By Reem Ghunaim, Rotary Peace Fellow, member of the Rotary Club of Portland, USA, Host of Together for Peace and Executive Director of the Rotary Action Group for Peace (RAGFP)
Now more than ever, humanitarian response is essential to combat COVID-19. In response to the global quarantine, the Together for Peace series was born as an initiative to empower peacebuilders, Rotarians, Rotary Peace Fellows and Rotaractors to stay connected. The series was inspired by the need for a sense of togetherness in times of isolation where many have become vulnerable. Our top priority is to elevate the voices and needs of the most vulnerable. The best response to COVID-19 and social isolation is to bring people together, shed light on humanitarian issues, and engineer sustainable peace action led by the Rotary community.
Together for Peace was launched with the intention to bring the Rotary Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) network of peacebuilders (who cover 110 countries) to take collective action from their own living rooms. We aspire to be the engine of change that demonstrates the power behind Rotary Connecting the World. The series attendees are empowered to learn dynamic peace strategies, connect to relevant peace organizations, and access the tools to strengthen their noble humanitarian mission.
There is power in turning our living rooms into platforms of peace. We meet inspiring speakers with global missions and heroic deeds. Our guests do not only share their journeys, but also the missions for which they live. In addition, they address original insights reflective of the COVID-19 phenomena. The series turns our living rooms into vibrant and interactive conversations that spark thoughtful discussions and compassionate actions.
Together for Peace energizes Rotarians to spin the wheel and productively Wage Peace.
Our series is approaching its ninth week. Participants obtain the opportunity to listen to informative conversations, connect with peers, and interact directly with the speakers. See the testimonies from our dedicated audience.
“I think it is important to empower just normal people to be creative and do what they can, because even small things ultimately make a difference.”
“This is my first attendance. Believe me, I spend a lot of my time giving other thoughts on how they could do better. THIS meeting? There is nothing I would add or subtract.”
“Great job – I’ve heard Steve [Killelea] speak before, but I always learn new things each time. I appreciated that you touched on the spiritual as well as the economic and political”
“What an amazing interview; the need for all of us to be present, to show up for this amazing gift of life and our ability to give – love, compassion, care, presence, is free….”
Our speakers included:
- Rotary Foundation Trustee, Julia Phelps. Julia has been active in Rotary for over 20 years in various leadership roles and dedication to support RYLA.
- Rotary Peace Fellows Ximena Murillo and Muyatwa Sitali who are leaders in their own fields. Respectively, Ximena serves as the President and CEO of United4Change, an organization to empower women in vulnerable communities. Muyatwa works as a Specialist for Sanitation and Water for All by UNICEF.
- Steve Killelea, the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Steve’s work has earned him two Nobel Peace Prize nominations and his work has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama and Jimmy Carter.
- Salvador Rico, founder of “Cleaning the Rivers of the World” with the Rotary Club of South Ukiah, California.
- Mandar Apte, founder of From India with Love. His film showcases the journey to India that he hosted for American victims of violence.
- Matt Christle, the West Coast Director of Advancement for Destiny Rescue USA. Matt leads programs that free, empower, reintegrate survivors of human trafficking to live to their true potential.
- Bob Reid is the JF Maddox Foundation. He is a world-class thought leader on philanthropy and volunteerism.
We would like to welcome you to our living room – brew up your favorite tea or coffee and join our global conversations from the comfort of your home at Together for Peace every Friday at 2:00 PDT/3:00 MDT/4:00 CDT/5:00 EDT. Register or join us through Facebook to watch future episodes. Watch all recorded episodes and learn more about our upcoming episodes.