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Vocational Service/Ethics Click here for Printable version


Vocational Service
is the way in which Rotary fosters and supports the application of the Ideal of Service in pursuit of all vocations. Inherent in the Vocational Service ideal are:
(1) Adherence to and promotion of the highest ethical standards in all occupations including faithfulness and fidelity to employers, employees and associates and the fair treatment of them and competitors, the public and those with whom one has any business or professional relationships;
(2) The recognition of the worthiness to society of all useful occupations, not just one's own or those which are pursued by Rotarians;
(3) The contributing of one's vocational talents to the problems and needs of society.

Vocational Service is both the responsibility of a Rotary club and its members. The role of the club is to implement and encourage the objective by frequent demonstration, by application to its own actions, by example and by development of projects that help members contribute vocational talents. The role of its members is to conduct themselves, their business and their professions in accordance with Rotary principles and to respond to projects, which the club has developed.

For many years, Rotarians have been active in efforts to reduce illiteracy, from building schools and paying salaries of teachers to serving as tutors to collecting and distributing books and audiovisual materials to libraries.

Rotarians are working with governments to create large-scale replicable literacy projects in the developing world. In 1997, the RI Board of Directors designated July as Literacy Month, a perfect time for Rotary clubs to develop their own literacy projects as well as raise awareness of Rotarian efforts worldwide to eradicate illiteracy.

Considerable progress has been made in recent decades in reducing illiteracy; yet, close to a billion people lack the most basic literacy and numeracy skills. Millions more are functionally illiterate, lacking the skills necessary to meet the demands of everyday life.

Emphasis should be given to identifying resources to assist in developing projects that provide literacy training for children and adults, especially women, mentoring for young people, support for community schools, educational opportunities for individuals with low economic resources and vocational training or mentoring for prison inmates.

The Rotary Fellowships program is a structured program of Rotary International that comprises more than 75 independent fellowships. Join the growing number of Rotarians who are sharing their favorite activities and professional interests through organized recreational, vocational, and health/medical-related groups within Rotary. From Amateur Radio to Yachting, from Accountants to Travel Agents, Rotary Fellowships reflect the varied interests and occupations of Rotarians worldwide. Although objectives differ, all fellowships share the same philosophy and foundation. The fellowships are organized by Rotarians for Rotarians to develop new friendships and to advance opportunities for service.

STRIVE is a motivational program developed by White Bear Lake Rotarian Don Mooney targeted to high school seniors who want to improve their grades. The STRIVE program has a proven track record of helping students, the school, and the community. Together, Rotary, community businesses and organizations, and your local school can make a difference in the lives of one of the most valuable resources in the community. Students in the lower one-third of the class often have the same natural abilities and gifts as those who are in the upper two-thirds of the class. The difference is often motivation, attendance, work habits, self-esteem and success in the classroom. STRIVE is one way to address all of these factors. STRIVE is a program that can begin small and be expanded as the success and promotion of the program grows. The program can be administered, supervised, and mentored through the efforts of a few enthused individuals from Rotary, the community, and the school who form the STRIVE Committee.

Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions As a Rotarian engaged in a business or profession, I am expected to:

  1. Consider my vocation to be another opportunity to serve;
  2. Be faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the ethical codes of my vocation, to the laws of the country, and to the moral standard of my community;
  3. Do all in my power to dignify my vocation and to promote the highest ethical standards in my chosen vocation;
  4. Be fair to my employer, employees, associates, competitors, customers, the public, and all those with whom I have a business or professional relationship;
  5. Recognize the honor and respect due to all occupations which are useful to society;
  6. Offer my vocational talents: to provide opportunities for young people, to work for the relief of the special needs of others, and to improve the quality of life in the community;
  7. Adhere to honesty in my advertising and in all representations to the public concerning my business or profession;
  8. Neither seek from nor grant to a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship.

Go to Rotary International Program Resources Page