By Rotary Service and Engagement Staff
“To replace the old paradigm of war with a new paradigm of waging peace, we must be pioneers who can push the boundaries of human understanding. We must be doctors who can cure the virus of violence. We must be soldiers of peace who can do more than preach to the choir. And we must be artists who will make the world our masterpiece.”Peace pioneer Paul Chappell
With daily displacement of thousands due to conflict and persecution, there is a continual need for peace pioneers that replace the old paradigm of war with a new paradigm of waging peace. Rotary members around the world are pioneers of peace that take action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources. Through our service projects, peace fellowships, and scholarships, many have benefited from the effort to promote peace around the world.
Rotary members around the world have taken actions to promote peace:
- The Rotary Club St. Ignatius in the Philippines assisted the front lines of Balayan Municipal Police Station. The club donated safety equipment, PPE and hygiene kits to both inmates and staff at the police station to help with the fight against COVID-19. Their action was intended to promote peace and order in their community and allowing for the front lines to do their jobs safely.
- The Rotary club of Asokoro in Nigeria partnered with Rotaractors in District 9125 to create a Peacebuilding handbook. The effort to develop the handbook started in October 2020 and has recently been completed this year. The handbook is a guide on peace building developed for Rotaractors to become active peace builders for the activation of positive peace in Nigeria. In partnership with the Gray Child Foundation, the Rotary club has been able to publish and distribute the handbook.
- The Rotary club of Chittagong Heritage came together to celebrate the 2020 International Mother Language day. The celebration of this day was to contribute to promoting peaceful dialogue and social inclusion.
February is Rotary Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month. You can use these resources to get started on building peace and mitigating conflict.
Connect with other Peace pioneers through Rotary Action Groups
- The Rotarian Action Group for Peace offers clubs and districts resources and support to advance world peace and turn ambitious ideas into life-changing realities.
- The Rotarian Action Group for Family Safety: Breaking the Family Violence provides support to clubs and districts in planning and implementing programs and projects that tackle domestic violence.
- The Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery provides information about, and promote ways to engage and support anti-slavery and human trafficking projects, programs and campaigns.
Find support for your initiatives from our Peace pioneering partners
- Peace Corps provides opportunities for Rotary and Rotaract clubs to work alongside U.S. volunteers training in the humanitarian development sector to empower communities and connect them to resources for a brighter future. By working on water and sanitation, economic and community development, or basic education and literacy projects, Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Peace Corps Volunteers together lay the foundation for peace, stability, and prosperity. Read the Rotary-Peace Corps partnership fact sheet and inspirational stories of Rotary members that have been impacted by the partnership.
- Mediators Beyond Borders International works with clubs, districts, and Rotary alumni to improve a communities’ capacity to heal from conflict, reconcile differences, and prevent the escalation of future issues to build more a more stable future. MBBI trains Rotarians and Rotaractors to be peace facilitators, engaging Rotary alumni to be synergists and project leaders, assisting clubs with community assessments and conflict prevention/resolution projects, and connecting the Rotary network with peacebuilding resources. Learn more (PDF) and contact MBBI to get involved.
Gain more ideas by joining the conversation in a peace-related discussion group, and post your club’s completed project on Rotary Showcase to inspire others. Comment below and let us know how you are taking action!