of Social Initiatives. Also involved in the project was the Livermore Rotary Club, whose members were to help the group in Snezhinsk to charter a new Rotary Club in their city. Community service is a cornerstone of Rotary, and citizens in both cities support the concept of promoting community service through the organization. Rotary is an international service organization that provides linkages for its members, leaders in their respective business communities, to the greater professional community worldwide. We, in both cities, believe that Rotary will serve as the cornerstone to foster greater relationship between the youth of both cities, as well as a foundation for other municipal activities.
In addition to forming the Rotary Club, we worked with the Women of ZATO to develop and deliver women's leadership and entrepreneurship training. Women in Russia, and in particular in the nuclear closed cities and the scientific community, have not had the opportunity to participate in leadership opportunities, either in the community or in the workplace. However, with the expected changing employment situation in the city of Snezhinsk, specifically the transition of workers from the Federal Nuclear Center to the private sector, there will be a great need for people, and particularly women, who are typically underserved, to be prepared for the transition. We envision that both efforts will encourage the citizens of Snezhinsk to help develop, strengthen, contribute to, and utilize local community resources to improve their quality of life and promote community stability.
It is important to understand that Rotary is not a missionary organization. In addition, the Russian Consul General in Seattle has stated that the Russian government supports the extension of Rotary into Russia, as they support the organization's ideals, believe in the goal of community service, and feel that Rotary will promote business exchange and understanding.
Sponsoring a new club requires approximately two or three years of effort. A Russian charter club president needs to be identified and a Russian city club needs to be selected for cosponsorship. Of course, e-mail is most helpful in this regard. In the past, U.S. clubs have sponsored their Russian counterpart presidents to attend district conferences as a way of getting better acquainted with the organization and its operations.
The next steps include identifying a friendship group, establishing a regular time and place for meetings, and registering the organization legally with the Russian government. Regular meetings should be held with new members to review the manual and related procedures. Sponsor training is also helpful in this regard. A club should have at least 20 members to be effective, and it also needs a worthy project on which to focus its efforts. Youth exchanges are one possible idea.
In the next stage the new club should develop a three-year plan, identifying key activities and setting deadlines for accomplishing them.