Issues

Main issues

“Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.”

The work of Rotary begins in the community, and every community has its own unique needs and concerns. While we serve in countless ways, we’ve focused our efforts in six key areas to maximize our impact. These areas encompass some of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs, and we have a proven record of success in addressing them:

• Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
• Disease prevention and treatment
• Water and sanitation
• Maternal and child health
• Basic education and literacy
• Economic and community development

Rotary members planning new service projects are encouraged to consider these areas and the many opportunities for innovative projects within them. This publication introduces each area and suggests how Rotary clubs and districts and their service partners can address these needs both locally and internationally.

Growing local economies

We carry out service projects that enhance economic and community development and create opportunities for decent and productive work for young and old. We also strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.

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Providing Clean Water

Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life. When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families. HOW ROTARY MAKES HELP HAPPEN Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, Rotary’s people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships, and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change.

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End Polio Now

Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for more than 30 years. Our goal of ridding the world of this disease is closer than ever. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, we’ve reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We’ve helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. So far, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating the disease worldwide. Today, polio remains endemic only in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. But it’s crucial to continue working to keep other countries polio-free. If...

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Supporting Education

More than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That’s 17 percent of the world’s adult population. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy. We support education for all children and literacy for children and adults. HOW ROTARY MAKES HELP HAPPEN We take action to empower educators to inspire learning at all ages.

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Promoting Peace

Conflict and violence displaced more than 68 million people in the past year, and half of those are children. We refuse to accept conflict as a way of life. Rotary projects provide training that fosters understanding and provides communities with the skills to resolve conflicts. HOW ROTARY MAKES HELP HAPPEN Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, our members are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

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Fighting Disease

Our health is everything. Yet 400 million people in the world can’t afford or don’t have access to basic health care. We believe good health care is everyone’s right. Disease results in misery, pain, and poverty for millions of people worldwide. That’s why treating and preventing disease is so important to us. We lead efforts both large and small. We set up temporary clinics, blood donation centers, and training facilities in underserved communities struggling with outbreaks and health care access. We design and build infrastructure that allows doctors, patients, and governments to work together. Our members combat diseases like malaria,...

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Saving mothers and children

Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. We expand access to quality care, so mothers and their children can live and grow stronger.

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