February is Peace & Conflict Resolution Month
One of the six areas of focus of Rotary we don’t seem to talk about as much is peace and conflict resolution and prevention, which happens to be the theme for the month of February. It is often, however, the conflicts that occur throughout the world that are the root causes of poverty, despair, economic hardship and poor health. Take for instance the major deterrent to polio eradication: the difficulty in vaccinating children in war torn countries.
We see these conflicts as well occurring in some form within our own communities with the same results. Rotary International as an organization understands this relationship and therefore is deeply invested in supporting individuals and programs that will develop leaders who are committed to seeking ways toward peace. The path toward peace begins with understanding and respect for the differences that make us unique.
These are the same types of values that are studied in the peace centers supported by Rotary International in association with several major universities across the globe. The mission of these centers is to “empowers, educates, and increases the capacity of peace builders through rigorous academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities.
Through this experience, Rotary Peace Fellows build the skills needed to act as leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution both in their communities and around the globe.empowers, educates, and increases the capacity of peace builders through rigorous academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities.empower, educate and increase the capacity of peace builders (Rotary Peace Fellows) through rigorous academic training, practice and global networking opportunities.” These Fellows develop the skills needed to act as “leaders and catalysts for peace and conflict resolution both in their communities and around the globe.” In just over 10 years, the Rotary Foundation has trained more than 1000 fellows at our Peace Centers. Many of them have gone on to serve as leaders at international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank or to form their own foundations.
As Rotarians we should all be similarly committed to understanding the conflicts that exist in our own society, to speak out when necessary, and to seek solutions that reflect the values of Rotary. Our communities, our country and our world need Rotarians to foster and promote peace.