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Kiwanis International


Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.

Kiwanis Name

The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis.
Kiwanians are volunteers changing the world through service to children and communities. Kiwanis members help shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged, and care for the sick. They develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, raise funds for pediatric research, and much more. No problem is too big or too small. Why? Because working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream, and succeed, great things happen!

As Kiwanis clubs and members, we see it everyday!

History of the Kiwanis Organization

  • Kiwanis was organized in Detroit, Michigan, USA, on January 21, 1915.
  • Kiwanis focuses on the needs of ordinary people and children to create extraordinary life-changing moments.
  • Kiwanis and its Service Leadership Programs boast a membership of more than 600,000 men, women, and youth in nearly 16,000 clubs in more than 70 countries and geographic areas.
  • Members of Kiwanis and its Service Leadership Programs volunteer more than 21 million hours and invest more than $113 million in their communities around the world.
  • Kiwanis is taking itself from a good organization to a truly great organization that defines excellence for service and leadership and builds leaders through service opportunities.
  • Kiwanis International is the only service organization that builds leaders at every level—from the youngest Kiwanis Kids all the way through several youth programs and adult programs. (Kiwanis Family of Programs)
  • Kiwanis’ impact on the world will be measured by the 10 million young leaders it nurtures, rather than by the number of members it attracts.
  • Kiwanis continues its service emphasis of “Young Children: Priority One,” which focuses on the special needs of children from prenatal development to age 5. In a typical year, “Young Children: Priority One” service projects involve more than US$14 million and 1 million volunteer hours.
  • In 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. IDD projects have been funded in 95 nations. Kiwanis International Foundation has raised nearly $100 million to eliminate IDD worldwide.
  • Kiwanis One Day occurs annually during the first weekend of April. It is an opportunity to unite Kiwanis-family members from around the globe and their communities in a dedicated day of action devoted to hands-on community service projects.


What opportunities are there in my community for my whole family to serve?
Kiwanians around the globe have one common goal: To serve the children of the world. Kiwanis advocates this vision every day by providing opportunities to serve for every member of a community through Service Leadership Programs. Through these opportunities, youth and young adults around the world become competent, capable, and compassionate leaders.

CKI - for college students

Circle K International (CKI) is the premiere university service organization in the world sponsored by Kiwanis International. With clubs on more than 550 campuses globally, programming is based upon the tenets of service, leadership, and fellowship.

Key Leader - for youth leaders
Key Leader is a leadership experience for today's youth leaders. It focuses on service leadership as the first, most meaningful leadership development experience. A Key Leader learns the most important lesson of leadership—leadership comes from helping others succeed.

Key Club - for high school students
245,000 high school leaders from 24 countries unite every day to provide service in their homes, schools, and communities, and complete more than 12 million hours of service. Key Clubbers work to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa, stop premature birth, and battle for the rights of children in their communities.

Builders Club - for middle school and junior high students
Nearly 40, 000 middle and junior high students in 1,300 clubs in 18 nations contribute service to school and community while developing leadership and people skills. Builders Club members implement practical service-learning principles as they focus on supporting organizations that focus on the needs of children.

KKids - for elemetary students
K-Kids is a student-led community service club for elementary students that teaches members the value of helping others through participation in community service projects and club activities.

Terrific Kids is a student recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem, and perseverance. Students work with their classroom teacher and establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance, or schoolwork. Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive, Capable.

Bring Up Grades (BUG) is a program designed to provide recognition to students who raise their grades into an acceptable range, and maintain or continue to raise them from one grading period to the next.