI President during the period in which they will be governors and learn the RI theme for the following year, based on which they will form their District Conference.
The first International Assembly was held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1919. Subsequent meetings were held in Lake Placid, New York, Boca Raton, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee. The most recent meetings in recent years took place in Anaheim, California. But, despite the passage of time, the message on the frontispiece of the meeting room has remained unchanged for so many years: "Enter to learn... advance to serve."

District Assembly

Due to the fact that Rotary leadership changes every year, special efforts are made to train the more than 29,000 Club leaders, in view of the obligations they will assume. The annual District Meeting is a major training event for district club leaders around the world.
The District Assembly provides motivation, inspiration, Rotary information and new ideas for club leaders, directors and key people in each club's committee. Some of the most experienced district leaders lead informative discussions about all phases of Rotary administration and service projects. The meetings offer all participants new valuable ideas to make their own clubs more attractive and interesting. Usually, between eight and ten delegates from each club are invited to take part in the training sessions.
Another important feature of the District Assembly is the recapitulation of the theme-program by the future District Governor, as well as the presentation of the new RI President for the following year. District goals and objectives are also described here, as well as the development of plans through implementation.
The success of each Rotary club is frequently determined by the total participation and representation of the clubs at the annual District Meeting.

District Conference

Most Rotarians have never attended a Rotary District Conference. These Rotarians have not experienced one of the most enjoyable and rewarding privileges of being a Rotary member.
The District Conference is held for all Rotary members and their spouses, not just for club leaders and committee members. The purpose of the District Conference is "camaraderie", spending time in a pleasant way through inspired discussions about aspects that make membership in Rotary much more meaningful. Each person who participates in a District Conference discovers that being a Rotarian begins to offer more and more satisfactions due to the new experiences, education and meetings made during the conference. This is the cause that determines those who have participated once in a conference, to participate every year.
Each of the more than 525 districts organizes a conference annually. These meetings are considered so important that the RI President selects a leading Rotarian as his personal representative to attend and speak at each of them. The program always includes some fun moments, interesting discussions and "inspiring programs".
One of the additional advantages offered by participating in a District Conference, is the opportunity to get to know the members of a club better. The most lasting friendships arose from the spirit of camaraderie in which the District Conferences take place.

The Seminar for the Preparation of the Presidents-Elect

The rules of Rotary International require that each member nominated for the office of District Governor, in cooperation with the Governor in exercise, to schedule and organize in the first months of the year a Seminar for the Preparation of the Presidents Elect of the clubs in the district. These two or three days of the seminar, which are usually abbreviated as SPPA, represent a training session on motivations and the science of management, which will help the future club president for the position he will assume starting on July 1 . Among the topics discussed is the implementation of the RI theme for the following year, as well as information about the new and ongoing RI programs. Also, there is a review of the district operations, the planning of the district programs and the organization of other activities for the coming year. How to organize a budget. setting goals, time management and new ideas for club meetings, these are just some of the aspects that a President-Elect learns at the SPPA organized in their district. In some areas of the world SPPA are organized as joint events of several districts.

Youth Exchange

"Youth Exchange" is one of the most popular programs that promote global understanding and the development of long-term friendships. He started in 1927 at the Rotary Club of Nice, France. In 1939, such a larger program was created between California and Latin America. Since then, the program has expanded worldwide. In recent years, over 7,000 young people have participated annually in programs sponsored by Rotary.
The values of this program were experienced not only by the participating high school students, but also by the host families, who sponsored the clubs, providing accommodation to the young people during the program and, through them, the entire community. The participants in this program usually offer their colleagues from the host schools excellent opportunities to learn about the customs, language, traditions, way of life of another country.
"Youth Exchange" offers young people interesting opportunities and rich experiences by visiting other parts of the world. Students usually spend an entire school year in another country or, in some cases, some clubs or districts shorten these exchanges of experience to a few weeks or months.
The program is recommended to all clubs as an active practice, in order to increase international understanding and well-being.

No personal privileges

Friends often ask if Rotarians receive personal business benefits from other club members. Should Rotarians expect special discounts or preferential services just because they do business with a Rotarian friend?
The answer is clear: "No". The "Rotary Manual of Procedures" specifies very clearly the Rotary status in this case. The original policy, approved by the RI Board of Directors in 1933, stated that "a Rotarian should not expect, much less demand, special attention and more advantages from a fellow Rotarian than any associate in business or in profession, with which he has various work relationships". For over 50 years, the concept has been expressed as follows: "true friends do not demand anything from each other and any abuse of the trust of friendship for profit is foreign to the spirit of Rotary". On the other hand, if a new business arises as a natural result of Rotary friendship, it follows the same development within Rotary as outside it, not being a violation of the ethics of the Rotary statute.
It is important to remember that the primary purpose of Rotary friendship is to provide each member with a unique opportunity to serve others and the friendship is not used to obtain personal profits and special privileges.

"Every Rotarian is an example for the youth"

In most of RI's official literature regarding the help given to young people, there is a certain slogan: "Every Rotarian, an Example for Youth". These words were adopted in 1949 by the RI Board of Directors, as an expression of the commitment made to the children and youth of each community in which Rotary operates. Helping youth has long been an important part of the Rotary program. Projects regarding helping youth have taken many forms in the world. Rotarians sponsor Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, athletic teams, centers for children with disabilities, school safety patrols, school camps, children's parks, district amusement parks, children's health centers and children's hospitals. Many clubs carry out professional counseling activities, launch youth employment programs and promote the application of the 4 Points Test. Also, the projects regarding the prevention of the use of drugs and alcohol, as well as the warning about the scourge of AIDS, are supported by Rotarians.
In any situation, Rotarians have the opportunity to be taken as models for the young men and women in their communities. It is better to learn to be useful when you have a model. As the young people of today become the adults of tomorrow, it is to be hoped that each of them will have the same desire and the same spirit to help the future generations of children and adolescents. The slogan accepted more than 40 years ago is just as vital today. It contains a challenge full of substance "Every Rotarian, an Example for Youth"

World Community Service

World Community Service (WCS) is a Rotary program through which a club or district in one country provides humanitarian assistance to a club in another country. Usually, aid is given for community development, where a Rotary program contributes to improving living standards and quality of life. The final objective of this program is to build a climate of understanding and well-being among all the people of the globe. An efficient way to find a club in another part of the world that needs help is to use the "Exchange of SCM Projects", a semi-weekly publication that contains the list of hundreds of activities that deserve to be carried out in different geographical areas. This list is available at the RI Secretariat in Evanston and can be provided upon request. The secretariat holds the latest projects, establishes the estimated costs and provides the names of the appropriate contact persons. The list can also be accessed on the RI website at
Clubs that need assistance or those looking for a club to help them with a humanitarian project such as building a clinic, a hospital, a school, a community's water network, a library, or other activity in support of the population can to register their needs. Clubs looking for a suitable SCM project can easily review the list of needs registered in the Project Exchange. After that, the exchange is carried out concretely, by connecting the needs with the resources.
Each Rotary club is called to support a new World Community Service project. Every year the SCM Project Exchange represents a special help for determining the real needs, describing the project and the clubs with which it cooperates in that area of development. The only thing that needs to be done is to "get to work" to complete the project and, at the same time, to build the bridges of friendship and world understanding.

Women's organizations associated with Rotary clubs

Some of Rotary's important programs are not run by Rotarians. This situation is determined by the fact that many projects are sponsored by the wives of Rotarians as well as by other women's organizations associated with Rotary clubs around the world. Women's organizations - the most often mentioned are Women of Rotary Rotary Ann Clubs Las Damas de Rotary Rotary Wives, or the most formal of them, The Inner Wheel - annually lead hundreds of notable projects with a humanitarian purpose in their communities. Women's organizations have founded maternity schools, food and clothing distribution centers, improvements to hospitals, orphanages and homes for the elderly as well as other activities, and frequently carry out daily volunteer work in child care centers for working mothers and within the "Youth Exchange" program ". Women's organizations usually complement and supplement the local activity of Rotary clubs. Many of the women in these organizations actively lead international operational projects as well as local projects.
The RI Board of Directors In 1984 recognized, In 1984, the excellent service and friendship between clubs and their affiliated women's organizations and encouraged the cooperation of Rotary clubs with these organizations.

Literacy Program

It has been estimated that one billion people - one sixth of the world's population - do not know how to read. Illiteracy of adults and children is a major problem of highly industrialized nations and developed countries. The number of illiterate adults in the world increases by 25 million every year. In the USA, one fourth of the entire population is considered practically illiterate.
The tragedy of illiteracy is that those who do not know how to read do not have their own independence and become victims of unscrupulous manipulation, of poverty and lose their human dignity that gives meaning to all life. Illiteracy is revolting. It is a major obstacle in economic, political, social and personal development. Illiteracy is a barrier to international understanding, cooperation and peace throughout the world. Literacy has been considered a priority program since 1978 by the Rotary Committee on Hunger Health and Humanity (or "3-H", in English). More recent scholarship from the Committee has led to the creation of an excellent sourcebook of all the reasons for literacy around the world. This Rotary-sponsored publication, entitled The Right to Read, was edited by Rotarian Eve Malmquist, a former Disinctual Governor of Linkoping, Sweden, a recognized authority on educational research. The book paved the way for a major Rotary program based on the development and promotion of literacy.
In 1985, the RI Council launched a 10-year literacy campaign. In 1992 the Council extended it until the year 2000. In 1997, the Council extended it again until the year 2005. Many Rotary clubs closely monitor the literacy needs of their community. Many clubs provide primary textbooks for learning to read. Others lay the foundations and develop language and reading schools, secure volunteers for assistance and buy morning reading materials. Rotarians can play a vital role in their community and in the development of countries, through promotion projects that open new opportunities created by the ability to read.

Care for the elderly

A current of interest has been focused in Rotary to provide "new opportunities for the elderly". In 1990, the RI Board of Directors asked Rotarians to find new projects to help the elderly, namely to develop intergenerational activities and to integrate the elderly into society and the workplace. The following year, the Board of Directors initially held a meeting about emphasizing the service "with" the elderly, but also "for" them.
As a result of the increase in the elderly population worldwide, their needs to receive special attention have multiplied accordingly. As citizens age, it becomes extremely important for them to maintain their personal independence and to continue to have control over their own lives, possibly even to extend it if possible. Many Rotary clubs are looking for appropriate ways to help older people in their communities who are facing health problems, loneliness, insufficient nutrition, mobility difficulties, inability to do the usual things, loss of family, inadequate housing and who have information limited information about available social aid and emergency medical assistance agencies. Many clubs initiated the community service of assistance to the elderly from the retirement programs and, at the same time, through the members of the clubs, they improved and adjusted them with new information. Other clubs initially have "adoptive grandparents" programs and other activities between generations, which allow the use of the experience and knowledge of the elderly to help young people. Rotarians often carry out activities that elderly people can no longer undertake.
The greatest desire of the elderly is to find in their friends a real expression of their care and concern for them. All Rotarians should seriously consider how they and their clubs can actively participate in programs to help the elderly. There is an area of the Community Service where new possibilities offered by each may appear, thinking of the fact that one day they will also be among the elderly.

International Convention

Annually, every May or June, RI organizes a world convention to "stimulate, inspire and inform all Rotarians internationally". The convention, which cannot be held two consecutive years in the same country, is the annual meeting for the working management of the association. The planning process is usually started 4 or 5 years in advance.
The RI conventions are planned as follows: Singapore in 1999; Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2000; San Antonio, Texas, USA, in 2001. The RI Board of Directors analyzes possible locations in general and invites cities to make proposals. Rotary Conventions are international events attended by between 20,000 and 35,000 Rotarians and invited persons. All members should plan to attend such a convention to discover the true internationality of Rotary. It is an experience that is not easily forgotten.

The peace conferences

From time to time Rotarians read promotional texts announcing the holding of a presidential or regional peace conference. This conference is roughly similar to the RI annual convention, but generally has fewer Rotarian participants and guests, which is its clear difference from the international convention. The purpose of an RI presidential or peace conference is to develop and promote meetings, friendships and understanding among those attending, as well as to do what is necessary for the discussion and exchange of ideas on international Rotary issues related to humanitarian service and activities promoting world welfare and understanding. Some peace conferences are sponsored by districts with the support of the Rotary Foundation.
Presidential conferences usually attract two or three hundred people and, because they are considered special events in the Rotary calendar, they are not organized according to a specific schedule. The conferences are arranged by a committee appointed by the RI President. Rotarians from all over the world are always welcome. Participating in a peace conference from another part of the world is a pleasant, uplifting and fascinating experience. It highlights another facet of the international camaraderie in Rotary.

Interstate Committees

In 1931, Rotarians from France and Germany formed what was called a "petit committee", a small group with the aim of initiating better relations between the two neighboring nations. Since then, Rotarians from all over Europe have initiated the creation of Interstate Committees, with the aim of encouraging contacts between Rotarians from Rotary clubs around the world.
Interstate committees were not created in many regions to promote friendship, but to cooperate in sponsoring World Community Service projects, student exchange, and other activities to improve understanding between nations. Interstate Committee sponsors frequently visit Rotarians and their national clubs and organize cross-town meetings and conferences.
In certain cases, Interstate Committees are created between countries located at great distances from each other, to encourage goodwill and friendship of some areas of the world, either similar or in a partnership status. Interstate committees coordinate their efforts with those of district governors in their countries and always use their ability to guide districts and clubs. The Interstate Committees emphasize the additional mission of Rotary clubs to fulfill the responsibilities arising from the Fourth Way to Serve: understanding, goodwill and international peace.


The structure of RI in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) forms an interesting chapter in the history of Rotary. In 1914, after Rotary expanded across the Atlantic to Great Britain and Ireland, the British Association of Rotary Clubs was established as part of the International Association of Rotary Clubs. During the First World War, there were few international contacts between clubs, and the British Association had a limited number of Rotary clubs, from Great Britain, from Ireland and some from other European communities. After the war, a new Constitution of Rotary Clubs was adopted in 1922. This established the principle that a country that has 25 Rotary clubs can receive the status of "united territory", and those that have one representative on the RI Board of Directors receive and other specific powers. Clubs from Great Britain and Ireland immediately submitted a petition to receive this status. No other group in the world has requested and received this status. In 1927, RI stopped the concept of a united territory and organized Rotary clubs into "zones". However, all the "rights, privileges and powers of the existence of a united territory" remained forever protected and perpetuated. Since RIBI is the only united territory, it has continued to function as an independent part of RI, certified by the approval of the Constitution of RI.
RIBI's form of administration is unique and is close to that of Great Britain and Ireland due to geography, language, tradition and custom. Because of the historical relations, RIBI has drawn up an administrative structure slightly different from the other Rotary clubs and districts in the world, even though it is a full member of RI.

Legislative Council

In the early days of Rotary, any change in the club's Unwritten Laws or Constitution was proposed and voted on at the annual convention. But as the attendance at the conventions was increasing and the open discussions became more extensive, a Legislative Council was created in 1934, with the role of being a group of advice, debate and analysis of the proposals before they are voted in the convention .
At the Convention in Atlanta, in 1970, it was decided that the Legislative Council would become the legislative or parliamentary component of Rotary. The Legislative Council is made up of one delegate from each Rotary district, along with some former members of the RI Board of Directors. It was agreed that this council should meet every three years, in a different period than the one in which the convention takes place.
The Legislative Council, whose next meeting will take place in 2001, has the responsibility to act and study all "decrees" that propose changes to the Unwritten Laws and the Standard Constitution, as well as "decisions" that propose changes to Rotary's policies and procedures. Proposals may be submitted by any club, district or RI Board of Directors. The actions of the Legislative Council are the subject of discussion for all Rotary clubs in the world, until they are completed. If ten percent of the votes of the clubs oppose an action of the Legislative Council, that legislation is suspended and is submitted to all the clubs for the final vote.
The Legislative Council gives Rotary the democratic framework for legislative changes in RI's operations.

Recreational and vocational camaraderie

From stamp collecting to ballroom dancing, Rotary hoobys are as diverse as the members themselves. Among the over one million Rotarians from all over the world, an enthusiastic radio amateur or a chess player must find partners with whom to share the same passions. But the members share more than their common interest in sport diving and the Esperanto language; they share the interest in camaraderie and duty and the promotion of world understanding. That is why it is not surprising that the International Skiing Fellowship of Rotarians donates the profits won at ski competitions to the Rotary Foundation, or that the Flying Rotarians help the medical staff with materials.
You only have to take one look at the types of "vocational camaraderie" to see how they differ from recreational ones. With Rotarians united by their common professional interests in fields such as art and communication or financial-banking, it is obvious that "Vocational Service" represents an important concern of international camaraderie among club members. Members exchange technical information and seek opportunities to offer their expertise not only to their communities and countries, but also to their professions. For example, the Ophthalmology International Vocational Fellowship organizes a professional seminar on eye surgery in developing countries.

Rotary Friendly Exchange

An interesting Rotary program of camaraderie is the Rotary Friendship Exchange. This action first recommended by the New Horizons Committee, in 1981, intended to encourage Rotarians and their wives to visit Rotarian families in other areas of the world. These visits can be organized on the basis of relationships between clubs or between districts. The idea was for several Rotarian couples to travel to another country within the Rotary Friendship Exchange program. The hospitality was much greater when the visits were reciprocal. After a successful pilot experiment, the Rotary Friendship Exchange became a permanent Rotary program.
The Rotary Friendship Exchange is frequently compared to the Rotary Foundation's "Study Group Exchange" program, except that it involves Rotarian couples paying all their own expenses related to their interstate experience. The doors of friendship are open in a way that can only be found in Rotary. Rotarians looking for an unusual vacation and camaraderie experiences learn more about the Rotary Friendly Exchange. Some unusual Rotary adventures await you!

Rotarian Young Leader Awards (YLT)

Every summer, hundreds of young people are selected to participate in camps and leadership seminars sponsored by Rotary in the USA, Australia, Canada, India, France, Argentina, South Korea and in many other countries. In a relaxed atmosphere, the groups made up of such wonderful young men and women spend a week of an exciting leadership training program, discussions, social activities created to favor personal development, leadership skills and a good civic spirit. The official name of this activity is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards or PCTR ("Rotary Youth Leadership Awards" or RYLA), although these events are also referred to by other names: Royal Camp, Enterprise Camp, Youth Leaders Seminars, Youth Conferences And so on
The PCTR program began in Australia in 1959, when the youth from the State of Queensland were selected to meet Princess Alexandra, the young cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. The Brisbane Rotarians, who hosted the participants, were impressed by the quality of the young leaders. The annual meeting of the young leaders was then decided, for a week of social, cultural and educational activities. The PCTR program has gradually developed in all Rotary districts in Australia and New Zealand. In 1971, the RI Board of Directors adopted PCTR as the official program of RI.

Rotary Community Corps

One of the programs in the panoply of activities and worldwide Rotary service projects is the Rotary Community Corps. Previously known as Rotary Village Corps (or Rotary Community Service Corps in urban areas), this form of "GRASS-ROOTS" was initiated by RI President MAT Caparas, in 1986, and had the goal of improving the quality of life in villages, neighborhoods and communities. There is frequently a large job offer, but there is no process to mobilize men and women to lead useful community development projects.
The Rotary Community Corps is a group of non-Rotarians sponsored by the Rotary Club that wants to help the community through a service program. Rotarians provide orientation, encouragement, organizational structure and other elements of material assistance for Rotary Community Bodies, which in return bring their contribution to work to help their own community. Rotary Community Corps is another way Rotarians help communities with great needs.
In affected urban areas, groups of citizens engaged in these efforts can benefit from the managerial and organizational characteristics of Rotarians when they take on valuable projects to help their own community.
The Rotary Community Corps type program offers another dimension to the concept of service to improve the quality of life.

Rotary volunteers

You can find them working in refugee camps, mobile clinics, makeshift hospitals and villages forgotten by the world. Although most of them are doctors, they come from all areas of active life. They are Rotary Volunteers.
The Rotary Volunteer Program is open to Rotarians, Rotaractors, and the Alumni Foundation; even non-Rotarians can participate. Those who wish to help abroad must complete the Personal Registration Form for Volunteers of the International Rotary Volunteers, at the headquarters of the Secretariat that serves that area. Also, they must receive a volunteer invitation from the host Rotary club in the area where they want to intervene. There are several sources for finding volunteer opportunities and special needs.
The Rotary Volunteer Program operates under the auspices of the Vocational Service, at the club or district level. The Rotary Foundation occasionally provides funds that cover air transportation and a modest living for Rotary Volunteers. Volunteers do not receive a salary or honorarium for their services. Rotary volunteers have gone to almost a hundred countries to give their time and experience.


Interact, a youth service club sponsored by Rotary, was launched by the RI Board of Directors in 1962. The first Interact was founded by the Rotary club of Melbourne, Florida, USA. Interact clubs offer high school boys and girls the opportunity to work together in a spirit of world service, camaraderie and international understanding. The term "Interact" is derived from "inter" meaning international, and "act" meaning action. Each Interact club must be sponsored and supervised by a Rotary club and must plan service projects in their own school, community and the world.
Today there are more than 6,000 Interact clubs with 138,500 members in 96 countries. Interactors develop their management skills and gain practical experience in managing service projects, so they gain the satisfaction that comes from helping others. A major goal of Interact is to offer young people the opportunity to establish relationships of understanding and goodwill with young people from all over the world.


After the success recorded in the 60s by the Interact clubs, created for school-aged youth, the RI Board of Directors established Rotaract in 1968. The new organization was created to promote the spirit of civic responsibility and leadership potential among the clubs of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30. The first Rotaract club was founded by the Rotary Club of North Carolina, USA in 1998 there were 139,000 members in more than 6,000 Rotaract clubs in 139 countries.
Rotaract clubs emphasize the importance of individual responsibility based on personal success and civic engagement. Each club is required to carry out at least two projects each year, one aimed at community service and the other at promoting international understanding. Rotaract also offers opportunities that lead to professional development and better leadership. Rotaract carries out many activities and social programs for the development of the community. A Rotaract club can only exist if it is sponsored, guided and advised continuously by a Rotary club. Rotaract programs are based on the motto: "Camaraderie Through Service."

The Rotary Fleet in the Rose Parade

The RI fleet in the annual Tournament of the Rose Parade is without a doubt the biggest project
of public relations of Rotary clubs in the USA and Canada. Since 1924, a Rotary fleet has been entered 21 times, including every year since 1981. The famous parade in Pasadena, California, is watched by approximately 200 million people via the worldwide television network.
Funds for the organization of the Rotary parade are voluntarily donated by Rotarians and clubs from the USA and Canada. The costs to design, organize and decorate with flowers a fleet of the Rose Parade amount to an approximate amount of 135,000 USD. Hundreds of Rotarians travel to Pasadena each year to help arrange the flowers in the Rotary Fleet.
A multi-district Rotary committee in Southern California coordinates the Rotary Fleet building plans and schedules volunteer hours for the hundreds of volunteers. The Rotary fleet must portray an annual theme that, in general, represents a worldwide service program of Rotary.
At every New Year's celebration, Rotarians are very proud to see their fleet and realize what can be achieved by contributing a dollar or two to the realization of this successful public relations project.

And other Rotary awards

• The first awarding of the Rotary awards for "Distinguished Achievements" took place in 1969, awarded to clubs that have carried out successful projects in Civic and International Service.
• The first Interact club was organized in Melbourne, Florida, in 1962, and became the pioneer for the 6,000 Interact clubs established in 96 countries.
• The first convention organized in the Southern Hemisphere took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1948.
• Rotary acquired the copyright of the "Four Horse Test" in 1954, when its author, Herbert Taylor, became RI President.
• The first Rotary community project took place in 1907, when Chicago Rotarians launched a campaign to install a public "relief point" in the city hall.
• 1964-65 was the first year in which the Rotary Foundation received $1 million in funds in a single year. Today more than $65 million is raised annually. The total contributions from 1917 until now is 950 million USD.
• The first appeal to help the victims of a disaster was made in 1913 when 25,000 USD were collected for the victims of the floods in Ohio and Indiana, USA.
• The Rotarian motto "He who helps the best earns the most", was expressed for the first time at the first Rotary Convention in Chicago, in 1910.

RI General Secretariat

The daily operations of the RI Secretariat are carried out under the guidance of the General Secretary, the most important Rotary professional. Although the General Secretary answers to the RI Board of Directors and the President, he is the one who ensures the functionally necessary management of the more than 500 members who make up the RI Secretariat. The General Secretary also functions as the Secretary of the RI Board of Directors and also as the Executive and Financial Chief of the Rotary Foundation, under the supervision of the foundation's sponsors. He is the secretary of all Rotary committees as well as the Legislative Council, regional conferences and the Rotary Annual Convention.
The General Secretary is proposed by the RI Board of Directors for a period of no more than 5 years and is usually re-elected to this position. Starting with 1910, nine people worked in this position. Chesley Perry, the first General Secretary, served from 1910 to 1942. Those who followed him were: Phil Lovejoy (1942-52), George Means (1953-72), Harry Stewart (1972-78), Herb Pigman (1979-86), Philip Lindsey (1986-90), Spencer Robinson Jr. (1990-93) and Geoffrey Large (1995-97). Herb Pigman was re-elected to this position in 1993. S. Aaron Hyatt was elected in 1997. Throughout Rotary's history, the personal influence of General Secretaries and their administrative skills have significantly shaped the way Rotary programs and activities are carried out.

Election of a President

Every year a brilliant Rotarian is elected as RI World President. The process starts two years earlier, when a nomination committee of 15 people is chosen from different regions of the world. To be considered qualified for acceptance into this committee, a Rotarian must have served on the RI Board of Directors and have had substantial Rotary experience in establishing relationships with Rotary club leaders worldwide.
The IT Committee can consider as candidates for the presidency all the former Directors of the RI. Committee members as well as current Directors cannot be considered. Any Rotary club may bring a former RI Director to the committee's attention. The committee meets in September to select the Rotarian who will be nominated for the position of President. His name is announced to all clubs. Any Rotary club can propose a person for nomination before December 1, and this nomination must obtain the votes of one percent of all Rotary clubs in the world (about 250). If this happens, the choice is made by postal vote. If the clubs do not present any other nominated candidate, the person chosen by the committee is declared to be the President-nominee. From this moment on, that special Rotarian and his wife will spend more than a year preparing for the upcoming event, and after that another year serving Rotarians around the world as International President.

Annual Rotary Themes

In 1955, RI President AZ Baker announced the theme called "Develop Our Resources", which served as Rotary's development program. Since then, each President has initiated a theme for his own Rotary year. The shortest themes were in 1961-62 when Joseph Abey chose the theme "Act". Other one-word themes were chosen by Charles Tennent in 1958-59 ("Serve") and in 1968-69 by Kiyoshi Thogasaki ("Participate").
Carl Miller in 1963-64 had an appropriate theme for the period in which he proposed it: "Guidelines for Rotary in the Space Age". Other themes in step with the times were: 1980-81, by Rolf Klarich, called "Make Time for Service" and William Carter in 1973-74, called "Time for Action". Two themes were related to commercial advertising: "A better world through Rotary" (by Richard Evans in 1966-67) and "Give a hand" (by Clem Renouf in 1978-79). Bridges were a powerful metaphor. Thus, Harold Thomas, 1959-60, exhorted Rotarians to "Build bridges of friendship"; William Walk, 1970-71, created "Build bridges across chasms" and Hiroji Mukasa, 1982-83, declared "Humanity is unique - Build bridges of friendship throughout the world".
A worldwide orientation was given by Stanley McCaffrey in 1981-82 with the message "World Peace and Understanding through Rotary", and again by Carlos Canseco in 1984-85, who exhorted Rotarians: "Discover the new world of Service" . in other years, people were urged: "You are Rotary" (Edd McLaughlin, 1960-61); "Goodwill begins with you" (Ernst Breitholtz, 1971-72) and "You are the key" (Edward Cadman, 1985-86). Frequently the themes urge Rotarians to become more involved in their club activities, such as "Get involved in Rotary and help people" (William Skelton, 1983-84) or "Be an involved Rotary member" (Luther Hodges, 1967 -68). But whether it is "Review and renew", "Look once more", "Let the service light your way" or "Ennoble the human being", it is clear that the President of RI presents Rotarians with a very important annual program developed. In 1986-87, President MAT Caparas chose the inspired message: "Rotary brings hope". Charles Keller in 1987-88 saw "Rotarians - united in service, dedicated to peace", while Royce Abbey asked members in 1988-89: "Bring life into Rotary - Your life". Hugh Archer (1989-90) urged them to "Enjoy Rotary!" and Paulo Costa (1990-91) exhorted them to "Honor Rotary with Faith and Enthusiasm". Rajendra Saboo (1991-92) asked Rotarians to "Look beyond themselves". In 1992-93 Clifford Dochterman reminded Rotarians that "True happiness comes from helping others", and in 1993-94 Robert Barth advised Rotarians to "Believe in what they do and do what they believe". In 1994-95 Bill Huntley encouraged Rotarians to "Be a Friend" to their communities. In 1995-96 Herbert Brown asked Rotarians to "Act with integrity, help with love, fight for peace", In 1996-97 Luis Giay's theme was "Build the future through work and clairvoyance"; Glen Kinross in 1997-98 proposed the plan to "Show that Rotary cares"; and James Lacy In 1998-1999 asked Rotarians to "Follow the Rotary dream".

Electoral campaign prohibited

One of the interesting unwritten laws of RI stipulates that "no Rotarian is allowed to carry out electoral campaign or propaganda for his election to a position within RI". This provision also includes obtaining positions as District Governor, Director in RI, President of RI and other committees. Rotary policy prohibits the distribution of brochures, specific literature or letters from any candidate or anyone else for the benefit of such candidate.
After a Rotarian has indicated his intention to run for one of the Rotary offices, he must refrain from verbal engagements, appearances or publicity that could be considered to favor his candidacy. The only information that can be provided by clubs regarding the candidates proposed for a position is that officially distributed by the General Secretary of RI.
The Rotarian who becomes a candidate for a certain position such as Disinctual Governor or Director in RI must avoid any action that could be interpreted as the possibility of giving him a certain advantage over the other candidates. Not fully complying with these provisions has resulting in the disqualification of that candidate.
In Rotary there is a belief that the service over time and the qualifications of a Rotarian speak for themselves and do not require advertising or any other special promotion.

The Rotary Foundation

The majority of important projects have grown from the smallest seeds. The Rotary Foundation is an example of this fact.
In 1917 RI President Arch Klumph told the delegates at the Atlanta Convention that "it seems appropriate to accept appropriations for the purpose of doing good in the world" The reaction was polite and favorable, but the funds did not materialize easily. A year later, the "Rotary Endowment Funds," as it was first called, received its first contributions of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, which represented the balance of the Kansas City Convention's account, as a result of annual meetings since 1918. Annually, small amounts were collected but after 6 years it was announced that only 700 USD had been collected for the endowment fund. A decade later, the Rotary Foundation was founded in its current form at the Minneapolis Convention in 1928. Over the next 4 years, the foundation's funds grew to $50,000. In 1937 funds of 2,000,000 USD were announced but these plans were abandoned due to the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1947, after the death of Paul Harris, a new era was opened for the Rotary Foundation, as a tribute in memory of the one who founded Rotary. For that period, the Rotary Foundation had the objective of continuing the development of "friendly and understanding relations between the peoples of different nations" In 1954 the foundation received for the first time half a million USD from the contributions of a single year, and in 1965 a million USD.
It is hard to imagine that from those humble beginnings, the Rotary Foundation has come to receive more than 65 million USD every year for educational and humanitarian activities all over the world.

The permanent fund of the Rotary Foundation

Arch Klumph, the father of the Rotary Foundation said "We must look at the foundation not as something belonging to the moment, but to consider it from the perspective of the years and generations to come" That is why the Foundation's Permanent Fund is considered the most important way to ensure the future of Rotary's educational and humanitarian programs. Contributions to this Fund, officially called "Contributions for World Understanding and Peace", are investments for the future. Only the profits made from their investment are used to support the Foundation's programs. In recent times, it is intentional that the Permanent Fund becomes a stable and secure supplement in support of the Foundation, to guarantee a minimum level of scheduled activities and for the possibility of carrying out more extensive programs in the future.
The Foundation offers a special recognition to anyone who contributes a substantial amount to the Permanent Fund, or to anyone who gives at least USD 1000 in cash. The donor bears the name of Benefactor of the Rotary Foundation. In 1998 there were over 36,000 Benefactors worldwide.

Ambassador Scholarships

The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship Program is the largest international private Ambassadorial Scholarship program. In 1947, 18 "Rotary Brothers" organizations from 11 countries were selected to act as goodwill ambassadors while they studied for an academic year in another country. Since that time, approximately USD 335 million has been spent on 30,000 scholarships, for people from 125 countries, who studied in 105 countries around the world.
The purpose of this program is to develop relations of friendship and international mutual understanding between the peoples of different countries. The fellows are expected to be very good goodwill ambassadors in the relationship with the people of the host country, both through official and unofficial appearances within Rotary and non-Rotary groups. Each fellow has the mission of being a Rotary advisor to facilitate involvement in Rotary and integration into the culture of the host country.
In 1994-95, the Rotary Foundation offered two new types of scholarships as part of the Academic Year of Ambassadorial Scholarships. The Multi-Annual Ambassadorial Scholarship is awarded for a period of two or three years of study abroad, to obtain a diploma the Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship grants funds for a period of three or six months of intensive study of the language and culture of another country.
Besides the fact that it is an investment in the education of tomorrow's leaders, the scholarships awarded by the Rotary Foundation create strong ties between countries and, in addition, constitute an important step towards world understanding and well-being.

Study Group Exchange (SGS)

One of the Rotary Foundation's most popular and rewarding programs is the Study Group Exchange (SGS). Since the first exchange between California and Japan in 1965, the program has provided educational experiences for over 35,000 business people who have been divided into 6,500 teams. The SGS program pairs districts that give and receive study teams. Since 1965, more than $59 million has been awarded by the Rotary Foundation to SGS scholarships. One of the attractive purposes of SGS is the opportunity offered to team members to meet, talk and live with Rotarians and their families, in a warm spirit of friendship and hospitality. The first SGS was only for men, but in recent years, the teams have included both women and men equally.
Besides learning new things about another country by visiting farms, schools, factories, offices and government institutions, the SGS teams also served as goodwill ambassadors. They brought something from the Rotarian communities of origin to the host nations. In recent years, teams of a single vocational and cultural group have been changed. Many SGS teams have helped to create humanitarian projects between countries. Many of the personal contacts turned into long-lasting friendships. Indeed, the SGS program has offered Rotarians one of the most enjoyable, practical and meaningful ways to promote world understanding.

Program for Health, Hunger and Humanity

In 1978, Rotary launched its most humanitarian service activity, the Health, Hunger and Humanity Program (SFU Program or "3-H" in English). The SFU program was designed to take on large-scale service projects that exceed the capacity of individual Rotary clubs or club groups. Since 1995, more than 185 different SFU projects have taken place in 58 countries, worth almost 45 million USD. The objective of these projects was to improve health, to relieve hunger and to intensify human, cultural and social development among the peoples of the whole world. The ultimate goal was to promote international understanding, well-being and peace.
The first SFU project was the vaccination of over 6 million children in the Philippines against polio. This was the beginning of what is known today as the PolioPlus Program. SFU has progressed and new aid programs have appeared among the peoples of developing countries. Today, in addition to the campaign to immunize more than one billion children from different countries against polio, SFU promoted nutrition programs, vocational education, improvement of irrigation systems to increase food production, rehabilitation of polio patients and other actions for the benefit of a large number of people from developing countries. All SFU projects are supported by voluntary contributions of Rotarians through the Rotary Foundation. In years to come, SFU programs can be seen as Rotary's most outstanding service activities, showing that Rotarians care and are concerned about the plight of those in need, wherever they may be.

Rotary Funding (or Matching Grants)

Among the programs of the Rotary Foundation are Rotary Finances, through which Rotary clubs and districts are assisted in the development of International Service projects. Since 1965, more than 6,200 such Rotary Grants have been awarded to projects in 165 countries, for a total of more than $56 million. A club or district from a country other than the country in which the project will take place must contribute an amount at least as large as that requested from the Rotary Foundation. Rotary funding is given to modernize hospitals, to develop school programs, to drill water wells, to assist people with disabilities or who require special medical assistance, to provide resources to orphanages, to create sanitary facilities, to distribute food and materials, as well as many other forms of the international civic service, in areas with great shortages in the world. Some Rotary Funding is awarded for projects that require amounts from $15,000 to $50,000, but most are between $5,000 and $10,000. Rotary funds cannot be used to build buildings, with the exception of shelters for poor families, and cannot be used for programs already started or completed. The personal participation of Rotarians is particularly important and the benefits extend beyond those who directly benefit from the results.
The Rotary Funding Program represents an important activity of the Rotary Foundation and an important incentive for clubs that support projects in other areas of the world. These are definitely the bearers of goodwill and understanding, which is in accordance with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation.

Discovery Finance Carl P. Miller

The president of RI in the period 1963-1964, Carl P. Miller, was a strong supporter of humanitarian work starting from the lowest levels. Through the "Appropriate" Clubs and Districts Program, launched during his leadership year, he encouraged Rotarians to find new opportunities for activities in another country through person-to-person contact. Sharing clubs and districts has become an important component of International Community Service.
A successful journalist, Carl, together with his wife, Ruth, made a donation to the Rotary Foundation to establish the Carl P. Miller Discovery Funding program. Discovery funding intends to stimulate the international employment of clubs and districts, providing 3000 USD for travel and miscellaneous expenses, determined by the development of an international service project. Discovery financing is not offered for the actual running of the projects, but for making the necessary person-to-person contacts in the preliminary stages of project development. Only clubs or districts and associations of clubs and districts are able to benefit from receiving such special funding, which is offered by the Rotary Foundation twice a year, in August and February.


PolioPlus represents the largest polio eradication effort in the world, until the year 2000. The program was started in 1985, for a period of 5 years, with funds worth 120 million USD used to immunize children in developing countries against polio. The fundraising campaign for this program began in 1988 and brought in a record figure of 220 million USD, and by 2005 it is expected that these contributions from Rotarians will reach 425 million USD. An even more significant aspect was the huge army of volunteers mobilized by RI. Hundreds of thousands of local volunteers provided support for clinics and mobilized their communities for immunization and polio eradication activities.
In 1988, Rotary also mobilized the World Health Organization in this action, which was supposed to take place until the year 2000, as a certification of Rotary's effort on the occasion of the celebration of 100 years of Rotary, in 2005. Rotary worked together with the World Organization of Health, with UNICEF, with national governments and other bodies, within the Polio Eradication Initiative program, the most extensive global public/private health project. By 1988, more than 120 nations had benefited from this project and, thanks to the PolioPlus program, ten years after 1988, more than four million children who were victims of this disease could walk and play normally. As a result of the efforts of RI and its partners, over one billion children have received the oral polio vaccine and are thus protected from this scourge. In 1994 Rotary contributed to the celebration of the elimination of polio from the Western Hemisphere. This area being certified to no longer be under the influence of the disease, efforts were directed towards Africa, South and East Asia. Polio can be eradicated for less than 0.50 USD, which is the value of a vaccine for a child.
Achieving total eradication will be very difficult" (only smallpox has been totally eradicated) and expensive (total costs of nearly 2 billion USD have been estimated). Must be held: National Immunization Days to immunize all children under the age of 5 in a country suspected of poliomyelitis; the continuation of preventive immunization of children all over the world; systematic reporting of all suspicious cases; quick reactions to rebellious epidemics and the creation of laboratory networks for studying the disease.
No other non-governmental organization has ever carried out such a large-scale campaign. PolioPlus can be considered the most humanitarian service ever done worldwide. Every Rotarian can share the pride of this achievement.

Polioplus partners
Since 1996 PolioPlus partners have offered opportunities for clubs and districts to support the mobilization of activities necessary to support National Immunization Days in countries with problems. The PolioPlus partners provide Rotary with t-shirts, caps, caps and vests for the volunteers participating in the PolioPlus campaign, or posters, banners and manifestos for the public announcement of the days of the campaign. Other partners at PolioPlus provide the frozen vaccines, vehicles and other equipment needed to transport the vaccine to the campaign areas. The partners in the project provide in different areas of the world the mobile surveillance laboratories necessary to diagnose the disease. Many PolioPlus projects are supported by Rotary Foundation Funding. PolioPlus partners are essential in the final achievement of the goal of eradicating polio worldwide.

Natural Disasters Program

When a natural tragedy strikes a certain area of the globe, it is very possible that in a few hours the Natural Disasters Program will arrive there to help the suffering victims. This other Rotary funding, which can exceed $5,000, can be established immediately by the RI President to help people left homeless by hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires or other natural disasters. After an initial funding, the Secretariat can be called for help, and following the call, a response can be received in the form of money, materials, food, clothing and temporary shelters, from Rotarians from all over the world. Usually this aid process continues for several months in the form of an assistance process, this constitutes an additional task for the clubs and districts closest to the affected area. The Natural Disasters Program was organized by the founders of the Rotary Foundation, in order to provide small funding available immediately after a catastrophe occurs. The President of the RI can find out about the immediate needs of food, shelter beds and first aid materials, necessary for the victims of disasters, through the Disaster Governor of the affected area.
The Natural Disasters Program is one of the important ways that the Rotary Foundation builds global well-being and understanding.

Program for Peace

One of the special programs of the Rotary Foundation was initially called the "Rotary Peace Forum". The conception of an educational center or program that would promote great world understanding and peace was first discussed in 1982, by the New Horizons Committee and the World Peace and Understanding Committee in 1984, it was deepened by the New Programs Committee of the Rotary Foundation. The essence of Rotary's Peace Program consists in using Rotary's worldwide non-governmental resources to develop educational programs related to the problems that end up determining conflicts between nations, as well as carrying out activities that promote peace, development and well-being. The program includes seminars, publications and conferences with the aim of initiating a global dialogue in the development of new approaches for achieving world peace and understanding.
Rotary's Peace Programs are selected by the founders of the Rotary Foundation twice a year. Many such programs were presented every year during the presidential conferences.

The quality of "Comrade Paul Harris"

Without a doubt, the most important step in the promotion of voluntary donations made to the Rotary Foundation was made in 1957, when the idea of recognizing the quality of "Comrade Paul Harris" was proposed. Although the concept of making gifts to the Foundation in the amount of 1000 USD, developed slowly, in the 70's it started to gain in popularity. The "Comrade Paul Harris" medal, lapel badges and certificates have become highly respected symbols by all Rotarians and their friends around the world and have led to substantial financial commitments to the Rotary Foundation.
The pair to the quality of "Comrade Paul Harris" is that of "Supporting Member Paul Harris". giving personal recognition to a member who donated or on whose behalf the $100 donation was made and who intends to make additional donations up to the amount of $1000 When this amount is reached, the "Paul Harris Supporting Member" becomes "Comrade Paul Harris".
Until 1998, the Rotary Foundation appointed over 625,000 "Paul Harris Comrades" and over 215,000 "Paul Harris Support Members".
A special recognition badge is given to "Paul Harris Comrades" who donate USD 1000 to the Foundation. The gold badge with the blue stone is awarded as a recognition of each $1,000 donation made until $5,000 is reached. Red stone badges signify donations from $7,000 to $9,000. A badge with a circle of diamonds is an offense to donors who have made gifts of over USD 10,000 to the Foundation.
The quality of "Comrade Paul Harris" is a particularly important incentive for the continuation of the support given to the realization of the programs of the Rotary Foundation for the purpose of building well-being and understanding in the world.

"Citation for Meritorious Service" and "Award for Outstanding Service"

The founders of the Rotary Foundation give two very special recognition awards to Rotarians who stand out through special services brought to the Foundation "Citation for Meritorious Service" is a recognition given to Rotarians who promote the programs of the Rotary Foundation and contribute to the achievement of the goal of establishing relations of mutual understanding and friendship between the nations of the globe "The Award for Outstanding Service" is awarded to the Rotarian with a special track record of service performed in the service of the Rotary Foundation, service that exceeds the disincidental level and has a long duration. The "Outstanding Service Award" recognizes the efforts of the Rotarian who has already received the "Meritorious Service Citation", for his sustained efforts in promoting international understanding.
The two prizes are awarded for the exemplary personal service and devotion shown to the Foundation and not for the financial benefits brought. No more than 50 "Outstanding Service Awards" are awarded each year, and in each district there is only one "Meritorious Service Citation" recipient each year. The recipient of the "Citation for Meritorious Service" can only be nominated for the "Award for Outstanding Service" after two or more years have passed.
It is a great pride for any Rotarian to be proposed by the Founders of the Rotary Foundation for these recognitions of the highest level of service.

Rotary Public Relations

Historically, the myth has been perpetuated that Rotary is not allowed to advertise itself, but to let its own results speak for itself. In 1923, the internal policy specified that "publicity shall not be the primary purpose of Rotary clubs for promotion within their communities", and this was interpreted as avoiding publicity and public relations of any kind. The update of the expression made in 1923 sounds like this: "in order to extend the influence of Rotary, adequate publicity can be given to the ongoing world projects."
A more modern philosophy of public relations was adopted in the 70s. It states that: "good publicity, favorable public relations and positive image are essential goals for Rotary", if they are carried out to understand, appreciate and support the objectives of Rotary's humanitarian service programs. Active public relations is vital to Rotary's success.
An ongoing service project is considered one of Rotary's most important public relations messages. It is essential that Rotary clubs make every effort to inform the public about the service projects they carry out.
Effectively, Rotary's public relations must understand that when one thinks of Rotary, one must think of Rotary's noble goals and motives. When people think of Rotary, they think of the actions and services provided by Rotary.

Rotary emblem

The RI emblem and the word "Rotary" are officially registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office as service marks, which gives RI legal rights to use them and the right to denounce anyone who uses them without authorization. The Rotary emblem cannot be changed or modified in any way.
Rotarians are instructed to wear the emblem in the form of a lapel badge. It is frequently used on clothes, pens, caps and other personal items, made by companies or individuals, with the consent of the RI Board of Directors. Rotary badges, pennants, street signs and the luminous sign of Rotary clubs use the emblem as an identification mark.
The Rotary emblem cannot be used for any advertising purpose. It is not allowed to use it in political campaigns or together with other names or emblems that are not related to RI. Rotarians as individuals are not allowed to use the emblem on business cards, on illuminated signs or for any purpose of promoting their businesses. It is not considered proper for Rotarians to use the emblem on the doors or windows of their work offices.
It is the responsibility of every Rotarian to wear the emblem with pride. The restrictions are provided as an assurance that the Rotary emblem will not be misused and that it will always give distinction to the organization.

Special Rotary Ceremonies

In the annual Rotary calendar, there are special months in which major RI programs are planned.
• January is Rotary Awareness Month. This is the time when Rotary informs its members about the activities that will take place and, through them, the communities they belong to.
• February is World Understanding Month. During this month, which is also the month of Rotary's birth (February 23), programs to promote international understanding and goodwill are presented and World Civic Projects are launched in other areas of the world.
• World Rotaract Week is the week that includes March 13. It is the time when Rotary clubs and districts promote Rotaract by participating in joint projects.
• April is called Rotary Magazine Month. During this, Rotarians organize promotional activities for reading "The Rotarian" magazine and the official local magazines of Rotary clubs.
• July is Literature Month, during which the clubs run their own projects aimed at eradicating illiteracy worldwide.
• August is Expansion Month, during which Rotary focuses on recruiting new members and establishing new clubs.
• September is the Month of New Generations. Rotary clubs around the world attach special importance to sponsoring programs to support children and young people. This month, many clubs pay special attention to the "Youth Exchange" programs.
• October is Vocational Service Month, during this period, clubs focus on the importance of the professional and business life of each Rotarian. Special activities promote Vocational Service Paths.
• November was chosen as Rotary Foundation Month. Clubs and districts pay special attention to the programs of the Rotary Foundation and participate in additional financial support for the Foundation by promoting contributions that confer the status of "Comrade Paul Harris" and "Supporting Member Paul Harris".
Each of these special months helps to raise awareness among Rotarians of the excellent service programs that Rotary runs around the world.

Expanding Rotary

Every day, every 14 hours, another Rotary club appears, in one of the 105 countries where there are already clubs. This continued growth in the number of clubs is extremely important to the expansion of RI's programs and worldwide influence. New Rotary clubs can be established anywhere in the world, where the fundamental principles of Rotary can be freely manifested and wherever it can be considered that a successful club can be maintained.
A club can be organized to serve a specific place or a certain well-defined territory, in which there are enough people with a suitable character, employed in well-identified professional or business functions or positions. In order to propose the establishment of a new club, the existence of a minimum of 40 potential classifications is necessary and, in this list of permanent participants, at least 20 members must be registered. Exceptionally, an already existing club can cede part of its own territory to another club, or can share the same territory with another newly formed one.
In the process of organizing a new club, the first step is to carry out a research of the place, to determine the potential necessary for the expansion of Rotary. The special representative of the District Governor directs the activity of establishing a new club. Among the requirements for the establishment of a new club is the adoption of the Standard Constitution of the Rotary club, the existence of a minimum number of 20 people who appear in a clear classification, the fulfillment of the collection of dues, the holding of weekly meetings and the adoption of a club name that -helps him distinctly in his identification and location. A club officially becomes a Rotary club when its establishment is approved by the RI Board of Directors.
It is a great opportunity and a special duty of all Rotarians to assist and cooperate in the establishment of a new club. The knowledge that two new Rotary clubs will appear somewhere in the world today, tomorrow and every day, gives a strong proof of the vitality of the expansion of the Rotary service worldwide.

The colorful clothes of the governors

One of the newest traditions of Rotary appeared in the Rotary year 1984-85, when the district governors decided to wear yellow sports clothes at official Rotary events. In the following years, the RI President selected some colorful clothes for the District Governors and other International Directors of Rotary. Calos Canseco's distinctive yellow coat was followed by equally brightly colored ones: Paulo Costas' "green clothes" (1990-91); Clifford Dochterman's "red clothes" (1992-93); Luis Giay's "brick clothes" (1996-97); Glen Kinross's "sea foam green clothes" (1997-98). President Rajendra Saboo selected wheat gold (1991-92) and Hugh Archer chose brown (1989-90). Other traditional Navy blue uniforms were worn under Charles Keller (1987-88), Bill Huntley (1994-95), Herbert Brown (1995-96) and James Lucy (1998-99). A whole range of colors and shades were chosen by other presidents. Rotary leaders make assumptions every year about the color that the future Rotary President will wear.

The peace of cities

Until the year 2000, the United Nations estimated that more than half of the world's population will live in urban and suburban areas and in cities with over ten million inhabitants. The demands of life in these conditions will increase, but they will share the same resources and, without doubt, in this case, tensions will arise. Many problems, some associated with poverty and urban decay in big cities, will spread to communities isolated from big cities. These include:
• the negative impact of drug and alcohol abuse;
• the increase of neighborhood gangs and civic violence;
• the increasing number of people left without a home;
• increasing rate of the number of pregnant teenagers.
The causes that determine these problems are various:
• the unemployed and unemployment;
• poverty and hunger;
• the erosion of family values,
• domestic violence;
• illiteracy and the inability to do calculations;
• damage to the central areas of cities.

All people have the right to enjoy a life free from fear, violence and crime. Rotary paid special attention to these aspects of life in the Rotary year 1996-97, sponsoring seven peace conferences for cities and more than 6000 Conferences of the New Generations were held all over the world. Rotarians returned to their communities, inspired by the idea that they can change the lives of the people around them for the better. Realizing the complex aspect of the situation, the RI Board of Directors approved for a period of three years a consolidation of Urban Peace and, starting from 1997, a special concentration of the organization's resources on this main aspect of the Civic Service. Rotarians and Rotary clubs can discover and identify problems and treatments that can be applied in their communities and - working together with local citizen groups, governmental and non-governmental organizations - can develop action plans to help solve them.

Prevention of the abuse of harmful substances

Drug and alcohol abuse has reached alarming levels all over the world. This problem is directly related to crime, violence, poverty, children and women subjected to abuse, AIDS, homeless people and other scourges of society.
For the first time in the '80s, RI launched an anti-drug campaign, alerting clubs to assess this problem within their communities and identify resources to combat it. Coming to the conclusion that the best method is preventive combat, RI focused its attention on warning about the danger represented by the abuse of harmful substances, within some forums that were constituted in real projects for clubs and districts, as well as by warning on this fact in magazines like "The Rotarian" or other RI publications.
In 1992, the RI Council renewed its commitment to combating the abuse of harmful substances and launched a ten-year campaign. RI supported Rotary clubs in joint actions undertaken with governmental and non-governmental agencies to:
• increases the commitment among the members and their communities towards the local programs, regarding the abuse of harmful substances;
• running or sponsoring programs to prevent the abuse of harmful substances, which instill positive values and confidence in the youth;
• supporting some family programs for treating the abuse of harmful substances.
How did the clubs respond to all these proposals? Some contributed with financial support offered to rehabilitation and treatment clinics. Others have created projects to educate people, offering alternative activities to young people who are at risk of using drugs, other clubs have provided Rotarian mentors to young people to help them raise their self-confidence. To ensure the configuration of a healthy and hopeful future, Rotary Clubs must continue to aggressively combat the abuse of harmful substances today.