What Is Rotary?
"Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a secular organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 member clubs worldwide. 1.2 million individuals called Rotarians have joined these clubs."
That is what Wikipedia says. Rotary International itself simply says that we are "a global network of neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad."
That's what they say we are. Find out what we say we are....
Avenues of Service
The Object of Rotary is to “encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.” Since 1910, the Rotary motto has been “Service Above Self” and Madison Rotarians strive to achieve the objective following this motto through activities in five primary areas. These are often referred to as the Five Avenues of Service.
Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest.
Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange.
Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society.
International Service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding. We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more.
Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.
Areas of Focus
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.
Peace & Conflict Resolution
Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.
Disease Prevention and Treatment
We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.
Water and Sanitation
We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
Maternal and Child Health
Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. We expand access to quality care, so mothers and their children can live and grow stronger.
Basic Education and Literacy
More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.
Economic and Community Development
We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.
It is the duty of all Rotarians to be active as individuals in as many groups and organizations as possible to promote awareness of the dignity of all people and the respect of the consequent human rights of the individual."
-Rotary Manual of Procedure