By Erin Thomas, Magdalena Zurita, Wes Hedden, Yung Nietschke and ElsaMarie D’Silva, Rotary Peace Fellows and Provisional Board of Directors for the Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association
At the Rotary Peace Symposium and Peace Fellow Conference in June in Germany, 80 Rotary Peace Fellows had the opportunity to come together and share our work, insights and ideas for building peace. We also discussed how to work together more closely as a network of 1300+ peacebuilders, alumni of the Rotary Peace Fellowship program, from over 100 countries. We were convinced that there was a need to gather as a group of talented individuals: professionals with expert knowledge and vast experience, passionate about building a more peaceful world.
We emerged from the Hamburg gathering with an action plan to form a Rotary Fellowship for Rotary Peace Fellows, officially approved by the RI Board in October. The Rotary Peace Fellow Alumni Association aims to unite Rotary Peace Fellow alumni, increase networking opportunities among Fellows, and facilitate collaboration with clubs and districts to expand the promotion of peace around the world. We envision a united Rotary Peace Fellow community, working together to expand peacebuilding and sustain peace in the world.
Many Peace Fellows already support each other, and many also already work with Rotarians on peacebuilding projects. One-third of alumni recently reported that they’ve collaborated with a Rotary or Rotaract club on a project, and 86% said that they are in frequent contact with the other fellows in their graduating class. Through our new organization, we can make sure that every Peace Fellow has the opportunity to work with Rotary networks and partners as they build peace in their personal and professional lives.
The Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association is planning several networking events, and our members have already begun working with Rotarians around the world to plan district events aimed at generating peacebuilding projects. This is just the start of a brilliant path! Working together through a Global Board of Directors and Regional Coordinators, our new Fellowship starts to be an integral part of the Rotary family. Come say hello at our RPFAA booth at the 2020 Peace Conference in Ontario, California!
Provisional RPFAA Board Members Erin Thomas and Magdalena Zuritarecently joined Rotary clubs in Oregon, USA and Argentina and are already very active with planning peace programs in their clubs and districts. The entire board is very committed to finding bridging opportunities between Peace Fellows and Rotarians wherever they exist.
Are you also passionate about peacebuilding? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you updated as we expand our activities. We aim to have board elections, a website and regular newsletters sometime in 2020.
Let’s work together on promoting of peace around the globe through the RPFAA!