Serving the People / 服务大众
Rotary in China has a long history dating back to 1919 that reflects the turbulent times of Chinese history over the past century. Since the beginning however the focus of the Rotary clubs, the Rotarians and their good works in China have been focused on providing meaningful community service and espousing strong business ethics in the marketplace.
By rough estimate, Rotarians globally and within China have contributed more than $170 million to projects benefiting Chinese citizens throughout the country, including:
- providing life-saving heart surgeries to children with congenital heart disease
- distributing wheelchairs to the disabled
- providing vocational training to migrant workers to help the elderly
- facilitating emergency disaster relief with strategic partners like Shelterbox
Currently Rotary has chartered clubs in several cities:
and "provisional" clubs in Kunming, Nanning, Shanghai, Shenyang.
These clubs are composed of foreign passport holders ("expatriates") or Chinese "compatriots" (citizens of Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan) and meet weekly. These clubs in turn sponsor several Interact (high school based) and Rotaract (young professionals and university students) clubs.
At the moment although we are too small to become a district, because of China's unique characteristics we have been treated by Rotary since 2006 like a small de-facto district under the leadership of a Special Representative to China, who is our de-facto District Governor. The current Special Representative is Mr. Frank Yih, Past President of the Rotary Club of Shanghai.
Note that for practical reasons, Guangdong province that is adjacent to Hong Kong and where Cantonese is the language commonly spoken, has been placed under the care of Rotary District 3450 (Hong Kong, Mongolia, Macau and Guangdong Province of the PRC) since July 2013. There is now a Rotary Club in Shenzhen in Guangdong that consists entirely of Chinese citizens.
The Rotary China Team has a lean district structure and focuses primarily on training activities to support our clubs' members.
We are actively looking for former Rotarians living and working in China to join us - either within our existing clubs or within new fellowships in other locations so that Rotary can increase its service impact on the ground in China.