Rotary is a service organization - not a charity, and what differentiates us from charities is that while we are all busy people, we like to be hands-on and take action ourselves. We do this through what we call the:
5 Avenues of Service
In Rotary we define five key areas of service that we encourage our members to engage in to build healthy clubs:
- Club Service
- Community Service
- International Service
- Vocational Service
- Youth Service
What are they all about?
Club Service refers to the active work of Rotarians to build their clubs, by developing interesting programs, conducting weekly meetings, maintaining the club's bulletin and through the genearl administration of the club's affairs.
A simple way of describing Rotary service work, is that “Rotarians do community service - on a global scale!” We think global and act local to make an impact on our communities. Our community service projects are very much hands-on projects that make a difference in people’s lives and successful projects often grow in scale.
In China one of our longest running community service projects that has been led by both Beijing and Shanghai clubs is the Gift of Life. Through this project which originated overseas in the USA and India, we have led efforts domestically to identify children with congenital heart disease and to work with good hospitals and skilled medical professionals to provide life saving heart surgery.
1000+ lives saved!
So far we have saved more than 1000 children’s lives, with the strong support of Rotarians and Rotary Clubs overseas, local funding partners, and the Rotary Foundation.
International Service reflects the true internationality of an organization made up of 1.2 million members around the world, who share ideas and take action together on meaningful projects within our own communities.
Rotarians strive to build greater international understanding, goodwill, and peace by collaborating with people of other countries, and becoming familiar with their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, and problems.
The concept of vocational service is rooted in the Second Object of Rotary, which calls on Rotarians to encourage and foster:
- High ethical standards in business and professions
- Recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations
- The dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society
As a Rotarian, how can you put these ideals into action? Consider these suggestions:
- Talk about your vocation in your club, and take time to learn about fellow members’ vocations.
- Use your professional skills to serve a community.
- Practice your profession with integrity, and inspire others to behave ethically through your own words and actions.
- Help a young person achieve his or her career aspirations.
- Guide and encourage others in their professional development.
If you do any of these things, you are performing vocational service. And if vocational service motivates and energizes you, then you’re in the right place, because vocational service is the very essence of Rotary.
It is what sets Rotary apart from other service organizations.
We build young leaders!
Rotary is made up of more than just our clubs. Rotary clubs are committed to involving youth and young adults in their vocational, community, and international service projects, and to providing programs and resources that support them. Reaching out to Youth is a commitment to the future of our Rotary clubs.
Service can start at any age, so we offer programs for teenagers and young adults who want to discover new cultures, develop leadership skills, and give back. Rotarians organize and sponsor all of the following:
Interact is a leadership program sponsored by Rotary clubs for anyone ages 12-18. With more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries, Rotary is inspiring the next generation of socially responsible and globally conscious leaders.
Rotaract is organized by Rotary clubs to promote leadership, professional development, and service among adults ages 18-30. With more than 8,000 clubs in 167 countries, Rotaract members are helping to lead change in communities around the globe.
New Generations Service Exchange
NGSE is a new program of Rotary that combines the benefits of New Generations Youth Exchange with the professional impact of our former Group Study Exchange. This program targets young leaders 18-30 years of age. Watch a presentation about it here:
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary’s leadership training program for teens and young adults that emphasizes social responsibility, global citizenship, and personal development.
Rotary China is planning to conduct our first RYLA in 2015-16.
Rotary Peace Fellowships
Rotary Peace Fellowships offer students the opportunity to earn advanced degrees or professional certificates from universities that host Rotary Peace Centers. Rotary Peace Fellows focus on international studies and conflict resolution so they can advance their careers as promoters of peace.
More information about applying for a Peace Fellowship here.