The world's first service club was founded on 23 February 1905 when lawyer Paul Harris and three friends met in a small office in downtown Chicago. They named their new club "Rotary" to describe the practice of meeting in rotation at the members' various places of business. During the 1911-1912 Rotary year, the association became international. The National Association of Rotary Clubs, which became the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912 adopted the name Rotary International (RI) in 1922.  A lot has changed in Rotary since 1922 as it has continued to change and grow with this times to be the thoroughly modern organisation it is today.  Learn more about the history of Rotary.
The humanitarian activities of Rotary international are organised through The Rotary Foundation, Rotary's charity.  Rotary International has a number of programmes that are not humanitarian but focus on youth and leadership.
Rotary International provides an immense network of clubs and their individual members all of who interact in creating and joining together in service and fellowship.  This is explained in greater detail under the tabs 'What we do' and 'Get involved' but it is worth repeating that individuals as well as clubs can use the Rotary network to fulfill their personal service goals; an example would be volunteering to participate in a Polio National Immunisation Day in India.
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