Rotary International has grown from four Chicago businessmen meeting regularly in 1905 to become the world’s largest service organisation of passionate individuals with approximately 1.2 million members in 35,000 clubs across the World. It is a non-political, non-religious, humanitarian organisation. In Great Britain and Ireland there are 45,000 members in over 1,700 clubs. Regular fellowship helps Rotarians share a common vision for a better world and find the inspiration to serve others in many different ways under the broad headings of:
Vocational Support for Young People
International Humanitarian Aid
Whilst funds are often raised for charity, it is not a Rotary club’s primary objective. Emphasis is on personal service through fellowship – our motto is Service Above Self. Rotarians in the British Isles gave more than 14 million hours of service in support of community projects at a local, national and international level last year and raised more than £20 million for charitable causes. They also co-ordinate an annual student exchange programme that sends 8,000 students abroad for 3 months and most recently have raised £5 million in aid for the victims of the Asian Tsunami disaster.
The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own charity, gives more than £30 million annually to international educational and humanitarian programmes and grants scholarships to about 1,000 university students to study in another country. Since 1985 Rotary has committed £300 million towards polio eradication and helped immunise nearly two billion children.
The club operates within Rotary International and selects causes it wishes to support.
Community service is the traditional and well-known face of Rotary and club members support fund raising for ‘Children in Need’, organise ‘Kids Out’ for disadvantaged children, and raise funds for local charities. Since 2001 the club has organised the Sawston Charity Fun Run, a charity event raising over £500,000 for hundreds of local charities and organisations.
Vocational support for students takes the form of offering career advice, encouraging creative design and self-confidence through Youth Speaks competitions involving seven local schools and community colleges.
Internationally, the club continues to support the Bantaba Project in The Gambia. Having raised over £2,000 from fund raising efforts and a District Grant to provide solar panels to bring much needed electricity to a skills training and community centre the Club is now raising £3,000 to cover the costs of providing a borehole for clean water and toilets, and completing the nurse’s room.
In addition, the club regularly hosts Rotary Global Scholars. This year the Club is hosting a post graduate student, Evani Radiya-Dixit, who is conducting research at Cambridge University into the impact of facial recognition technology on human rights and investigating how governance can limit and prevent misuses of the technology. Evani is a graduate from Stamford University with a BS in computer science.
For information about membership please contact either Irene Childerley or Vic Starkey