Rotary International is a voluntary, humanitarian and non-profit non-governmental organization consisting of clubs scattered around the world, called Rotary Clubs. There are more than 32,000 clubs in the world in more than 200 countries with over 1.2 million members. The organization's goal is to bring together leaders who volunteer their time and skills to serve their communities and the world. Members usually meet once a week for lunch or dinner, which allows them to maintain frequent contact with each other and discuss activities they carry out for the benefit of society.
Rotary's stated goals are to promote and develop the ideal of community service as the foundation of a dignified endeavor, and in particular to encourage and educate:
1. Creating acquaintances as an opportunity to be useful and serve;
2. High ethical standards in business, recognition of the importance of any useful occupation, as well as the desire of every Rotarian to defend the name of his profession and to serve society;
3. Putting into practice the ideal of service in the personal life, business, and public life of every Rotarian.
4. International understanding, goodwill and peace through the friendship of businessmen and professionals from all over the world, united by the ideal of service to society.
These goals then form the basis of Rotary Four-Way Test, which is used to determine whether a planned event contains a Rotary spirit. The test was created by Rotarian and entrepreneur Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 during the Great Depression, as a set of guidelines for reviving the business, and was adopted as an ethical standard by Rotary in 1942. It has been translated into more than 100 languages and is still considered an ethical standard in business management.
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
A fundamental principle in Rotary is 'Friendship' - the idea that by coming together, building friendships with each other, Rotary members together develop their leadership skills and contribute with their personal and professional abilities to creating activities that selflessly help society.
Rotary's most famous motto is 'Service above self', and the commonly accepted short definition of the organization is: 'Rotary is an organization of businessmen and professionals united worldwide who serve in the humanitarian field, promote high Ethical norms in all professions and help build goodwill and peace around the world. ”
Rotary has members mostly men and women over the age of 30, with each club annually electing its leaders from among the active members. Board of the club with a term of one year.
The first Rotary club was founded in 1905 in Chicago by attorney Paul Harris. On February 23, Paul Harris met with three of his friends to discuss an idea. The meeting was attended by: Sylvester Sheale, coal merchant, Gustavus E. Leor, mining engineer and Hiram Shori from the garment business. They choose the name Rotary (in English 'rotary' - rotating, rotating), because they decide their weekly meetings to take place in different offices of members, alternating. In 1910, the number of Rotary clubs reached sixteen, all in the United States. In the same year, a club was established in Canada, the first club outside the United States. In 1911, a club was established outside of North America - in Dublin, Ireland. By 1925, Rotary had grown to 200 clubs with more than 20,000 members.
During World War II, many clubs disbanded and their members took part in helping the families of war victims. Rotary, as an organization, is at the heart of UNESCO and the United Nations, two world organizations that preserve peace and culture in the world.
The first Rotary club in Bulgaria was chartered in Sofia on April 22, 1933, and 3 years later a Rotary club was founded in Ruse. During World War II, Rotary clubs in the Kingdom of Bulgaria were banned by the Nation Protection Act. In 1951, the then ruling Communist Party, like most Eastern European countries with a similar regime, banned the organization and disbanded the Rotary clubs operating at the time. Rotary in Bulgaria was re-established in 1990 as a result of the so-called democratic changes. To date, there are over 80 Rotary clubs in Bulgaria with over 2,000 Rotarians as members.