Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. The name is taken from a combination of the words “Rotary” and “action”. The purpose of Rotaract is to provide an opportunity for individuals to enhance their knowledge and skills in order to assist in their personal development, while also addressing the physical and social needs of their communities through a framework of friendship and community service.
Rotaract clubs organize a variety of projects and activities, depending on the interests of the club members. However, three main areas of focus include professional development, leadership development, and service projects (both locally and internationally).
Rotaract clubs are an important part of Rotary’s extended family. Rotary International is a worldwide service organization for leading business and professional leaders, with more than 1.2 million members in over 31,000 Rotary clubs. Each Rotaract club is sponsored by a local Rotary club and together they work in cooperation as partners in service.
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History of Rotaract
Rotaract has evolved quickly in its short but dynamic history. In the early 1960s, Rotary clubs around the world began to sponsor university youth groups as community service projects. The 1967-68 Rotary International (RI) president, Luther H. Hodges, and the RI Board of Directors considered this club activity to have international relevance, and Rotaract was approved in 1968 as an official program for Rotary clubs. The first club chartered was the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, on 13 March 1968.
Several decades later, the Rotaract program has grown into a strong, international network of 7,300 clubs in more than 150 countries and geographical areas. Rotaract’s 145,000 members are young men and women (ages 18-30) who serve the needs of their communities, widen their personal and professional contacts, and increase their understanding of the world around them.