By Rotary Service and Engagement Staff
February is Rotary’s Peace and Conflict Resolution Month, a great time to take action in promoting peace worldwide. Rotary offers a variety of programs that allow members to discover new cultures, exchange ideas, promote global understanding, and develop leaders who become catalysts for peace. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
With 1.2 million members from 200 countries and geographical areas, you’re near Rotary friends wherever you go. Expand your worldview and build goodwill through a Rotary Friendship Exchange, New Generations Service Exchange, or Rotary Youth Exchange:
- Immerse yourself in new cultures, join service projects, explore a profession, and make new friends from all over the world through the Rotary Friendship Exchange program. Read exchange stories to learn more about the program and contact your district’s Friendship Exchange chair to get involved. Watch for exciting program changes coming 1 July!
- New Generations Service Exchange is a short-term, customizable program for university students and young professionals up to age 30. Participants design exchanges that combine their professional goals with a humanitarian project. Read how the program inspired a young professional to promote diversity and inclusion through various Rotary leadership positions.
- Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time. Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens. Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries sponsor exchanges for students ages 15 to 19. Read exchange stories from participants and contact your district leadership if you’re interested in learning more about being a host family.
Discover new cultures
International service opportunities allow members to make connections, exchange diverse perspectives, learn from one another, and make a global impact. Engage with fellow members outside your club and district:
- Regionally hosted project fairs offer life-changing opportunities for international visitors to learn about a host region, make new friends, and connect with clubs in need of international partners. Read how the West Africa Project Fair changed Rotaractor Shapreka Clarke’s life.
- Twin clubs, or sister clubs, represent a long-term relationship between two international clubs that promotes understanding, goodwill, and collaboration on service projects in their communities. Celebrate this relationship with a Twin Club Certificate of Recognition.
- Intercountry committees, which promote peace, friendship, and strengthen relationships between two countries, offer opportunities for members to foster inter-cultural understanding. Read how the France-USA Intercountry Committee is supporting young leaders working to advance peace and cultural understanding.
Rotary Peace Fellows
Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 1,000 fellows for careers in peacebuilding. Many of them are serving as leaders at international organizations or have started their own foundations. Rotary members can support the fellowship program by:
- Becoming a Peacebuilder District. Your district can support the Rotary Peace Centers by allocating a minimum of $25,000 annually in District Designated Funds (DDF). Learn more.
- Promoting the program within your club and district to identify and nominate candidates for the fellowships. Use the resources on this page for recruiting candidates and publicizing the program. The 2018 Rotary Peace Fellowship application is available and candidates have until 31 May to submit applications to their district.
How is your club and district Rotary Peace and Conflict/Resolution month? Share what programs and activities you are implanting in the comments below!