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The Object of Rotary is to "encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise." Rotary is a service organization. Since 1910, the Rotary Motto has been "Service Above Self."
 
Rotary strives to achieve its objective of "Service Above Self" through activities in five primary areas. These are often referred to as the five Avenues of Service.
 
 
This avenue promotes the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. It involves the activities necessary to make the Club function successfully and achieve its goals. Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan.
 
 
This avenue represents the opportunity that each Rotarian has to represent the dignity and utility of one's vocation as an opportunity to serve society. Rotarians promote and foster high ethical standards in business and professions and promote the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations. Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society. Learn more in An Introduction to Vocational Service and the Code of Conduct.
 
 
This avenue relates to the activities that Rotarians undertake to improve the quality of life for people in their community, and to serve the public interest.  Particular emphasis is given to helping children, needy families, the aged, the handicapped, and those most in need of assistance.  Rotarians strive to promote the ideal of service in their personal, business, and community lives.
 
 
In this avenue, Rotarians strive for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.  International Service Projects are designed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in many lands, with particular emphasis on the most underprivileged children and families in developing countries.
 
Youth Service
 
The avenue of youth service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults.  Youth service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange.
 
Sources:
The Object of Rotary page, Rotary International web site
The Guiding Principles page, My Rotary.org web site

The ABCs of Rotary, Clifford L. Dochterman, Rotary International