What is Rotary International?

Rotary International is a network of 1.2 million caring and hardworking friends and neighbors. Rotary’s aim is to make positive and lasting changes in every community and home we touch.

Rotary and its members have the passion, intelligence and committed vision to tackle real world problems around the globe. We have worked for more than 110 years to make impactful improvements across countries, communities, and individuals improving education, health, and overall well-being. We strive to provide improved education, access to vital resources and to create peace.

Today Rotary International stands with over 35,000 individual clubs that aim to promote wellness across the globe, our ongoing efforts include:

  • Promote peace
  • Fight disease
  • Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Save mothers and children
  • Support education
  • Grow local economies

The History Of Rotary


For well over 110 years, members of Rotary international have been working hard to combat social, economic and health-related issues. The name of “Rotary” was created initially, due to the rotating nature of meetings through the variable offices of the club members.

Rotary’s long-standing history was birthed through the vision of one man. Paul Harris was a Chicago-based attorney who formed the Chicago Rotary Club on February 23, 1905.

“Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves. “

– Paul Harris, Rotary Founder


Traits That Define Rotary International

  1. We’re truly international – From its inception, Rotary Clubs have become present in nearly every country around the world.
  2. We persevere in hard times – During WWII, Rotary clubs in combatant countries were forced to disband. Many kept meeting despite the risks, to preserve the projects and driving forces we stand for.
  3. We’re committed to services, and we’re not afraid to dream big and set bold goals – Our commitment to battle Polio has helped reduce the infectious disease to exist in only 3 countries from the once 125.

The Structure Of Rotary

The Rotary Structure is broken down into three separate bodies that work in conjunction to support the improvement of all lives.

  1. Rotary Clubs – Our clubs unite individuals in local communities to share ideas and support their beloved neighbourhoods.
  2. Rotary International – Rotary International works to support and coordinate Rotary clubs with global initiatives and shared communication.
  3. The Rotary Foundation – The rotatory foundation helps to fund humanitarian initiatives and other projects from a local platform to a global stage.