What is Rotary?
Rotary is one of the world’s leading membership and humanitarian service organisations, with 1.2 million members in over 35,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. There are 66 clubs comprising over 1600 members in our District which covers covers Cumbria and most of Lancashire.
Through membership of their local club, individuals volunteer on community and humanitarian projects and activities which make a difference locally, nationally and globally.
Rotary members are People of Action, ready to turn their ideas and vision into lasting change, by creating opportunities, supporting those who need it most and transforming their lives.
Where others see problems, Rotary members see solutions: tapping into their professional skills, expertise and knowledge to make a difference. People of Action use their time, energy and passion to mobilise their communities to get the job done.
In Great Britain and Ireland, there are around 45,000 members in 1,700 clubs.
Rotary members are determined to tackle some of the world’s biggest humanitarian challenges through Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus:
- Peacebuilding and conflict prevention
- Disease prevention and treatment
- Water, sanitation and hygiene
- Maternal and child health
- Basic education and literacy
- Community economic development
These areas underpin all of Rotary’s projects, activities and initiatives.
The greatest example of this is Rotary’s campaign to eradicate the world of polio, a paralysing disease affecting children. In 1985, Rotary pledged to rid the world of the disease, at a time when there were 1,000 cases per day in 125 countries. In 2020, Polio remains endemic in only 2 countries - Afghamistan and Pakistan.
Over three decades later, with the tireless volunteering and fundraising efforts from Rotary members, in collaboration with international partners, the number of cases worldwide has reduced by 99.9%, with over 2.5 billion children receiving a potentially life-saving vaccination.
Other international projects include supporting victims of environmental disasters with shelter, facilitating the building of sand dams to give communities access to safe drinking water or building schools to educate communities out of poverty.
Closer to home, one of Rotary’s other leading commitments is to offer young people the platforms and opportunities for them to unlock their potential, develop their skills and broaden their horizons.
Through RotaKids, Interact and Rotaract, the junior branches of Rotary for young people aged 8 – 30, enthusiastic young people have the chance to engage in social action and volunteering in safe and supportive environments.
Thousands of young people also take part each year in Rotary’s Youth Competitions. Hosted in a range of creative and academic subjects, the competitions provide young people with an opportunity to develop their skills and showcase their talents.