The Rotary Foundation was established by then RI President Arch C. Klumph in 1917. There were negligible contributions and donations until the death of the founder of Rotary International, Paul Harris. Then the money started to roll in.
In 1947 the Rotary Foundation initiated a programme, now named RF Ambassadorial Scholarships, one of the largest Post Graduate programmes in the world today. This programme has produced world leaders in all fields of endeavour.
In 1988, a project that became known as Polio Eradication Programme began. RF joined forces with the World Health Organisation, UNESCO and the US Dept of Infectious Diseases. Since that time, there has been a decrease of 99% of incidents of Polio. There are only four countries; India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, that are still polio endemic. This battle continues and thanks to Bill Gates and his immense support of the Rotary Foundation Polio Eradication project, we are able to raise large sums of money to bring this battle to a successful conclusion.
Rotary International, the world's first service club organisation, is made up of over 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Its members form a global network of business and professional leaders who volunteer their time and talents to serve their communities and the world.
Rotary's motto, Service Above Self, exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the organisation's members.