Kiwanis is a global organization of
volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one
community at a time.
defining statement, adopted October 2004.
Founded in 1915 in Detroit
and with headquarters now in Indianapolis, Kiwanis
International is a thriving organization of service- and
community-minded individuals who support children and young
adults around the world. More than 600,000 Kiwanis-family
members in 96 countries make their mark by responding to the
needs of their communities and pooling their resources to
address worldwide issues. Through these efforts, Kiwanis
International truly is "Serving the Children of the World."
Guided by six permanent
Kiwanis clubs view their role within their respective
communities with a great deal of foresight. Key aspects to
operating an effective club include:
Evaluating both children’s
issues and community needs on an ongoing basis
projects to respond to those identified needs
Maintaining an active
membership roster of professional business people who have
both the desire and the ability to serve their community
Club meetings traditionally
are conducted once a week and offer an atmosphere of fun,
learning, and fellowship. In addition to attending the
meetings, the typical Kiwanian volunteers each month to assist
with club service projects.
Service projects often are
linked to the Kiwanis program, “Young Children: Priority One.”
This initiative places continuing focus on the needs of
children in pediatric trauma, safety, child care, early
development, infant health, nutrition, and parenting skills.
Service projects also can
address other needs within the community, such as working to
stop substance abuse, helping the elderly, promoting literacy,
supporting youth sports and recreation, responding to
disasters, and supporting specific persons in need.
Kiwanis also plays a special
role in developing future generations of leaders. K-Kids clubs
at the elementary school level, Builders Clubs in middle
school and junior highs, Key Clubs in high schools, and Circle
K clubs at the collegiate level all are Kiwanis organizations
that teach community service and leadership skills to young
people. In addition, Aktion Clubs are made up of adults with
mental and physical disabilities who enthusiastically perform
service to help others.
Worldwide, the entire
Kiwanis family is committed to eliminating the devastating
effects of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the world’s
leading preventable cause of mental retardation. More than 1.5
billion people are at risk of suffering IDD because they do
not receive enough iodine in their diet. But, because of
Kiwanis’ efforts, many parents who have been affected by IDD
are able to watch their children grow up healthy and reach
their full physical and mental potential. The results of the
IDD program will benefit every future generation.
A typical Kiwanis club is a
snapshot of its community, with members from all walks of life
and at every step of the career ladder. They are unified in
their belief that children and their communities benefit from
the efforts of a proficient group of caring and involved
volunteers. In a typical year, Kiwanis clubs invest more than
6.2 million hours and US$100 million in communities around the
world. Through these efforts, the Kiwanis organization truly
leaves a lasting impression on future generations.
The six permanent Objects of Kiwanis
International were approved by
Kiwanis club delegates
at the 1924 Convention in Denver, Colorado.
Through the succeeding decades, they have remained unchanged.
To give primacy to the human and
spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
To encourage the daily living of
the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
To promote the adoption and the
application of higher social, business, and professional
To develop, by precept and example,
a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable
To provide, through Kiwanis clubs,
a practical means to form enduring friendships, to
render altruistic service, and to build better
To cooperate in creating and
maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism
which make possible the increase of righteousness,
justice, patriotism, and goodwill.
Brief History of Kiwanis
The first Kiwanis club was organized in Detroit, Michigan,
USA, on January 21, 1915. A year later the Kiwanis Club of
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was chartered, and Kiwanis
International grew rapidly into a leading service club in
these two founding nations. In 1962, worldwide expansion was
approved, and today Kiwanis clubs are active in every part
of the world.
The Kiwanis Motto is:
"Serving the Children of the World"
The name "Kiwanis" was coined from an expression in an
American Indian language of the Detroit area, Nunc
Kee-wanis, which means, "we trade" or "we have a good
There are more than
clubs with nearly 280,000 members in 96 nations and
Kiwanians are men and women from all walks of life, united
in their commitment to serving children and their
Kiwanis International sponsors several service clubs for
young people: Circle
K International has 12,000 members on 500 university
and college campuses; Key
Club International has 245,000 members in 4,700 high
Builders Clubs have been organized in 2,000 junior
high and middle schools. Other members of the Kiwanis family
K-Kids in elementary schools, young European adults
Kiwanis Junior, and
Aktion Club, which involves persons with
disabilities in community-service activities.
In one year, Kiwanis clubs sponsored 147,000 service
projects. To do so, Kiwanians raised and spent nearly $100
million and contributed 6.2 million hours of volunteer time.
continuing service emphasis is called "Young
Children: Priority One," which focuses on the
special needs of children from prenatal development to age
five. In one year, projects conducted as part of the "Young
Children: Priority One" service emphasis involved $14.3
million and 1.3 million volunteer hours.
1994, Kiwanis launched its first Worldwide
Service Project, a $75 million campaign in
partnership with UNICEF to eliminate iodine deficiency
disorders by the year 2000. Iodine deficiency is rare in
areas where iodized salt is used, but in other parts of the
world, IDD is the leading cause of preventable mental and
physical retardation. As many as 1.5 billion people are at
risk, especially young children. The initial fundraising
goal was surpassed in 2001. IDD projects have now been
funded in 95 nations.
created by Rosalba Fiduccia, Chairman
and Webmaster Kiwanis
Copyright © 2007 Kiwanis International District Italy-San Marino. All Rights