This was the original website for KiwanisEurope.org. When Kiwanis Europe developed a new website, the KiwanisEurope.org domain registration was allowed to expire and the site disappeared form the web. Recently I discovered that the domain for KiwanisEurope.org was available, so I bought it with the goal of recreating some of its content from archived pages and to point visitors to their new site: www.kiwanis.eu/. I definitely didn't want someone else purchasing the domain and re-purposing it for something that had nothing in common with Kiwanis Europe and its mandate.
Why We Exist
Have a good look at the people around you: family, friends, colleagues and business partners. You will probably realise that you owe them a lot. Personal achievement and happiness may have been largely your own doing, but without support of the others you would have gotten nowhere. The age of pure individualism fortunately lies behind us: you may participate to society again, put something back. And that is exactly what Kiwanis does: provide support to those who really need it.
Nunc Kee-wanis, you read it right, "we let ourselves be known", is a direct translation from Otchipew, one of the native languages of North America. This Amerindian phrase may sound incomprehensible, but for Kiwanis, it represents a clear message. Because we have a clear message to spread. Without political or religious smoke signals.
Kiwanis is a service organisation. And has been since 1915. Kiwanis provides services to others, to the world which made you a successful man or woman. We are well aware that this world is still far from perfect. And we feel that someone with your abilities could make that world just a little better. We provide the infrastructure to enable you to develop your ideas together. That helps you to meet new people, to make new contacts. And this is to your benefit as well.
'Serving the Children of the World'. You can do that in many ways. You could just give money, but how do you know what happens to that money? For that reason we prefer to create and manage our own projects to improve the quality of the lives of children and their families. Projects which may sometimes benefit your next-door-neighbour, sometimes a family in a faraway country. Projects that require courage and enterprise. Which is why we make this appeal to you. To people who are accustomed to taking decisions and making tough choices. People who are committed to improve society. Your reward will consist of self-respect, self-affirmation and self-confidence, invaluable assets in a world in need of a healthy relationship between welfare and well-being.
The Six Objectives of Kiwanis International
At our last International Convention in Denver Kiwanis was celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the six permanent Objects, which were adopted at the 1924 International Convention also in Denver. It is necessary to remind ourselves of these important ground rules of our organization.
- 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 standards.
- To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship.
- To provide, trough Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities.
- To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and good will
Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs
As Kiwanis membership has grown and enthusiasm for its service-based format has spread, Kiwanis has created additional volunteer opportunities for people at every stage of life through its Service Leadership Programs
Kiwanis Junior clubs are recognized in Europe and help to share the Kiwanis service experience with younger adults, ages 18-35. Kiwanis Junior became an official program in 1992 and now includes more than 50 clubs. See the following examples of Kiwanis Junior sites for more information:
Circle K International
Circle K is a service club for collegians and has nearly 13,000 members on more than 500 university and college campuses in 13 nations. Circle K was started in Pullman, Washington, and was formally organized as a service organization in 1947. Its members are committed to leadership, service, and fellowship.
Key Club International
The oldest Kiwanis youth program is Key Club. Seventeen boys in Sacramento, California, made up the first Key Club in 1925, and today the organization is active in 20 nations and includes 4,711 clubs and 234,528 members. More than 2 million youth have enlisted in Key Club since its inception, including many who are now top government and business leaders.
When middle school and junior high students began to show an interest in organizing to serve their schools and communities, the Builders Club program was launched in 1975. With support from Kiwanis clubs, Key Clubs, and Circle K clubs, the Builders Club network has grown to include more than 1,500 clubs and 44,000 members in 13 nations.
This organization for elementary school-age students began in 1990 when the first club was formed in North Lauderdale, Florida, and formally adopted as a service leadership programs by Kiwanis in 1998. Today 16,164 K-Kids in 500 clubs and 11 nations are actively creating opportunities for community service, leadership development, and citizenship education
In October 2000, Kiwanis extended service opportunities to adult citizens living with developmental disabilities through the formation of Aktion Clubs. These clubs provide members with opportunities to develop initiative and leadership, to serve their communities, to be integrated into society, and to demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens living with developmental disabilities. To date, there are more than 2,000 members in 89 clubs.