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What is Rotaract?

Rotaract is an international organization of service clubs for men and women aged 18-30 that fosters leadership and responsible citizenship, encourages high ethical standards in business and promotes international understanding and peace.

Founded in 1968 as a program of Rotary International, Rotaract allows young men and women the opportunity to give service to their communities while developing themselves personally and professionally through a spirit of fellowship and understanding. What started out as a single club in North Carolina, U.S.A. is now a global phenomenon of over 165,000 Rotaractors in more than 7,600 clubs in 158 countries worldwide.

Coined from the words Rotary in Action, Rotaract clubs are either community or university based and embody the principles of service set forth by Rotary. Clubs organize a variety of projects and activities, depending primarily on the interests of the club members. However, within the Rotaract program, all clubs undertake three types of activities in varying degrees: professional development, leadership development, and service projects. Together, these three areas ensure a balanced club program and provide important experience and opportunities for the personal development of each Rotaractor

Goals of Rotaract

Rotaract has the following goals:

  • To develop professional and leadership skills
  • To emphasize respect for the rights of others, based on recognition of the worth of each individual
  • To recognize the dignity and value of all useful occupations as opportunities to serve
  • To recognize, practice, and promote ethical standards as leadership qualities and vocational responsibilities
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the needs, problems, and opportunities in the community and worldwide
  • To provide opportunities for personal and group activities to serve the community and promote international understanding and goodwill toward all people

Principles

The principles of Rotaract are based on the fundamental concept which Rotary is built upon: Service above Self. This calls on Rotaractors and Rotarians alike to put service to their communities above all else. This is further strengthened by the concept of Fellowship through Service, which focuses on the building of bonds of friendship among club members while they endeavour to service their community. These principles are embodied within the Rotary Four-Way Test which challenges Rotaractors and Rotarians to live by them not just through their service to the club but also in their personal and professional lives as well.

The Four-Way Test

From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

Of the things we think, say or do:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Birth of the Rotary “FOUR-WAY TEST”

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