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What Is Rotary?

Rotary clubs are pillars of community service, dedicated to making a tangible difference in the world through local and international projects. At their core, Rotary clubs aim to foster goodwill and peace by addressing critical issues such as poverty, disease, illiteracy, and environmental degradation.

The vision of Rotary is to create a world where people unite to take action and create lasting change – a world where kindness and compassion prevail, where communities thrive, and where individuals have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Rotary clubs play a crucial role in achieving this vision by bringing together individuals from all walks of life who are committed to service above self. By leveraging their collective skills, resources, and networks, Rotary members tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today. Whether it's providing clean water to a remote village, supporting education initiatives, or promoting peace and conflict resolution, Rotary clubs strive to make a positive impact both locally and globally.

The importance of Rotary clubs cannot be overstated. In a world often marred by division and inequality, Rotary provides a beacon of hope, demonstrating that when people come together with a shared purpose, they can accomplish remarkable things. 

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The History

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.

That commitment endures today through an organization that remains truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Our members now span the globe, working to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.

We’re not afraid to dream big and set bold goals. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. Today, polio remains endemic in only two countries — down from 125 in 1988.

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