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International Service is Rotary's fourth Avenue of Service.

The development of understanding and goodwill among Rotarians and among the people at large is the specific task of International Service in Rotary.

Policy of International Service
The aim of International Service in Rotary is expressed in the fourth Object of Rotary; namely, to encourage and foster the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Freedom, justice, truth, sanctity of the pledged word, and respect for human rights are inherent in Rotary principles and are also vital to the maintenance of international peace and order and to human progress.

In concept, International Service can be broken down into these four general areas:
1) World Community Service programs
2) International educational and cultural exchange activities
3) Special international observances and events
4) International meetings.

Responsibility of the Individual Rotarian
Each Rotarian should make an individual contribution to the achievement of the ideal inherent in the fourth Avenue of Service. Each Rotarian should help to create a better-informed public opinion. Rotarians should
1) Look beyond national patriotism and share responsibility for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace
2) Resist any tendency to act in terms of national or racial superiority
3) Seek and develop common grounds for agreement with peoples of other lands
4) Defend the rule of law and order to preserve liberty of the individual so that all may enjoy freedom of thought, speech, and assembly; freedom from persecution and aggression; and freedom from want and fear
5) Support action directed toward improving standards of living for all peoples, realizing that poverty anywhere endangers prosperity elsewhere
6) Uphold the principles of justice for humankind, realizing that these are fundamental and must be worldwide
7) Strive always to promote peace between nations and be prepared to make personal sacrifices for that ideal

8) Urge and practice a spirit of understanding of every person’s beliefs as a step toward international goodwill, recognizing that there are certain basic moral and spiritual standards that, if practiced, will ensure a richer, fuller life
9) Exercise appropriate caution in conducting activities and programs where international tensions exist between countries.

Responsibility of the Club
Rotary clubs and Rotary e-clubs should not engage in any corporate effort to influence governments, world affairs, or international policies but should encourage the development of an enlightened and constructive attitude in each Rotarian.

A Rotary club or  a Rotary E-Club may properly provide a forum for the presentation of public questions where such a course of action is designed to foster the fourth Avenue of Service. Where such questions are controversial, both sides must be adequately presented.

RI policy does not preclude a balanced program of discussion in Rotary clubs or Rotary e-clubs of international issues, which are appropriate subjects for serious thought and debate within the framework of the pursuit of peace.

When international subjects are presented and discussed in a Rotary club or in a Rotary e-club, the club should caution the speaker against offending peoples of other countries and should make clear that it does not necessarily assume responsibility for opinions expressed by individual speakers at its meetings.

A Rotary club should not adopt resolutions of any kind dealing with specific plans relating to international affairs. It should not direct appeals for action from clubs in one country to clubs, peoples, or governments of another country or circulate speeches or proposed plans for the solution of specific international problems.

In all cases where international tensions develop between countries in which Rotary clubs exist, the utmost caution should be exercised by all the clubs concerned, lest any action may increase ill will and misunderstanding.

RI and Politics
Because its worldwide membership includes persons of many facets of political opinion, Rotary International may not act on or express opinions about political subjects. However, freedom of speech and freedom of association are essential for the healthy development of Rotary in any country or geographical area.

World Community Service (WCS)
The World Community Service (WCS) program consists of international service activities through which Rotarians conduct projects to improve lives and meet human needs, and thus promote international understanding and goodwill by means of material, technical, and professional assistance.

The WCS program aims to
1) Improve the quality of life of those in need through international Rotary service
2) Encourage cooperation between Rotary clubs and districts in different countries in their efforts to carry out international service projects
3) Provide an effective framework for the exchange of information on project needs and offers of assistance
4) Increase awareness among Rotarians of international development and cultural issues, and the importance of implementing projects that help people help themselves
5) Provide WCS program services to participants of related RI and Rotary Foundation programs and emphases
6) Educate Rotarians about funding opportunities for their WCS projects through the Foundation and other sources
7) Communicate successful WCS experiences to other Rotarians
8) Foster international understanding, goodwill, and peace.

WCS program initiatives include:
1) Promotion of increased knowledge of Rotary’s international service objectives through WCS opportunities and activities

2) Promotion and use of ProjectLINK

3) Promotion of cooperation between the international service and Rotary Foundation committees at district and club levels, as appropriate

4) Expansion of intercountry committees as vehicles for international service, including WCS activities

5) Promotion of support for disaster relief projects
6) Promotion of 23 February, World Understanding and Peace Day
7) Promotion of projects involving donated goods and services
8) Personal involvement by Rotarians in WCS activities, including international volunteer service.

It is recommended that districts and clubs establish WCS committees with the objective of promoting greater awareness, direct lines of communication, and accountability for all types of international service. Club or e-Club presidents and governors are encouraged to appoint their WCS committee chairs as ex officio members of their community service committees, where appropriate.
District or club requests for cooperation and assistance with a specific WCS activity are not subject to RI’s general circularization limitations, so long as requests are directed to one or a limited number of districts or clubs.

ProjectLINK
The Secretariat maintains a registry of WCS projects for which the sponsoring Rotary, Rotaract, or Interact club or Rotary Community Corps has requested assistance. A Rotary club or a Rotary e-club can use this registry in two ways:
1)
A club that needs help for a community service project can submit a description of a project on the ProjectLINK Submission Form and send it to RI World Headquarters. Project information is then entered into a searchable database at www.rotary.org.
2)
A club interested in supporting a WCS project can search the database for information on projects in a specific country or geographical area, of a particular type, or for a specific funding amount.

It is appropriate for governors and Rotary clubs to work in cooperation with other organizations whose purposes and activities are consistent with those of Rotary, when such cooperative activities and projects serve to significantly enhance the implementation of WCS; see also “RI and Rotary Foundation Relationships with Other Organizations.”
|Detailed information about WCS can be found in the
World Community Service Handbook: A Guide to Action (742-EN) and at www.rotary.org.

Rotary Friendship Exchange
Rotary Friendship Exchange is an RI Structured Program in which Rotarians and their families carry out reciprocal visits and homestays in other countries to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace through people to- people contacts across national boundaries.

There are two types of Friendship Exchanges:
1) Visitor exchange, in which individual Rotarians, who may be accompanied by family members, spend a few days in the home of a Rotarian in another country
2) Team exchange, in which four to six Rotarian couples visit several communities in the host district for up to one month.

Both are coordinated by a district Friendship Exchange committee and carried out at no expense to RI. Districts are encouraged to arrange univocational exchanges, in which the host and guest Rotarians have the same occupation.
Rotarians are encouraged to arrange Friendship Exchanges in conjunction with the RI Convention.

Detailed program information can be found in the
Rotary Friendship Exchange Handbook at www.rotary.org.

World Understanding Month
February is designated as World Understanding Month. During this month, clubs are urged to present club programs and other activities emphasizing understanding and goodwill as essential for world peace.

World Understanding and Peace Day
The anniversary of the first Rotary club meeting, 23 February, is observed as World Understanding and Peace Day. On that day, each club should give special recognition and emphasis to Rotary’s commitment to international understanding, friendship, and peace.

Intercountry Committees
An intercountry committee (ICC) promotes contact between districts and clubs in two or more countries and increases fellowship and intercultural understanding among the people of various nations. Rotarians are encouraged to create new intercountry committees to foster stronger ties between Rotarians, clubs, and districts from different countries and establish international networks. Intercountry committees should be promoted at all Rotary meetings.

The mission of an intercountry committee is to
1) Build a force that will encourage Rotarians to visit each other’s countries and homes
2) Strengthen friendships and projects by encouraging clubs and districts to connect with those in other countries
3) Contribute to world peace

Recommended ICC activities include:
• Assisting in the development of new Rotary clubs or new Rotary e-club
• Developing a sister- or twin-club network between participating countries
• Conducting Rotary Friendship Exchanges between participating countries
• Initiating or carrying out World Community Service projects
• Initiating or carrying out vocational service projects

Although only districts may form and join intercountry committees, individual Rotarians, their spouses, Rotaractors, and Rotary clubs may participate in their activities. Intercountry committees function under the direction and with the close cooperation of the respective governors. Participating districts should appoint a Rotarian to serve as the district liaison to the national section chair.

Each intercountry committee is organized and operated as an independent activity of individual districts and is not a part of the program of RI. However, intercountry committees undertaking service activities, such as a World Community Service project, that extend more than one year should comply with RI’s policy for multidistrict service activities. Clubs and districts are encouraged to use established ICC relationships to enhance their participation. in Rotary Foundation programs, especially in the development of Matching Grants.

Global Networking Groups
Global Networking Groups are groups of individual Rotarians organized internationally to focus on shared topics of interest. Global Networking Groups are composed of Rotary Fellowships and Rotarian Action Groups.

All Global Networking Groups are governed by these conditions:
1) Activities must be conducted independently of RI but in harmony with RI policy, including the use of the Rotary Marks.
2) No group may be used to promote religious beliefs, political issues, or other organizations.
3) RI recognition of a group in no way implies legal, financial, or other obligation or responsibility on the part of either RI or any district or club.
4) A group may not act on RI’s behalf, represent or imply that it has the authority to do so, or act as an agency of RI.
5) All groups must be self-sustaining financially, administratively, and otherwise.
6) No group may exist or function in any country in violation of its laws.

Rotary Fellowships
A Rotary Fellowship is a group of Rotarians who unite themselves to pursue a common vocational or recreational interest in order to further friendship and fellowship. Governors should appoint a district Rotary Fellowships committee with a chair and at least three members to encourage participation in Rotary
Fellowships among the clubs of the district.  Individual fellowships are not covered by RI insurance and are encouraged to assess their own risk and secure coverage as appropriate. Official recognition of fellowships is subject to RI Board review and approval and other policies on fellowship formation.
Detailed information, including a list of all fellowships, can be found in the
Rotary Fellowships Handbook (729-EN) and at www.rotary.org. 

Rotary Fellowships Month
June is designated as Rotary Fellowships Month to recognize the importance of international fellowship and goodwill among Rotarians with similar recreational and vocational interests, promote increased participation in fellowships, and increase understanding of this program. The RI Board encourages these groups to celebrate Rotary Fellowships Month through projects, activities, and events.

Rotarian Action Groups
A Rotarian Action Group is an association of Rotarians who unite themselves to conduct international service projects that advance the Object of Rotary. A list of all Rotarian Action Groups is posted at www.rotary.org. Interested Rotarians are encouraged to contact these groups as resources in conducting service projects.

Our Rotary E-Club future International Service Sub-Committees will be:
to be determined by club selected projects.