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The Rotary movement is the first international service organisation, founded 106 years ago.  It has 34,000 clubs world over with over 1.2 million Rotarians.  The first Rotary Club in Sri Lanka was formed in Colombo in 1929. Currently there are 60 Rotary Clubs in Sri Lanka, with nearly 1,800 Rotarians.  Rotary International has an observer status in the United Nations.

Rotarians serve the community by implementing educational and humanitarian projects.  One of the major projects implemented worldwide by The Rotary Foundation is the Polio Eradication Project, which began in 1985. The deadly polio virus exists in only four countries, due to the untiring efforts of the Rotary movement, along with the support of UNICEF and WHO.

The Rotary Foundation spent over US$ 700 million to purchase oral polio vaccine for this project. Sri Lanka has been polio free since 1995.


The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. See the RI Strategic Plan .

The Object of Rotary

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
  • SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  • THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
  • FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

The Four-Way Test

The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Diversity and Rotary

Rotary International recognizes the value of diversity within individual clubs. Rotary encourages clubs to assess those in their communities who are eligible for membership, under existing membership guidelines, and to endeavor to include the appropriate range of individuals in their clubs. A club that reflects its community with regard to professional and business classification, gender, age, religion, and ethnicity is a club with the key to its future.