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Rotary is about helping those in need

Rotary can be split into two parts: Rotary for the international community and Rotary for our local community. Both rely on each other.

Rotary International is known and respected throughout the world. It does life changing work, e.g. equipping third world schools, clean water or health projects as well as providing emergency aid. The most significant international project being undertaken is the eradication of polio worldwide. Rotary is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) together with Bill and Melinda Gates to eradicate polio.

This gives credibility to local clubs and helps them collect money for international as well as local community projects. Many of us are detached from international problems so it is reassuring to know that Rotary spends as much time assisting with local community projects whether it be helping local organisations or taking dinners to the elderly at Christmas.

Rotary Structure

Rotary International first started in Chicago, America in 1905. It was the brainwave of Paul Harris, an attorney. Today 1.2 million Rotarians belong to over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Although Rotary International is based in America and is the headquarters of Rotary throughout the world, the United Kingdom and Ireland are the (only) subsidiary, known as RIBI.

RIBI is made up of 1,840 clubs spread over 29 districts. Our club is in district 1120 which has 86 clubs extending throughout Kent, East Sussex and South East London.

Local clubs

Rotary clubs are in most medium sized towns. Because a high proportion of a club’s time is spent raising money in various ways from the public, accountability and responsibility is of paramount importance. The club is structured with a president, supported by secretary and treasurer etc. The club is often split into sub-committees with specific functions, looking after both international and local interests. Membership varies between clubs but is usually around thirty five. Much larger and a club may need to divide into two.